So I had some lessons a number of year ago from an abstract artist who also used a lot of texture in his paintings. I was already working as an abstract artist at that point in time but I always think that you can learn plenty of new tips and tricks from other artists on how they create their texture and their paintings. I definitely learnt things from this guy.
One tip he had was to use sawdust to add texture to his paintings. You can use this by adding it to gesso or to PVA or add it tot he texture mix that I have detailed in this website. You may need to add a bit of extra PVA as the sawdust will thicken it up like porridge though!
I think the reason I haven’t used it up until now is that I haven’t really had it easily to hand, whereas the guy that told me about it knew a carpenter. However, I came back to my house a few weeks ago (which I am renovating) and there was a massive pile of sawdust in the middle of the lounge where the builders had been working. I immediately thought ‘don’t throw that away!’ and scooped it all up into a plastic bag. Luckily I think there will be enough to last quite a while.
Thinking about it I reckon I could have gone to the local DIY store where they cut wood and have maybe got a bag from them so don’t put it off like me and give it a go!
A few years ago I picked up some tubes of squeezable decorators caulk to try out on creating some shapes and lines on some paintings. They turned out quite well and it is really easy to use.
It is quite a flexible substance so it works well on canvas and it is easy to apply. Once it is dry you can paint it (I think I pretty much used only acrylic paint at that time but I expect if you applied a coat of acrylic and then used oil on top it would work perfectly well too) and with the raised surface it is easy to apply something like gold to the caulked bits.
Here are an example of a painting that I sold using decorator’s caulk:
You can use the caulk to make lines or to create outlines of places where you maybe want to put in paint of a different colour. In fact you could create an enclosed area where you could pour in paint and allow it to mix itself.
As I have been recently renovating my house I now have a few tubes of caulk left over and figure I might as well make use of them!
So I moved house recently, well I didn’t exactly move, I sold one place and am waiting on another so all my stuff is in storage. When I put it in storage I thought that it would only be a couple of weeks before I could get it all out again but now it is dragging on longer and it seems that I need my texture paste that is now sat in the back of a container!
Anyway, I thought I would try something different as I couldn’t get hold of my stucco paste that I usually use. I bought some general finishing plaster from Wickes in a 5kg packet – it was in powder form as this seems to be much cheaper than buying readymade plaster. I mixed it up with water and added some PVA to give the flexibility. Although it made a good plaster type paste, it was still a bit grainy. maybe I needed to mix it a bit more to get it smooth, I’m not sure. Anyway, I used it for the base of a painting and it has come out OK, although grainy. It is not what I am used to as I like the smooth stucco and also the stucco gives some nice cracking which I didn’t get with the plaster. I’ve put on a coat of white acrylic paint to cover it but am yet to decide on which colours to use for the painting so will do that in the next few days.
I think next time I will try the ready mixed plaster with some PVA added to see if that comes out smoother. I still don;t expect to get the nice cracking but I really need to find something that I can get in the UK that I am happy to use on an ongoing basis. If not then I will have to see if I can import the stucco from the UAE.