View Full Version : Try textures in watercolour- April /May 2010

03-31-2010, 11:32 AM
:clap: Welcome to the textures in watercolour project for April and May 2010.

I am sure youve tried plastic food wrap to create texture on watercolours before. Or perhaps youve sprinkled salt on to wet paint to achieve a motley texture in your paint. This is the kind of effect we will play with in this project.

So get out your watercolours and any of the following:

plastic food wrap (cling film)
texture gel pastes
flow enhancer
spray bottle with water
string, netting, leaves
tissue paper
bubble wrap
sticky backed shelf liner
stiff brush for spatter effects

You can use the gesso and gel paste to create bumps and lumps on your paper before painting.

You can stick netting, torn up tissue paper, strings, etc onto the gesso and let it dry before painting.

You can use cling film to spread over wet paint to create linear patterns.

You stick tissue papers onto the surface before and/or after painting.

You can mask out shapes of figures etc using the shelf liner.

One method is to make a kind of watercolour sandwich. In this method, you wet your paper, brush or pour on wet, fairly thick, watercolour paint. Then add some string, netting, leaves, etc, into the wet paint. Cover the lot with a wrap of cling film, put a heavy book on top and leave to dry. Take off the wrapping and remove strings and leaves and see if there is an interesting textured background for a possible painting.


03-31-2010, 11:38 AM

Using bubble wrap for textures


using cling film (food wrap)


03-31-2010, 11:39 AM
Have fun trying out textural effects with watercolours!

The benefits of the exercise are

1. Its fun to play with paints in this way
2. You might expand your repertoire of textural ideas for your regular watercolour work
3. You might come up with a whole new way of working that suits you.

Remember to post you texture experiments and tell us how you achieved your results.

Looking forward to seeing your work.

And here's another I did below.....

03-31-2010, 11:41 AM

This is a quickie I did using a method from the book, ‘Celebrate your creative self’ by Mary Todd Beam.

5 by 7 ins watercolour board (paper glued to cardboard).
Gesso the surface leaving some lumps of texture.
Cut out the shape of lemur, fruit and leaves, in my shelf liner, and stuck it on gesso so it acted as a mask. I made the mistake of not letting the gesso dry completely as I was in a hurry but it didn’t do much damage. I repaired the damage by adding more gesso anyway.
Now I brushed on watercolour paint in random strokes, using alizarin, yellow and ultramarine.
Then I covered the still wet paint with cling film food wrap. And let it dry, more or less. Next I peeled back the masking film covering the figures and added some paint here and there. Added spatter at the end.


03-31-2010, 03:10 PM
June, just love your work here. I have the Beam book also. My collage papers come from her wax resist/ black gesso projects, embellished with gold paint etc.

This looks like a good April project. :thumbsup:

04-01-2010, 12:57 AM
I do this as a way of re-cycling "old dogs" = watercolour paintings that have gone badly wrong. I just let rip with gesso, stuck-on bits of torn rice paper, even powdered eggshells! It's great fun, very liberating and it loosens you up for more "serious" painting!;)
Here the eggshell number:


The eggshells were crushed in a mortar, stuck on the watercolour paper (this is an Arches 300 g CP) using acrylic matte medium as glue, and then painted over with watercolours.
I think it looks like something from outer space! ;)

Here's one more - a real horror of a watercolour painting hidden under gesso, the latter applied with a palette knife with some intentional lines, drips and blobs, then the cone flowers were painted on with watercololurs.


Hope you like!
:wave: Pat

04-01-2010, 05:55 AM
Pat, these 2 paintings are very inspiring. I really love the way you have covered up a 'disaster watercolour' with gesso and then feel so liberated in your use of eggshells and so forth. I must try that approach....I have plenty of disaster watercolours to try it on.

Texturing medium is another thing to try. I suppose you could use sand in gesso, etc. for rough texture. Something fun to do for the Easter weekend.

04-02-2010, 09:10 PM
Hi June, glad you like my two re-cycled horrors!

Sand in gesso - yes, absolutely, that works. In fact, you can even buy it ready-made - look among the acrylic mediums. I imagine it would give you an effect similar to the eggshells.

I have tried texture medium - very useful sometimes! ;)

Another great thing for creating textures: Halloween cobwebs! Have you tried those?
Pull them all the way so they are really thinned out, fix them over your paper (you'll need lots of tape!) pour or paint watercolours over the cobwebs and then let dry thoroughly before removing.
This gives you very interesting lovely spidery lines that are impossible to produce any other way.

Yet another way for great texture is sticking pieces or even an entire sheet of rice paper over your watercolour paper.
Lay down an interesting wash on your watercolour paper (you can also use an old dog for this, with most of the horror washed off beforehand).
When the wash has dried completely, take a sheet of thin rice paper, cut it to a size slightly bigger than your watercolour paper, scrunch it up then flatten it out again, and then glue it over the watercolour paper with as many small wrinkles as you can manage.
When the glue (I use acrylic matte medium) has dried, the underlying wash will shine through the rice paper and give a very interesting light in addition to the texture.
I could look out a few examples and post them later, if you want.
Oh yes, and not to forget:
Happy Easter!
:) Pat

04-03-2010, 02:31 AM
Hi Pat. I love that spider webs idea!! I don't have those hallowe'en cobwebs but I'll look in the toy shop next time I'm in town. I expect you could use ripped and torn tights/stockings for a similar effect. But I really like the webs idea.

Please post a few more of your artwork samples for us...that would be great!

04-04-2010, 07:01 AM
Hi June,
torn stockings :lol: - brilliant idea!

Here's one of my cob-web numbers: "Abstract in Blue"


This is an Arches 300 g CP half sheet with an old horror over-painted with gesso.
There are pieces of rice paper glued on and then painted over. The cobwebs texture is mainly center/lower left - not sure if you can see it clearly. Originally, there were more cobweb sections, but I didn't want to overdo it and wiped some of them out, which was easy due to the gesso.
Colours used: Yellow Ochre, Burnt Umber, Winsor Blue, Indigo and Brown Madder, all W&N. The sparkly bits are W&N Iridescent Medium.

I ended up liking this so much I had it framed!

Another cobweb number: "Experiment no. 11"


This is a Fabriano Uno 300 g HP, full sheet.
The texture is done with cling-wrap and cobwebs, using Indigo, French Ultramarine and Gold Ochre - all W&N
The gaps were filled in with all the above plus Burnt Umber.

The last one - "Forest Clearing" - is another re-cycled old dog on a Canson 300 g CP, half sheet


Initial wash on the watercolour paper of Winsor Yellow, Scarlet Lake, Quinacridone Magenta and French Ultramarine.
A thin sheet of rice paper - crumpled and flattened out again - was glued over the dried wash, wrinkles, folds and all. Some of the tree trunks in the foreground are glued on torn strips of rice paper, the rest is painted.
Same colours as for the initial wash, plus Indigo and Burnt Sienna.
Some of the ground-cover in the foreground is done with Titanium White and Cadmium Orange.

Let me know how you do with the torn stockings! :D

04-04-2010, 11:00 AM

Texturing today!!

'Bat', 10 by 12 ins.

I combined lots of texturing methods here. Texture medium splashed/brushed here and there over a gesso ground.
Then some masking fluid for the spidery bits.
I put watercolour over it in random splotches then added some bootlaces , tights and netting. Then put the clingfilm over it to hold it together to dry. When I took off the film, the bootlaces and stuff had not left much of a mark...but the texturing medium was really effective.

I added some stamping with stamps made from foam pads which were dipped in watercolour...for bat, toadstools and spirals. Some spattering too.

Somehow I got into a hallowe'en mood. I think it was all this talk of spder webs...and I saw a great poster for a batman movie on the web the other day!!!


04-04-2010, 11:03 AM
Pat, I love your top abstract. Its splendid!! The middle one feels like the ocean to me. The forest looks quite enchanted.

04-13-2010, 06:04 AM
Hi June,
Here's a cobweb number done on an A4 size sheet of YUPO.
Colours used: Transparent Yellow, Winsor Blue green shade, and Quinacridone Magenta - all W&N


I'm a bit surprised no other participants have shown up - surely we can't be the only ones who like to experiment and to have fun just fooling around?

:wave: Pat

04-13-2010, 08:58 AM
I love that one, Pat. You can really see the cobwebbing.

Other folks might turn up for this project later in the month. Things often get off to a slow start.;)

04-17-2010, 01:15 AM
Wow, I just returned to this thread and look at all the beautiful works ! Pat, your experiments of gesso and rice paper is so fun. I'll have to join you both. I have too many failed pieces of stuff in my stack not to make use of them.

Beautiful Forest Clearing and cobwebs. The cone flower piece has character!

June, your bat piece has explosive colors. I'm definitely going to get some plastic wrap for mine.

05-14-2010, 01:51 PM
Beautiful work Pat and June. I'm ready to wade in, but meanwhile will these do? Acrylic, watercolor. modeling gel, aluminum foil, painted gold.



05-31-2010, 12:13 PM
these are absolutely wonderful, Peak and June - I'm really lovin them and I will start on one today.....very creative. Egg shells and gesso and paper oh boy - .....

Janet - what are those? boards of textured materials??? They look so metalic..

Peak - I too am so surprised nobody else jumped in here.......your and June's work is glorious......

June - thanks for hosting , we can still add to this thread in the future even it it is dated.....

I'm off to

05-31-2010, 08:36 PM
Peak and June certainly did some beautiful work. I'm sorry I didn't get to this. My rather odd piece is modeling medium spread around canvas board, then drawn into with a stick, fingers, whatever and then painted when dry. I covered some of it with aluminum foil, then painted it gold. Lots of fun. Looking at it after posting, some areas look like material or knitting. This technique is good for rubs too. :heart: :heart:

06-01-2010, 07:22 AM
Janet, i love your acrylic abstracts. Woderful texture feel to them. I like using metallic paint and tinfoil too. Maybe we could do an acrylics texture project later!!

07-08-2010, 09:33 AM
Hah!!! Finally finished mine and I just love this kind of stuff. !!!

07-08-2010, 11:21 AM
WOW! Great stuff! I love it.

07-09-2010, 09:41 AM
I love it too, Robin...very free style on the beautiful background. :heart:

07-15-2010, 01:53 PM
thanks June and janet - here is Rose's - I couldn't find it the other day....There is so much potential in this thread....I'll probably keep coming back to it for a while....incorporating into other stuff.

07-19-2010, 03:18 PM
I like that Rose! Was this using the clingfilm foodwrap? I love the textures it gives.