December 27, 2014

How to Add Texture to Your Painting

There are many ways to incorporate textures into your painting, and I have a few to share.

More and more I am incorporating textures into my art.  When using acrylics, there is no shortage of sands, gels, and impasto mixtures that may be added to the water based paint.  Unfortunately for me, I’m not a big fan of acrylics (they have their place, but I like to glaze and build up colors) so you can imagine that I am a huge fan of oils.  Challenge: How to add texture to oil paint.

I came across a book, Painting Recipes, Textures in Oils and Acrylics, (by Barron’s) which outlines interesting ways of adding material to paint.  Sand, paper towels and tissue paper were some of the options.  None of these ideas are groundbreaking, but the images were impressive, so I thought I’d give it a try.   I was happy with the results.  I’ve outlined the details below:

Some unconventional ways to add texture to your oil painting:

1. Apply sand to the painting before color (not exactly added to the oil)

First of all, I like to paint on paper, which means prepping the surface with a lot of gesso.  After I have gessoed and sanded the surface 2-3 times, I sketch out my image.  I know exactly where I want the sand texture- on the tree- so I add Golden Pumice Gels (which has a sand like texture) into the gesso and apply it to the tree. Golden has a variety of gel mediums, mica flakes and other fun things to add to your paint, check them out.  You can see below:  the before picture shows how the sand looks in the gesso, the after picture shows what it looks like after I apply the color in oil. Make sure your gesso is dry before applying the oil.

2. Glue Paper Towels to Your Surface, then Paint

Next, taking a cue from the book (and against my better judgement) I combined paper towels and oil paint… and it actually worked. This is how I did it:  First, I glued paper towels down in the area I wanted them.  I was careful to flatten them so they adhered to the surface without losing the bumpiness.  I used Golden Matt Gel to adhere it to the paper. After it dried, I layered glazes of color on top until it looked right.  I also dry brushed the top to accentuate the rippled texture.  You can see these stages below.

Watch the texture in action in the full image, Vegetable Medley

A young girl brings forth musical instruments from a pumpkin patch in Vegetable Medley.  It explores the concept of unity and that anything can happen when we work together… even cellos being born out of pumpkins.

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