Tape Painting

Posted by phyereneyce on Tue 03 December 2013

Somewhere in my online travels, I came across a nifty idea that seemed relatively simple to pull off.  It's called tape painting.  The idea is that you apply pieces of tape to a blank canvas, in any manner you want, then paint the canvas, again, in any manner you want.  After you're done painting, you remove the paint to reveal spaces of black canvas interspersed with your painting.

Here's the blank canvas I started with:

blank canvas

I picked it up, like all my canvas's at Ollie's here in Rochester.  Hopefully, it goes without saying that you remove the plastic and label that it comes wrapped in.

The next step is to apply the tape.  You can do this with just about any masking-type tape.  I chose painters tape because that's what I had on hand.  You can apply the tape in any pattern you like.  I chose a geometric patter, making sure to wrap the tape all the way around the edges and on to the back.


Once the tape is applied, the painting can commence.  This, of course, is the funnest step.  I typically only work with acrylic paint because it's cheap, easy to work with, easy to obtain, easy to clean, and can be applied with a variety of techniques.  I decided to go with an abstract theme because this was my first attempt with this kind of art, and when it comes to abstract, there is no wrong way.

Essentially, I chose some colors, threw them on a palette, and then applied them to the canvas at random.  You paint right over the tape as if it weren't even there.

Unfortunately, I neglected to take a picture of this step, but I'm sure you can use you're imagination.

After painting the canvas, making sure to extend the paint onto the sides of the canvas, remove the tape while the paint is still wet.

Make sure when you remove the tape, since most of it will be stuck together, that you don't allow the wet paint on the tape to touch the wet paint of the canvas or you will end up with smearing that you did not anticipate in planning the chaos of your abstraction.

Here's the finished product:


If you have the ability to plan ahead, you should attach the picture hangers before painting, but if you chronically forget that step as I do, wait until the painting dries, then lay it on a towel or other padded surface to avoid scratches, and attach the hardware to the back.  I typically use hardware that can be found in any picture hanging kit from the dollar store or other reasonably cheap retail store.

As is true with almost anything, you can customize this project in any way you want.  More tape, less tape, defined pattern, no pattern, abstract painting, realistic painting, whatever you want.  The point is to have fun and create a unique piece of art for very little cost.

Happy Painting!