We started by covering the canvas with tear-outs form the newspaper, some burlap, and whatever colours occurred to us. I covered the canvas quickly, wanting to have movement and truthfully not really caring how exactly the paint was placed. I was tired, I'd had a bad day, and it was tremendously freeing to "not care", to simply allow it to become play. It was fun.
Once the model arrived, we started our portraits "on top" of the abstract, and wanting to keep the same energy going, I found myself drawn back to using the palette knife - in spite of feeling like the past two portraits I'd done with the knife had been miserable attempts. Granted, in those two attempts we'd been limited by the "rule" of having to choose just one palette knife and no use of brushes allowed. Here, I could switch it up a little, since the point was not the challenge of using just the knife.
I used a couple of knives, a small detail brush, my fingers, and I achieved a look that I am quite pleased with.
More importantly though, I enjoyed myself enough that I have made my choice for next semesters class: abstract art it will be. In the meantime, I have just received a book I'd ordered about abstract, so look for some more examples over the coming weeks, as I play with abstraction some more.