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Monday, March 10, 2014

Adding (Unusual) Texture To The Page (Tutorial)

If we keep our eyes and our minds open, we can often find texture in unexpected places…
Texture From An Unlikely Source
I often use small dishes when I'm working on a big painting where I need a large amount of paint. By using a separate dish, I'm assured I'll have a) plenty of paint; b) won't accidentally mix it up with another color; and c) I'll have it until the painting is finished…for a really long time. (I've been known to go back into a painting 6 months after it was finished.)
Messy palette dishes
However, years later it is unlikely I'll make changes and since the dishes seemed to be multiplying in the cabinet, it was time to clean up the mess.

As I began the big clean up (dang, there were a lot of those little dishes!), I became intrigued with what was left in the some of the palettes:
Texture left at the bottom of small dish. The textured area is about 2.5 x 1 inches in size.
I took photos and cropped out the dish so I was left with this:
Accidental texture from the bottom of the dish
After printing the page, I prepped the art by tearing down the edges: 
Tearing down the edges of the printed art with a deckle-edged ruler
Next, I began to consider what I wanted to do with the background of the page. Since I was on a "texture adventure," I decided to create even more texture:
salt, alcohol and lifting created the texture
Starting with granulating paint, I added salt, alcohol splatters and did some lifting with a tissue to create a build-up of texture on the page. 

Next, I decided to rid the art texture of that harsh white border by painting it with a wash of the same paints used on the background:
Painting the edges of the art so that it blended with the background
Gluing it down, I began to build up the page with rubber stamps and additional pieces of torn paper:
Using rubber stamps, a variety of inks, and torn paper, I created more interest in the background
and around the art itself.
It was fun to choose stamps at random, going on instinct and intuition, as I had no idea how the page would finish out.
An added "shadow" on two edges of the texture art gives it more dimension
When all was said and done, this was my completed page:
Finished Page in a
Stillman and Birn Zeta Journal
5.5 x 8.5 inches
Watercolor, stamps, torn paper, dip pen, Pitt pens and foil
Even Willis wanted to check it out a little closer!
Willis checking out the page. I think she favors the other page,
but then she's fickle.
What was fun to me is that the art texture, now a print, has been made into a finished page. A one of a kind page. Because I still have the "art," I can see dozens of ways to use the texture and it will probably show up in another project.

This has been somewhat of a break-out project for me as I continue to explore and look for different ways of doing what I enjoy—creating a page in my journal. A rather unusual way of marking cleaning up my studio, don't you think!?! I also think this kind of play will have an impact on the way I create location sketches as well.

The next time you see unusual texture, take a photo and think about how you might add it to your page.  You might just be surprised at where it will take you!

10 comments:

  1. Good idea. I save bits of gift wrap which go on journal pages to celebrate that birthday and I've made texture on a page but I don't think I've taken too many pictures of texture to use later. The scrapbook papers at Michael's and JoAnn Fabric stores have these but I got tired of buying them not liking to have the same as everyone else. Now I need to imbed in my brain "texture- take photo"!

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    1. I do the same thing, Timaree. I have all kinds of scraps that I'll eventually incorporate into a page.

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  2. What a nice effect, would look great as part of a journal page or collage.
    Lynne

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    1. I have to say it was definitely fun, Lisa. I was kinda surprised!

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  4. This is great - what a super page. I once tore off left over acrylic paint from my palette and saved it - may just add it to a journal page....thanks for sharing.

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    1. I just did that but it wasn't a palette…it was from the bottom of a painted birdbath from outside! I'm going to do something with the texture, I'm just not sure what. Thanks for stopping by. I look forward to seeing what you do with your page.

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  5. Laure ... this is one of your best pages yet! So ultra creative. Brilliant to use "found" texture. You can be sure I will be on the look out for this elusive find! Thanks much. I can think of many uses for it in backgrounds as well as subject material. Even with colored paints if you take a digital you can change it to different B/W combinations for even more use. Great idea!!! Thanks.

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    1. Thank you, Carole! *blushing* It was a great deal of unexpected fun. And once you start to look, I don't think it will be as elusive as you might think!

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