YOU KNOW I LOVE YOU…but if we’re being real, I love the planet too!
So I’d love to share some ways we can be more sustainable artists. If you or someone you love ends up with a mountain of soaking, paint-blob-covered paper towels every time you get into it…this is for you. <3
It’s sooooo tempting to wipe that big, gloppy blob of paint right off your brush and onto that nice, clean towel. Or to grab a nice, thick stack of those accordion-style bright-whites. But let’s pause for a sec. Did you know that I, hannah the big mess, only use ONE PAPER TOWEL PER PAINTING?! No matter what painting. 5x10 inches or 30x40 inches. One paper towel. Magic, you ask?? Nope. Just some easy lil artsy tricks…
When you’re painting with me…
You are more than welcome to use a couple napkins while we work! But there are a number of ways we can decrease our paper use, and therefore our eco-waste. The biggest thing is to be sure you only use one napkin at a time. If you stack them up, they all get ruined. But use one at a time, and they’ll last longer. The other things I notice most often are blobs and drips. So here’s some methods for those culprits:
1. Beware the blob. It is sooooooooo tempting to just squish that big mess of awesome paint all over that paper towel. But resist! Once you have a big blob, it’s going to be messy and runny and hard to avoid for the rest of your painting time. Which means we grab more napkins. Also it ends up all over your hands. Which turns into paint on your face, the tables, your clothes, etc. Instead, always swish that blobby mess off in your water cup!
2 .Are mystery blobs ending up on your brush and your hands? Be sure that when you dunk in the water, you aren’t scraping paint off onto the edge of the cup. When we do that, our brush will continue to accidentally touch it, and then get it all over the handle…then our hands….then always, inevitably our faces. Make sure it ends up in the water, and you’ll start saving paper!
3. Are your paper towels always soaked? With paint or water or both? Easy fix! If you’ve painted with me, you’ve probably heard me say this and watched me demo. But if not, here is a great way to clean a painting tool no matter what project you’re working on!
Start by dipping directly to the bottom of your water cup. Press gently on the bottom, and then squish and swirl around A LOT. Get all that gunk off the bristles while it’s in there! If you take the brush out and it’s still covered, squish some more!
Then squeegee (great word, right?) all that excess water off on the edge of your water cup. You’ll see a nice river of paint water running back into your cup, which means it won’t be on your towel! Make sure to hold on to your cup while you’re pressing on it. Don’t want to give your neighbor a lap full of painty water….
Now ya just tap tap tap any extra drips and then dab your towel. Notice how much drier and cleaner it is this time?! Crazy.
Now congratulate yourself. Because you saved a tree somewhere, and that’s really special :D
When you’re craftin’ on your own…
You can keep using my methods above! It’s a good artistic habit to have. You’ll look like a real pro at self-care craft night with the friends and fam. Can’t you just hear it now…. “always so clean!” “how DO they do it?!” You’ll basically be the royalty of craft time and that’s pretty rad.
You can also use alternatives to paper napkins!! I like using old dish towels, those t-shirts that even Goodwill doesn’t want, rags, and scraps of fabric. You can use them again and again! Rip them into smaller pieces (good for letting excess anger out) or cut them into squares. That way you have lots and they are feasibly sized. Then after using, either just let dry or wash them out. I use dawn soap over the kitchen sink after I do my dishes. Easy peasy!
I hope you wonderful people enjoy these little art tidbits, and that they make your creative time more pleasant and seamless. We can rest easy knowing that we learned something new, and that it can help us do our part for the environment. Yay Earth!
Love as always,