Art Discussion

What is the strangest "non-art" material that you have used to create a piece of art and what was your experience like with it? It could be the "canvas" that you use to work with, or an unconventional medium you have experimented with on paper.

By Lauren Konopacki

33 Comments

  • Darren Hester
    Darren Hester (@DarrenHester)
    05/29/2018 @ 5:23am

    I'm not sure how strange this is, but I often use coffee when painting with a brush pen. Basically just use it like an ink wash for shading. You can create some interesting tones and textures. Micron makes some brown "sepia tone" pens that work well with coffee.

  • Lauren Konopacki
    Lauren Konopacki (@lettermore) Plus Member
    05/29/2018 @ 1:10pm

    @DarrenHester I've never tried coffee yet but I'm excited to give it a go! Did you upload any of the paintings that were done using coffee?

  • Lauren Konopacki
    Lauren Konopacki (@lettermore) Plus Member
    05/29/2018 @ 1:15pm

    I have used dragon fruit juice (aka pitaya) and it created a very nice light pink, I was very happy with the results! Unfortunately, dragon fruit aint cheap! and it's not always that deep magenta color, sometimes the inside is white. I also love doodling on leaves, and if there is a styrofoam plate in front of me, ill just instinctively start carving drawings into it.

  • Darren Hester
    Darren Hester (@DarrenHester)
    05/29/2018 @ 2:32pm

    @laurendoodlecode Here’s a sketch I did recently where I used coffee for skin tone: https://www.doodleaddicts.com/uploads/12381/ The amount of color varies depending on how strong the coffee and how much water you mix with it. Pretty much works like an ink wash but gives you the brownish sepia tones. Great if you want an old vintage look.

  • Stubby Toes
    Stubby Toes (@godwheel)
    05/31/2018 @ 10:28am

    @laurendoodlecode I'd say the strangest object I ever doodled one, was an orange. I took the sharpie to task and created an extremely angry persona.

  • Stubby Toes
    Stubby Toes (@godwheel)
    05/31/2018 @ 10:29am

    @DarrenHester Interesting - I like the tone it gives. Do you recommend trying this on watercolor paper or something even thicker than that?

  • Darren Hester
    Darren Hester (@DarrenHester)
    05/31/2018 @ 12:07pm

    @godwheel watercolor paper would probably be ideal, but I’ve used 90 lb multimedia paper (smooth vellum surface) and it works just fine. Just can’t get the paper to wet. You should give it a try!

  • Sohini
    Sohini (@bookboozer)
    06/01/2018 @ 3:55am

    I tried using thumb tacks to do some lettering let's just say it didn't work out as I thought it would and I gave up. I used a toilet paper roll as a brush though.. That what a really nice experience. It's great for making flowers which have wispy petals.

  • Sohini
    Sohini (@bookboozer)
    06/01/2018 @ 3:56am

    @DarrenHester Wow! Using coffee as paint seems like a great idea! Definitely one I'd like to try!

  • Darren Hester
    Darren Hester (@DarrenHester)
    06/01/2018 @ 5:34am

    @bookboozer It's fun to experiment with and it's cheaper than paint/ink :-)

  • Caroline Rodriguez
    Caroline Rodriguez (@carolinerodriguez)
    06/02/2018 @ 8:44pm

    @bookboozer What were you trying to do with the thumb tacks? I know you mentioned it didn't work out, but it sounds interesting, Interesting tip about toilet paper roll as a brush.

  • Sohini
    Sohini (@bookboozer)
    06/03/2018 @ 5:42am

    @carolinerodriguez I was trying to make a pet portrait using different colored thumb tacks.. It ended up with me poking my thumb too much and also I didn't get the exact shade of colors the right way..

  • MGB
    MGB (@Thatonewierdperson)
    06/08/2018 @ 3:41pm

    This is super weird but I would collect band-aids that have designs and different colors on them and I stuck them on to a folder that I used for school and it looked cool and not what I expected it to look like. Some of the pastel-colored band-aids were covering different designs and what it looked like, in the end, was so cool.

  • Obsidian
    Obsidian (@Obsidian)
    06/10/2018 @ 7:28am

    I think the strangest "canvas" I painted on is shoes. I took an old pear of shoes and tried to make them look like a painting (if that makes sence) for a costume... I never had the chance to wear them but they actually look pretty good

  • Lauren Konopacki
    Lauren Konopacki (@lettermore) Plus Member
    06/12/2018 @ 2:06pm

    @godwheel I'd love to see the finished character!

  • Lauren Konopacki
    Lauren Konopacki (@lettermore) Plus Member
    06/12/2018 @ 2:07pm

    @bookboozer how exactly did you use the toilet paper roll as a brush? that's really interesting! would love to see how it came out

  • Lauren Konopacki
    Lauren Konopacki (@lettermore) Plus Member
    06/12/2018 @ 2:09pm

    @Thatonewierdperson if you still have the band-aid folder upload a picture of it, i'm so curious!!

  • Lauren Konopacki
    Lauren Konopacki (@lettermore) Plus Member
    06/12/2018 @ 2:11pm

    @Obsidian that's so awesome! reminds me of the time i tried to paint my skin like a painting for halloween lol!!

  • Obsidian
    Obsidian (@Obsidian)
    06/13/2018 @ 12:03am

    @laurendoodlecode yea! That's exaclly what I tried to do! But it never actually happened because I have like no time to breath.. :(

  • Sohini
    Sohini (@bookboozer)
    06/13/2018 @ 6:31am

    @laurendoodlecode I didn't use the toilet paper itself. I used the leftover cardboard. Cut around the top into random strips and dipped it in paint then just kept pressing around the paper until I found something I could work with. Got the idea here: https://i.ytimg.com/vi/JAe2N12-NI4/hqdefault.jpg

  • Caroline Rodriguez
    Caroline Rodriguez (@carolinerodriguez)
    06/14/2018 @ 1:52pm

    @bookboozer Thanks for sharing the link. I love the splatter pattern.

  • Doodle Addicts
    Doodle Addicts (@doodleaddicts)
    06/14/2018 @ 1:54pm

    @bookboozer Over at Doodlers Anonymous, we had one of our favorite Miami artists visit and he brought over this really cool collection of toilet paper roll monsters. The whole collection, was just spectacular: https://www.doodlersanonymous.com/post/1771/the-many-faces-of-a-toilet-paper-roll/

  • Joyce Cole
    Joyce Cole (@joycecole) Plus Member
    06/14/2018 @ 9:42pm

    I've doodled on aprons made from recycled jeans. There are a couple pics on my page here. I use a lot of vintage paper layered in my artwork. Lately, I've been doodling on used teabags, which is great fun. When looked it up on pinterest I saw many people doing amazing things with teabags.

  • Sohini
    Sohini (@bookboozer)
    06/15/2018 @ 3:24am

    @carolinerodriguez Welcome! I loved it too!

  • Sohini
    Sohini (@bookboozer)
    06/15/2018 @ 3:24am

    @doodleaddicts Those are SUPER cool! Now I want to start my own collection!

  • Sohini
    Sohini (@bookboozer)
    06/15/2018 @ 3:25am

    @joycecole WOW! Those look really pretty! Definitely something I'd wear!

  • Tony Rodriguez
    Tony Rodriguez (@gibroni87) Plus Member
    06/15/2018 @ 1:53pm

    Currently drawing on a wooden Cajon drum box. An my phone case. The glare on the case was hard to get use too. Wish I had inked it case the pencil wore away already

  • Dietrich Adonis
    Dietrich Adonis (@ArtNinja2000) Plus Member
    06/18/2018 @ 5:23pm

    I love drinking tea. On ocassion I'll squueze the tea bag liquid and make something with a quill pen. . .

  • debra La Lomia
    debra La Lomia (@deelala)
    06/28/2018 @ 11:45am

    I used old lottery tickets in some acrylic paintings. didn't win anything but made a great statement about living in nyc. (or so I thought anyway. ha)

  • Terry Horn
    Terry Horn (@jinmenju) Plus Member
    07/08/2018 @ 8:01am

    I have drawn on the paper toilet seat covers before. I am also a sound artist/composer and I have used plastic bags and pencil sharpeners to get sounds from.

  • Suzanne Gibbs
    Suzanne Gibbs (@Silly Girl Factory) Plus Member
    07/13/2018 @ 8:07pm

    dried food. as an example... https://suzannegibbs.com/food-works-rice-on-canvas/

  • Sharon Birch
    Sharon Birch (@skbirch)
    08/20/2018 @ 8:54am

    dryer lint. makes for very gray pictures unless I have just bought new towels.

  • Nai Obeid
    Nai Obeid (@naïo) Plus Member
    08/31/2018 @ 10:06am

    I once painted with purple potato, mustard and tabasco. the result was not really good, but it was better than expected :P

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