Once you have made your texture and have applied it to the canvas, it is advisable to leave the texture to dry overnight so that all of the thickest parts of the texture have dried out.
If you have created the texture using my texture recipe then you can apply this to the canvas really thickly and it will not reduce or shrink back too much.
In some cases it might be necessary to leave the texture to dry for longer than 12 hours but this is really only if you have applied it extremely thickly. (I usually just leave it overnight).
Make Marks and Patterns
The more patterns and marks you make in the texture, the wider the variety of paint effects you can use to apply the paint on the texture.
Pick any household implements to use to make marks in the texture, like forks, spoons, sticks etc.
Apply Many Coats
I can’t stress too much how much better the painting looks when you apply many layers of paint.
To start off with I always apply a watered down coat of a neutral colour to the textured base.
Use about 1 part paint to 1 part water and make sure that you cover the whole canvas and get into all the cracks in the texture. Let this initial coat dry before adding any further paint layers on.
When applying paint to texture, the paint has a different translucence than it does purely on the canvas and you can get more vibrant colour effects if all the texture is initially covered.
One thing I recommend that you do before creating a painting with heavy texture is to create a trial piece on a small canvas, perhaps marked out into squares with different types of texture in each – perhaps some scraped marks, some added swirls, some deliberate cracks etc.
Apply Paint in Different Ways
Try applying paint in different ways to the texture and in many layers. Some examples of ways of applying paint to texture are:
Apply the paint straight from the tube/bottle(i.e. in its original consistency) but leave it for about 30 seconds before wiping some of it off with a cloth or tissue. This enables some of the paint below to show through.
Use a very watered down version of the paint to create a glaze – this can be quite useful to apply over the top of your colour and will show in the cracks of the texture particularly if you use a dark colour. You can just do this in some areas where there is deeper texture or else apply it all over the painting. You can also rub some of this off with a cloth to get different effects.
Use some dry-brushing on the textured surface so that it only covers some of the higher texture. Make sure you really don’t have much paint on your brush and that the brush is completely dry before you use it. This is quite a good thing to do as a last layer and I often use white, silver or gold to do this.
Use these techniques in lots of layers and it will enable you to build up a texture painting with different colours showing through.
Keep wiping back the paint as you put it on to get an ‘aged’ kind of effect.
What to Use to Apply the Paint
I don’t often use brushes to apply paint! You can use an ordinary kitchen sponge to apply paint to the texture and also use a damp sponge to wipe away some of the paint. Try also using the green scourer side of the sponge to scrub back some of the paint.
Also, once you have painted all of your layers, you could add some gold or silver powder by rubbing small amounts either onto raised areas of the painting, or into cracks.