Textures and backgrounds for abstract paintings Part 1 | Doris Charest | Skillshare

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Textures and backgrounds for abstract paintings Part 1

teacher avatar Doris Charest, Contemporary Fine Art Specialist and Instructor

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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.

      Intro part one Backgrounds


    • 2.

      Crackle paint


    • 3.

      Frottage for textures


    • 4.

      Mark making with a palette knife and more


    • 5.

      Mark making with a squeegee


    • 6.

      Mark making with branches to create textures


    • 7.

      Mark making with water and alcohol


    • 8.

      Markmaking with simple easy materials


    • 9.

      Newspapers for backgrounds


    • 10.

      Smash art


    • 11.

      Conclusion part 1


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About This Class

Starts are the hardest part of creating an artwork.  In this course I present a variety of backgrounds you can create to get you started.  Experimentation is the key word and fun is the second.  You will be able to test a multitude of techniques.  Make sure that you have a room that you can make a mess in! Such fun will be had!

Meet Your Teacher

Teacher Profile Image

Doris Charest

Contemporary Fine Art Specialist and Instructor


Doris Charest - Biography


BED University of Alberta, Edmonton, AB

BFA University of Calgary, Calgary, AB

MED University of Alberta, AB

Mixed media is Doris' favorite favorite form of painting . She loves exploring with textures, shapes, and a more contemporary look. Nature and the world around her inspires Doris. Her love of texture won her the Allessandra Bisselli Award and a First Place in a Still Life show with the Federation of Canadian Artists in Vancouver. Look for Doris Charest's work in the American Magazine: Sommerset Studio (Summer, 2007) and British Magazine: Leisure Painter. Both feature a three pages of Doris' artwork. She won the Sylvie Brabant award in 2011 for her work in the art community. In 2013 she won First Place for he... See full profile

Level: Beginner

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1. Intro part one Backgrounds: textures and backgrounds. Great beginnings for abstract painting by Doris Shut. Welcome to my course. We're going to learn how to make great backgrounds and textures and add them to our paintings. This is going to be a very varied course, So you're going to have a lot of fun. We're going to practice all kinds of new techniques. This is part one of two. Here. You're going to get half of what we're going to do. So enjoy. So in July, we're going to have a lot of fun. 2. Crackle paint: using crackle paced by Doris. Sorry, crackle Paste is a wonderful product. It's really easy. You buy a jar of it and you just use it. So I'm going to just spread it around on my canvas. And keep in mind that the thicker the crackle paste is put on, the bigger the cracks. So if you want small, tiny cracks, you just put a light coat on. If you want big cracks, then you put on a lot of crackle piece. I've isolated a little spot here that I want to use as a window and cover the rest. You can buy this. There's different brands, and they all basically do the same thing. Be sure to read the instructions first. This brand is the easiest. It's just open the jar and apply it. That's about as complicated as it gets. Now I'm trying to even out the crackle. Keep in mind that you'll have to let this dry. You need at least 24 hours. What happens if you don't is the crackle paste will read is all so see you in 24 hours and then you paint. Here's the piece, all dry 24 hours later, and we're just going to add paint so you just water down your paint a little bit. It really helps to have water down paint. What happens is the paint goes right into the cracks and creates a darker effect where those crackles are, so try not to rub too often on top of the crackle paste. It will re dissolve if you spend a lot of time adding water and rubbing and rubbing and rubbing, and it will just re dissolve and turn to mush. You don't wanna have much you'd want tohave the paint, go into those cracks and create that wonderful texture. Here on the left, you can see some of it already. You can see some of the crack starting toe happen and the paint steep, like sneaking into those cracks. You can use one color. You can use many colors. There's different ways off adding this, uh, are creating this effect now. What I recommend is for you to let let it dry in between different colors. It makes the crackle paste too soft, and then you lose your cracks if you don't. So here's a little later and the paint has had time to dry and we're adding another color. So I want a little darker color around the edges so that the crackles actually show. And I really love the texture that's being created here by this crackle paint. It's actually not a paint. It's more of a compound, but it's also called paste, so there's different names for it. When you're looking for it. Just ask the person at the art supply store and they'll show you the whole gamut. So have fun and we'll see you in the next section. 3. Frottage for textures: Photogs ARE Rubbings by Doris Shine Welcome back. We're going to try something new Now we're going to take some light paper. Tracing paper works really well and an old piece of drift with, and we're going to rob the top of the paper to create a texture. You conduce this action with just about any kind of object that has a texture on it, and you take charcoal or chalk pastels and rub the surface just like that Here, we're going to try second piece. We're going to try wallpaper, a very textured wallpaper and see how easily that is done so you can rub just about any object you could. Manhole covers walls anywhere there is a texture and then use that texture in your painting . So here's a painting that's almost started. I have decided to add the face element, and then I'm going to add some off this Fra Taj into it. You will need gel to glue the pieces of paper on. I did a photo transfer off the face onto tissue paper, and then I'm going to add this tissue paper to the actual painting. I wanted a light touch because I wanted the paper behind the tissue paper to show through. So I wanted a light paper to put the face on. This is just the face of my daughter, tweaked in photo shop. And then I take the charcoal pieces and I'm going to add them to my painting. I will not finish the painting. In this case. I'm just going to show you how to get going. When you're adding different kinds of photogs to a painting, remember that compositionally. When you add one piece of something of texture design, you are better off to try and added in three different spots. It's one of those design elements that really help your paintings along, so you use odd numbers of textures, so I'm going to use through this texture three times. Sometimes the charcoal spreads out a little bit, but in this case I don't mind. It creates a blending off the charcoal to the background that I have picked. This is a very model background. I'm going to add more paint to blend in all the pieces of that photons here there's too much paints on can take some off. I want the texture to show through. I want those design elements from the photogs to show through. I just want a bland the edges into the painting. So this is how I started painting. Then I just keep adding elements until I am happy with what is there. The paint itself adds more texture and you end up with some very interesting results. So this is your turn now, so take some fa Taj and add them to your painting. Remember, you cannot do for Taj through the canvas. You have to do it through a piece of paper and then add it to your canvas. This background is paper because I like to work on paper every once in a while and you end up with a lot of different effects so you can do this on paper or on canvas, and it's your turn now. Have fun theme. 4. Mark making with a palette knife and more: mark making with a palette knife by Doris Shy. This is really easy and fun. A palette knife is a great tool. You can use it to spread paint around. You can use it to make textures. It's just a wonderful tool, and there are all kinds. So here I'm spreading a bit of paint with my brush, and I'll show you what you can do with that palette knife. It's great so you can scrape in there and spread the pain around. That's your basic use for a, uh, palette knife. And here you can scrape some more into their with a stick or a little palette knife. And I'm just taking, uh, that circular role and spreading it around. So this is not just about palette knife. This is about other mark making tools. So with a brush, you can spread the paint around and make marks in the purple paint are, or you can just spread it around. But my favorite is actually that pallet me, so I could spread the paint and create a soft edge. I can create a hard edge like that, and I can create all kinds of marks. My favorite is that one. So this is all you need to do for this one. Just practice using the palette knife and maybe a few other tools. And just have fun. Enjoy this whole process. See you in the next section. 5. Mark making with a squeegee: mark making with a squeegee. Now what we're going to do is just use a squeegee, a very large window cleaner tool and use it to put on the paint. So I'm squeezing out paint and I'm going to spread it around. I mixed it in the bottle and put two colors in the bottle, and it's coming out uneven. I love that part. So here's the squeegee, and you just spread the paint like that, and it's great fun. Now keep in mind that when the edge of the squeegee stops, you get or starts. You get a line there, that's all you have to remember. But see how easy it is to spread the paint around, and that's all you need to know. You can use just two colors, like in this one, or you can use multiple colors you can planet, but most of the time it's just fun to see what the paint will do, So I'm spreading it around like that. Underneath was a mark that came with the paint, and now I'm making it look like a sky. You don't have to make it look like anything. Now I'm adding gray and brown marks to create a mountain effect, and I'm just going to add loose marks. When you add loose marks like that, it gives it a more realistic look because the marks you see or the stones and when you look at the mountains, they're very different. And, ah, they're very random. And that's the effect you want to create. You don't want to look like you planned this whole mountain. You want to look. You want it to look like it's probably That's the way it looked when it was there, and that's because the effects of off the marks on the rocks or so random the weather has changed them. The earth has moved. There's all kinds of things that have happened. Trees have grown on them and change them, and we want to leave that random effect there. This is a great way to create a random effect. So see how the paint blends. It just is almost unpredictable, so you can just take it slow and do one mark at a time. Here. I've speeded up the camera so that you don't have to see me hesitating and thinking to make it better for you and faster so adding the last little bits. I'm adding more color. I know already. I'm gonna want to change this leader. But the paint is turned to get thick and mushy and harder to deal with. So what I'm going to do eventually, once I've covered the whole space that I want is let it dry and then go back in with more. That's it for using a squeegee. Have fun with this one. It's really easy. Try and use. Ah, large canvas, if you can, and then just enjoy so you in the next section. 6. Mark making with branches to create textures: mark making with branches by Doris I. Now this is something you've probably seen before, but it's a really simple, easy way to make marks. So when you trim your trees in your backyard, or if the you live in an apartment and the trim the trees on your block, collect a few branches and you can make really interesting marks there really, really fun. So you trim the branches and what you want is just, ah, the branch. No leaves, not for this part, and you can save the leaves for another time. You condone. Use them for something else so you can get larger sticks like this one that I'm having trouble trimming and you can have smaller ones, and they're really easy to do. You just sharpen the end like I'm doing right now. Make it pointy on each side, and then that really creates something that you can make marks with. Now it's You can do this on the large one and the small one and just No, I think I like that mark. So it's just one side. So here's what you can do. You can dip it in paint. This is ink. You can dip it in ink. So I dip and then I draw and I make marks, and that's all there is to that. Use the pointy part. You get a skinny line. If you use the side, you end up with a fatter line, not very complicated, and it makes the best interesting marks, the marks that you can't copy with a pencil or a pen off any kind marks nobody else can make. So just have a look, find a few branches and try this out. Very easy, very fun. Enjoy. Do this now and we'll see you in the next section. 7. Mark making with water and alcohol: mark making with water and alcohol by Dogus job Here, we're going to have great fun. Water is one of the easiest tools that you can use, and so is alcohol. All you need is paint, so just take your favorite color and you're going to cover. Ah, whole canvas with this color, this is just for practical purposes to make it easy for this demo. If you wanted to, you could have multiple colors on there. You could have two colors, three colors, as many colors as you like to create defect you want. In fact, sometimes I repeat this effect more than once, so I can have layers of colors. So we're just going to take the yellow Oakar and I've speeded up the camera so that you can don't have to watch me paint the canvas in a long period of time. It takes a while to cover canvas this size, but at the same time you have to work fast. If your paint dries. This will not work neither the alcohol nor the water. So you do have to work really fast, so painted as fast as you can cover the surface. If the paint dries you're not going to get anything. So if the paint gets a little bit dry, you get small effects. And if the paint is really what you get larger effects, you'll see what I mean by that in a minute. So you cover the surface and completely or or not, depending on what you want to do. So in this case, I'm covering it completely so that you can see the difference between paint and then what happens when you add those effects? So I spray with water. First I let it sit. I wait account to 20 I always say, And then, uh, you will work with it after here on the other side, I'm putting alcohol on, and you can see that the effects of alcohol are almost instant. The side with the water. You don't see anything till you use the paper towel. So I take a roll of paper towel and I roll it like that and see what happens with the water . So with the alcohol, you get large components with the water, you get smaller components. If you wanted to have large blobs with the water you put, you don't spray it, you just drip the water on. So that's it. That's not any more complicated than that. This old painting just wasn't working, so I decided I was going to cover it all up, add water and then see what happens. So I counted to my 20 and then those spots started to dissolve the paint. That's what happens. And then you put it on and here you go, a brand new background for a painting way more interesting than the last. Do this part and we'll see you in the next section, Theo. 8. Markmaking with simple easy materials: using simple, everyday materials. Now you can look around the house, and there's lots and lots of things you can use. You can have all kinds of things to help you make marks and backgrounds and create very simple, easy textures so you can have mesh bags. What wax paper, shish kebab sticks, toothpicks, cooking implements, spatulas, cardboard sticks and leftover pieces of cardboard. Your imagination is the only limit. So what I'm going to do in this section is show you a couple of different videos and we'll see how we can make textures and backgrounds. So let's watch the video mark making with found objects by door shut. A. So this is a very easy, simple way to make marks. So in the hardware store, I found this rubber mark that this rubber thing, that to make textures for the walls and it's great for me, and then I use a simple marker, one end or the other end. That's a shish kebab stick, and it can make great textures and it's really fun. You use it at the end, or you drag it through the paint. Now here's a very simple clip. Look, that that's interesting. That's a neat idea so you can use clips. You can use any simple things. Now we're going to put, uh, spattering with a toothbrush that's very easy and very common. A great thing to do with your old tooth presses. And now we're going to use an old roll from paper and add more marks that way and see how simple these tools are. These air, this carded items in your house. Here's a toilet paper roll that I'm cutting up. I'm just cutting stripes, spread out the toilet paper roll and then I dip it in the paint and here I go so you can create marks this way. And those are great ways to create marks. They're random. They're very easy to make, and it's just relaxing and fun. So that's une Z one. Keep your toilet paper rolls and see what beautiful things. You can do it just that simple, easy find all of the above. Very interesting. And then you can still just turn away that toilet paper roll or find a different way to use it again. So do this now and we'll see you in the next section. Theo 9. Newspapers for backgrounds: using newspapers for a background by Doris Shy. Now here's a painting that I absolutely didn't like and didn't think it would work, and it wasn't working for months and months. So I've decided to cover it with newspaper and use that newspaper as a back room. All you have to keep in mind when you're using newspaper as a background is that you need to put gel under and gel over all the papers. If you want to go over the edge, I suggest that you just allow the pain to the newspaper to dry and then keep going. Here's a drawing done or a painting done with just newspaper by cutting out shapes of newspapers. Here's the background. Once it's finished, I designed to leave the edges gray and then just paint on top of it. So I'm just going to show you what happens next. I covered the whole surface off the newspaper with a layer of paint, and now I'm just going to add shapes that will help me decide what to do next. So if you add a shape once, you need to add it three times. I like odd numbers, and that works better for me. Now that's a background, and it gives me a great start for a new painting. So that's all there is to newspapers at newspapers. Paint on top of it. If you don't like it, used more newspaper. So do this now and we'll see you in the next section. See you in the next section. 10. Smash art: smasher by dorsal. Here's a technique that is really fun but very messy, so make sure that you have an apron and a big space covered by plus you start by pouring paint, so we're going to add several different colors, one on top of each other. So this blue is mixed very well, so I'm just going to shake it and add some more hopes. It's not blue, it's silver. And if we keep adding colors, so pick your favorite colors are colored. Background like this orange works really well, and then you keep adding even more colors. You make a big pile just like this, and you pile in three to about five colors top and you put them in. Apply like this, and then you need a rubber hammer. I'm going to just settle my piece so that it's not at an angle, and we're going to take that rubber hammer and hit each puddle so you take the hammer and just hit the board. See the hammer. Now what? This is what we'll do. Smash, smash and smash. So the spreading of the paint is random, but also very interesting. And look at that. You couldn't have a more interesting background for the start of a painting. That's great stuff. It's really fun. You never know what to expect, and at the same time it's exciting. Look at the way the colors mixed. It's really good. You could lean the board so the paint drips in certain ways if you want, or you could just leave it as it here. Now this is a fairly big board. I think it needs a little more. So I'm going to add more spots of color, and I'm going to add it so that it the whole board is covered more or less. Because otherwise you have these large areas of blank spaces, and that's not that interesting. And having more areas like this is going to make it really exciting. Remember to space your pieces out. I mean your spots out so that it's kind of interesting and different, some closer, some further away. Just something different every time you get your hammer ready and smack and hit and you make sure you clean off your hammer when you're done now, isn't this better way more interesting? It was before, so I have different colors on the outside same colors, but I didn't at the yellow to the outside piece and in the ones in the middle of the other of a focal point. They have the yellow and they're spreading now. The paint will continue to spread and change until it is dry, so try this out. It's 11. Conclusion part 1 : This is the end of part one off my core. So keep looking. Check out Part two. We're going to have even more fun than we had in part one. See you soon.