Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Adding interest with texture

I've probably posted about this before, but from time to time I like to paint on a 'textured ground'. This is a process of applying texture to the base paint. In this case I painted on wood a support, I then sand and prime the wood with 'a ground', which is the painterly term for the surface that will be painted on. I tend to prime my painting surfaces with an Acrylic gesso paint. When adding texture, I use very thick gesso paint and leave strong brush marks, I also add some light sand to this surface while it's still wet. Finally I paint an extra coat or two to make sure the sand and texture is locked in there. By the time the final layers of paint from the actual painting have gone on, nothings going anywhere for a long, long time!

As you paint the painting on this type of uneven surface, you have to work hard in places to give consistent color, and that change of process creates a different look and feel. Additionally in places it breaks up the layers of color, as the brush moves over the surface - again adding color variations along with the textural interest. The end result is very distinctive.

This painting is a house along the coast in Santa Cruz, CA. It's a lovely old house, but I tend to think it's dangerously near the edge of the cliff. The framing of the tree and the fence line in the foreground drew me to this subject. I created some unusual divisions in the work space, this gives the work a very modern feel and I had to pay careful attention to structure and tone to make those divisions work.

Right on the edge (Santa Cruz, CA)
38X30              Acrylic on wood

detail (showing the texture)

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