The musings of three artists on their joint venture into the world of Print Pastel and Paint
So last week saw us exploring ways that we can recreate texture found in nature through the use of Acrylic Mediums and a Gelli Plate!
After taking some reference photos in the local park we came back and looked at how we could replicate different types of tree bark, moss and undergrowth without using a brush!
The first way to find out exactly what each of our Mediums could do was to create a reference board.
We used these really cheap panels from the SAA as our base and divided them up into 12 squares.
In each square we added a small amount of colour to each Acrylic Medium to see how many textures we could create!
Crackle Paste was not a success and we are still playing with that to see if we can get the desired effect. It requires a lot of patience as can take up to 3 days to start to 'Crackle'! Dries to an opaque, matte finish, with an absorbent surface suitable for acrylic paints and mediums.
Fine Pumice Gel is a great texture to add to your canvas and you can either add it to Gesso to give the canvas or ground some tooth, or add it into your colour for instance effect.
The Fine version of this medium is also really good for creating a 'tooth' for pastel to adhere to and can be used to great effect in Mixed Media Paintings.
Talking of Mixed Media, Acrylic Matt Gel is a great multi purpose medium. You can seal pastel passages in your work by applying a thin layer (take care not to scratch the pastel as you apply - I use a palette knife) and can also be used to stick any paper media to your canvas, and then seal it over the top. It is easy to apply acrylic paint over the top should you wish - or even glazes so the paper media shows through.
The world is your oyster!
With Modelling or Moulding Paste you can create peaks and troughs and really go to town with the whole 3D effect.
We coiled some string on one of the squares and built up the Molding Paste around it, but you could add all sorts of small objects and build them into your work, then paint over them. Be careful that you are using this medium on a rigid surface if you are using larger objects as canvas has a tendency to move and could cause a heavy addition to crack off!
The second half of our workshop was all about how to apply direct texture to either paper or canvas using a Gelli Plate. In essence it is the same process as mono printing and since the options for what you can use to create a texture are practically limitless you can seriously end up losing days while you go through the contents of drawers and cupboards to see 'what mark will that object make if I press it into the Gelli plate!
One tip we would pass on is less is more - it is so easy to get carried away with all the methods we tried, but think it through and you will no doubt end up with a pleasing result.
Thanks to the SAA for supplying the Acrylic Paints - not as heavy bodied as Golden but perfect for using on the Gelli Plate! Thanks to Jenny, Lorna and Tracey for letting us share their experiments. Do let us know if you have a go - we are always happy to answer any questions if you have them!
We are three artists and more importantly friends that share a love of art, wine and cake! Gathering for weekly art making sessions over the last 10 years, and even when one of us moved counties, we are bound together through a common thread whose tapestry of life, laughter and art come together in our first exhibition!