Mixed Media Free Texture for Digital Artwork

Mixed Media Traditional Canvas

I have been creating many traditional paintings that I can incorporate into my digital images over the past few months.  I find working with traditional materials produces two kinds of feelings in me.

One, I become so frustrated because I can’t easily undo “mistakes.” This, in turn, makes me not want to explore my possibilities as much. I become afraid of wrecking things I currently like, so I don’t take risks.

Second, I learn to see there are no “mistakes.” There are only different possibilities to move forward, and many times if I keep working with things, I will like it more than when I thought I messed it up. This makes me realize I don’t need an undo function. I need to keep moving forward!

When I create these types of canvases, I don’t experience the typical feelings I just talked about. For some reason, I don’t feel the need to perform or come up with some great painting. I can just have fun with the process, which I think is why I like doing them.

The canvas I am sharing with you was produced with numerous materials, and it’s not like any other texture I have shared before. Every part of it has been created with traditional supplies.

I used ripped-up pieces of digital paintings I have made in the past. I used ripped-up books that mean something to me. Ripped up tissue paper to produce some excellent depth, and I used ripped-up tissue paper with writing on it. I’ve dried tea bags, which have tea stains that create a vintage look. I have to dismantle the teabags in a certain way to keep the paper in good shape. This process gives you interesting marks, which can’t be copied in any other means.  

These things have been sealed in matte medium. Once dried, I added gesso over custom made stencils to produce raised-up portions on the canvas. Once that is dried, I added cheesecloth and seal it in matte medium. When this is dried, I add rough brushstrokes of gesso over areas of the canvas, and then I wipe back some of this to produce some veiled pieces in the canvas.

Time intensive but worth it because you can’t find these types of digital assets anywhere, and I think they add a lot to digital paintings.


I’ve been working on some personal projects as I decide what direction I want to take with my artwork over the next year. I recently finished copying a Sargent painting. I’ve learned that looking and copying the masters is a very interesting experience. I had this lesson when I was in University, so I thought I would revisit this type of assignment. I was reminded as I worked how little detail Sargent puts into some areas of his artwork. It is his ability to make organic shapes that fascinates me as I work. However, that discussion is for another day. What I want to showcase is how I used this traditional canvas in my digital work. You can see portions of it showing through the artwork, and it adds to the depth of a digital painting.

Remember to use blend modes when you incorporate these types of traditional paintings into your artwork. You can also mask out certain areas or intensify certain areas by duplicating portions.

To Use These Resources

You must download the zipped file, which will only be available for a limited amount of time.  Extract the JPEG.

Here are the rules for using my textures. 

They are simple, and I wish I didn’t have to state the obvious or restate this each time I give something away.

Don’t take the textures and sell them.

Don’t claim them as your own.

Incorporate them into your designs. Don’t use them as a standalone painting!

Don’t redistribute them. Just link people back here to pick up their own textures.

I’m sorry. The texture is no longer available.

8 Responses

    • L.A. James

      You are welcome, Susan. Thanks again for always taking the time to leave a thank you. I greatly appreciate it!

    • L.A. James

      You are welcome, Georg. This area of experimentation is yielding a lot of good results for me to push my paintings into a traditional feel. The only drawback is that it is messy and expensive!

      Thanks for taking the time to leave me a comment.

  1. Marieta

    Love this texture, Lisa. You’re so creative. Thank you for sharing.

  2. Michelle Ackenbrack

    Thank you so much Lisa! Your painting is outstanding.

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