I first stumbled upon Marc Allante’s work when I was browsing through the Huffington Post. His bold use of color against subdued backgrounds inspired me to re-create his work for an assignment on, you guessed it, paintings inspired by professional artists! Though I appreciate Allante’s subdued backgrounds, I wanted to create something a little bit more upbeat and playful (like myself) so I decided to use multiple colors for the background.
After applying two coats of gesso, I layed out 5 strips of tape along the length of the canvas to create six different color sections (magenta, orange, yellow, green, blue, and violet). Then, I mixed each acrylic paint with a LOT of water, to make a wash, painted each section, and left it to dry.
I wanted to make deliberate paint drips, instead of random splatters, so I dipped my brush in a bit of paint and then quickly dunked the brush in water so that the paint would carry across the canvas. If the paint stopped dripping halfway down the canvas, I dipped the brush back into the water and then pressed it against the canvas again.
I experimented with different levels and colors to add a bit more depth to the painting. Some drips started at the bottom, some in the middle, and the others were close to the top. I let this layer dry before outlining the spot that I used for the silhouette.
The points at which the paint drips originated from created some odd, raised clumps underneath the gesso. I solved this problem by sanding them down until they were pretty smooth, and then applied another layer of gesso to hide any colors that had been exposed.
The final step in creating this work was drawing and painting the silhouette. I studied several silhouettes that I found on google and practiced drawing them on pieces of paper. I transferred my best one, by hand, onto the canvas and then carefully filled it in with several coats of black paint.
The finished product!
This project may seem pretty complex, but I can guarantee you that it’s actually quite simple! I don’t have a lot of experience with painting so very little technique is required. Just open your mind and feel free to create!