Neon Athena (2014)
Acrylic painting by Blake Brasher


  • Acrylic painting, Canvas
  • One of a kind artwork
  • Size: 72 × 48 × 1.5 in / 72 × 48 in (actual image size)
  • Signed on the front

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Blake Brasher

United States

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Artist's description:

My process in creating this painting involved many steps. First I painted a quick underpainting in bright colors. Next I drizzled on some transparent iridescent white paint and smeared clear acrylic gloss gel over the entire painting while the underpainting was still slightly wet. I apply the gel thickly, like frosting on a cake. Next I add my inks, which I apply by drawing the dropper through the thick gloss gel, tracing channels filled with ink into the gel. Some ink I spray or drop into the gel, letting it sit on the surface. I also apply specially mixed down acrylics (acrylic paint mixed with water and a thin gloss medium) that I can squeeze out of a tube with a thin nozzle, like a ketchup bottle at a roadside diner, by squeezing thin streams of paint out of the tubes in arcs and loops across the canvas.

After I’ve mapped out which portions of the canvas belong to which colors by applying the inks to the gel, I spray the entire painting with water, to break the surface tension of the inks. The makes the inks spread out and integrate themselves into the gel medium around them, and to push into neighboring territories. Once this spreading out has had a little time to get going, I engage the painting with brushes and pallet knives. One of my favorite tools is a silicone wedge that can pull away everything from the semi-dried underpainting, revealing the bright colors hidden underneath darker inks and paints while building up texture along the borders of those exposed regions. The brushes create a streaky effect, pulling mostly clear medium along and picking up pigments along the way.

The black form in this painting is mostly made up of Liquitex Poring Medium, which is a novel product for me. I’ve been mixing down Utrecht Gloss Medium and Varnish to make it more pourable for a while now and have shied away from the special pouring mediums because of the expense, but now I can see that they are worth the extra money. The surface dries with a sheen like hard candy, and looks as if it has just been poured and is still wet.

The dark purple shapes in the middle are interference medium, and they change from purple to black to dark green depending on your viewing angle.

Materials used:

acrylic, ink, gloss gel