Painting With Wine

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Wine and art have always been indelibly linked throughout the ages. Many artists have looked to this most wonderful of drinks to help inspire them to create some of their greatest works and there are many pieces that pay direct tribute to wine, created by some of the most renowned artists in the entire world.

In recent years, there has been something of a trend towards using wine directly in the art itself. This extends far beyond simply painting a picture of a favoured vintage and into using the wine itself to create other spectacular pieces of art.

This is no easy task and there are a number of techniques that need to be used to make sure that the wine can actually be used as effective paint. However, if done right, some surprisingly good pieces can be created by making use of Italian wine. Here we look at a fairly simple step-by-step that should help anybody who is looking to use one of their wines for something other than drinking.

The Materials

Before we start looking at the steps that you need to follow to turn your wine into an adequate tool for painting, let’s take a moment to examine some of the things that you will need to keep handy to create your masterpiece.

In essence, painting with wine is much like painting a watercolour. As such, you will need to have all of the following available to you.

  • Watercolour paper offers you everything that you need, pre-prepared, so that you can paint effectively using wine. If you don’t have any available, you will need to find a watercolour block else you will find that your wine runs far too much on the paper.
  • A bottle of red wine is always preferable to white when painting. Ideally, your wine should be as dark as possible. Thankfully, you won’t need to use too much to get the paints you need, which means you can enjoy the rest while you are creating your piece.
  • A rag or some paper towels that you will be able to use to mop up any spills or clean your brushes when you want to use another colour.
  • Brushes and a palette are also obvious implements and any respectable artist will have these available to them. Again, you don’t need to spend too much here if you are just looking to experiment. You may also want to avoid using any palettes that you have already used for other artwork, as paint remnants will get in the way of the purity of the wine that you are using.

With all of that prepared, follow these steps to get yourself ready to paint using wine.

Step 1

Before you wine can be used to paint, it needs to be reduced so that you can get the richest possible colours from it. The best way to do this is to take a couple of cups of the wine and place it on a medium or low heat for about ten or fifteen minutes. Once this is done, you should have a wine that is ready for painting. Keep in mind that if you spend too much time trying to reduce your wine, you may end up burning the pan. As such, stick to a fairly low heat and keep an eye on the progress of your wine.

Step 2

Before you start using your wine for painting, it is always a good idea to sketch your image into your watercolour paper with a pencil. This will provide you with a basic outline that you can follow when you start applying the wine.

Once the sketch is in place, you can start applying the wine. Take a little time to complete the filled-in areas first, using a large brush wash of wine. Ideally, you should use water to wet the paper before applying your reduced wine to it, however, some prefer to use the unreduced wine to the same effect.

Step 3

The third step is simple, as all you need to do is wait for a little while to allow your newly filled in areas to dry off a little. Don’t worry about trying to fill in details or apply darker colouring just yet, as this will all come a little bit later. Just take a load off and maybe have a glass of the unreduced wine while you contemplate the next steps that you are going to take to complete your masterpiece.

Step 4

Once the wine has dried, you can start focusing on the areas of the painting that need a darker colouring. Keep going over them with your reduced wine until you have achieved the shade that you are looking for. Of course, it is important to remember to let the paint dry after each application, much like you would with a regular watercolour, or you’re going to find that the wine starts to run a little as you apply it. Use a larger brush and paint in all of the detail that you think your artwork needs.

Step 5

Finally, it is time to work on the outline. Of course, this takes a lot more precision than filling in areas, so you need to use a much-reduced wine and ensure that your brush is thin enough for the task. Take things slowly and keep refilling your brush regularly so that it has everything that it needs to fill the outline in and make it as rich as possible. You may run into issues with the wine being particularly sticky, but a little bit of practice will get you there.

Step 6

Sit back and enjoy. Take a moment to soak in the piece that you have just created using nothing more than a bottle of wine that had been sitting in your cellar. You can also use this final opportunity to touch up any areas of the painting that you are unhappy with, but at this point you can kick back and enjoy a nice glass of wine while enjoying the painting that you have created using this finest of drinks.

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