Serendipitous Combinations with Acrylic Paint

Hi there!

I love acrylic paint, as you probably all know by now! There are so many ways to use acrylic and combine it with other media, such as in a mixed-media collage. I especially love the freedom of flow that comes from diluting acrylic paint with water and using it on absorbent surfaces. The serendipitous combinations that occur as one color encounters another is exciting. Knowing how to direct the drips and flows of the wet paint can lead to the development of wonderful understructures in a composition.

Abstract art by Chris Cozen
Abstract art made with acrylic paint. Join me for a webinar in which we’ll explore the ins and outs of different types of acrylic paint for various surfaces.

I used a lot of mixtures called “chromatic blacks” in this composition. They’re almost black mixtures built from combining other colors. You can read about it in my new book Acrylic Color Explorations: Art Techniques for Expressing your Artistic Voice on page 25, where I spell out the formulas for making them. When water is added to these mixtures the various pigments are released to flow and bleed onto the surface. You can see the blues and greens that were used in the mixtures very clearly in the photo.

Once I saw the colors revealed I knew this piece had to be a collage. I turned to my old book pages, ledger sheets, and stamps and began putting the puzzle pieces together, even fitting them between the drip lines. The night sky with all the stars is an image I have used many times, so I knew it would be the perfect fit. Once I discovered the little fan and made a transfer of it, the last idea of placing the old postage stamps in front of the fan flying all over came to me. We’ve all had those moments when after working so hard something happens and it all falls apart! This conveys that perfectly.

I’m excited that  Acrylic Color Explorations has been making the rounds. I hope you have gotten your copy. This month I got a chance to meet people from all over as I signed copies at the F+W booth at CHA. It was a wonderful experience to hear how people are enjoying my books and DVDs, and how they are changing how people understand their use of color. That is always my goal. As a teacher I’m anxious to share with you the things I discover as I work in my own studio. Which brings me to this: I’ll be doing a live webinar with Cloth Paper Scissors on January 28 to talk about using color in water media applications. I’m hoping you will join me for it!

As a bonus and a thank you I’ve prepared a hefty PDF to share with all who come which covers unique water media techniques not covered in the book. “See” you at the webinar!

Artfully yours,


Blog, Mixed-Media Painting Techniques