Use Molding Paste to Tell Stories with Texture

Suzanne McNeill has a knack for using all kinds of materials and techniques in creative ways to tell stories with her art. In this Art Lesson (Volume 19) she shows how to incorporate molding paste, several kinds actually, in all kinds of great art pieces. Suzanne demonstrates how to feature simple things in a piece of art, how to add texture, embed items, create grids, and more. With the help of a simple transfer technique using graphite paper, you’ll add images and text to complete your stories.

I chose to use Light Molding Paste and tried Suzanne’s technique for adding lettering. I was very happy with the results.

Using a gift card, I spread light molding paste on each of the canvases. For the small canvas, I created a focal area, covering most of the canvas with molding paste and  leaving a narrow border. For the larger canvas, I had something specific in mind, so I added molding paste in three defined areas, creating a grid. I let the pieces dry over night.

The light molding paste spread easily, creating texture in some areas and nice smooth surfaces where I wanted them.
The light molding paste spread easily, creating texture in some areas and nice smooth surfaces where I wanted them.

Paint came next, which I watered down slightly for a lighter touch, as Suzanne suggested. I painted both canvases with yellow, leaving the boxes on the larger canvas unpainted. I added bright colors to the boxes, allowing the colors to blend with the yellow a bit outside the boxes, waited a couple of minutes, and then gently pounced inside the box shapes with a paper towel to remove some of the color. I placed both pieces in front of a fan to speed up drying time. It worked like a charm.

The paint helped to emphasize the areas of texture, adding interest and depth.

I practiced writing the text on scrap paper, and decided I should use separate pieces of paper for each of the words for the larger canvas to make it easier.

Using Suzanne’s transfer technique, I added the text I’d chosen. I love hand lettering, but not every hand-lettered attempt is a keeper. Being able to practice until I liked what I saw, and then use graphite paper to transfer my best result was awesome. The molding paste accepted the graphite like paper! Definitely a great find.

Graphite paper is perfect for transferring images and text to molding paste.

Once the text was transferred, it was time to add color. I used a detail brush for all of the lettering and details. I really liked the bright colors I’d chosen earlier, but wanted to tone them down a bit. So, I decided to use black for the lettering on the large canvas, except for the word “box.” Then, I added brightly colored box shapes here and there around the canvas. The smaller canvas was embellished with tiny dots. For both canvases, I added paint along the edges of the canvas and on the high areas of molding paste with my finger. I also rubbed watered-down paint here and there for added interest.

Molding paste is a great way to create texture on any piece of art.

Check out Suzanne McNeill’s Lettering Lessons for a variety of unique techniques and materials to add to your mixed-media adventures. Definitely don’t miss Volume 19, where you’ll learn all kinds of ways to use molding paste to enhance your artwork, your art journals, and your stories.


Blog, Mixed-Media Techniques


This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.