Experimenting with Spatulas

For my birthday last year I had received a number of “spatulas” to apply paint, instead of my usual hog hair brushes.  I was inspired by a Melbourne artist to try some different tools.

Some of these new tools were from the artist range Princeton Catalyst … very fancy! They have a large variety of durable and imaginative tools; alternatives to the traditional paint brush. Others were from ‘borrowed’ from my kitchen and others sourced from local cooking stores.

The following 2 photos are painted straight onto canvas board, with no under painting or drawing, the subject being Red Capped Gum, Eucalyptus Erythrocorys.


Red Capped Gum, oil on canvas board, Elisabeth Howlett, December 2014

Being limited for space on our most recent beach holiday I didn’t want to bring all of my oil painting gear. Instead, I included some small canvas boards, charcoals, oil pastels and some acrylics.  What I had in mind was to do drawing and acrylic underpainting for an oil painting to complete on my return home. Instead, I ended up having a lot of fun with the oil pastels by painting , i.e., straight onto canvas board, alla prima, with no drawing either. Not a traditional approach but hey, I was on holidays, and it was fun.


IMG_8989Red Capped Gum, Oil Pastel on canvas board, Elisabeth Howlett, 2015

When I returned home from the beach I continued experimenting with using spatulas to apply oil paint. One feature of the Red Capped Gum is the leaves splay in unexpected directions.

IMG_1862_2Red Capped Gum, Oil on Canvas, Elisabeth Howlett, 2015

I am planning to continue experimenting with different tools in upcoming paintings.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *