Painting Like Banksy

Painting Like Banksy

Painting and Prosecco

PopUp Painting is a good way to spend a nice evening, drink Prosecco and learn painting, all at the same time! I enjoyed one of their activities a few weeks ago when I was in London. The proposed painting for the workshop was an interpretation of Banksy’s Flying Balloon Girl. #popuppainting

Ballon Girl painted by Annie Dalton, inspired by Banksy's art.
Ballon Girl painted by Annie Dalton, inspired by Banksy’s art.
Popup Painting activity at Le Meridien Piccadilly.
Popup Painting activity at Le Meridien Piccadilly.

They welcomed the participants and invited us to take place. Everything was ready for painting and the artist facilitator guided us through every step of the painting. Even though it was my first painting experience on  a canvas with acrylic paint, I was able to follow easily. Some steps felt a bit rushed, but the pace was still ok. After all, we had to complete the whole thing in less than 3 hours.

Our teacher and animator for the painting session.
Our teacher and animator for the painting session.

How to Paint

If you’d like to reproduce this painting too, you’ll need a blank canvas, acrylic paint of 6 colours (white, black, red, yellow, light and dark blue), brushes and some water. Don’t forget a towel to clean up!

Ready to paint with a blank canvas, water, brushes and a few acrylic paint colors.
Ready to paint with a blank canvas, water, brushes and a few acrylic paint colors.

Transparency is achieved with water, by using a wet brush and not too much paint. On the picture below, the left painter put on more paint and less water for a heavier brush stroke and color opacity. It all depends on the effect you want to achieve.

First, paint the sky: blue/green/yellow on the left and dark blue/black/pink on the right. White paint is added to blend the colours more softly. Adding water helps too.
First, paint the sky: blue/green/yellow on the left and dark blue/black/pink on the right. White paint is added to blend the colours more softly. Adding water helps too.
Add white and bright yellow paint in the center and lower part to create a bright light effect in the middle.
Add white and bright yellow paint in the center and lower part to create a bright light effect in the middle.

The trickiest part for me was the sky, I would not have known how to achieve it without the instructions. After that, you paint the bottom part black and add some little plants. Last is the character, I did not really follow the instructions and decided to unleash my creativity instead.

Paint the character over the background. You are allowed to be creative. I decided I want to paint a ninja instead!
Paint the character over the background. You are allowed to be creative. I decided I want to paint a ninja instead!
Last touch, don't forget to sign you masterpiece!
Last touch, don’t forget to sign you masterpiece!

About Banksy

According to the book below:

Who is Banksy? One of the most famous street artists in the world, he has kept his identity a secret ever since his work was first noticed in the 1990s. He is known for his subversive, often political, stencil art and dark sense of humour. Today, he is known around the globe, not only for his art, but also for his exhibitions, film work and books.

PopUp Painting presented Banksy on their website as:

Banksy is a ‘Bristolian’ artist, political activist, film director, and painter.

The graffiti artist is famed for his satirical street artworks which he creates using stencils. His works combine dark humour with political and social commentary. Many local councils in the UK protect them with a perspex covering and his works have been known to fetch hundreds of thousands at auction.

I found more information about the artist and the artwork on a blog from Nathasha O’Brien:

The street artist is known for being quite reserved and rarely comments on the meaning behind his work; this leaves a lot of his paintings open to interpretation and it seems the mystery surrounding each creation only adds to the allure.

‘The Girl with the Balloons’, as it is situated on the Palestinian side of the West Bank wall, could represent hope; hope that one day the Palestinians will be able to overcome the segregation imposed by the barrier that stands in their way. Also, it is clear that the girl is a child perhaps signifying that it will be the children who will overcome these obstacles in the future, where they will finally be able to escape the prison to which they are now confined.

Balloon Debate by Banksy.
Balloon Debate by Banksy.
Ballon Girl by Banksy.
Ballon Girl by Banksy.
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