Category Archives: Applying Texture

Using Masking Tape for Textured Patterns

Masking tape is a really useful tool in painting I find, whether you just create patterns and paint over it, mask off edges of the painting to frame it or maybe use texture.

In the past I have created a few paintings that have had a specific part of the painting that has raised texture using masking tape, maybe just to emphasise a feature in the painting.  I have also used this method just to add some extra shapes to an abstract painting.

So I have created a quick video to show how I use this technique – in this case I am creating a small painting with a raised, textured beach hut. In this case, instead of using my standard mixture of stucco and PVA I have used ready mixed plaster – which is something that is easily available in most DIY/hardware shops – with craft PVA.

To make the pattern, stick down the masking tape where you want the beach hut (or whatever you are drawing) and mark up the pattern on it.

Then cut out the pattern using a craft knife. You can press reasonably hard (as hard as you need to to cut the tape) and you should not cut the canvas.

Peel the tape off inside the pattern and spread the texture over this area. you can then remove the remaining masking tape to reveal the beach hut and scrape some lines in it using a kebab stick or whatever you have to hand.

Here is the video:

Another example of using this technique with masking tape is a painting I did with a seagull which I sold a few years ago.

Raised textured seagull painting
Raised textured seagull painting

Another example of using masking tape is to create a border around the painting or just to divide up some aspects of the painting as per below:

A textured painting with masking tape used to create a surround.
Masking tape used to divide the painting into sections.

Creating a Textured Abstract Painting

Ok so I have finished the video of the creation of a new painting for my lounge. Obviously I couldn’t video every minute of creating the painting as the video would have been too long!

Often I spent time just painting over and over to get the right effect. For me the key here is layers of paint, the more layers the better, until you feel like it is finished. The other key point is not to add any colour neat (apart from white), always try and partially mix it with another colour.

This is the finished result, it is similar in style to the header image on this website:

Textured Abstract Painting
Textured Abstract Painting
The finished painting hanging in my lounge
The finished painting hanging in my lounge

This is the video sped up to 8x normal viewing. If anyone is interested in the full length video then I might post this too although it is pretty much 20 minutes long.

The colours I used in the painting were as follows (I used acrylic paint):

Antique Brown
Pale Umber
Green Gold
Naples Yellow
Permanent Green Middle
Permanent Green Light
Windsor Violet
Permanent Magenta
Burnt Umber

In addition I used gold leaf and gold powder.

Some techniques I used were painting not only with brushes but also with household sponges, cloths to wipe off excess paint, painting with watered down paint as a wash and dry brushing with brush and sponge.

I painted the sides a few times with a sponge with watered down paint and in the end I used a satin varnish to finish off, avoiding the gold leaf.

Here are some images of details of the painting and the texture:

Tissue Paper for Texture

If you want a quick and easy way to add texture to your paintings then you can use tissue (the type you blow your nose on!) or tissue paper. ideally you would use PVA to apply the tissue to the canvas but if you don’t have any then you can just use acrylic paint. Either put the tissue on top of the wet paint or add the tissue to the paint and apply it to the canvas – you could also add a little water if it is a bit thick with the tissue in.

Just leave it to dry (ideally overnight) and you have a good base to paint over. You can build up big layers of the tissue if you want to have a really heavy texture under your painting.

Using Old Paint

Don’t forget that as well as using a base coat of a thick texture or texture paste, or adding some kind of texture to your paint – like sand or powdered plaster, that you can create some extra texture on a painting just by using old paint. If you have any left over paint on your palette (and this can be acrylic or oil paint) then scrape it all off into an old plastic pot and keep hold of it. Continue reading Using Old Paint

Best Implement to Apply Texture

If you are applying a heavy texture to your canvas then the best way of applying this – whether you want the texture to be quite smooth or very rough – is to use a cake slice. This one is almost the exact one that I use and you need a very sturdy one so that the handle does not bend (I did have a cheap one but the handle kept bending to the point where it broke) under the pressure of the texture.

Scoop the texture up as if you are going to ice a cake, and apply it in a similar way. You can use this cake slice to apply a lot of texture at once – although if you apply too much it is likely to crack and take a while to dry – or you can just scrape some texture on using the edge – this can give you a dappled effect like clouds for example.

Here is a cut out from a painting where I have just applied some light texture by scraping the cake slice over the canvas before painting and leaving to dry overnight.

Paint was then applied in both straight format from the pot, as a glaze and by dry brushing on top of the light texture.