Abstract Art with Petroleum Jelly

I am not an artist. I can’t even draw a stick figure. It is pretty pathetic. Which really begs the question, why did I think I could re-create sport themed artwork for Landon? Seriously, what was I thinking?

I like to call this phase of my life “the time I thought I was Picasso”.

Hmmm…. something definitely went wrong there. 

I didn’t have the heart to throw it away. I added it to the dreaded pile of screwed up projects and moved on.    I couldn’t let this failed art project derail me. Fast forward a few months later I was at the library and discovered Acrylic Revolution

This book is amazing. There are so many cool techniques on how to use acrylic paint. The technique that intrigued me the most used petroleum jelly to remove paint to expose a bottom layer full of color. It looked cool and I wanted to try it. 

Please note, this book didn’t make me a great artist but it did give me enough confidence to show you what I came up with.

I really like the eroded look that you get with the petroleum jelly. Adam is still unsure on the final look but that is the beauty of art. Some will like it and some won’t. I think it will look great in our bedroom over our nightstands.
This is what the undercoat looks like. I just dumped paint on the canvas to cover the original “art”. I tried to blend the colors without creating a giant blob of ugly color. I think that is the hardest thing about abstract art. Keeping the colors separate but blended. 
After the paint was dry I added the jelly to several areas across the canvas and then covered the entire surface with a neutral gray paint.

You can see where the petroleum jelly is because the paint doesn’t dry completely. It bubbles up slightly too. After the top coat is dry I scrapped off the paint where the petroleum jelly was placed. 

What do you think? Is it cool looking? Hideous? For my first go around I am pretty happy with it. I think my artistic talent is definitely on the way up. I think it at least looks better then the original.

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  1. Very cool! I need to go find that book!

  2. It’s great discovering new ways to create art! My mom has been begging me to try gelatin printing; she’s in love with it. Very cool process and outcome– love the look of layered paint!

  3. This looks awesome!! So much fun too. Not only will I have to try it, but now I’m going to be on a mission to find that book as well. Thank you for sharing and I just pinned it on my board.

  4. I love the “ripped” look around the edges of the color! I think it’s fabulous :-)

    Thanks for sharing at The Fun In Functional!

  5. Oh I think this is awesome! I am definitely going to have to try this.


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