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Old Dogs and New Tricks

Whenever I discover a way to do something that really works I get very excited. A lot of the things I love to paint are rather time consuming and that just goes with the territory. However there are textures where I’ve found a wee technique that creates a good effect. I have just used it to create a ‘tiled roof” in my latest painting.




1. Mix and paint on a background colour. You can either make a paler background and have the tiles darker, or as in this case I put in a darker background and paler tiles. As it’s a roof I was thinking of the light shining off the tiles and chose this combination. The beauty of acrylic is that its opaque layers dry quickly and you can put one colour on top of another.

2. Find a piece of netting with squares or diamonds or whatever shape you need. This piece was from a bag of oranges.

You’ll see the weave stops the squares looking too perfect and that suits our purposes.

3. Make a frame out of thick card. The back of a drawing pad ideal. Tape the net in place with masking tape all around the edges. You may need another piece of tape to keep it from moving around too much.

Insert img 7908.

4. Lastly place your frame over the roof and dab your paint over the holes being very careful not to move the frame. I do little pieces of the effect and then move frame and start again. Don’t be too perfectionist as the randomness of the little squares all adds to the realistic outcome. In fact if it all looks a bit regimented you could smudge a bit with a rag before it’s quite dry.

5. DO A PRACTICE RUN FIRST ON A SPARE PIECE OF PAPER! If the practice run was great but then it all turned to custard on the painting? Either wipe off before dry or paint over and try again. Keep your frame to use with other things you find that create interesting texture (net curtains, lace tights, etc)

If you’re a texture lover try this website: Can you believe there’s a website with a visual library of textures?

Here’s a snippet of rust just to whet your appetitie.

Last words…

Is using a painting trick just cheating? Getting someone to paint your pictures for you and signing them with your signature is definitely cheating. But I think finding alternatives to just using a paint brush and making a stencil is purely resourcefulness and all part of the creative approach.

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