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Monday, March 09, 2020

How to Paint a Textured Wall with Pastels

'Determination'              7x5             pastel             ©Karen Margulis

I took a photo of these flowers on one of my adventures. I loved the color of these flowers which was even more striking against the backdrop of the old wall. They were an unexpected pop of color on a cold overcast day in the city. I wanted to paint the flowers but needed to figure out how to play up the texture of the stuccoed wall. I figured it out by accident!

I had applied some clear gesso over a couple of old demos. I set them aside and forgot about them. When I pulled them out the other day I could see the makings of a textured wall!! 

TIP FOR TEXTURE:  Use clear gesso applied with a stiff brush OVER a failed painting. The gesso will liquify the pastel and mix it together to create grayed colors. Make random and irregular brushstrokes to enhance the texture. 

How did I do it? I used a pencil to draw the flowers. I painted the wall first leaving room for the largest flowers and foliage at the base.  I painted the smaller flowers OVER the wall. The underpainting for the wall was already a dark enough value so I simply added a few mid to light value neutral colors over the underpainting. The texture did most of the work. I did blend in the first layer but you can see multiple layers of color that were left unblended. 

A piece of Uart with pastel and clear gesso

A closeup of the flowers

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