At US and Art, one medium we dive into every single semester is acrylic painting. This is our version of oil painting, without the dangerous chemicals and fumes. Acrylic painting is a versatile medium that allows our artists to experiment with a variety of techniques and styles. One of the most exciting aspects of acrylic painting is the ability to create a wide range of textures. In this blog post, we will explore the world of textures in acrylic painting and how to use them to enhance the overall impact of your work.
What is texture? "Texture" is the real or perceived
surface quality of a work of art. A flat canvas might appear bumpy with stamped or painted dots, lines, and shapes. A painting of a cactus can appear poky even though the canvas is smooth. This is "implied" texture. "Actual" texture is palpable or can be physically felt, like the uneven texture of paint layers caked onto a canvas.
What are different types of textures? Let's take a look at the different types of textures that can be achieved in acrylic painting. One of the most common textures is a smooth surface, which can be achieved by using a flat brush or a palette knife. This type of texture is often used to create a modern or minimalist look. Another popular texture is a rough surface, which can be achieved by using a palette knife or a textured brush. This type of texture is often used to create a more organic and natural look.
What do I need to know about painting texture? One of the most important things to keep in mind when using textures in acrylic painting is that less is often more. While it can be tempting to add as many textures as possible, it's important to remember that the goal is to enhance the overall impact of the painting, not to overpower it.
How do you add texture to a painting?
Sprinkling: One fun way we add texture to our paintings is by sprinkling paint with a paint brush or a tooth brush. This is a great way to add stars or snow flakes to a landscape. All our artists learn how to sprinkle paint by tapping two paint brushes together or by flicking paint off toothbrush bristles with their fingers.
Layering: Layering involves building up multiple layers of paint to create a sense of depth and dimension. Thick layers of paint-often applied with a palette knife-is called Impasto. By layering different colors and textures, you can create a sense of movement, energy, and drama within the painting. Our older students (Amber artists, Crimson Creators, Blue Brushes, and Adult painters) learn this technique, building a painting from background to foreground.
Stamping: Another exciting way we add texture to our acrylic paintings is by stamping. Through stamping, the texture of an object or material is transferred to the canvas. Stamps can include anything with a textured surface, such as string, sponges, fabric, bubble wrap, tin foil, plastic wrap, q-tips, foam shapes, carved rubber stamps, or even fruit and vegetables. Our youngest artists (Pink Painters and Mommy and Me) work on their fine motor skills by dipping their stamps in paint and placing them onto their canvases. For their "Forest" painting this semester, Pink Painters mixed green paint with their hands and then dipped and stamped string to make some awesome vines!
Texture is a great tool for artists to experiment with in their paintings. By experimenting with different types of textures in acrylic painting, you, along with all our students, can take your art to the next level!