Painting Thick Textures with Acrylics for Beginners | Kendra "Kay" Lee | Skillshare

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Painting Thick Textures with Acrylics for Beginners

teacher avatar Kendra "Kay" Lee, All Art is Beautiful

Watch this class and thousands more

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Taught by industry leaders & working professionals
Topics include illustration, design, photography, and more

Watch this class and thousands more

Get unlimited access to every class
Taught by industry leaders & working professionals
Topics include illustration, design, photography, and more

Lessons in This Class

    • 1.



    • 2.

      Class Project


    • 3.



    • 4.

      Let’s Sketch


    • 5.

      Paints, Mixed Mediums and Textures


    • 6.

      Painting our Snakeplant


    • 7.

      Final Thoughts


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About This Class

I’ve always been drawn to artwork that would just jump out at you or artwork that had such luscious textures it made you want to touch it.

 In this class, you will learn about all the materials needed in order to create your very own thick painting with loads of textures.

There is no experience needed to enjoy this class.   This class is for all levels, whether you’re a seasoned artist looking to try a new medium, or a complete newbie with no artistic experience.

In this class, you will learn:

*Heavy body Acrylics  vs. Mixed Mediums

*Various Materials that could be used to achieve thick texture

*The proper way to mix in mediums

*How to use Palette Knives to achieve certain textures

*Layering Paint for Raised Effects



  • Acrylic Paints 
  • Canvas or Canvas Paper
  • Cup for Water
  • Paper towels
  • Palette
  • Palette Knives
  • Liquitex - Heavy Gel Medium or Michaels Brand

Meet Your Teacher

Teacher Profile Image

Kendra "Kay" Lee

All Art is Beautiful


I am Kay Lee, a true lover of all things "ART". I have been an artist for 10 +years and I am still learning everyday. I'm excited about being apart of this platform and helping others in anyway possible. I believe art is such a positive outlet and I look forward to sharing many of the tips, tricks and processes that I have learned over the years.

I juggle many hats in my life - A wife, Mom, Business owner, HR Specialist  and more; and yet - artist is my favorite title. 


See full profile

Level: Beginner

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1. Introduction: Hi you guys. Today we are going to talk about textures. White textures are so wonderful and white everyone wants to create that. Have you ever gone to a museum and seen a painting that was just so beautiful that she wanted to touch it. Of course, you can't touch it because there's not such, but it gives you that type of feeling. That is why I loved sections. I'm Kailey, I am an artist, a painter, and Illustrator in a gift shop owner. You can find a lot of my work on things like stationery, mugs, prints, anything. I love everything about art. But one of my favorite things is created paintings with texture. It's just something about how they make you feel. The texture, the layers, the colors. It's like everything just works together to create such a beautiful feeling. In today's class, we will talk about some of the materials that you guys, when we will talk about the affordable materials versus the more professional grade proper way to mix these items. And also we're going to talk about you name it textures, how to create certain textures, how to create layers. It's going to be awesome. This class is for everyone. So do not be afraid if you are a beginner. Again, this class is for beginners and seasoned artists. In the resource tab, you guys will find everything you need. And I cannot wait until everyone post is their project. In the project say, let's get started. 2. Class Project: Let's talk about today's project. Today's project, I chose to do a simple snake plane. Y is snake plant. I feel like one. It'll be the perfect gift or the perfect painting for you to hang up and admire your own work. But also I chose snake plant because I feel like it doesn't require a lot of colors to create a beautiful painting. So you won't feel intimidated with mixing and everything else. You can focus more on the textures, focused more on the technique of making this painting your very own. So in the resource tab, this is the first step that I believe everyone should take. Take a quick look at chose three pitches from Pinterest. No, these are not my pictures, but I feel like it's a great start and you won't feel obligated to do the same exact painting that ion, you should still be able to follow the steps because we're going to go step-by-step. But also feel like if you want to kind of do it on your own or venture on your own, you can, if you're a more season artists feel free to pick your very own subject. I can't wait to see what everyone comes up with. Let's go. 3. Materials: So before we get started talking about the paints in the mediums that you guys will need. Let's talk about a few of the basics of quotient. Any water in a cup, something like this, doesn't have to be fancy. Paper towels. I was also toads. Make sure I tell you guys to make sure you give something to cover your table. As you can see, I have artists, Sorry, I don't care if I get paint everywhere. However, in the beginning when I first started, I was like him other than rural mono table. So make sure it is you put down like a tablecloth or maybe an old sheet you don't care about. Sometimes I still may rip up in old trash bag. So if you slice it down the middle, Let's just say this all you have on hand, slice it down the middle, the long way, lay it across, take down the sides. Very easy, clean. Now. Also, you'll need a palette knife. So some people prefer to use glass, like plastic sheets. For my students, more economical to use just a paper plate. Some people prefer to have palettes. As you can see, my ads are pretty used. But one of my more favorite methods is pallet paper. You can get this for Michael's Amazon. It's an easy clean it. So you just opened it up. It has actually tear away papers and you put your paint directly on it is easy to mix. This is actually what I will be using today. However, I have used every last one of these methods and they work just fine. So now let's get into the Canvas. So this is an acrylic palette. You can use this. This can also be found in my cools. Dollar Tree for dollar, they have different sizes. There's acrylic paper, and then you can also use a canvas. There is no special size that you need to use for this project. If you want to go big, go bake, if you want to go small leaf, feel comfortable doing maybe a four by 46 by six. By all means, I'm going to use this Canvas because this what I have on hand. And that's where we're gonna go with today during our project. Now let's jump into the paint. As you can see, I have all types of pain. Do not feel like you need a special brand because you do next. I have brands that have founded my goals brands it I founded Walmart. I have Hobby Lobby brands. Some of my favorite is our teasing. Get this from Amazon. There is no special paint that you need for this project. So to NADPH and that's imitate it to go out and buy the most expensive brand. As you know, with regular acrylics, they're really smooth so you can get a texture with them. But when it dries, it isn't always as thick as you like it to be, or as the type of texture we're trying to accomplish today. So this is why we're going to teach you how to mix your very own. However, if you would like to, these are called heavy body paints. You can get these were my goals. You can order from Amazon. These are really the paint. They come out of the two paint and maybe come out of the tube. So there's no mixture actually required for this. You can mix it a little bit thicker if you'd like, but you don't have to. Now, the only difference about that is if you're an artist or you inspire to be an artist. If you want to go big, you want to go large one have a really big painting which is kinda like what I like to do. I like to paint on verge life skills at times. This is not very beneficial to me because I would need a lot of these to cover a big, big canvas, which isn't always a problem, but it's there. Just to touch it. Good guys. But I tend to create my own big paint just because it's more economically feasible for me as an artist. So this is why we're going to go into creating our own today in showing you the steps that I personally take when I create my very own paintings. Now, let's get into the mediums. Onto the disk death. So let's talk about some of the more affordable mixed mediums. So this is gloss super heavy jail, and this is mode and paste. Both of these can be found in Michael's. My willow is if you punch it with these black dots, awesome. We're going to be using this or something equivalent to this today. Now, these are moding page. You have light mode in pace, which gets slightly harder but is still kind of soft and you can manipulate it. And this is actual moaning place where it gets really hard. These are the more professional brands and this is my favorites, the law, super heavy jail. As you can see, this is NP. I use it all the time. However, I have like a really huge to, so that is what I am going to be using today. And this is where we're going to be using to get started. Last but not least, my favorite. Let's talk about my favorite tool, the palette knife. Balance life can come in all different sizes, shapes, and even different materials. From past experience. When I first became a beginner, I started out using these as still tend to use these ad created. A lot of my older paintings using these materials does not mean a work any less. Those are still beautiful. These are the more affordable, more in a pile and hours. But then you get into the more expensive side. But these other kind of tends to last for a long time if you actually take care of them. I have demo, different shapes, different sizes. Each one makes a very unique type of texture. And through experience to learn which ones you prefer. And like the most. I also have a larger n. This is from liquids x. I tend to use this when I complete a lot of my larger scale paintings. Today we're gonna be using, well, it depends on what you have on hand. Some people may have these. Some people may have these. But stay during this course, I will be using a rotating out. These four. These are usually my go-to. So now that we have all the materials, Let's get started on sketch. 4. Let’s Sketch: Let's get started on our sketch. Here. As you can see, I have my reference photo handy so that I can see exactly what I wanna do on the canvas. I'm starting with the pot. I'm drawing a little bit darker than I would suggest you guys to draw. But I wanna make sure that you can see what I'm doing. Also, if you check in the project, say it, you'll see that there's a step-by-step got to also help you, though, free to just draw shapes or as loose as you would like. Because when you actually start to paint your plant, you can make any adjustments that you may need to make. So don't feel like it has to look exactly like the painting because it doesn't. 5. Paints, Mixed Mediums and Textures: All right, you guys, let's talk about mixing mediums. So although I will be using this heavy jail to actually do my painting, I'm going to show you guys how to mix the more affordable gram, which is the gloss super heavy jailed that I mentioned earlier. So what you'll do is you'll take the heavy jail and you post them on your palette. You'll see whatever color you're looking to mix. By the way, I have only chosen five, so I have two background colors, top and bottom. I had two colors I'll be using for the leaves, lightened dark, and then also have white. I'll be using white to mix with. Maybe you wanted to add these colors just to kinda give more of a how i and the blue for the actual part. So I wanted to limit the palate only because again, I want this class to be easy for beginners as well. Which is why I'm just picking colors versus mixing my very own. So we're gonna take one of the colors. I'll take this light gray and I'm going to pour some VSAT the jail. All right? Now, what you wanna do is make sure that you mix this really well. It isn't really hard to notice that it hasn't been mixed well when it's with a darker color. However, if you tend to mix this with a more lighter color, Let's say white or beige. You want to make sure that you overwork it. Because if you don't, then you'll see the difference between the thick gel that has I'm sorry, the thick paint that has the jail mixed in versus just the jail sitting on the pallet. You'll come through as a milky white. And we don't want that, we don't want to have that luxury is colors in texture and then a milky white in the mix. So again, you want to make sure that you mix it really well. If you find that you're mixing it and it isn't as thick as you like. Because maybe let's say you put more paint than you do the actual gloss. Just add a little more until you get the actual texture that you guys are looking for. And again, make sure that you mix it really well to ensure that you have all the jail mix them with the paint. And then once you're done, you'll begin to have a really thick type of texture. Now, just for the sake of looking, I'll show you guys what the more professional brand tends to look like. As you can see, this is already thick. When I poured the other one, it wasn't as thick as this one. So that already shows a difference. All right, we're going to pour some of this glue that I'll be using. As you can see, AdSense to grab all different palette knives and look at that, look how thick it's becoming already. So what again, as you can see and I don't know if you guys can see that, but it tends to have the white milk Enos in it. So you want to make sure that you mix it really well. I think I also get a little bit at the outer layers of a jail cell. Make sure we mix it really well. And look at that. Can you see the textures already just as I'm playing in the paint with the palette knife as I'm mixing. So look at that. Look at that then. While I you guys, can you see the difference of how much thicker this is like? It doesn't even just plop off. And then when you smooth it, look at it. So you have that versus that. Okay? So now that we have some of the textures that we'll be using, I just want you to play with the palette knives and play with the paint and see all of the things that can be done. Let's say you were creating a flower and you want it petals. So you take your paint. 123. And the thing that I love about palette knives is also goes off a pressure. So if I did it lightly, look how thick that could be versus a more heavier spree. See how the palette knife makes that one in there. Sometimes you want to make sure that you don't do that because your shell. But the great thing is if it does you just go over it with another layer. So it'll be perfectly fine. One of the other great things I love is layering. The colors. Look at that. And then let's say you want to create lines. Use the side of your palette knife. And it creates texture. Textured lands to give your painting a bit more details. Dead interests, whatever you add. Palette knives are so versatile. It's hard not to love them. As you can see, I am currently playing in the paint trying to see what kind of textures I can create. Cross hatching techniques, whether you touch the width, the tip, or the side. You tend to get a different effect each time. And then even with a different size palette knife, I say you want it. This type of effect. Flowers and debt. You just lightly touch with the side to create a different type of look. And this is why the paint is awesome. But layering don't always have to wait for it to dry. Sometimes you do want it to because then he'll go over a bit more smoother, especially like the background and give you more of a rough effect. But again, it's not always necessary. We're palette knives. You can wet you can work wet on top of wet to greet. Oh, types of phones. So I want you guys to play with your palette knives and you paint and see what kind of textures and designs you guys can come up with. And then when you're ready, let's jump into the project. 6. Painting our Snakeplant: All right. So we're getting ready to get started. As you can see, I have my paint together, my palette knives, my water, my neck in my reference photo. This is very important because you want to be able to kind of see where you should be going. I'm not saying that you have to follow this. I'm not saying that it needs to look exactly like it should be told if you want it to, your leaves could be. However, it is nice the kind of judge which way the lighting is. If you're not sure if that's not where you started, if you're brand new, I personally am going to go in and add some of the dark and then go in and layer most of the green, the lighter green on top because I have this background layer. I'm not too worried about whether or not it'll show through. I kind of looking for that effect with my painting. Go slow in the beginning, but then I'm going to speed it up so that I'm not too born as I do this pane. I'm going to get started with one of my smaller palette max. This will be easier to go into the mix and crannies and add the darker color. Also, you have this kind of palette knife. Be kind of careful as you apply pressure and how you lay your hand. Because it's flat. You may tend to rub the canvas as you're laying the paint. So I prefer these because they give you that extra edge or extra ones they like inch and a half. Just so you're not touching the canvas. See the difference. All right, let's get started. Also. Don't be afraid if you have lines because you can nicely covered them with the paint him. No one will ever know. This is your painting. Be sure to make it your own. Don't be afraid to try things. Don't be afraid to make it look a little the actual picture. That way, when a sample to projects to be placed in a product, say it. Yours will stand out. As you can see, a credit creating a little bit of riffle with my leaf. So when I go into the green in those places, you'll see that it kind of has the shape of the actual. So again, have a nice thing that has to be perfect. Don't put that type of question. Have fun. Do whatever is great. I'm placing the paint oh, my actual Canvas. I tend to touch the canvas and glide at times versus dragging it across. Because sometimes when I drag it, it may stop. See you that and then the paint isn't always go exactly where I wanted to go. Which is fine. Again, playing it by ear. Knowing what ever feels nice. Who knows, I may start to do something. And in her last pattern in the life, that line that I drew earlier, I'm gonna do something else. And that is perfectly okay. All right. I'm going to speed it up you guys. And we'll talk about it. Once I get to the next level, I'll slow down when I get to the actual plot in the background. Let's go. All right. So as you can see, I've finished my leaves. No, they're not perjury, but I love them. So that's all the math. Now, looking at the pot, you see that the pod is to tell, I could either just use this blue that I made. It's right here and do the pot is just one color. But I think what I'm gonna do is actually mix a little bit of white into this blue to create a lighter blue. And then I can use both blues for my pocket. All right, I'm going to show you guys. Sadly went on me. Let's go. And just want to say that when using a palette knife, if you decide to change the direction to which you're actually working, Let's say I go straight down here. And then up this way, it tends to create texture that stands out a bit more. So of course I'll go over it a bit more and make it more pretty. But as you can see, just going in different directions gives you a different sense of texture. Makes it stand out a bit more. Right? See, also taking pain and going over a section bringing lightly creates levers in layers. So I noticed that my pot was off just a little mad. So Adams, a little more to the side. Feel free. Anything that you may see that may have been off for me a sketch. That's the beauty of art. So I'm getting ready to go into the background. And what I'm gonna do is I'm going to use the lighter page for my actual background and kind of like that mustard brown you asked, I'll be mixing or this bottom layer to kinda made me look like a table or the graph. All right, I hope you guys are doing well. Let's get started. All right, So when going in between the flowers, use the tip of your smallest palette knife. And then this time it's a pure tone. In the lightly layer loaded name and time enlightening layer. It's okay if things touch, it's perfectly fine. Feel free to move you palette knife through and create textures. Sometimes when I get to the bottom of my canvas, flip it. Because since I have an easel, it tends to get a little bit hard to get the corners at the end. If it's scattering. 7. Final Thoughts: Hey guys. So we have now come to the end of this course and this planet. I hope you guys learned something, have some type of great takeaway. I hope my tips were helpful. I hope you guys found this to be easy or at least a good skill to experiment more one, this is my final painting from the project that we all just participated in. I can't wait to see what you guys came up with, which are subjects were. Drop your final painting in the project tab so that I can go in the comments, leave feedback. Feel free once it's drives go in maybe with some class, the pins or some Sharpies or something, create a bit more details or maybe more of the line definition. Or like you want to do maybe three or four different background colors to just create more depth in color or more texture. Feel free. I can't wait to see what you guys come up with. I'm really glad that you joined me during this class and it hits been a pleasure showing you guys some tips that I've learned over the years. Thank you for joining.