Know Your Stuff.

Source: Reddit

Several years ago I was taking some pictures of graffiti and met a guy who was painting over some of it. I talked to him a little bit and he said, “I don’t know why they keep doing it, they just make me have to come out and paint over it again.” He seemed annoyed so I didn’t say anything snarky about how taggers were providing him with job security, or that it was on a temporary wall that was around a construction site so it was eventually going to be torn down anyway so it didn’t make sense that he felt a need to paint over a few scribbled tags.

A friend shared the “What kind of paint are you using to paint over this?” with me because he knew I’d find it funny. I like the cleverness of it and the understanding of materials. My wife paints some—mostly with watercolors—and when I go with her to the art store I just get overwhelmed by how many options there are just for painting. There’s watercolor, oils, latex, tempera, even encaustic paints, and probably other types I’m missing. It always makes me think about how the effect an artist wants to achieve often depends on the medium they’ve chosen.

It also reminds me of the time I tried painting and I decided to use oils because that was a traditional medium. I didn’t realize that oils take forever to dry, or that they require thinning—if you just squeeze them out of a tube onto your palette and start painting with them they’re thick and show the brushstrokes. That’s fine if it’s the look you want but it wasn’t what I was trying to achieve. What I ended up with was thick impasto works, very much a Van Gogh style without the talent, but I wanted a smoother look. Also pizza boxes are not a great canvas for oil painting. I ended up selling the oil paints to my roommate who, unlike me, was taking art classes and had a better idea of how to use oil paints.

Here’s another fun cover-up effort.

Source: imgur

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  1. mydangblog

    I laughed so hard at that battle between artist and cover-upper! Every so often, I get stopped at the train tracks and get to see the very creative efforts on the cars. For some reason, the rail company doesn’t seem too bothered!
    mydangblog recently posted…Charybdis Is Here!My Profile

    1. Christopher Waldrop (Post author)

      The battle between the artist and the cover-upper was so hilarious. I like to think the artist is the one who took those pictures and made the animated gif, though I can’t find the original source. Rail cars really are fascinating because they’re moving exhibits, really, and I’m amazed by the creativity I see on them sometimes. One of these days I really hope to get a chance to take pictures of some rail car art.


    I like your cleverness, Chris, and all the materials you use.

    1. Christopher Waldrop (Post author)

      When it comes to so many things, Ann, I can tell you really know your stuff.


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