Although Brom probably mentioned as much at the Seattle workshop several years ago, I complete forget what technique he uses to achieve the textures in the backgrounds of many of his paintings. I'm also curious about the substrate he uses. Are they just gessoed masonite panels?
Here are some of the paintings with his textures:
(on the gears)
Any guesses? I guess I could email Brom, but he's probably so busy that he wouldn't respond.
If I recall from the workshop he doesn't actually texture the surfaces but just does some kind of paint stain to get that texture. I don't remember how, though. He did a very thin wash and then splattered some chemical onto it. I've tried using acrylic and splattering both water and acetone, neither of which have worked for me. And I've tried oil with OMS which didn't work. Maybe real turpentine would do the job? I remember Hussar also doing some things with chemicals to get texture in his oil paintings.
Hmmm...don't really know, never actually seen a Brom in person. It actually looks to me like those are three different approaches right there in the examples. First one looks an awful lot like acrylic background texture (maybe not but that would be the easiest). Middle one is very easy to do and while you could simulate the little sploogy bits and pieces it would just be easier to texture first. The third with the gears just looks like carefully painted texture handling - too small to see if there is a physical texture under there.
I suspect he has a variety of techniques like most folks that he relies on or experiments with. Just keep in mind you may hear one thing, or see a demo in a workshop but that may be one isolated technique or process out of a few he uses depending on what he's trying to achieve.
What would Caravaggio do?
In one of his books that I have, he says he does a lot of the painting in acrylic up to a certain point before going in with oils... So I suspect a lot of the textures are acrylic rather than oils. What precise technique, I wouldn't know... There's a gazillion ways to get textural looks with acrylics.
Though the second one looks like it would be achievable with thickly brushed gesso or acrylic under washes of either acrylic or maybe oil thinned with turpentine... (I managed to get some similarly washy/drippy effects with oil heavily thinned with turpentine on a few paintings once... It was a while ago, but I remember it was regular gum turpentine, not gamsol or turpenoid.)
Gwen is right, he generally starts out in acrylic before transitioning over to oil. There's very little physical texture in Brom's work, he tends to paint pretty thinly. As to how to get similar effects, play around with paint and see what happens. I expect that's what he did.
you can get the same effects for the first one and last one with rock salt and acrylics for the small spots and then liquid frisket for the larger spots. With the rock salt you put down your wash and then sprinkle the salt on to it and let it absorb some of the wash while still wet. You can do this as many times as you want with different layers of different colored washes. The liquid frisket can be used before the wash before or after. A toothbrush will give you a nice sprinkle pattern too, wet the tooth brush with paint or frisket and with the bristles pointing up rub your thumb across them a foot or so above the surface and they will splatter. Takes a little practice to control but it works just fine. You can go in after and pull out shapes by exaggerating them with hand painting to create light and shadow and form.
The brush strokes in the second image are made like QG and E say with some thickly applied medium or paint washed over after it was dry
I used the rock salt and frisket effects to create this rock background with moss blooms; you can see it gives a nice organic effect that is hard to achieve by direct painting.
Last edited by dpaint; May 23rd, 2012 at 09:39 AM.
Also, if you spatter glossy medium, let it dry and then do thin watery acrylic washes on top, you can wipe the paint off the medium spots but it would still stain the matte parts. Lightly sponging off the paint with a crumpled paper towel might also work. You should check faux-finishes books.