Acrylic Painting: Tissue Paper Underlay

It had been awhile since I’d painted with acrylics, so I recently tested out a technique that adds subtle texture to the surface.  I used regular gel medium in a matte finish for this project.  Begin by crumpling pieces of white artist’s tissue paper.  Start applying the pieces to the surface with a mixture of gel medium and water, forming creases and hills with the tissue.  Continue adhering the pieces to your canvas, until the entire surface is covered.  Let dry thoroughly. You may also want to add a thin layer of gesso on top of the tissue, before you begin applying your acrylic paint colors. My finished abstract beach scene is featured below:

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You can see a close-up of the added texture and interest the tissue underlay gives the overall painting (pictured below).  I have to confess something, but it also emphasizes a perfectly valid reason for trying this technique: this was a recycled canvas!  Yes, underneath those serene colors, lies an unsuccessful painting of abstract trees that I never wanted anyone to see!  We’ve all been there…that moment when you realize that you’re totally disappointed with the canvas staring back at you. This is an easy way to “fix” those failures and begin again.  I spray-painted over the original, applied the tissue paper with gel medium, and then finished with a coat of gesso over the entire surface.  Problem solved and pocketbook left intact!   

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