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Unique Painting Tools and Techniques

Erin is a writer and content creator from Georgia, United States. She loves coffee, books, and puppies.


There are so many ways to express yourself through art. Painting is one of the oldest and most traditional ways to be creative. Within this art medium, there are several ways to put your heart and soul on display. The most conventional way is to use a brush to add color to a canvas. Although, a part of being creative is to break away from the norm and do things differently. Here are some unusual, unique, and surprising ways to convey color and emotion through painting.

Tall Painting

This method sounds simple, but produces striking art. It involves pouring subsequent and contrasting colors over a box-shaped structure. The timing of the pours and the variation in colors produces sculpture-like, 3d pieces that remind me of tie dyed modern art.

Straw Painting

Using plastic straws and ink or any water-based paint, one can create original abstract art. Simply add dots of your painting medium by using a medicine dropper onto paper and then blow through the straw. This creates remarkable designs that are not easily made with a brush.

Spray Paint Art

Spray paint is notoriously used in graffiti. Some artists are giving this medium a better name as it's being used to create art depicting space and various landscapes. Using basic tools, such as paper, bowls, and poster board, one can experience creating texture and shading. These techniques create a work of genius that is truly inspiring.

Abstract Art With Uncommon Tools

Abstract art is different in that there is no right or wrong way to create it. It is meant to express a certain feeling, but does not usually depict a certain person, object, or landscape. This provides freedom for the artist and allows him to produce very original works. Unusual tools can be used to convey the feeling that you want to express. This promotes extreme creativity as an artist uses uncommon tools to create whatever he wants at the moment. Tools with a flat surface, such as a scalpel or squeegee can be used to spread paint or create texture. Sponges, rocks, crinkled paper, or perforated cardboard may also be incorporated to add texture. Various sizes of brushes may be used and even fingers may do the painting for more control. Any everyday object, in addition to traditional painting tools, may be used to produce abstract art.

Acrylic and Mixed Media Painting

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Acrylic is a type of fast-drying paint that adheres to many surfaces. That is why it is useful when incorporating unusual objects into your paintings. Rocks, grass, various types of paper, confetti, and clay can be included to give more dimension to an otherwise flat art piece. Mixing mediums is just another of producing innovative and imaginative paintings.

Digital Painting

Technology has brought art into such an advanced state that it is easily created, stored, and shared through computers, phones, and tablets. It has surely come a long way since the development of 'Paint It' for early home computers. The programs and apps make developing paintings easy, but the true masterpieces are made by those that have a vast knowledge of the many tools offered in each of them. For the iPad, an app called ArtRage was designed for using your fingers as tools to paint or sketch. It is based on the ArtRage Studio Pro computer software. An artist can choose from 19 various grain options and many colors. With technology changing every day, no one can tell how it will affect art in the future.

Mixed Media Art

Mixed Media Art


Marilyn from Nevada on November 07, 2018:

Wow, thank you for your ideas and information. I use several mediums, and always looking for new ways to get creative. Your information is inspirational. Time to get out another canvas!

Erin Bower (author) from Georgia on April 11, 2013:

Sherrye Barrow: Thanks so much! :)

Sherrye Barrow from Tucson, AZ on April 11, 2013:

Interesting and creative hub!

f on January 28, 2013:

Hi; I do still kind of wonder about the link between a palette of paint, and a kaleidescope of make up colors, how you may have a flair for both.


Erin Bower (author) from Georgia on January 28, 2013:

Gayle: I haven't tried this technique myself, but most people use white posterboard. Thanks for your question!

Gayle on January 28, 2013:

What kind of paper do you use for the spray can paintings?

Erin Bower (author) from Georgia on December 02, 2012:

Better Yourself: I'm so glad you enjoyed it! I enjoy painting, too, but I haven't in awhile. I like to paint sunsets and abstract things as well. Thanks for commenting!

Better Yourself from North Carolina on December 02, 2012:

Love your hub! I enjoy painting, abstract mostly. I really enjoyed your mixed media video, and I love finding new techniques! Thanks for sharing!

gouda on October 27, 2012:

this very interesting to see the free hand drawing of so much high quality........awesome.

Erin Bower (author) from Georgia on September 13, 2012:

Olde Cashmere: Thanks so much! I really appreciate you voting and sharing. :)

Olde Cashmere on September 13, 2012:

This was an awesome hub ebower, packed with interesting information for artists. Thank you for sharing. Voting up, sharing, and rating awesome, useful, and interesting :)

Erin Bower (author) from Georgia on September 10, 2012:

SusieQ42: I'm glad you found it and you still enjoy it! :)

SusieQ42 on September 10, 2012:

This is it! Great ideas and techniques. I enjoyed it way back a year ago and once again.

Erin Bower (author) from Georgia on August 07, 2012:

Anjo Bacarisas II: Thank you! I appreciate your kind words. :)

Anjo Bacarisas II from Cagayan de Oro, Philippines on August 07, 2012:

Cool hub, very creative! thumbs up for you :)) the painting and its thoughts are very nice it's like catching something that is so unavoidable, inspiring to paint.

Erin Bower (author) from Georgia on July 11, 2012:

carol7777: Thanks! Well, that's more than I have done. I usually only paint with acrylic paint, but I should really try different mediums. Thank you for reading!

carol stanley from Arizona on July 11, 2012:

Love all your painting ideas. I will have to try some. Basically I have just done watercolors, pastels and acrylics. Well written article. Thanks for sharing.

Erin Bower (author) from Georgia on June 26, 2012:

Budget Equestrain: Yes, I've never tried that before, but it sounds fun! You're welcome; thanks for reading. :)

Budget Equestrian from Twin Cities, Minnesota on June 24, 2012:

I'm so excited to start playing with joint compound and clay on my canvases! Thanks!

Erin Bower (author) from Georgia on June 14, 2012:

You're welcome! Yes, it's always good to try something new. Thanks for reading! :)

Ariana Phillips from Utah on June 14, 2012:

Thanks for the ideas. I generally work in oils myself but it might be fun to branch out if not in medium then at least in technique.

Erin Bower (author) from Georgia on April 30, 2012:

jamelia webb: I agree! Art is fun and a wonderful way to express one's self. Thanks for reading!

jamelia webb on April 30, 2012:

people doubt arts as nothing but i can assure its something. since latrly i ave observed alot about it... its funnnn...!!!!!!!!!!

Erin Bower (author) from Georgia on November 02, 2011:

Thanks, mistifields! I'm glad you liked it. :)

mistifields on November 02, 2011:

Very awesome and informative hub.

Erin Bower (author) from Georgia on October 08, 2011:

That's so true. Art can be expressed in many forms, and there's no right way to do it. Thanks for commenting! :)

megni on October 08, 2011:

Interesting. People need to know that making art is fun and is not as mysterious as it seems. Thanks for sharing.

Erin Bower (author) from Georgia on September 10, 2011:

Thanks, Carrie! The tall painting is my favorite. Exactly! I think that's why I like it so much. Thank you for reading my hub! :)

carriethomson from United Kingdom on September 10, 2011:

Hey those styles are awesome, specially the tall painting its consuming a lot of color yet i must say it forms great patterns so very easily and beautifully!!


Erin Bower (author) from Georgia on September 03, 2011:

You're very right, rosettaartist!

Rosetta Ceesay from United Kingdom on September 03, 2011:

Youtube has a lot of inspiration to be found on it.

Erin Bower (author) from Georgia on September 02, 2011:

Right; they can sort of be categorized together, but only broadly.

f on September 02, 2011:

Oh okay; more apples and oranges, really, that maybe they first seemed.


Erin Bower (author) from Georgia on September 02, 2011:

I don't really see how they are related unless you place fashion and painting under the broad topic of art.

f on September 02, 2011:


Yes, it's an absorbing and interesting topic. Do you find that your interest and skill with paint colors links in with your knowledge and flair for strong, elemental, primary 50s make up?


Erin Bower (author) from Georgia on September 02, 2011:

Thanks, kgresham! I really enjoyed this topic, because I'm a painter myself. I was inspired by the tall painting video at the beginning (I found it at Thanks for commenting!

kgresham on September 02, 2011:

Awesome Hub! Really interesting! Thanks for taking the time to put it together!

Erin Bower (author) from Georgia on August 27, 2011:

Thanks, friend!

f on August 27, 2011:

Don't think I voted for this yet; voted 'interesting'!

Erin Bower (author) from Georgia on August 27, 2011:

Thanks, rosettaartist1! I enjoy various ways of painting as well.

Rosetta Ceesay from United Kingdom on August 27, 2011:

I like the idea of playing and exploring art techniques. Thanks for this.

MJFenn on August 17, 2011:

YW :)

Erin Bower (author) from Georgia on August 16, 2011:

Thanks for reading, TroyM! I hope your friend likes it. :)

TroyM on August 16, 2011:

Wow, i really enjoyed this article. I am forwarding this article to my friend, who is interesting in painting...Thanks!

Erin Bower (author) from Georgia on August 15, 2011:

Thanks for your comment, MJFenn! Actually, I've only used acrylic. I like it, because it's cheap and can be layered easily. I end up painting in many layers until I get the desired effect or to cover up mistakes. I'm sure watercolour can be fun to use in order to create dreamy landscapes. I don't know much about painting with oil, but it is probably the longest lasting of all three mediums. Thanks again!

MJFenn on August 15, 2011:


Do you prefer oils or watercolour? My mother got into watercolour but hasn't done much lately?

Interesting hub.

Erin Bower (author) from Georgia on August 12, 2011:

Your welcome, Debra! I like to paint as a hobby, but I wouldn't say I'm a master painter. I thought they were interesting, too, as I was researching the various painting techniques. Thanks for reading!

Debra Buckland from United States on August 12, 2011:

Thanks, for sharing different painting techniques. I've always wanted to learn to paint. I used to draw as a child. You've given some interesting examples. Perhaps, I shall try some time.

Erin Bower (author) from Georgia on August 01, 2011:

Thanks, Erika! The tall painting technique is my favorite; I only just found out about it this summer on Thanks again for your feedback!

Erika Moriarty from Pennsylvania on August 01, 2011:

Great hub with lots of great ideas! I will have to give some of these techniques a try, especially the tall painting!

Erin Bower (author) from Georgia on July 10, 2011:

I'm always happy to help a fellow painter! Thanks for reading and commenting!

Tracy from San Francisco on July 10, 2011:

A very helpful hub! I love getting my paints out and diving into the colors. You have given me some ideas here. Thanks for an inspiring article:)

Erin Bower (author) from Georgia on July 06, 2011:

ournote2self: I've seen someone do this type of spray painting on the street as well. Yes, it's quite incredible and inspiring. My brother has used this technique in the past; I still have some of his artwork.

Phil Plasma: That sounds awesome; I love to see what kind of art kid's come up with! I would encourage you to create your own art even if it's just for fun. Today is a great day for pursuing your dreams; good luck!

Phil Plasma from Montreal, Quebec on July 06, 2011:

I've got a blogmate who is an art teacher in a Texas high school who shows every spring the result of his kid's art show. It is inspiring and has led me to consider getting set up to create my own art. Someday.

ournote2self on July 06, 2011:

I once saw someone doing the spray painting in was so amazing! It truly takes talent to be able to do something like that!

Erin Bower (author) from Georgia on July 05, 2011:

Your welcome! I got inspired to write this after seeing the video on Tall Painting.

Syed Shoaib Hussain on July 05, 2011:

Cool thanks for sharing this useful and informative videos..

Erin Bower (author) from Georgia on July 04, 2011:

Thanks for reading it and commenting! :)

pop-pop20036434 on July 03, 2011:

Wow, i really enjoyed this article, it was interesting for me too find out all of the different ways to paint.Really good job well done!

Erin Bower (author) from Georgia on June 29, 2011:

I'm glad you enjoyed it. Thanks for checking it out!

Jenne Joy from Michigan on June 29, 2011:

Painting is a great stress reliever for me, but I hadn't heard of some of these. Good info.

Erin Bower (author) from Georgia on June 29, 2011:

Thank you very much! I agree; I think the straw painting would be great for younger kids and abtract painting is good for older kids.

Dolores Monet from East Coast, United States on June 29, 2011:

Very cool hub on creative ways to paint. This would be wonderful for home schooled kids or for summer projects. When my kids were home for the summer, we always got involved in projects, usually involving making a big mess.

Erin Bower (author) from Georgia on June 29, 2011:

That sounds beautiful! Your welcome; thanks for taking the time to read it.

SusieQ42 on June 29, 2011:

I often use my fingers to paint mountains and water (esp. waves) Thanks for this beautiful informative hub!

Erin Bower (author) from Georgia on June 29, 2011:

UrsulaRose: Thanks for commenting! That's really cool. I love painting with acrylic; it's good stress reliever for me too.

Erin Bower (author) from Georgia on June 29, 2011:

Glad you enjoyed it! I think tall painting is the most interesting as well.

sepiroth from Bohol on June 29, 2011:

Nice hub... I really like art, If Ive seen this before I will teach my class on Tall Painting... Nice one!

UrsulaRose on June 29, 2011:

I so enjoyed reading this Hub Article.

I just love abstract art - it is a form of 'pain/stress-relief for me'.

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