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Making a texture sheet for mixed media paintings and collage

I have always enjoyed a day of making background papers.  When you allow yourself to play with no pre-conceived idea of what the results will be used for, all kinds of interesting things can emerge.  I gathered together a large number of supplies...nowhere near as many as I could have, but more than were absolutely necessary.

Do you need all of these things?  Nope.  Be guided by your own supplies and your own aesthetic!

Materials & Tools

Watercolor paper, cold pressed
Freezer paper
Plastic vegetable bag
Corrugated card board
Waxed paper

Acrylic paints:
Hansa yellow, medium
Cobalt teal
Cobalt turquoise
Permanent violet, dark
Dioxazine purple
Quinacridone burnt orange
Cerulean blue
Yellow ochre

Matte medium
Walnut ink
Extra heavy gel medium
Opaque fiber paste
Rubbing alcohol

1. Iron some tissue paper to a piece of freezer paper and print out some interesting textures.  I used some photoshopped black and white close-ups of bark.  Adhere them tissue side down to a piece of watercolor paper with matte medium.  Let them dry completely before attempting to peel off the freezer paper.

2. Spray walnut ink through stencils onto some areas.  When dry, cover the entire sheet of paper with a thin layer of matte medium.

3. Add texture to other areas of the sheet.  I used extra heavy gel medium pressed with corrugated card board (shown above), and other materials like opaque fiber paste and gesso, matte medium and cheesecloth, and matte medium and waxed paper (not shown).  Remove the texture materials pressed into heavy gel immediately, but leave items embedded in regular medium until they are close to dry before removing.

4. Add a thin layer of yellow acrylic to the whole sheet.  It will puddle somewhat on the textured areas.  Allow to dry.

5. Paint textured areas as you choose.  Allow to dry.  On some of them, I sprinkled rubbing alcohol to make the paint bubble.

6. Add a glaze of any color you choose to unify the sheet.  I used cerulean blue.

7. Optional - I decided that the colors were too bright and bold for my current mood.  There's nothing wrong with step 6, and perhaps it could have been the final result.  But I added one more layer of yellow ochre to the entire sheet, and was very happy with it.  Before doing that, I scanned step 6 in photoshop, so even though I no longer have the physical piece, it exists in digital form for me to use if I ever want to.  Isn't technology great?

This post contains affiliate links: Dick Blick

Copyright 2016 Cyndi Lavin. All rights reserved. Not to be reprinted, resold, or redistributed for profit. May be printed out for personal use or distributed electronically provided that entire file, including this notice, remains intact.


Cherie Burbach said…
Great examples and ideas here, Cyndi!
Cyndi L said…
Thank you, Cherie!
Robbie said…
You had me at TiSSUE PAPER! Will save this to try this summer!! Cool!
Cyndi L said…
Robbie, you are so funny! Now, don't take this probably already have at least 5000 things on your list to do this summer. Am I right? :-)