View Full Version : Favorite Texturing Methods

john Stenger
01-29-2014, 02:15 PM
I did a search on this but could not find much on the subject other then artists advising to just experiment. Can anyone share their favorite method of texturing a canvas ..as I am not really happy with the sharp points slap brush method I have been using, it reminds me of an old stucco technique I used in texturing house walls with joint compound and I hated those results!

01-29-2014, 07:47 PM
John, here are a few I found on WetCanvas:

Making textured ground for oil painting (http://www.wetcanvas.com/forums/showthread.php?t=542113)

Paper strips for texture (http://www.wetcanvas.com/forums/showthread.php?t=1327313)

Mystery texture underpainting (http://www.wetcanvas.com/forums/showthread.php?t=1326068)

Can you make your own texture paste for acrylic work on canvas???? (http://www.wetcanvas.com/forums/showthread.php?t=231855)

01-29-2014, 10:37 PM
Hi John.

It's probably in one of those links that Dave posted, but personally, I have a couple. I haven't used them in a while, but I'm about to start using them again during this year on my new body of work.

I'm an oil painter, but this is for either oil or acrylic because it is how I build up my textures in my under layers, which are in acrylics.

I sometimes use store-bought garment patterns, but you can get the same effect from tissue paper. I use it with Nova Color Mat Gel, which goes on white, like fluid glue, but it dries clear. I put a layer down of that stuff, put the tissue over, then put more of the Gel on top and swirl that tissue around while lifting it up a bit with another dry brush until I get some ripples and texture.

Another thing I use are industrial garment patterns, but you can get the same effect with those manila file folders. Same thing. Put a hefty amount of Gel down, put on some of that paper - flat - then more Gel on top to seal it in. Then let it dry for about a half hour. Watch it... 20 mins, to a half hour depending on how much gel you used. Try to use as little as possible but enough to get that thick paper to stick flat against the canvas or panel.

Before it is all the way dry, start peeling off the top layers of the paper. Because the paper has been saturating in that Gel, the top and the bottom layer of the paper are wet, but the inside layers of the paper is still dry. Like a paper sandwich, you want to expose those dry layers, and when you do, they are kind of "furry" from being ripped apart.

It should split off here and there while you are pulling us on it if you have put large sheets of it - in fact, the larger pieces of paper, the better.

You might get holes in some areas. Other areas might not come apart, most of it you can't fully control. Some of it you can. Those rips between the layers make for cool textures and the shapes that the unripped paper leaves becomes a pattern/composition in itself.

Cover it again with the Gel though. The paint will still make the texture following over it with the Gel, perhaps not as cool, but if you care about it being acid free, cover the exposed paper with the Gel, OR spray those parts with that acid free spray.

Anyway, I hope these techniques are helpful to you or at least spark something in you to try something similar.


01-29-2014, 11:26 PM
I am a smooth painter, the smoother the painting the better>>>when it is mine...

but if you study Artyczar's works you can see how well others use texture.

I have (used in the past),
screening laid over wet paint and pulled off like a dry bandaid OUCH!
the edge of carved wood
fauxgrain-making tools (usually available in better paint stores)
leaves of all types, green or dried
rosemary sprigs
doggies feets
otherwise useless brushes, including old toothbrushes
fritos, cheetos, tortilla chips, and other foodstuffs, usually dry
dog biscuits
asphalt shingles
salt, pepper, but never powdered garlic (again)
chains of all weights from jewelry to auto
tires, bike tires are especially convenient after they are no longer viable

basically any thing laying around when I decide to experiment
(the dogs wouldn't come back to the studio for a month....)

and never hesitate to use you fingers or toes ( or anyone's who happens to feel like playing)

in other words>>

go experiment

Katie Black
01-29-2014, 11:37 PM
I use stucco, in fact most of my work has stucco in it...its basically stucco mixed with white glue and applied to the canvas, 2 parts stucco, 1 part white glue...the downside though is that it can make the canvas heavy, crack if applied too thickly, and you cant roll it up in a tube to ship to people...Mmmmm why am I using this stuff :eek: :confused: :lol: