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My Rothko walls

Ever since I went to the Rothko exhibit a couple of weeks ago at the Portland Art Museum, I've been obsessing over thinking about how to paint my living room walls in a Rothko-tribute style.

After some foam-core experimentation involving artist's acrylics, a lot of research into decorative interior painting techniques, and collecting a deck of paint chips, I began my experiment today.

I discovered the color meshing technique, which uses regular old latex paint, requires no undercoating or priming, is fast and forgiving, and winds up looking pretty much exactly like what I had in mind.

Six quarts of paint, crimson, purple, navy, burnt umber, dark forest green and mushroom brown, plus small pots of metallic bronze and metallic silver

Crimson, deep violet, dark navy, burnt umber, deep forest green, mushroom taupe, and a wee bit of metallic bronze and silver.

Hard to believe that color-meshing those together gives this effect:

A section of wall color-meshed with the paints from the previous photo, appearing almost black

...but it does!

I majored in the deep navy blue and the burnt umber/espresso-y brown, and was sparing with the rest, and I love the overall sort-of-black feeling.

The one real challenge of this method is managing several different pots of paint. You use a single brush and make a big old cross-contaminating color mess. There's lots of brush-dipping, and working up near the ceiling is gonna be a bitch. Rigorous taping, masking and draping is even more essential than usual because the technique depends on a laden brush and heavy, dripping strokes.

But it's faster and more forgiving than plain painting, and I'm really pleased with the results so far.

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