This video is a practical demo on a small study illustrating how a textured surface changes the edges alongside brushstroke effects for the rest of the painting.
- For our Venice painting I'm going to be working onto a canvas that I've applied a textural gel to the surface. And this surface can be so helpful to give us broken edges and scumble brush marks where it can be so effective to give you that impressionistic feel to your paintings. It was a method used by landscape painter, Edward Seago. He often added texture to the surface of the support before starting his paintings, as this technique allowed for a real lot of nice brush handling with drag dry brush marks and thick and pasty feel.
You may prefer to work on a smoother textured than the heavily textured surface, so before we get started, I'll show you a demo of both a smooth surface and a textured surface. And then you can see the differences between the two and the different qualities of both. I've pre-mixed a few colors using yellow iron oxide, red iron oxide, ultramarine blue and titanium white.
(soft piano music) So, here I've got my two boards drawn out, one which is the smooth one on the right-hand side and the other one that's got heavy texture on. And the first difference between the two you can see is where I've been drawing it out, on the textured one it's a lot lighter, it's harder to get really solid lines because of all the little indiscretions in the surface of the board.
What I'm going to do now is just block in some dark tones with some burnt umber just so we can see how the paint handles when we're just diluting it with water. So, I've got a couple of brushes to start with, a size four Rosemary and Co. This is the series 344., and a size four Isabey Isacryl. These are both soft synthetic brushes. So, I've just dipped the end of the brush into some water.
So, you can see when I pull the brush down here it starts to break on the edge of the texture. So it creates this nice textural surface for the post that's in the water. Show you in comparison on the smooth board. You can notice here how, as I'm pulling the paint down, it's kind of moving it more, I'm getting more of these streaks in it, as opposed to here where it's kind of more like a watercolory stain.
So, I'm using the same action with the brush, I'm not doing anything different, but you can instantly see how, here, it's a lot easier to get the smooth line on the edge and then it also stays a smooth line on this edge, whereas here we have that real difference in the broken edge quality.
So, if you apply the brush a little bit lighter then you can still get quite a neat edge with it, it's just when you move faster with the brush then you're going to get more of that textural surface coming through.
So, again, here, you can start to see when I'm moving the paint around to block in that shape, then what happens is the paint kind of comes with it. Because it's got that smooth surface it has more of a tendency to stay on top of that surface and you can still manipulate it around. Whereas when you've got this texture and you move it around it kind of soaks into it. And it's also interesting to see how, because this paint is on top, it has a slightly different tone to it, in terms of the color of this feels warmer here on the right-hand side, this feels a little bit grayer, the burnt umber, when we're painting into the texture.
So, here, I'm just diluting the burnt umber with water slightly so I can get that difference in tone. And I'm applying it quite lightly to the surface.
And again I'm just watering that down a little bit so that I can shade in these areas that are in the shadow. Okay, so that was the first stages with the burnt umber and they're pretty similar, but you can start to see how that, with this texture, you get this flatter tone and with the smoother surface it has more of a tendency to sit more on top of the paint rather than grabbing in and getting this stain effect.
So, now I've put out a few pre-mixed colors just so I can block in the colors in these stutters to show you the paint effect on the surface. And I've got two different brushes just to illustrate how your brush choice as well can change how the paint goes over the surface. So, I'm just looking here for the lightest lights in the painting.
I'm just blocking in the general shapes.
I'm going to swap to the stiffer brush. See how when I go over the top you get all this great texture showing through. And you can hear it on the paint's surface just scrubbing in.
So you can still get some of that broken effect when you're using a stiffer brush onto the smoother surface. In comparison to when we have this smoother brush, you don't get as many breaks into it, you don't get as much textural marks showing because the bristle, they're softer, so they just smooth it out more easily. You'll see here when I take a brush mark there you can really see the texture in the brush mark.
In comparison to when I put it on with this brush, it blends it in more.
So, it can be very handy for painting, the default effects on water just by applying it quite the dry brush. By dry brush I just mean it's wet from the paint but hasn't got any extra water into it.
You can still get some of that effect if you're just lighter with the paint application.
So there we have our first rough block-in just to illustrate the differences in the effect that can just come from the different qualities of the surface that you're painting on top of.
- Painting color and light with acrylics
- Observing different lighting conditions
- Choosing the right materials and brush size
- Adding texture onto the canvas
- Drawing architecture accurately using verticals and scaling up
- Judging color in isolation to mix harmonious color strings
- Practicing line variation with the rigger brush
- Adding fine lines for architectural detail
- Painting water
- Thinking abstractly to create impressionistic brush marks
- Increasing color saturation
- Injecting a warmth and glow by glazing
- Adding an impressionistic flair with a palette knife