Color-filled Textures! Watercolor class lesson #6

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Color and Texture:  Watercolor Class Lesson #6.

It was pure fun.  I always thoroughly enjoy this topic and technique.

We played with paints, palette knives, pastes, gels on sturdy boards.

We turned plain old  ‘normal’  watercolor, into a Unique Creative Adventure.


Is what I’m talking about!


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Creative Watercolor Textures, molding paste and impasto gel






Yes.  We used Acrylic products, for use with Watercolors!

Impasto gel  and Molding paste. 

They are so exciting, so versatile, I do love them.

They unleash your Imagination.

I’ll tell you how……



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Creative Watercolor textures



Texture: its Function 

Creating Texture in the painting…. what purpose does it serve? 

What locations does it best serve in?   


Texture Effects will help the artist to create depth, dimension, perspective, form and space. 


Texture creates visual “Interest,” preventing the painting from being boring,  from monotony.


Selective Texture,  is especially useful in capturing and holding the viewer’s interest.

Place the Texture in preplanned Select areas.  Areas you have targeted for the viewer to look at,  then you create more contrast and texture in that area.


Art Basics.  Its a good idea to try to remember the basic guidelines.

… A regular painting will generally have a background, middle ground, foreground, and focal point;  and how Texture increases coming forward, into the front.      





Progress – with Different, New Ideas

Using  Watercolors, doesn’t automatically  mean you must only use watercolor paint products. 

There is no “rule” stating your paintings must be pure watercolor paint only.   

Using Watercolors,  doesn’t rule out creating Textural surfaces with mixed media, or acrylic mediums. 

Take your art to the next level. 

Expand,  to include the possibilities of  alternatives, taking you beyond The Beginner levels.  Go ahead, try out the the textural gels and pastes. 




Preparing the Surface

Before we apply the Texture gels and paste, the surface (in this case a wood board) needs primed.

By that, I mean triple coating with gesso.  Making sure the masonite wood board is 100% covered up and completely white. Do the sides as well.

Allow it to dry in between coats.

The masonite board is Ideal.

These boards are sturdy, (vs paper or the warp-able thin card canvases.)

They will uphold the weight of the textural mediums applied so lavishly and vigorously.   


Once the gesso is dry, apply the gel or paste using the palette knife.

Be very Generous, with the gel and paste.

Don’t try to make a “tiny bit” cover the entire board;  scraping it across, till there is no texture left at all. That won’t work.

Go on ……    S l a t h e r     it   on!


As previously mentioned,   I recommend palette knife pk1008 

Dick Blick Comfort handle style 62    soft handle



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Cool and Purple watercolor over impasto gel


Impasto gel

This will dry clear or nearly clear. 

You will see whatever has been painted underneath.   


So if you think about it, this could work well in many instances.  An underlying ‘not quite resolved’ image, can be covered with the gel and then repainted in areas. With thick goauche, or inks, or acrylics.  


Impasto gel, acts more like the slippery, slick Yupo paper;  the paint will slip off easily. 

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Impasto gel with watercolor stained on top


To counteract this slick attribute, try using either of these techniques:  


A. staining paints and rubbing the paints into the board

B. Gouache White, Opaque paints which will adhere better than the others as they are thicker, denser,  ie more like acrylics       


A bonus, is it that it is so easy to Simply – rinse off and start all over again!!        



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masonite board,  watercolors over molding paste textures



Molding Paste 

This used to be called Modelling paste.


I used Heavy molding paste.

This will dry off-white and matte,  slightly gritty with a tooth to it; it is ‘absorbent.’   


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Watercolor with molding paste


Watercolors applied to the molding paste textured board – acts a lot like a Fresco

Paints are quieted, dulled a tone, slightly less saturated.

But with a lovely old world feel to them, from my perspective. 


Paints are best applied, poured on Or squeezed on… not ‘brushed’ on 

Its not a surface to dob, dab, fiddle about. 


Paints will not wash right off  – the surface is too Absorbent.

But some of the color, will rinse off. Maybe 80% or so. 





Application of the Texture Medium

I prefer applying molding paste randomly.

Freely. Loosely. With my fabulous palette knife. 

Slather the paste on. As if it was meringue.

Don’t be ‘miserly.’


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A Mountain… emerged from the molding paste textures



You can experiment the textures, by laying a paper onto the paste then lifting, for some fun random foliage like patterns   

With both The Impasto and The Moulding paste,  they must be super dry before any attempt is made to paint.      

If, or when you reach a point watercolors aren’t working for you on them;  they are ready for Acrylics to be painted on. Or mixed media.         You can also re gesso   and reapply the paste.     



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let the dust settle, teal and rose


Rewards  of Impasto Gel and Molding Paste   

I like using these as wonderful imagination builders. 


Once colors are on and dry;  “things & shapes” begin to emerge. 

Don’t be hasty. 

Allow. This process to happen.   

Things will come forth.   If you allow the Time. 


Perhaps a flower may peer out eventually. 

Or there could be a tree, a leaf, a mountain and sky….. you just never know! 


It keeps you guessing. 

It keeps you looking forward to something – 



The excitement of the Surprise, that these colors and Textures gift you with,  is almost free.      



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wonderful white cliffs, the water below….  gouache and a light molding paste


Which Brand you ask?

Golden brand is the one I can always recommend.

It has never, let me down.

It performs brilliantly.

There are, of course many others in a wide range of prices.

I’ve experimented with nearly every brand!


In the many example shown, I have used several brands.  I found each brand has its own characteristics.  One might be toothy and gritty, the other… not so much. One might be translucent. The other, more satin.



Golden’s very useful website page describes their products.

Providing you with a Treasure Trove of great information on the texture mediums, (gels, molding paste, impasto, etc.) and how to use them.

No.  I get no ‘kick back’  rewards, payments of any sort whatsoever for my recommendation for this product.

Or for that matter, any other product I’ve suggested to you.

If I’ve assessed a product and then recommend it as being the most helpful for you; I do not want monetary gain,  to be an influencing factor.

Golden is certainly on the higher end on the budget. But, helpfulness, reliability and  a student’s consistent,  improved results has Value and Worth.





Do Your Own Thing, while creating bold color filled watercolors,  layered up with texture!   




Published by debiriley

The act of creation, in any media is a fascinating and magical process. I simply love to create. Expressing in color, line, tone, texture - as if, they were words upon a page. Creating a uniquely me, interpretation. Enjoy More of my "one-of-a-kind" expressive art at and,

10 thoughts on “Color-filled Textures! Watercolor class lesson #6

  1. The colours and textures are just wonderful Debi and using acrylic mediums with watercolour is a fabulous idea. I read in a book recently that “there’s only one rule in watercolour and that is there are no rules…. ‘

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