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Digital Subscriptions > The Artist > November 18 > Creative textures

Creative textures

Soraya French demonstrates how to use gel mediums in your acrylic paintings to create exciting textural effects

One of the advantages of acrylics is that they give you the ability to create textures in your paintings to give them a tactile surface. Acrylic paint generally loses up to 30 per cent of its volume as it dries, so creating highly texturised paintings can be quite an expensive exercise. However, gel mediums are ideal for creating exciting, expressive textures, and they will make your paint go further too.

Gel mediums are made up of acrylic polymer and are available in different consistencies to create texture, extend the paint and change the sheen of the colours. The polymer (rather than the pigment) is the cheaper part of paint, so it makes economical sense to use gel medium for heavier paint applications. Golden Artist Colors offer gels in various degrees of viscosity, such as soft gel (slightly runny), regular gel (the same consistency as heavy body paint), heavy gel (heavier than heavy body paint) and extra heavy for a texture that holds a peak. These are available in matt, semi-gloss and gloss, so that you can choose the surface sheen of your painting. Gels are available from other brands but there may not be such an extensive choice.

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About The Artist

There's a definite seasonal theme in this month's issue as we say goodbye to the UK summer and our contributing artists turn to working with a more autumnal palette in watercolour (Ian Sidaway and cover artist Paul Talbot-Greaves), and pastel (David Allen), whilst Geoff Hunt shows how it's possible to paint watercolours in the rain. Mixed-media enthusiasts will love the demonstrations by Chris Forsey and Soraya French, who shows how to create exciting textures in acrylic landscapes, whilst Robert Dutton urges us to embrace our 'mistakes' as we develop our creativity. For more detailed painting styles, be inspired by Lucy McKie's intricate paintings, and Tim Gustard's photorealist approach to creating the illusion of glass objects. We also include articles on line and wash techniques, 16 invaluable tips from female members of the Royal Watercolour Society, advice on painting the sea and sky in watercolour, how to create a strong focal point, and develop a style of our own. Plus, study our additional 16-page Art Courses & Holidays supplement for great ideas for some personal art tuition in the UK or overseas!