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Texture Created in Paint

One of the things I love about acrylic paint is the ability to create physical and visual texture.

Creating physical texture involves thick paint on the surface. Impasto is also a term used for painting with thick paint. Often the paint is spread out with a palette knife. You can also use modeling paste of other mixed media objects to create tactile texture. I have even recently read that you can add joint compound to the paint. For a smaller amount of texture, you can use gesso on your painting surface as well.

I personally like to buy a mixture of hard body and fluid acrylic paints to create different lifts and levels of paint. I tend to use the thick paints as the background color, let it dry overnight, and follow it with fluid paint on top. You can also thin your acrylic paint by adding a small amount of water or fluid medium.

What I used in the pillow above is thick paint rolled out on a mat. I took my piece of paper and transferred the paint to my paper. Lifting the paint away from the surface creates a rippled effect. It often reminds me of the ripples along the ocean bottom.

On the other hand, you can also create visual texture in your work when you paint something that looks like it has some depth to it. For instance, today I painted using a plastic gourd bag, similar to an onion sack. The plastic was painted in one color and transferred to the paper that had an opposing background color. The pattern of the bag created visual texture.


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