Shagreen on Canvas

 Shagreen is a type of rawhide consisting of rough, untanned skin. In this project, we were asked to create panels on canvas.

Since it is not possible for shagreen to be large, the area had to be divided into squares.

Tape off the alternate squares with at least 2 inches of clearance. Be sure to seal the tape with a light brushing of Matte Medium.

Glaze the area generously with a transparent, blue/grey glaze with a domed glazing brush. We used Proceed glaze and slow-dry colors by Golden Artist Colors, Inc.

 Stretch the glaze in a horizontal motion with a size 80 spalter.

Then stretch vertically.

You can glaze up a few areas at the same time.

Mix a darker, more saturated version of the same glaze. Carefully draw a line in the visual center of each square with a pointed glazing brush.

Using the same dip, fade out to one side – keeping over 1/3 of each side untouched.

Repeat on the other side.

Stipple the entire area while still keeping the vertical stripe intact.

Begin the skin texture while the glaze is still wet. Dip a size 8 rondin brush into some denatured alcohol. Use a palette to control the amount on the brush. Make tiny pounce marks in the shape as seen. Watch as the alcohol reacts and disperses the wet glaze. Only do a few rows of this.

 Using a 3-headed chiqueteur brush dipped in denatured alcohol, create similar pattern on either side of the center (don’t make them too strong, visually).

Go back into the center area and refine areas where needed.

Using a pointed sable brush, outline the spine to accentuate it.

 The first step is finished. Don’t make every square exactly the same. Vary the value of the glaze and pattern of the shagreen.

Once dry and all of the tape is removed, overglaze the entire area with a blue/green transparent glaze. Apply the glaze and stipple.

Finished and ready to be varnished and hung on the wall.

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  1. Velvet Barton says:

    Love this finish. Great instructions. Thank you Pierre. Always a fan of talented and giving instructors.

  2. Excellent technique.
    I have used this technique for large floors.
    To create marble base finishes on concrete this way.
    Latex acrylic paints and glazes. Paul

  3. very pretty finish. great job.

  4. I, 300% admire your technique and know-how, I’ve been a fan for years! I appreciate the step-by-step instructions, you’re incredibly talented and inspiring!

  5. Thanks so much ……can’t wait to try it! fantastic!

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