Spray paint art can be done on many surfaces such as posterboard, canvas, metal and even glass. Here I'll give you some great spray paint tips about how to get started creating paintings with spray cans.
The most common question about spray paint art is, what kind of paper do you use. The best way to get started is to paint on posterboard.
There are many kinds of paper that could be called posterboard. The important thing is that they have at least one sealed and glossy side. If the paper is absorbent, it will suck the spray paint into it and you won't be able to create the wonderful and complex effects that spray paint art is famous for. None of these tips will work unless you have the correct paper.
In the US, you can get a nice posterboard at Walmart or a slightly thinner one from Staples. In other countries you may need to visit a dedicated paper store and ask what kind of paper is most similar to posterboard. As long as the paper is thick enough not to wrinkle or blow away when you work on it and has a side glossy enough to resist being too absorbent, you have a good paper.
Once you have your paper, you will also need some paint. Spray painting is a kind of acrylic painting and the can contains acrylic paint plus propellents and solvents. There are many kinds of spray paint available. Most people have seen spray paint in the hardware store, but few people know about artist quality spray paints and how they compare to the hardware store brands. Again, to use these tips, the right kind of paint is very important, so pay close attention.
How to purchase right spray paint:
Each brand of spray paint has it's advantages and disadvantages and I recommend using a bit of both and whatever works. The main disadvantage to the kind of spray paint you get in a hardware store is that it contains many toxic solvents that you should be very careful to avoid. The artist quality spray paint usually contains only acetone, which is the same as the products you use to remove your nail polish, plus acrylic paint. It's still not good to breathe it! But it is safer to use those brands than the hardware store brands in your acrylic paintings.
The other advantages to artist quality spray paint is that the colors are brighter and will last longer. The hardware store brands tend to produce a more faded effect and there is no guarantee as to their long term resistance to fading and yellowing. Some hardware store brands are Rustoleum, Krylon, Painters touch and others. Some artist quality brands are Montana, Molotow, MTN and others. The artist quality brands are often opaque and this stops many people from using them for spray paint art. But the solution to this is to purchase transparent gloss spray paint and to use that to gloss your work. This adds a lot of depth and shine to your acrylic painting and overrides the lack of gloss in the artist quality spray paints.
The downside, of course, is that artist quality spray paint can be very expensive. But if you compare the prices, you will see that there are some brands which are actually within range. For only a dollar more each can, in many cases, you can improve the quality and safety of your work quite a bit. If you are going to follow these, painting tips , I highly recommend that you purchase artist quality paints because it is better for your health and also your quality of your acrylic painting!
Each brand of spray paint has it's ups and downs. Molotow paint for example is very thin where as MTN Hardcore is very thick and even sticky. You can use both of these qualities for different effects. Molotow has some wonderful colors called transparents which create very delicate shading effects that could not be created any other way.
With the hardware store brands there are some that I use sparingly along with my artist quality paints. Walmart has a very inexpensive brand that is sometimes called "Colorplace" and othertimes just called spray paint. It comes in a blue can. It's a very delicate spray, despite being very very cheap. And the nozzles on those cans last forever and perform well with many kinds of cans.
Rustoleum, the one intended for rust, is also very useful. The paint sticks to the paper in a way that other brands do not, making it very useful for certain kinds of layering effects. It is also a thin but highly pigmented paint, making it useful for shadows and skies. The Rustoleum transparent paint is wonderful for working with the artist quality paints to add that special gloss that they lack.
About the Author
Alisa Amor teaches spraypainting, together with Gerardo Amor. To visit her site, just click here!