Sunday, August 23, 2009

Texturizing A Background

The painting above is an example of two of the methods below to texturize a background. The background ferns are an example of both imprinting and stamping.

There are several ways to texturize a background. We will discuss three techniques for creating a foliage background using ferns or leaves: imprinting, stamping and stenciling.

1. Imprinting – This will create a colored image of the fern/leaf – usually with darker edges and a lighter center.
a. Prepare the surface of the paper with a wet wash of color.
b. Place the fern or leaf into the wet wash and leave it until dry before removing. This will create an excellent impression of the fern or leaf which can be left as is or touched up with a detail brush.

2. Stenciling – This will leave the area white.
a. Place the fern or leaf to be used as the stencil against the paper.
b. Use a soft brush (round or flat) to apply the dark background color.
c. Stroke over the fern/leaf and away from the center.
d. Carefully remove the fern/leaf and let the paint dry.

3. Stamping – This will create a “color copy” of the image.
a. Coat the surface of the leaf/fern with a heavy watercolor wash.
b. Press the coated leaf/fern to the paper. The paper can be white or a dry background color.
c. Cover with two sheets of paper towel and rub with your finger to transfer the moist paint from the fern/leaf to the paper surface.
d. Remove the fern/leaf and allow to dry.

Tips for texturing:
• Young tender plants are easier to use. Stiff contoured leaves need to be pressed and dried first.
• When the image and the background are dry, additional paint can be applied in washes to add shades of color.
• Details can be added with a detail brush or with a fine line permanent marker.

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