What Materials Did Salvador Dali Use?

Salvador Dalí experimented with a range of different materials and mediums during his lifetime, including sculpture, printmaking, fashion and writing, but he is perhaps best remembered for his film and oil paint creations. When painting, he often began with a white primed wood panel, onto which he would draw outlines in pencil, ink or diluted black paint. He combined his paints with a natural resin like dammar of mastic, either by itself or together with linseed oil for greater fluidity or ease of application.

Such fluidity is an important characteristic in Dalí’s work, and analysis has shown that his application of paint was both fluid and precise, with few signs of unintended strokes. His later paintings combined the fluidity of Picasso or Joan Miró’s work with the realism and religious imagery of the Classical and Renaissance masters.

Dalí was also interested in experimenting with different philosophies and schools of thought within art. Prior to his Surrealist works, for which he became famous, he worked on improving the already established styles of Impressionism: Pointillism, Futurism, Cubism and Neo-Cubism.

Much of Dalí’s source material came from his own subconscious. He was particularly influenced by Freudian psychoanalytic thought and the content of his dreams.