Monday, July 25, 2016

Lisa - mixed media canvas

Good morning! Today I have a mixed media project to share: a canvas I made recently using some of the fabulous products that are available in the shop. This post is a little text-heavy, because I'll explain what I did, in case anyone else wants to have a try at this fun project. :)

I started off with a simple 6x6 canvas, and I turned it over to the reverse side in order to utilise the little recess at the back.
I covered the edges with strips of wet wipes that had dried after being used in my studio to wipe up spills, blot inks, clean stencils etc. They were stained with various colours, but as they were going to eventually be covered over, it didn't matter. To adhere them to the frame, I used soft gloss gel, which acts as both a glue medium and a sealant. They added a lovely soft texture to the background.

Once the gel was dry, I used 3D gloss gel to stencil the frame surround. The 3D gloss gel is nice and thick and holds the shape of the stencil pattern as it dries.

Once that layer was dry, I painted the entire frame with a layer of black gesso. This has a great chalky texture when it's dry.

Next, I added colour to the frame in the form of metallic acrylic paint (applied with a fingertip), touches of mica spray (I unscrew the bottle and apply using the thin plastic tube inside for more control over where the colour goes), chalks, and a selection of pigment powders, until I was happy with the effect. I had no set plan, but just played and experimented until it looked "right." The base of black gesso works brilliantly to highlight the colours on top, and the texture of the stencil adds some amazing dimension.

I added selection of cogs to the frame, first painting them with the black gesso and then colouring them with metallic acrylic paint, and adding a few touches of black ink (blended with a fingertip) to give them an aged look. I adhered them with Helmar 450 glue, which I find is brilliant for fixing in place embellishments with a bit of heft to them.

In the centre recess, I added a piece of scrunched muslin, carefully attached at the edges to the frame with more of the Helmar glue. The vintage girl figure was found on the internet- originally she was standing by a piano, but I trimmed her out from the rest of the photo and added her wings-- made of chipboard and from an ancient Tim Holtz range of goodies which I have had in my stash forever. I knew they'd come in useful one day! :) The wings were coloured with the same metallic acrylic paint, and aged with black ink once again.

I wrapped thin gold wire (a gift from a lovely florist in town) around the frame on a rough diagonal in two directions, in order to form a delicate base for the winged girl to rest against. This part took a little bit of doing, because there wasn't much of anything for her to be adhered to, but luckily I was able to fix her feet in place, and then gather a little bit of the muslin behind her and glue it in the centre of her back. I love the impression that she's just barely floating there-- exactly what I was hoping to achieve. :)

Lastly, I added some bling gems around the frame, as well as a couple of teeny-tiny vintage numbers on each side. (Tim Holtz again, from an older range. I'm not sure if it's still available.)

And that's it! This was purely an experiment when I started-- I had an idea in my head of what I wanted to make, and to my delight, it turned out pretty much how I'd visualised it. I love it when that happens, don't you? I hope you enjoyed my long, wordy explanation, and that maybe I've inspired you to make a mixed-media piece of your own. There are plenty of great supplies both instore and online here. Have fun!

Lisa :)