Maybe Just One More Fluid Painting (This Time I’m Doing a String Pull)


Hi all, no surprise that before the paint is dry on my other work, wouldn’t you know I’d be thinking about producing another, this time I’m doing a very unique and innovative technique that only looks hard – the “string pull” method.

This is a great technique to try if you are looking to do a paint pour that uses less paint. You know you can run through a lot of paint while doing this and it’s messy as all get out. But this approach is totally different. This is also a good technique to try if you are intrigued by work with a lot of negative space in it.

I decided to try this because after I hung up my work from the last session, I felt like it needed a little something more, two little 8 x 10’s needed a third to get the “right” look. I’m going to make the color scheme the same too. so all three will look very much in sync together. Which means I am going to mix up the same colors .

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string pull painting

So to get started, you need a canvas, the painting medium, 4-5 colors, water, and of course, some string.

After you have mixed your colors, medium and water (refer back to here to get the whole methodology of mixing)

base coat string painting

Apply a primer base coat to your canvas. Now in videos I’ve seen most people do a basic white or black. I am not a fan of stark black or white backgrounds. Nothing wrong with that, you do what you like best, but I’m going to make it more of a light green. So I’m mixing in a tiny amount with my white base coat.

Now take out some wax paper and dab out a little bit of each color in a row, kind of line them up side by side, it will form a pattern. You can also repeat the alternating color pattern inf you like and you want your design to be more colorful.

Dip your string into the paint, try to get it mixed into all of those colors as much as you can. (Wearing gloves might be a good idea for this)

paint for string pull painting

Arrange your string on the canvas, try to center it if you can and also try to form a pattern kind of loopy looking, like I’m doing.

Be sure your primer coat is still wet as the paint pull will not work well…

string placement

Now slowly, very slowly, pull the string from the bottom, all the way to the top loop.  You will see the way the pattern develops and how it takes on a floral shape. Wal-la!

floral shape

Repeat this string on canvas and gentle pull motion for as many “flowers” as you like. Try to make the flowers smaller in proportion to the big one in the center, this is something I learned way back in art class, to establish a “focal point” for emphasis with a large object and then have smaller supporting objects in the background.

It will make the large object “pop” more, if that makes any sense. Here is my finished work:

string pull fluid painting

I’ve also seen people do this with a ball chain as well. I thought about trying that but I don’t have any that aren’t part of a necklace I wear already. We’ll see! What did you think of this? This is the string pull technique! Looks hard but it’s not! The tricky part is arranging the string because once you lay it down on the canvas you can’t rearrange it without leaving behind a smear.

Anyway hope you have a good weekend and hope you do some painting with it if you can.

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