Paint techniques

Diptychs [dip-tik]

Hi everyone. So, our newest painting is a diptych. It’s a weird name, I know. A diptych is a painting done as one picture on two canvases! Ours is of an African savanna. It’s done on two 11-by-14 canvases.

African Sunset

Doing diptychs isn’t as difficult as it may seem. In the painting above, the ground silhouette was given its crisp edge by laying down masking tape across the two canvases when they were pushed together. (Note: only use masking tape or blue painters’ tape for projects like this. Other tape like Scotch or duct will stick to the canvas and will not peel back up.)

Also, make sure you have enough paint mixed (if you’re blending colors) to cover both canvases, because it’s not easy to mix the exact same color if you run out. In the case of this painting, having exact colors wasn’t a big problem because the sunset colors could be blended so they weren’t noticeable when we did run out.

Kathleen and her friend made a diptych last year. It is of a mountain scene.


They didn’t use masking tape in this scene, but they did help each other out. You can see the different painting styles on each of the canvases, and a few cross over. If Kath didn’t know how to do something on a painting, her friend helped her, and vice versa.

These paintings, while seeming daunting, are a lot of fun. They’re great to do either alone or with other people. Alone gives you more space to express yourself, but if you do it with another person, it lets the two of you connect and make something even better.

Don’t limit yourself to diptychs though. You can paint things on any number of canvases from triptychs [trip-tik] (a painting done on three canvases) to polyptychs [pal-ip-tik](a painting done on four or more canvases.)

~Elizabeth and Kathleen


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