Pressing Objects into Spackle to Add Texture to Your Paintings

Basic Acrylic/Spackle Mix and Pressed Textures.

Our second Mixed-Media Class was all about using spackle to add texture to your paintings. Jeanne gave us some hints about using texture:

  • in a realistic image the texture should go closer to the ‘front’ of a painting, mimicking life where the texture/details are at the front of your vision and the rest fades back
  • if you are doing a pure abstract, this does not apply as you are looking for rythmn and contrast of textures.

To add the textures we used spackle, also known as Redi-mix or drywall compound. Jeanne mixed up a big batch of basic spackle/medium mix: 75% spackle to 25% medium, the type of medium used depending on the thickness you require. Once it had been laid down on the canvas (primarily with a palette knife), she did a demo of running a comb through it, and pressing various items into it such as plastic lace doilys, stencils, etc.

Then it was our turn. I added the plain spackle/medium mix to my holyman painting and pressed in a plastic lace doily.

spackle/medium mix after plastic lace doily was pressed into it

spackle/medium mix after plastic lace doily was pressed into it

(If you’re interested in image transfers, here is the first stage of adding the transfer of an Indian holyman to a canvas panel.)

Here is a seagull I ‘painted’ with spackle/medium mix and several different-sized combs.

comb textures in spackle/medium mix

Another method is to press the spackle into a stencil. One student used a stencil that was leftover ‘holes’ from sequin-making, resulting in a honeycomb grid that she wrapped around the side of a wood panel (how cool was that?!) Here I tried the same honeycomb stencil on an orange painted ‘stone’.

spackle pressed into honeycomb-like stencil

spackle pressed into honeycomb-like stencil

original artistic-looking stone

original artistic-looking stone

Mixed Media Class Experience:

Our super instructor’s site: http://jeannekrabbendam.com/. On her site she has her work and offers lots of different workshops and courses.

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