Sponge It Up!


Once you’ve started to experiment with acrylic painting and have used a variety of different brushes, you’ll want to expand your artistic repertoire even further. One great way to create DIY abstract painting is by using sponges (either wet or dry) to create unique textures and color combinations.
Using a sponge is one popular way to blend paint colors. You’d be surprised at what types of effects you’re able to create with just a regular sponge. Yes, the same type of sponge you might find in your local grocery store! These sponges are great for creating abstract blends of colors. You can even create a faux finish to simulate textures such as marble stone.
You can use different types of sponges that are found in art stores, grocery stores, and hardware stores. There’s no one “best” type of sponge – it really just comes down to feel. You’ll find that some sponges are better at combining colors, while others are better at shading and spreading colors. It’s really just a matter of personal preference.
Natural sponges create unique patterns that give your painting a focal point. Sponges are great for blending paint to show smoother color transition as you rinse the sponge and continue to blend same spot.
When sponging there’s no magic formula for selecting the perfect color combination. If you favor subtle texture, choose colors with little contrast and use a dense application so less of the base color shows through.
For a bold texture, choose colors that sharply contrast and use a sparse application. If you sponge a color you don’t like just sponge over it… it’s that simple.
If you do a quick search on YouTube, you’ll find all kinds of brief instructional videos on how to create certain effects – whether it’s trees swaying in the wind, or the shimmery haze of a warm summer day.
One easy DIY “sponge project” that you can try just requires a canvas, some tape, one acrylic brush, one sponge, and a bowl of water. The first step is to create an abstract design on your canvas with the tape. Create little triangles all over the canvas, or big imposing squares, whatever you want. Channel your inner Mondrian! You should have at least 3-4 different areas of the canvas marked off with the tape.
Then, within each of these areas of the canvas, you’ll want to apply two different colors of paint with your acrylic brush that will mix well together (e.g. white and red, or yellow and blue). Once you have added these two colors to the area, just take the sponge and dab and spread, so that the colors are mixed together. Be careful not to cross over into the other regions of the painting that you’ve marked with the tape – but do cover over the tape. Continue the same process for each of the areas.
Then, as the last step, remove the tape! The result is a stunning DIY abstract painting that just about anyone can create – maybe even your kids! The areas where the tape once was are now beautiful white lines separating gorgeous areas of paint. It looks visually stunning enough to hang up on your wall!
So start sponging up your masterpiece today!