My drip painting techniques

My drip painting technique

Far from being a randomized application method these techniques are remarkably complex and take practice to get the control of paint as you want it

Jackson Pollock.

It’s impossible, when talking about the techniques of drip or controlled pour painting, not to mention the influence of Jackson Pollock.

His work is as controversial now as it was fifty years ago. He had an astonishing impact on the art world at the time; his legacy and idolization shows little sign of receding to this day. He started this whole drip thing in the the late 40’s and early 50’s.

Yet whilst much is talked of the man and his paintings seldom is written about the actual process and techniques of drip painting and whilst I cannot put myself in his head I have studied his methodology with some detail and as a consequence I have experimented extensively with applying paint to canvas over the last few years.

I don’t base any of my paintings solely on his styles but I do use them as reference tool for paint layering

and effects. 

Technique

I use an array of wrist sweeps and movements both forwards and backwards in each stroke. This way I can control where the first wave of paint goes and just as importantly apply the same principal on the way back with the remaining paint.

Sometimes this is in the same direction as the first and sometimes it is in a different one. This helps me get a double sweep for every single application of movement.

I control the angle relative to the canvas, the sweep of the wrist, the height above the canvas, volume of paint per gesture and where on the canvas the gesture is heading.  I make decisions in a split second as to where the paint is to be placed relative to all the other paint on the canvas at that particular time.