Creating Layers & Backgrounds


All of a sudden, I have a bunch of projects to work on at the same time–commissions, magazine writing and photography, illustration sketching/concepts, and pieces for the shop. So it becomes important for me to multi-task and to create a bunch of canvases that are ready to work on. This involves preparing layers of color and really textured and visually interesting backgrounds on which I can do my signature collage and painting. I thought I would share some photos of the backgrounds I’ve been working on over the last week. They are now ripe for more layering, color choices, and inspirational ideas.

IMG_1400 IMG_1402 IMG_1401 IMG_1403 IMG_1404 IMG_1405 IMG_1413

You can clearly see that I use a lot of different techniques to cover the canvas for a first, second, or third layer before begin the true painting itself. Some of the techniques that I use include:

–color patching with a thick brush or sponge brush, alternating warm and cool colors so as not to create “mud”

–modge-podging on pieces of decorative papers

–bleeding fluid acrylics by applying the paint and then hitting it with a spray bottle of water

–finger painting


–hammering in nails

–using paint pens for dots or lines



I hope these photos give you some ideas on how to create your own backgrounds on canvas or mixed media paper. These layers are just the beginning of what you can do to create awesome texture, depth, and color in your work. Try some of these techniques out or let me know some of your other favorite ways to create layers. Happy Thursday! Art your heart out!


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