Remember I talked about fear of the white page? I have a phobia about those shiny, neat white rectangles that make up a brand new sketchbook! I'd much rather work onto a textured surface, then exciting things start to happen as the marks (be that drawing, painting, or printing) interact with marks that are already there. With a background in textiles, I'm a texture junky  - I love an old garage door with peely paint, layers of the years exposed.  

Timings - this task should take you around 45 mins to paint about 10-12 backgrounds. 


So our second task of the day is to create some textured backgrounds that we can print on to later today. For this you are going to need a paintbrush or a roller. You can see from the video that I use an old gift card as a scraper. 

I use acrylic paint for this job. Emulsion paint has an acrylic paint base - so raid the garage. You can mix this with standard art acrylic paint and it helps your paint go further. 

A note on colour. Colour isn't really our remit today - the focus is on making pattern. Also, in your kit that I've posted to you, you'll have received a couple of ink pads. The colour of this might not relate to your moodpboard at all. Think of a simple palette - so if you've received a purple ink pad, maybe create some grey or blue painted backgrounds. If you're unsure, stick to a neutral palette of backgrounds. The plan here is to get rid of the white page.



See if you have a range of papers to work on - some A4 sheets of cartridge paper, some old book pages, or envelopes. You can also try painting on some fabric squares - plain cotton or calico work best. If you do this you can stitch into your patterned swatches later. 

If your hands don't look like this - you're not doing it right. ;)

Share images of the mess you've made - I mean the backgrounds that you have painted - in the forum. Don't forget you can dry off your pages with a hairdryer (or put them in the greenhouse!)

And when you are ready - move on to Task 3:


Helen Hallows


Nurturing Creativity since....

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Copyright of all art works remains with the artist Helen Hallows 

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Nottingham, UK

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