They’re made of acrylic oil and saw dust on square wooden boxes. The “hiders” can also be arranged on the wall vertically or diagonally, matching edges as you want. I like to make large earth like wall collages out of them by matching up the browns to look like an island and the blues to appear as water. There’s no set way to place these squares.

To get a better idea of what the texture is please see the pieces called Rolling Hills, Out West and Three Oceans.

To create an abstract painting with sawdust follow these simple steps:

Items you’ll need:

1. Strong white background
2. Rolling pen
3. Saw dust
4. Acrylic paints
5. Sponge brush
6. Wax paper
7. Spray bottle
8. A song in your heart and a spring in your step.

1. Choose a strong white background such as heavy paper, white fabric or wood with white primer. I have had very little success using canvas so I don’t suggest it. Stick with paper that has tooth to it and that is heavy, white fabrics of most any kind or primed wood.
2. With your background on a flat surface randomly place your color choices.
3. Now add an even layer of sawdust across the surface. For a clumped texture as seen above vary thickness. I’ll explain later how to do a consistent surface that appears as grass. For now this tutorial is for thick, varied surfaces with sawdust.
4. Place wax paper over the entire surface and begin to roll and smash the sawdust together with the paint. If you want red and yellow to touch and make a tiny bit of orange then smooth those colors towards each other. Mixing colors can be accomplished by how close you place them and how much you move the paint with the roller.
5. When picking up the wax paper do so a little at a time. Start from the edge and peal it back. If you’re working with a large piece of wax paper feel free to cut or tear bits of the paper off as you lift it away from your surface. This will make it much easier to handle.
6. Don’t hesitate to repeat the pressing process a few times. If the surface becomes dry take a spray bottle and mist the dry areas.
7. To create more texture use a sponge brush to press, lift and smear different areas of your surface.
8. By this time you’re thinking, that’s too much work. I can’t do that. Quit your whining. Yes you can. Remember this is abstract. If you have no real plan of what you want then let the paint do as it wills. Let it go wherever. Have some fun, press it and let it go.


After you’ve achieved the desired texture and after your piece has fully dried you will want to seal it. For most of my sawdust art I’ve chosen an acrylic matte finish but on the above I used high gloss. Because I prefer the earthy look I’ve decided on future pieces to only use matte.

Now to explain how to do an even surface with a grassy texture. What you’ll do is start off with the white surface, add an even layer of white paint, add an even layer of sawdust then press it. Allow the sawdust and paint to dry. After it’s dry place your color set as desired then lightly mist the paint with water. Place wax paper over it and press the colors until you’ve reached the desired effect. Viola, there’s your even surface with a grassy, even texture. The only difference is you let the sawdust dry first then add the paint.

Don’t hesitate to create your own textured blank canvas. Simply create the sawdust texture using white paint and let it dry. After it’s dry paint as desired then seal. The last two pieces were created in this way.

Here are examples of sawdust paintings on varied surface, with varied levels of abstraction and widely varied sawdust accumulation.

oil sawdust paperoil sawdust paperCopper Islands oil on canvas sheet

When it’s you’ve completed your background you might look at it and think, this needs something. Well, don’t hesitate to add dried flowers, glitter dust, paper cut outs, silk leaves, emblems and ornaments.

.Falll Tree on denim.Red Tree on fabric

Also see Rolling Hills, Out West and Three Oceans.

And don’t forget to have fun…to live free… to create well.

Thanks for visiting SUNDRIP – Art for Life

2 thoughts on “Square Box Junk Hiders

  1. Wow Austin! I’m always looking for new art ideas… as I’m so creatively challenged. I know, in healing we are supposed to leave our art critic at the door. But I can’t help it! Your work is so inspiring. Thanks for the “how to”.

  2. Gorgeous, gorgeous!!! Thank you so much for the instructions – I’m printing them out 🙂

No need to feel nervous, comment if you'd like.