Throw away your paintbrush and try some finger painting! This way of painting is widely used among many popular artists, and for a good reason.
As an artist you really want to become at one with your paint and the canvas. By using finger painting you can achieve this quite easily.
However, painting with your fingers will present you with some limitations at first as it can be difficult to find the right technique to create fine details, and to find the right mixture of acrylics and water.
My personal finger painting tips.
I often use two different techniques that vary depending of what kind of painting I am trying to make. When painting finer details I often make use of my little finger as it has the smallest surface area. If I need to do super fine details on the painting then I use my nails, but this of course can only be done if your nails are long enough.
I have found that an interesting method for making flowers, hair, grass and that sort of thing is making regular hand and fingerprints on the canvas. If applied correctly and many times on top of each other, then this finger painting method will give you an interesting result.
The water to paint ratio that is used is 1 part of water and 2 parts of acrylic paint. This makes the paint stick and prevents unwanted smears on the canvas, but this is just a guideline! If you are looking to create some sort of drip-effect then the ratio should be more like 2 parts of water per 1 part of paint.
Finger painting became famous after the American performance painter, Denny Dent, created fantastic portraits of pop icons just using his fingers and his energy. It was Denny Dent who inspired me to try out finger painting, and combining the intimate contact with the paint and canvas with the energy of music.
If you haven’t tried finger painting before then I would recommend that you start out with the water/paint mix ratio as mentioned before, using regular paper as canvas. There is no need to start out with a masterpiece project just yet. Spend some time just monkeying around with the paint and get to know how it reacts to your movements and what you can and can´t do with finger painting.
I have added a short video of me doing a finger painting of Jimi Hendrix here.
Keep in mind that acrylic paint is slightly toxic, so make sure to clean your fingers thoroughly once you are done painting. Also, don’t keep your hands soaked with paint for many hours at a time as it will give you a rash (I speak from personal experience).