Paint with texture

Paint with texture. Visual and tactile textures with acrylic paint, medium and other materials.

An amazing weekend of creativity and fun.  New ideas and techniques, experimentation and of course lots of tactile and visual textures.

The group of students on this course had varying amounts of creative experience – this being the very first time for some.  Seeing the results at the end of the weekend just demonstrates why mixed ability classes are great.  There’s no reason to feel daunted (although often it can’t be helped).   I’m sure as you see the images in this blog post you’ll be impressed at what was accomplished over the 2 days of the Paint with texture course. (name changed to Mixed media: texture as of June 2016)

What did the students think?

This course forms part of the ‘Improve your drawing’ series of workshops and judging from the students’ comments every one found it a really enjoyable experience.  Here’s a flavour of their thoughts about this course.

“I learnt lots of tips and ideas and ways of using everyday objects to create two lovely paintings which without the teaching from Brian I would not have thought I was capable of or had the confidence to try I am very happy with the resulting paintings” – Carol H

“I found the course very good, Brian encourages but doesn’t push he gives you the idea and then lets you get on with it.” – Jane

The experience

Day 1
With the Manchester sunshine streaming through the studio windows I began the session by explaining the different types of textures we could use in our paintings and drawings and grouped them by technique.  The remainder of the morning was spent demonstrating texture techniques with the students returning to their easels each time to make it themselves and discover how many variations of the technique they could discover.  Time flew by as we busily occupied ourselves making a lot of mess and a lot of different textures.  You can see what I mean by looking at the photos!

After a relaxed lunch we were all excited to begin the afternoon session where it was up to everyone to use what they had learnt in the morning and use the textures within an abstract composition.  I used one of my texture paintings to inspire the students, who then went off to create their own textural masterpieces.  

I let them get on with things and offered advice and guidance as and when it was needed.  I like to give students as much independence as they want, but am always at hand if they feel a little lost or unsure. 

Have a look and see what you think of the work created by the students on the Paint with texture course.  See the course photos on the Gallery page of my website.

Day 2
Sunday had the same format as day 1 and I began by introducing students to ways of making very tactile textures that really stood out from the page – as high relief as we dared to go – before the textures we were making would be called sculptural!

We used non art materials such as Polyfilla and sand as well as cardboard and other found materials to make textures that would stand out and make people want to reach out and touch our pictures.  Once again, after a nice lunch, I tried to inspire the students with a second abstract textural painting of mine before they set off to independently create their own textural masterpiece.  With one successful art work behind them (from day 1), I think everyone felt a lot more confident.  Once again I was always on hand for advice and guidance and 1:1 support as and when it was needed.  Most students completed their art work in the studio with a couple needing to add a few finishing touches at home.  I think everyone was happy with their results.  See what you think by visiting the Gallery page.

Key Learning

The key learning that I wanted students to leave with at the end of this 2-day course, along with learning ways of working with new materials and mixed-media techniques, was how to include textures in their own art work, no matter their style (abstract or naturalistic).  I wanted students to learn that texture needs to work with their composition and needs to be used considerately and thoughtfully so as not to overpower their subject matter.  Often it’s too easy to simply get carried away with making loads of fantastic textures and lose sight of how it must work alongside the subject matter of the picture.


Materials and techniques

We used a wide range of materials this weekend that included a lot of mixed media techniques.  It included traditional and non-traditional art materials and involved a lot of experimentation, or playing!  What a great way to learn!

This was all very exciting and every student discovered new and interesting things from using the different materials and techniques.  I don’t think any 2 students ended up with the same results which is what I love about teaching this Paint with texture course. 

It’s about bringing your pictures alive with textures!

The weekend flew by and was full of discovery and enjoyment.  Everyone went home inspired to use more texture in their work.  To find out full details about this course click here to go to the course page on my website.  There are 4 other weekend courses that are part of the Improve your drawing series which you can find out about by clicking here – Creative Sketchbooks, Cityscapes: urban sketching techniques, Re-interpreting still life and Experimental drawing.