Category Archives: Textured Paintings

Examples of paintings that have been created with texture.

Step by Step Textured Painting

So following on from my last post about using resin in my paintings I realised that I had actually meant to document the process of creating the painting shown in that article.

So I put together all of the images I took during the creation process and have made them into a step by step video of how I did it which I thought might be of interest to some.

For future paintings I have just got myself a new video camera so hopefully I will be able to do some better videos (although if my first attempt is anything to go by this may not actually work out so well!) so will use that in future rather than stills.

The painting took a few days including leaving the texture to fully dry (as it was quite thick) and going back and changing the gold, silver and greys until I was happy with the final painting.

I did use some big dried up pieces of texture so that it would have a more rocky effect but obviously these were all coated and mixed in with the PVA.

Anyway, I have uploaded the video on YouTube so here it is below. It is mostly created using the standard texture mix, some pale paint colours, silver leaf, silver and gold powder and some fine iron pyrite pieces added in.

The resin really brings out the colours in the ‘rockpool’ and really gives the effect of water so I don’t think it would have worked half so well without that.

Edited to add:

I have added this painting to my Saatchi Online portfolio for sale here.

Google Earth and Resin!

So I wasn’t sure if I had posted about making paintings based on Google Earth images before but I don’t think I have so I will do so here!

Anyway, I had the idea a few years ago when I was in Spain and I was looking for somewhere to visit by using Google Earth to see where I could spot some kind of lake nearby. It turned out that the images that I could see were ones that I thought would make really great abstract paintings by just using them as inspiration.

As the area I was looking at had lots of undulations and various buildings and things that gave the picture height, I thought it would be a great way to incorporate some texture as well.

I ended up doing a series of 4 paintings (all sold now) which mimicked various views of the area I was in, just south of Madrid.

These is a collage of the finished paintings:

4 Paintings in the ‘From the Sky’ Series

This is one of the screenshots that I took from Google Earth as a guide for the painting in the bottom left of the four. As you can see it wasn’t intended as being a replica but just as an inspiration for the painting.

Inspiration in the form of a Google Earth screenshot

I used the same texture as I normally do to build in some extra height and contours to the paintings but I guess you could do a similar thing without using any texture.

I have in my mind that I want to do more series like this and I also have some ideas in mind about what sort of terrain I am looking for. In fact I searched around the world on Google earth to find a particular kind of image that I wanted to create that had a lake in the middle with some kind of barren land round it.  I did actually find what I was looking for in the depths of West Africa but unfortunately my iPad died and I lost the location of that area!

In the meantime I decided I would create it as I remembered it but with some tweaks. I wanted quite a muted background color but with some gold or silver leaf on the ‘hills’ and with a deep blue pool of water.

I created a pool using some heavy texture and allowed that to dry and then poured some blues and greens in and once dry, I filled the ‘pool’ in with some resin (I have been working  with resin for the last year or so and have started to do some pouring paintings with this recently but also wanted to combine it with texture so this was my first textured painting idea).

Anyway, I am pretty happy with the result – it really does look like a pool of water from above (well I think so anyway!) and the texture really keeps the resin contained.

It’s quite difficult to capture an image of the painting but here are a couple from different angles so hopefully you can see the effect of the resin (the painting is currently hanging in my lounge before going into an exhibition at the beginning of next month):

‘Rock pool’ showing the resin

I have tried out a couple of resins and I have to say I have found Art Resin to be the best (doesn’t turn tacky after completion and easy to mix as it is 1 to 1) and also it is easy to get hold of in different quantities, particularly in the US.

A similar one in the UK is this one below which I have on my list to try out next as it seems to have the same qualities. Let me know if you have already tried it and if so what you think:

10 Things You Can Add to Texture

This month I have had my studio open as part of the local open studios event and during that time I have been doing some demonstrations on some textured canvases.

As part of these demonstrations I have been including some additional elements to the texture to demonstrate different techniques.

10 Things You Can Add to Texture

So as well as just using texture on its own, you can also add things to the texture to make different patterns on the canvas or board  and I thought I would share some of my ideas here.

So here are 10 things that you can add to your texture mix to give you some different effects:

1.String –  I generally use the cotton type string rather than nylon as it soaks into the texture and you can seal it with PVA really easily.  It’s very versatile so you can either coil it round or just use straight strips – in fact you can make whatever patterns you like by sticking it into the texture  or even just sticking it on the painting with PVA.

2. Sand –  sand is really good to create a more grainy texture although it might be difficult to get hold of if you don’t live somewhere near the sea!  Luckily I’m about 10 miles from the sea so I can grab a small bag whenever I need it.  You can either mix some into the texture before applying it or sprinkle it on top of the texture.

This painting incorporates some sand and string in the texture

This painting incorporates some sand and string in the texture

3. Sawdust –  this is another really great one to provide some additional bulk to your texture.  Maybe you know someone who is having work done on their house and can save some for you.

4. Rice –  you can use on cooked rice in your texture. Just make sure it is fully coated with either PVA or a coat of paint  once you have put it on the canvas.  As long as it is sealed it will last a long time.  You can either mix it in with the texture or add it afterwards.

5. Chick peas –  just like rice, use them uncooked and seal them up and they will provide some good interest in the painting.

6. Pasta – you  can also use quite big pieces of pasta  but obviously the bigger they are the more delicate the painting will be and subject to breakage.  Stick the pasta on with the texture and once again seal the pasta when it is on the painting.  Myself and another artist created a triptych painting using pasta for a hotel restaurant:

Painting for a restaurant using pasta shells

Painting for a restaurant using pasta shells

7. Corrugated card –  stick the card down onto the texture which should be quite flat and then make sure that all of the edges are stuck down using PVA.

8. Tissue –  rip up strips of single thickness tissue and place these on top of the texture  while it is still wet.  Pat it down to make sure it is absorbed into the texture.  It is quite a good wrinkled effect when it is dry.

9. Crushed shells –  you can often buy pots of these in craft shops and they work well added to the texture in a similar manner to sand or sawdust.

10. Tile spacers –  there are lots of things that you can get from a DIY store that you can use in your texture and tile spacers is just one suggestion.  I’ve been meaning to try this for ages! But one thing I have used is some nails in a painting that I did a while ago  so really anything goes 🙂

A textured painting including nails.

A textured painting including nails.

I’m sure there are a lot more things that you can add to your texture so feel free if you want to share any ideas that you have or things that you have used in the past.

Textured Abstract Painting

OK so I was looking for a picture of a certain painting today and I came across another photograph of an old painting I did a couple of years ago that was one of my favourites, so I thought I would share it (especially after the last post was about one that I wasn’t really that keen on!). I did this textured abstract painting a couple of years ago and it sold pretty quickly after I got a lot of good feedback from friends and family. It was quite a large textured painting on a box canvas:

Untitled29I think if you click on it you should be able to get a much bigger image to see all the texture in the painting.

I used my usual mixture of texture, details of which you can find on this site and used a cake slice to apply it along with a bunch of other tools that I had lying around to make patterns in the texture and I think the proportions of the arrangement of the texture have worked in this case (I try and use the golden ratio to position the various marks and changes in colour and texture and have a great belief that this really works to make the painting properly balanced). I’m sure a lot of you have already studied this but if you haven’t then I would definitely recommend looking into this as it particularly works in abstracts I think.

Another thing I used in this painting was the gold and silver powder that I had picked up in Dubai – you need such a small amount of it that I have enough to last a lifetime! (If you are in the UK and want some to experiment with then I have a few small pots for sale for £5 so comment on this post and I will email you with details if you are interested).

One thing I would recommend to do, particularly if you are trying to recreate a particular style of painting (and you won’t find many artists recommending this!), is to try and copy someone else’s work. I would emphasise not to do this to aim to sell the painting at the end, but just do it as an experiment to see if you can recreate what they have done. Each time I have tried this, I have learned something new about adding either paint or texture when trying to mimic the results that the artist has created in their painting. You can then learn more techniques that you can use in your own work.



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:

Using a Small Amount of Texture

So sometimes less is more but adding a small amount of texture to your paintings can really enhance the final look. For this painting I used a small amount of texture in the white splash of waves – some of it was quite thick – to give the enhanced effect of the waves crashing. It turned out really well and I am now working on a smaller version.

Acrylic on Canvas with a small amount of texture - 'Crashing Sea'
Acrylic on Canvas with a small amount of texture – ‘Crashing Sea’

Textured Squares Painting

Here is an example of a textured squares painting. This painting has a base of home made texture which is made up of stucco and PVA which was left to dry overnight before paintings over. Various different marks were carved into the texture whilst it was still wet.