I wanted to give the illusion of a bank of oyster shells behind my snowy egret painting. I could have just painted them in but I had an idea that I needed to try! How could I get more texture in my background? I put on my 'what if' hat and came up with an idea. What if I tore pastel paper and added small pieces to the background to create a rough textured surface? What if I used clear gesso as the glue to hold it all together and to provide a sanded surface for the pastel application? Would it work?
Yes it worked even better than I imagined! I tore gray Shizen paper which is a soft handmade paper....perfect for this technique. I worked in small areas at a time spreading some clear gesso on a Pastelbord. I added the paper pieces and painted over them with more clear gesso. The clear gesso goes on milky but dries clear. It allowed me to see the gray paper but still have some tooth for pastel.
You can see in the photo how the added pastel over the bumpy background enhances the effect. I covered the surface completely with pastel so the painting is considered a pastel painting and not a mixed media collage. I will be thinking of ways to try this again!