Show Me How: Textured Art

Presenter Gloria Bastos is joined by Ajay Jacobs of Ajay’s Art Foundation. And he’ll be showing us that making a master piece doesn’t have to be complicated. First they show how to make a mixed media portrait and then later show how to make water paint portrait of a bird.

 Ajay’s Art Foundation – Ajay (Andre) Jacobs 011 972 8557

Mixed Media Canvas Art


  • Charcoal or pencil
  • Canvas
  • Gesso (Texture Paste)
  • Various materials – sugar, maize, saw dust, toilet paper, hay, gold leaf etc.
  • Palette knife
  • Acrylic paint
  • Paint brushes


Step 1: Draw a simple image onto a canvas and mark the darker parts of it. (Use enclosed shapes to ‘map’ these)

Step 2: Use gesso (texture paste) with various other materials like sugar, maize, saw dust, hay, gold leaf, toilet paper and so on and apply with a palette knife to create textured surfaces.  Keep the pencil lines intact and work the darker areas you marked out to a higher level.

Step 3: Allow it to dry completely and then paint the whole surface in a dark colour with acrylic paint or oil paint.  All of the texture needs to be covered.

Step 4: Use oil paints to paint the image and rework as you would with any oil painting. Create interesting effects by using light pressure (dry brushing) to show the textured surfaces.

Loose water colour picture


  • Charcoal or coloured soft pastel
  • Large paint brush
  • Water colour paper
  • Pencil and oil pastel in Red or Blue
  • Water colour paints
  • Paint palette with indentations for mixing colour (egg holder shape)
  • A bottle of water


  • Step 1: Draw the shape of the bird.
  • Step 2: Add some darker tones to the shaded areas with charcoal or coloured soft pastel (chalk pastel).
  • Step 3: Use a large brush to wet the water colour paper thoroughly on both sides.
  • Step 4: Mix 2 colours of water colour paint in a glass or muffin pan – one cool tone (like a blue) and one warm tone (like a brown or orange) and dilute with some water.
  • Step 5:Use an L shape to apply your mixed colour of choice onto your damp to wet paper in a spontaneous fashion. Then add the other colour ‘ad lib’ as to create a mottled background.
  • Step 6: Mix a darker shade of brown, violet, blue or black to fill the dark areas and paint these only when the paper has dried completely, remain loose and spontaneous. Then allow to dry.
  • Step 7: Use a pencil and oil pastel (red or blue or any colour you like) and add a few squiggles and marks to your masterpiece.