Creative Ideas

Impasto, Sgraffito and Resists

Impasto & Sgraffito Idea 1

Impasto & Sgraffito Idea 1

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Process

  • No preparatory studies or designs are necessary to complete this piece

  • The paint should remain undiluted at all times. Do not use any water with this project, other than at the end for cleaning tools

  • Cut the credit card/plastic into 3 or 4 rectangular shapes of different widths, ensuring the pieces are still large enough to be handled easily (these will be used later to scrape a pattern into the paint)

  • Using a sharp pair of scissors, make "v" shaped cuts of varying widths and depths into one edge of the pieces of card

  • If lighter than 140lb, wet and stretch the paper

  • Allow to dry

  • Create a random abstract pattern of torn newspaper strips glued to some parts of the stretched paper surface - leave areas of white paper exposed in places

  • Allow to dry

  • Using a palette knife, apply a layer of concentrated heavy body paint, to the surface in medium sized, randomly defined areas. For the best effect choose strong primaries.

  • Immediately, scrape this layer off completely, leaving only a coloured stain against the white paper and newspaper. This is called a "dry wash"

  • Allow sections of the underlying newsprint text to grin through the paint stain layer

  • Discard the removed paint

  • Progress in small patches or strips. repeating the previous four steps until the whole surface is covered with different coloured stains or "dry washed" areas

  • When dry, create a single geometric shape anywhere over the top of the brightly stained layer using a strong darker colour

  • This time, apply the paint very thickly with a palette knife (approx 304mm or thicker)

  • Immediately, and before the paint dries, use the cut credit card pieces to score into this wet layer of paint, exposing the coloured stain beneath

  • In this way create a sgraffito pattern of your choice in the wet surface

  • Discard the removed paint

  • Apply a second similar geometric shape, perhaps of a different size proportion and colour, to another area of the painting - not next to the first shape which may still be wet

  • Repeat the sgraffito process, using the cut card pieces to create a slightly different but related design to the first

  • Continue in this way, building up an abstract design of block-like shapes of varied sizes, until the whole picture area has been covered with blocks of thick paint and sgraffito patterns

  • Avoid working next to adjacent shapes until they have dried completely

  • Once the whole painting is dry it is also possible to work over the surface with dry "scumbles", wet washes or glitter glue highlights

Materials

  • Brian Clegg CleanArt "Heavy Body" acrylic paints

  • Saunders Waterford 140lb HP paper (or any heavyweight paper)

  • Newspaper

  • Brian Clegg PVA adhesive

Tools

  • Paletes

  • Palette knives

  • Glue brush

  • 2 old credit cards or similar pieces of stiff plastic

  • Scissors

  • Cloths

 

Natural Forms and Flowers - Sgraffito

Natural Forms and Flowers - Sgraffito

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Process

  • Identify an appropriate design preferably a “firsthand” sketchbook study or a modified photograph

  • Sketch the image/design directly onto the paper using very thin acrylic

  • Block in shapes - working in all areas simultaneously - using a heavier acrylic mix

  • Apply undiluted paint directly to the picture using a palette knife - layer the paint thickly, building a conspicuous textured surface which is sympathetic to the characteristics of the subject

  • Overlay paint to build a rich patina and deep variegated colour

  • Build texture into the surface by layering undiluted acrylic paint in a dry scumble

  • Overlay at anytime with transparent acrylic glazes to alter or enhance the colour

  • Complete with rich toned details and sgraffito for interest

Materials

  • Brian Clegg "Clean Art" acrylic paints

  • Bockingford 140 - NOT paper (or any heavy paper)

Tools

  • Selection of hog hair brushes

  • Palettes

  • Palette knives

  • Water

  • Cloths

 

Opacity - Impasto

Opacity - Impasto

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Process

  • Wet the paper and fasten to the board using gummed tape - allow to dry

  • Using a palette knife loaded with dry paint, straight from the tub, trowel the colour, in a thick layer, to the identified areas of the design, exploiting the texture of the undiluted paint - allow to dry

  • Repeat the preceding process as often as required using other contrasting colours (remembering not to add water to the paint)

  • Finish with detail using a piece of card cut to shape, and heavy opaque colours, until the design is complete

Materials

  • Brian Clegg Tempera Tubs - mixing set

  • Bockingford 140 NOT paper

  • Gummed tape

Tools

  • Palette knives

  • Strips of card and/or an old credit card

  • Incising tools - sticks, old fork, comb, reverse end of a paint brush

  • Clean water

 

Resists

Resists

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Process

 

  • Identify an appropriate design preferably a “firsthand” sketchbook study or a modified photograph

  • Lightly sketch the image/design directly onto the paper using a 2B pencil

  • Apply a resist medium or wax to identified areas and allow to dry

  • Beginning with the lighter tones, block in shapes – working in all areas simultaneously – using very diluted acrylic paint

  • Always work from the light colours to the darker colours

  • Overlay paint to build a rich patina of deep transparent colour

  • Overlay with transparent glazes frequently to alter or enhance the colour

  • Using a dry, but nonetheless thin mix, gently scumble over selected sections of the design to create a variety of contrasting coarse textures

  • Complete with rich toned details

 

Materials

  • "Brian Clegg" Tempera Tubs - mixing set
  • "Bockingford" 140 NOT paper
  • Gummed tape

Tools

  • Palette knives
  • Strips of card and/or an old credit card
  • Incising tools - sticks, old fork, comb, reverse end of a paint brush
  • Clean water
 

Impasto & Sgraffito Idea 2

Impasto & Sgraffito Idea 2

Click image to enlarge

Process

  • Wet the paper and fasten to the board using gummed tape - allow to dry

  • Using a palette knife loaded with dry paint, straight from the tub, trowel a bright colour, in a thin layer, to the identified areas of the design

  • Repeat the preceding process as often as required using other primary colours to build the undercoat for the design (remember -don’t add water to the paint) - allow this first layer of colour to semi-dry

  • Again using a palette knife loaded with dry paint, straight from the tub, trowel a darker colour, in a thick layer, over the top of the previously painted areas of the design

  • Whilst this second layer of paint is still wet, incise detail into the paint to reveal the brighter colour of the first layer of paint - sgraffito

  • Repeat the preceding process as often as required, using other darker shades and colours

  • Finish with detail using a piece of card cut to shape, and heavy opaque colours until the design is complete

Materials

  • "Brian Clegg" Tempera Tubs - mixing set

  • "Bockingford" 140 NOT paper

  • Gummed tape

Tools

  • Palette knives

  • Strips of card and/or an old credit card

  • Incising tools - sticks, old fork, comb, reverse end of a paint brush

  • Clean water

 

Products Used

 
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