Nicholas Baxter

Blog posts tagged “splatter”


In between paintings of my ongoing surgical theme (The Apostasy), I’ve been searching for little sparks of inspiration for my next series of paintings. Attempting new subject matter and freeing myself from the confines of a very specific painting process are two strategies I often employ for a creative jumpstart.

So, last month I finished another experimental painting involving a splatter process and a strange juxtaposition of subject matter. I wanted to revisit what I’d tried in my recent still life Denial Vanitas with that splatter technique, and get even looser with it. As the painting came together over a few weeks, it increasingly reminded me of an older piece completed in much the same way, and with a similar aesthetic, called Comfort.

Layer 1: multi-colored splatter.

Splatter detail.

Layer 2: blocking in and establishing form.

Block-in detail.

Adding the final shadow glazes.

More of the final glaze layer during application.

“Passion”, oil on panel, 16in x 9in, 2012

“Passion” (detail)


Realism Techniques 4

Splatter technique is one of my favorite methods for laying down a foundation of random texture on a painting. This is usually done somewhere in the beginning stages of the piece and layered over until the desired illusion is achieved.  Naturally, the opacity of subsequent layers dictates how prominently the random splatter pattern/texture will feature in the final result–determined according to the needs of the chosen subject matter.

Just having finished a major series of paintings with a very tightly focused aesthetic and subject matter, it’s time to mess around and try some things out. Stir up the creative juices in order to open myself to spontaneous discoveries and new visions. This is usually when toothbrushes turn into paintbrushes and messiness moonlights briefly before suffocating yet again underneath the lead blanket of clinical precision.

Here’s a progress shot of an experimental piece I’m hoping to complete for an upcoming group show. My first  attempt at a realistic styrofoam texture. Level of success to be determined…

Packing peanuts: not merely a pain in the ass in real life, but also in painting.