Creating on a large scale
Wave Rider is a large scale abstract painting created with my very special enamel paints. There are around 20 different colours of paint in use here and each one of them contributes to this incredible, rainbow colored feast for the eyes.
I used a combination of pint tumblers and shot glasses to apply the paint in very careful layers and in a particular sequence. I did this over the main body of the canvas and then, after pouring the paint into position, I used a custom-made flat blade (made from thin sheet steel) to move the paint into these giant waves.
Preparation is always key to creating these very large paintings so much of the day, prior to actually painting, was dedicated to setting everything up. The reason for this is that I painted the whole piece in one session and filmed live as part of our weekly live stream broadcasts on our YouTube channel.
You can relive the entire creation, from start to finish, by watching the video below.
Achieving the finish
The technique for moving paint is a great one and just one of many that we sue during the live sessions and also when we are off camera. We are always looking for ways to move paint around and are constantly testing the boundaries of what is and isn’t possible.
The flat blade also has a few smaller versions and these were used in the smaller areas of the canvas – particularly around the edges. So the same movements can be achieved as per the big blade. The results are incredible and the finish is truly outstanding.
There are so many fins in this painting that you’ll likely need a lifetime to see them all. New things appear then disappear as you move around the surface. Up close this is a pretty engrossing experience. From a distance, and especially when you walk into a room and see it for the first time, the power of its undulating wave-like flows literally sweep you off your feet.
Movements bash into each other then melt away and so on and so on. it’s a constant flow of input as you walk around the painting and one that is wholly encapsulation. You really do feel like you’re in some giant surf somewhere. It’s a pretty exhilarating experience.
We’ve talked about tools and techniques and how it makes you feel but none of this is relevant if the color choices and balance is off. So, despite there being a representation from all major color groups here, it’s the accent towards the blue end of the spectrum that carries off the ocean theme for me. It’s very much an undercurrent (sorry for the pun) that moves through the whole painting.
The brilliance and depth of the primary colours is bold yet never overbearing. This in turn leads to all the subtle blending that takes place as paint gets moved over and through other layers of paint. The flat blade allows me to create some truly spectacular blends and these tonal ranges really bring the painting alive.
Yes, it’s like the ocean and waves and rainbows – it’s anything you want it to be. What I can say with complete conviction is that it will finish off some magnificent open plan space somewhere in the most dramatic and beautiful way possible.