Jen’s Picks: FREE Acrylic Demo from Nancy Reyner

According to artist Nancy Reyner, an artist’s process can be viewed both mentally (the idea) and physically (the technique). She’s created her latest book Acrylic Innovation (available August 2010) to help inspire artists to find their own personal voice. The book includes 29 inventive technique demos as well as insights, techniques and gorgeous artwork from 64 contemporary artists from around the world. Below, please enjoy a free technique demo on how to create interesting background texture with mesh tape, a common material used in drywall construction.



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Order Nancy Reyner’s Acrylic Revolution DVD

Download Nancy Reyner’s Acrylic Revolution DVD

Preview Nancy Reyner’s Acrylic Revolution DVD

Order Nancy Reyner’s first book Acrylic Revolution

How to Create Texture with Mesh Tape
A subtly textured background can add visual appeal to a minimal abstraction. The grid pattern of dry wall mesh tape creates an interesting effect when used in this two-layer technique using paste and washes.

Paints: Several acrylic paint colors
Surface: A primed or pre-painted surface
Painting Tools: Any brush, painting knife or other applicator tool
Other: Drywall self-adhesive mesh tape, absorbent acrylic paste, scissors

step 1 of free texture demo by nancy reyner using mesh tape

STEP 1: Attach Drywall Tape | On a dry surface, pre-painted with a background color, apply strips of drywall mesh tape. Press firmly to stick the tape to the surface. The background color pictured here is a mixture of Titanium White and Primary Blue.

step 2 of free texture demo by nancy reyner using mesh tape

STEP 2: Apply Paste | Generously load an acrylic paste that is absorbent or dries matte to the back of a painting knife (Light Molding Paste is shown here). Apply the paste over the tape using medium pressure. For variety, allow some areas of the tape to remain without any paste. Remove the tape and allow paste to dry at least a few hours or overnight.

step 3 of free texture demo by nancy reyner using mesh tape

STEP 3: Overpaint With Washes | Dilute each of several acrylic paint colors with water in a 1:5 ratio to create several wash colors. You can also pre-wet the dry paste surface with water in some areas to increase a bleed effect. Brush-apply the diluted colored washes separately over the paste, varying colors in areas. Blot with paper towel in some areas to lighten. Pictured here are washes using Phthalo Blue, Carbon Black, Dioxazine Purple, Anthraquinone Blue, Phthalo Turquoise, Quinacridone Burnt Orange and Nickel Azo Yellow. Tip: You can eliminate step 3 by substituting thick acrylic paint color for the paste in step 2.

Finished Example

Keeping Your Art Fresh: A FREE Online Event with Nancy Reyner
For more great acrylic tips and inspiration, listen as Nancy Reyner shares ideas, motivations, and ways to keep your art inventive and personal. She uses tips and advice from her books Acrylic Innovation and Acrylic Revolution, along with her own struggles, inventions and processes, to help you keep your art inspired and fresh. She wraps up with a Q&A session from artists questions!

Click here for free online seminar with Nancy Reyner

To see Nancy’s paintings, blog and gallery representation please visit her website


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