ACRYLIC PAINTING  creating textures
Acrylic Mediums - Gels, pastes & extenders

Art suppliers provide artists with a vast array of texture gels and pastes today so much so it is possible to achieve some fascinating texture results.  Presented here are some textures and effects I have created using a selection of acrylic mediums from Golden and Galleria.

Acrylic mediums come in either paste or gel forms. Pastes are usually opaque or white, whereas gels are usually transparent or semi-transparent. Both are suitable for laying down and overpainting with acrylic paints or for mixing with acrylic paint or inks before applying to a support. Gels on the other hand have the added benefit to produce glazing effects if mixed with transparent colours helping to create depth and other visual effects when several layers of glazes are applied.  Soft gels are most commonly used for collage work to adhere to paper, materials and lightweight found objects.

Heavy, coarse pumice and sand texture pastes can be useful to create several effects in painting such as sandy beaches, rocks, mountains, or just a rough texture to take pastel or scrumble glazes of paint. These heavy pastes when laid on thickly can be used to embed objects and materials. It should be noted though that when using pastes thickly, it can take a while to dry, sometimes up to 48 hours before it is fully dry!

An important factor to consider when using acrylic mediums as part of collage or heavy texture work is to consider the support your using for your work i.e. some of these mediums are heavy and thus may not be suitable to use on paper as it can cause buckling if applied thickly. In these cases, canvas or prepared board would be more suited.

I hope you enjoyed this article and the samples below showing my experimentations with Acrylics & Mixed Media and hope you will try some of these out for yourself. To learn more about adopting these techniques into your artistic practice, you can join me on one of my Acrylic Workshops.

“The mixture of weird textures and organic surfaces creates an interesting dialogue”

Kelly Wearstler

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