I'm often asked about the textures in my acrylic landscape paintings. I'll show you how I achieved a rich texture in this painting.
I think viewers are attracted to texture in paintings because it catches the light, adds depth and character and appeals to our senses. I use many techniques to create texture including collaging handmade papers, apply thick layers of gesso, and using gel medium to build up surfaces. Early on in this new painting (shown above), I used Golden Gel Medium techniques to create an area that I knew I would later want to paint in as a grassy marsh. I chose a medium that would naturally enhance the feeling I was trying to achieve with the imagery.
Golden Gel Medium - Light Molding Paste
Peaks and Valleys in the Paint
An All-Over Texture Technique
The painting below, Baynes Sound , is an example of a landscape in which I created an all-over textured base to the painting before starting the composition. I covered the entire canvas surface with a thick gel medium (I think I used a Stevenson brand one) and then used a dry paintbrush to create horizontal streaks and variation. In the sky you can see how the texture picks up the different hues of blue, creating depth and interest. In the estuary part of the painting, the bright oranges of the under-painting peek through because I used a dry-brush technique on the peaks of the texture.
Go explore the mediums at your art store!
If you're a painter, Golden Artist Colours has a whole world of gel mediums, paste and grounds to explore. You can also find many other brands of mediums and grounds at your local art store or online. It's really fun to check them out in person as most art stores have samples that you can touch and see how the light and colour plays off the different textures. The effects of using these mediums can be very beautiful and intriguing, especially when they work in enhance the imagery particular to your paintings.