I’ve been having fun in my studio with hammer smash acrylic painting. Yes, it really does involve using a hammer in the creation of the piece. Read on to find out more.
Having Fun with Hammer Smash Acrylic Painting
What Is Hammer Smash Painting?
Well, like it sounds, it involves using a hammer in the process. In my case a small hammer with a plastic end.
Acrylic paint is diluted to make it suitable for pouring. Or you can use pre-prepared pouring paints. A color base coat is applied to the canvas board. I use a canvas board rather than a canvas for this technique. It doesn’t give as much as a canvas would. Then colors are poured on top of one another in various places according to the design you are trying to create. Then they are literally struck with a hammer to spread the paint.
The first time I tried this technique, I worked outside the studio. I had no idea how much mess it would create so thought I would do it outside to start with where a mess wouldn’t matter. It was a good idea to have some trial runs. Not least because using the hammer is unpredictable but you can have some control about the degree of spatter through the angle of the hammer head or the depth of layers of paint you use. I learned a lot from the practice about how the paint would move.
Now I create the paintings in my studio. I am sure to have plenty of space to work and to have the workshop covered in something that cleans easily. And of course I wear an apron to protect my clothes. Each one is an experiment in the sense that you never know exactly how the paint will spread when you hit it with the hammer. The planning goes into the consistency and colors of the paint used and roughly where you want the main designs to be on the canvas. After that it is just fun!
My Hammer Smash Series Of Paintings
Cosmic Hammer Smash
Color selection is so important for hammer smashes as the paint will spatter and some of the lower levels of color will come through quite strongly.
I wanted this design to feature red and yellow strongly, against a blue grey background. The pouring paint was applied in three areas, actually finishing with just a hint of red. I love how the colors mingled. The red and yellow are nicely controlled by the white and hint of black. Just a beautiful creation.
Blooming Through The Gaps
I mixed a nice electric blue color for the undercoat on this hammer smash acrylic painting. I wanted to allow the grain of the canvas to show through in places so only applied a thin coat. White was an important color for this painting, plus pale pink, light blue and yellow. Someone said the final painting looks like dancers dancing. I love the movement in this one.
Dance Of The Flowers
I am very careful not to waste paint or use more than is absolutely necessary. But some left over paint had dripped off an acrylic flow design and so I scraped up into a pot. I wasn’t sure it would be any use, as when too many colors mix they go muddy. I talked about this, tongue in cheek, in my short story entitled The Day The Colors Fought Back.
Anyway, the color turned out to be an interesting shade of grey which I decided to use as an undercoat on my next hammer smash acrylic painting. This one shows bright swirls of color suggestive of dancing flowers. I feel the yellow smatterings are suggestive of pollen being scattered as the flowers swirl and dance together.
For The Joy Of Spring
This final painting has a white background which is not very forgiving for the hammer smash technique. The paint spatters and it can end up quite messy. I loved the final version but found it a bit harsh with the edges of the paint. So I scanned the painting and then put it through a painting program to soften that harshness. It leaves a beautiful piece with soft purple and lilac shades suggestive of beautiful spring flowers. I think this is my favorite!
All of these images are available to purchase as wall art, home decor and gift items. Click on the image to be taken to a page with more information.
All of these paintings can also be bought as fine art prints from my Pictorem store (with free shipping in North America). Enter the title of the piece in the search and you will be taken to the relevant page.
Before you go
My name is Dorothy Berry-Lound an artist and writer. You can find out more about my art and writing at https://dorothyberryloundart.com.
Thank you for reading!