I am muy busy trying to get ready for the Quilt Festival and working on my reading cohort (my reading master's class). I literally have a paper due every week - in addition to my regular reading and weekly assignment. I am kinda cranky right now.
This week's challenge is to go to your hardware store and go to the paint section. You have to spend about a buck ($1) and buy a plastic putty knife or putty spreader about 1.5 or 2" wide. If you don't know what one looks like, then you can just Google it. Here is a pict as well. I would scan but my scanner is on the fritz again.
http://tinyurl.com/c7feht Here is a tiny url link in case the long one above breaks.
I would not buy one wider than 1.5-2" because you lose control with the really wide ones. Splurge and buy a couple of them. They are very useful tools. I don't bother to wash them much. I just use a paper towel and wipe them off as I go along. I use several at once. They kinda gunked up sometimes because I forget to clean them. They then become part of art pieces or I toss them aside and use cleaner ones.
Instead of using a paintbrush, paint using the putty knives instead. Use these and apply molding paste or gel medium. You will get great texture.
Another thing you can do is take put some paint on a paper plate. Pick up the paint on the plate with the putty knife and spread the paint with it onto your surface. Scrape the paint along your surface. You will get great texture especially if your surface is kinda uneven. I do it with something bumpy or textured already on my surface. It works great.
Something else you can do is this. Take some different colored fluid acrylics or slightly watered down acrylics and squirt onto your substrate (paper). Do so randomly and sparingly. Scrape your surface in long sweeping strokes with your putty knife to pick up the different colors. You will be amazed at the colors that come up. Squirt again in uncovered spots and repeat. Do not go over with paint already on your putty knife or it will be muddied. Just put the excess paint on another piece of paper or scrap. You can use that for another background.
Pick up some molding paste, gel medium, or other texture medium with putty knife. Apply to your substrate. Make sure your substrate is heavier like watercolor paper, chipboard, or heavy cardboard. Swirl, cut, make chopping motions, and randomly apply medium onto surface so you get some cool texture. Let dry completely. Paint when completely dried. You might try flexing it in the opposite direction to see how it cracks when it is dried. I love cracks. I also love to use iridescent gold paint on the peaks of texture. You might want to try house paint with this. BTW, you can color the medium before applying it onto your substrate. I like to color it after I apply it. I am never sure how I want the color to look until after the acrylic medium dries.
Putty knife works well with crackle paste, too. Thicker layer for wider cracks. Remember to have fun. It is okay if you can't do it every week. Just remember to take a breath and to do art whenever you can. I am trying to fit a bit of art in whenever I can - even with my hectic schedule.