Sometimes I just like to rub my hands over a painting to feel the bumps and lumps and grit of the acrylic texture. It makes me happy; it makes the surface mine; it shows my process.
The painting above is a small, 12×12″ canvas with lots of texture. I wanted to create a landscape minimal elements but with the look and feel of nature. The sky was painted; the mid ground forms were collaged using acrylic skins (a future blog post) and the foreground was created with fiber paste.
I spread Golden’s fiber paste over the bottom half of the canvas; let it dry, then painted the absorbent surface. With a drybrush of blue on top of the painted texture, there’s subtle tonal and value shifts and a more pronounced textured look.
The videos below show my process of working with fiber paste. The videos are only a few seconds long just so you get a feel for the application of the medium.
Unlike the painting above, where I applied the paste directly to the canvas, this series of videos shows me creating a fiber skin that I will collage onto a future painting.
As the video shows, I use acetate sheets for the process.
A cute product shot!
Applying the paste to the acetate sheet. Plastics sheets and bags will also work for this. And if you spread out the paste evenly and smoothly you can create something that looks like a sheet of rough watercolor paper. By the way, fiber paste is made with mineral fibers rather than paper or material fibers. It makes the medium more archival.
Odd little photo, but it shows me using a razor blade scraper to lift the dried fiber paste off the acetate sheet. You need to let the freshly applied paste dry overnight before removing from the acetate.
This is a three minute video that shows ripped and torn pieces of dried fiber paste being collaged to the painting surface. And you’ll notice I’m demonstrating upside down. That’s a skill!! I use soft gel medium to apply the fiber sections. Any of the gels can be used as a glue for collaging. The heavier the gel viscosity, the heavier the collage material can be. Notice I use a piece of waxed paper to press down on the glued fiber. By placing a clean piece of waxed paper each time over the fiber surface, and by pressing firmly and evenly without moving the waxed paper, you prevent gel medium from overlapping the fiber paste. If gel medium does cover the paste in sections, those sections won’t be as absorbent as the uncovered fiber paste. I wiped up excess gel with a paper towel.
Once the gel has dried and the fiber paste piece is firmly glued, paint the surface. You can also mix paint with the wet fiber paste before spreading and drying the paste. Heavy body or liquid paints can be used.
In this video, I drybrush blue paint over the surface creating a look similar to the one in the painting at the top of this post. The paint clings to the high spots of the texture creating depth and often contrast and vibrancy.