Texture Gels

by Jane Davila

Texture Gels contain particles that can produce a variety of unique textural and dimensional effects. You can mix them with acrylic paint, other mediums or use them on their own. Once dry, the texture gels can also be painted over with acrylics. Texture gels are flexible and water-resistant when dry and will not yellow. Types of texture gels available are ceramic stucco, white opaque flakes, glass beads, blended fibers, natural sand, string gel, black lava and the one illustrated here, resin sand. Made by Liquitex, the gels can be found in art supply stores and online. They are ideal for use on art quilts and fiber postcards. They add lightweight, sculptural texture that adheres well to fabric. Because of the thickness of the gel, it is advisable to allow your work to dry for a day or two before proceeding.

Step One: Using a stiff paintbrush, scoop some Resin Sand Texture Gel onto your palette. I often use a paper plate as a palette.

Step Two: Add acrylic paint, with another paintbrush, to the texture gel, and mix well. I used Lumiere paint here.

Step Three: Apply the texture gel/paint mixture to your fabric. The gel will retain almost any sculptural effect. Use a stencil brush or palette knife to build peaks or ridges. Apply a thin layer with a flat brush for a rough cement or sandy beach look.

A low, angled view of one effect that can be achieved with the Resin Sand Texture Gel. Don’t forget to wash your brushes thoroughly with warm water and soap. These gels are hard on paintbrushes. Lay work flat to dry undisturbed.

Finished piece with Resin Sand Texture Gel (the base image is a Neocolor water-soluble wax pastel drawing).

Experiment and see what happens when you mix different texture gels together. Try different texture effects with a variety of brushes and found objects. Add thread painting or free-motion quilting over the dry texture gel – it sews beautifully with a quilting needle!