featured Techniques

About Soufflage

“Soufflage” sounds like a cooking technique, I know. Soufflage is a Surrealist painting technique invented (or at least named) by painter Jimmy Ernst back in 1940. In French, “soufflage” means “blowing,” and that’s basically all you need to know about this technique. Jimmy Ernst blew paint on the canvas to create shapes free of the conscious, rational mind. I blow ink, instead.

Once I have the ink done to my satisfaction, I decide what image I’m seeing, and then build an illustrative mixed media painting around it. I like the process of discovery involved in not controlling everything from the outset.

If you’re ever art blocked or want to try something different, I highly recommend looking into the wide variety of techniques that the Surrealists (both writers and artists) used. There’s a number of weird and interesting options!

Forest Spirit inital step full Dee-Ann LeBlanc 400


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