What is Texture medium?
Acrylic Texture Medium is used to build up surface texture or add exaggerated dimension to a painting. It has a thick, “Polyfilla” like consistency which will hold its shape when applied to almost any surface that you can use acrylic paints on. It won’t flop or droop. You can create anything with it – from high peaks to dug out valleys; it will remain put until dry. Texture medium can be applied with almost anything, as different tools create different effects.
Texture medium is such a versatile product but for the purpose of this series I will be focusing on its appliance as the background of a painting. When using texture medium as a background you really don’t need to basecoat the surface prior to its application. But you do need to prime your surface with gesso. Once the gesso is dry, you can begin adding texture medium. There are basically two ways to do this:
- straight out of the jar and onto your surface, or
- scooped from the jar and onto your palette – so it can be thinned with water or other mediums, or mixed with acrylic paints; these will need to be mixed well before applied to a surface.
Please note; A white based texture medium when mixed with paint will reduce the paint’s colour intensity
Depending on the thickness applied will depend on how long it takes texture medium to dry once applied. The thicker the application the longer it will take. You just need to experiment. Personally I prefer to let it dry overnight. Texture medium is also sandable when it’s dry, so any minor flaws can be smoothed back.
How to Apply Acrylic Texture Medium
Note: There are many different brands of texture medium out there so always – read the instructions on the label before you begin
As a background to a painting this would have to be my favourite texture medium technique
DecoArt Dimensional Effects Paintable Texture Paste
DecoArt Americana Acrylics: choice of colour/s
Apply two coats of Gesso, lightly sanding between each coat. Mix Dimensional Effects with enough water until a soft icing consistency is achieved. Spread over the surface with the palette knife – like icing a cake- to create a textured effect. Let it dry thoroughly then give it a light sand if required.
Basecoat with your choice of acrylic paint colour.
Texture medium mixed with water then spread over the surface with the palette knife
Built up dimension on rocks in the foreground with additional texture medium
Other ways of applying texture medium;
- Apply it with a stiff bristle brush
- Push texture medium through a stencil and the design pattern will stay put when dry.
- Apply texture medium using a foam roller
- Spread it onto a surface with a hand torn piece of thick cardboard.
- After spreading it over the surface, you may scrape some of it off here and there before it dries.
- Spread it out then scratch patterns into the paste.
- Use a sponge, dip it into the texture medium, no need to blend just turn and twist it to avoid a repetitive pattern and away you go
- After spreading with a palette knife use the back of a spoon to create small craters,
- Use your fingers
- Don’t be afraid to experiment with different tools…..
Once texture medium is dry you can;
- add more texture medium over it to build it up
- shape it by sanding it
- carefully carve into it
- paint over it
…And once you’ve finished your masterpiece you will need to varnish it.