Straight From The Tube

I love experimenting different ways to apply paint to a canvas! With this non-objective painting I was applying some of the paint directly from the tube. This creates an interesting impasto look to the painting and not to mention it is so much fun.


First approach

I was working with oil paint and began the painting with a limited color palette. Using different variations of ultramarine blue, permanent green, titanium white and flesh tint I began to play with the composition of my colors. My painting started off vertical and as I kept painting I ended up switching it to horizontal. With non-objective paintings it sometimes can help to flip the orientation of the painting to see what else it has to offer.

After I switched the orientation the painting I was able to identify which areas needed work. It’s fun to experiment with colors by putting certain ones next to each other. Some colors make others appear darker than they really are. This creates a space illusion that becomes very interesting in a painting. I started painting with only the tubes of paint themselves. Which added another level of illusion that I really liked. Although, I still wasn’t happy with the results. So I went back and forth between using a brush to add some mixed lower intensity colors and the rich straight from the tube colors. Creating this illusion that pulls you into my painting soon became one of my goals.


Oil on canvas 16x 20

I left it go for a while until I finally felt like it was done. Sometimes it’s hard to know when to stop. I really enjoyed painting this and I feel like there was a lot that I learned from it. At this stage I just want to be learning from each these paintings and if I actually like the outcome then that’s a plus!

Sketchbook Drawing of the Week:


5 thoughts on “Straight From The Tube

  1. This was a very cool effect. Thanks for sharing! I love impasto, as texture can make a work so much more interesting, create depth and communicate emotion. I have always worked with a palette knife, but straight from the tube sounds even more exciting. I also now work with watercolors, so I am curious what that medium would allow from the tube. It will probably be less static, but certainly still very impactful. Can’t wait to try!

    1. Thank you! I completely agree with you! I used to focus on working with a palette knife as well but straight from the tube is definitely more free. I am so happy to hear this has inspired you to try this technique in your own work! I really hope you get good results with watercolor, I have not tried that yet myself. I am interested to see how it works out!

      1. I just published a post on the results with watercolor. They were lovely! I just did a quick study and left half of the paper wet and half dry in order to see the full range of effects. The texture and color saturation were both really great! Thanks again :-).

  2. Reblogged this on Four frames art & photography and commented:
    What an impactful experiment. This has inspired me to do the same with watercolor, just to see what the results are. I am expecting a more fluid impression with a high color impact. The latter is really exciting to me, as it sometimes can be tough to get a good saturation of color with watercolor paint, since it lightens when it dries. We will see what we get!!!

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