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Today I’m sharing my favorite way to use leftover paint, whether it’s a puddle of acrylics I have leftover from a larger scale painting or the last bits of paint I was using to update some furniture. And while I’m at it, I’ll add in some other fun ideas too, just because.
My absolute favorite way of using up leftover paint? Using it as a background wash for my art journal. In the image below, I had a bunch of white paint from another project that I covered this page with. When I do this, it adds more texture to the piece, and often I think of new ways of using colors I don’t normally work with, which was certainly the case in the second image.
This painting is not the best in the west, but you can see how I used leftover paint for the background again. I’m working through Jane Davenport’s Beautiful Faces book right now, hence all the girl faces. I really want to get better at drawing faces, so I need to practice, practice, practice. Some of the pictures turn out better than others, but I learn something every time.
This particular painting used up paint as well as paper torn from a catalog which helped the final image to have a lot of texture and personality.
This drawing in my sketchbook has a very subtle background of white gesso. I also like to paint my art journal covers with leftover paint. I can build up the colors over time and then finish the cover whenever I have time. Here’s a cover that I painted, if you’re curious.
Another great way to use leftover paint is to paint boxes that have garish images on them but are the perfect size for storage. I have painted diaper boxes white and when the paint was dry, doodled all over them to make cute (enough) containers.
This last idea ties for first place for my favorite way to use leftover paint. I painted a canvas a deep midnight blue and hung it on the wall in our office. At first, I was going to do an ocean scene, so I painted some waves but they felt so bleh. One day, while I was painting a particularly bright pink painting, I turned to the waves painting and wiped the pink paint onto the waves. And I’ve been doing that all summer long. The painting is so vibrant and colorful now, and I LOVE it.
What are some of the ways YOU use leftover paint?