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Add Texture to Your Paintings

A Demonstration of Three Ways to Add Texture to Your Paintings

While generally thought of as two-dimensional work, paintings obviously display a wide variety of texture. Some painters use lots of liquid medium, layering liquid glazes for a smooth surface which they then accentuate with gloss varnish. Others go for heavy impasto and built-up surfaces which definitely add the third dimension. Here, we show three of the many ways you can add texture to your paintings.

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The landscape study above uses Golden Pumice Gels, acrylic mediums chockfull of ground volcanic pumice. They're available in three formulas. Fine- smooth with a light body and slight grittiness-was applied with a painting knife to the sky, mountain and leafy areas. Coarse resembles cement. The Extra-Coarse grade, with a granularity resembling concrete, was applied fairly thickly to the foreground wall. Acrylic paints were used over the pumice gels once they were dry. Pumice gels are also suitable grounds for oils, and Fine grades can also be used as a pastel ground. A thick coat of Extra-Coarse dries in about 24 hours, and makes a striking surface for abstract work. All three gels add significant weight to a painting and, though flexible, are best used on rigid surfaces.

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The artichokes and flowers above were painted on Multimedia Artboard with Golden Acrylics. The paint was applied fairly thickly, then scraped through with Colour Shapers, flexible rubber tipped tools. Colour Shapers are wonderfully versatile.

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The Luna Moth above was painted with Golden Acrylics, again on Multimedia Artboard. Once dry, the wings of the moth were given a thin, even coat of Daniel Smith Acrylic Gloss Medium that was sprinkled with Daniel Smith Glass Beads. Once the acrylic medium dried, the excess beads were shaken off, leaving a thin coating of beads that reflects light in a way which closely resembles the natural iridescence of a moth's wings. Glass beads can also be mixed into oils, alkyds or any acrylic paint, gel or acrylic medium to add a distinctive texture.