Today I have a new mixed media painting to share. It was so much fun to get back to this after weeks of traveling and craziness with holidays and work and classes... I finally had a chance to relax and do one of the projects that's been floating around in my head!
Background for this project: early last month I was contacted to see if I would be interested in playing with some new products. Um... yes!!! So when I got back from Thanksgiving, there was a wonderful and extremely generous box from DecoArt waiting for me with lots of cool products from their DecoArt Media line for me to play with. It was like Christmas came early! They have lots of professional quality fluid acrylic paints (including irridescent,) mediums, shimmer sprays, antiquing creams, and more! I have to admit, before I was asked to do this, I didn't even realize that they had a line of mixed media art supplies!
So... my job - to do a project using their products with stencils to share. Here's my disclosure - all paints and mediums were provided to me by DecoArt, but projects, thoughts, and opinions are all my own.
That said, here's my painting and a quick overview of the steps to complete it and what I used for each part.
I started with a plain 18x18 canvas and mixed up a few colors of DecoArt Media fluid acrylics with their tinting base to start the underpainting.
Then I used the untinted fluid acrylics to start building layers of color. The paints are mostly translucent, which works well to get lots of layers, but you have to be patient.
I have to say, I was super impressed with the quality of the paints. I'm pretty picky about my paints, but these are really good and I'll keep using them for sure!
Between the Tinting Medium and the transparency of the paints, I was able to get lots of different gradations of color just by mixing and layering. And I love how vibrant they are! They have a nice finish too. I also took some of the white DecoArt Media Shimmer Mist and spritzed it across the flowers to get a little softness and lots of white dots. I really liked how thick and opaque it was, but you have to be careful because it comes out in a pretty heavy stream rather than a mist.
After I got the main images down, I brought out my stencils to get some pattern on the vase. I used the Stitch a Circle stencil by Maria McGuire with some Pthalo Turquoise fluid acrylics. (Just a hint - the trick to stenciling with the thinner paints is to keep your brush almost dry - don't load it with paint - and then build up layers so that the paint doesn't spread under the stencil.) I also put some of the acrylics in fine line applicator bottles so I could add some dots.
You can also see above where I used some of the DecoArt Media Sand Texture Paste in the background. I also used some of their Ultra Matte Varnish to collage some pieces of torn patterned paper and maps onto the background. I wanted to get some additional texture into the background and this worked perfectly!
For the vase, after everything was dry I went over the entire area with a thick coat of Crackle Glaze and let it dry. Then I used some dark brown Antiquing Cream and rubbed it in so that you could really see the cracks. I love the effect! (See the close-ups below for a better look.)
I used a few different colors of turquoise and green fluid acrylics to work my way around the painting putting in the background. You can see where the Texture Sand Paste is because it grabs the paint and makes it a tad darker and you get the rougher texture.
Once the background was dry, I took the River Rocks Stencil by Mary Beth Shaw and some Pthalo Turquoise fluid acrylics to add a bit more to the background. To finish it off, I mixed some glitter and microbeads with some of the Ultra Matte Varnish and spread them in a few places to get a bit of sparkle. It might have been a bit of overkill, but I've always liked lots of "stuff" in my work, and this was definitely no exception!
Here are a few close-ups so that you can see how vibrant the paints are and how the crackle glaze and texture paste turned out.
I just want to say a HUGE thank you to DecoArt for sending me their wonderful products to work with! I have to say, there wasn't anything I didn't like, and that's being totally honest. Their Media paints and mediums are very nice and the results were excellent. I definitely feel like they're pretty comparable to some of the higher-end professional paints but without the price tag; I'm excited to keep playing with them!
If you haven't already, be sure to check out their website and sign up for the newsletter. They have a lot of tutorials posted and other great content as well as links to their social media sites.
I frequently audition ideas for bigger pieces of art in my art journal, and I had an idea I wanted to try out using TAP to transfer a photo and embellish with stenciling. So my project today is my art journal "prototype" using a picture of my niece Aubrey that was just begging to be played with!
I started out by following the directions on the packaging for creating the transfer and printed out my photo.
Then I cut it out and ironed it onto a blank page in my art journal.
For my first time trying this, I was pretty pleased! I messed it up a little, but I was good with it... most of it was going to be covered up. The transfer has kind of a cool, grainy texture (which might be because I did it wrong... lol. It could happen.) and you get pretty true colors but with a slightly grungy feel. I really liked it!
From here, I wanted a background to surround the photo, so I took the backing I peeled off during the transfer and used it as a mask to stencil the background.
To do this, I used the Rembrandt's Words stencil by Carolyn Dube and stenciled it first in light green ink, then just nudged the stencil over a bit and did it again with teal to create an offset effect with the words.
Next, I took the Layered Peonies stencil by Jessica Sporn and started creating a crown of flowers around Aubrey's head with various shades of pink acrylic paint.
So far so good! Then, since she had pink and purple flowers on her shirt, I thought I'd add purple flowers to her crown. So I used purple paints and the Tossed Blossoms stencil by Terri Stegmiller to put some in here and there. Yeah... the purple? Not so good. Maybe it would look better with a butterfly? I had planned that all along, but was hoping it would cover up some of what wasn't working and make it better. I added that using the one on the Nature's Promises stencil by Roxanne Evans Stout. The butterfly looked good! The rest? Not so much. This was definitely an ugly phase.
Am I wrong? No. Ugly. (Not my niece, she's adorable. But the rest? Ugh.) In an effort to keep going and salvage things, I attempted several potential remedies that didn't turn out well. I was about 90% convinced that I was going to be starting over, but decided to give it just one last try before throwing in the towel.
I kind of morphed the pinks into yellow (because neon is really best in small doses.) Then I glazed the entire page with Transparent Yellow Iron Oxide Golden fluid acrylics and let it dry. And finally, when all else fails, add Liquid Pearls (and turquoise, of course!) I thought I might have gone too far and finally ruined it completely, but I kept pushing it and ended up really liking it, even though it was absolutely not what I originally had in mind.
It's kind of like a cool, pop art piece and despite the fact that it's a little weird, I really like it! A few close-ups:
And that's my project for this hop! Despite my near epic failure, I had a lot of fun and really loved using the Transfer Artist Paper. Such a fun product!
And now for the part you've all been waiting for, the giveaway!
Do you want to try TAP Transfer Artist Paper and StencilGirl stencils? We have you covered! Just leave a comment and enter to win this FABULOUS pack that will get you started!
ALL comments left on all the posts in this week's blog hop are eligible to win! (One comment per person per post, please.) Giveaway closes on Sunday, November 16th @ 11:59PM Central Time.
If you haven't already, don't forget to hop over to the other posts today for more inspiration and chances to win!
Just popping in for a fun little announcement... the latest issue of Mixed Media Art Magazine just came out, and I have an article in it! It's a 13 "page" product review of a variety of IMAGINE Crafts / Tsukineko products. I have several small projects and tips that are shared in here where I used and reviewed the various products they sent me.The magazine is digital only... you can download their app for free and either subscribe our purchase individual issues. You can check out the MMAM Facebook page for details, links, and fun posts.
Anyway, I was pretty excited to be included in this issue and just had to share. Big thanks to MMAM for taking a chance on me for this review, and to IMAGINE Crafts for the generous package of products they sent for me to use and review. And in case you're wondering, my reviews were totally honest! I've since picked up more of these specific products in different colors and started using them in my work (and convinced Tracie to carry the irRESISTible Pico Embellishers at the Clubhouse!) Really great stuff for anyone looking for new sprays or mediums.
If you get a chance to read the article, I hope you enjoy! (And enjoy the rest of the magazine too... they put out a very nice publication!)
This week the StencilGirl creative team is joining up with Clearsnap for a fun blog hop full of great projects and inspiration! I had so much fun putting together my project for this, and I got to play with some fun supplies that I've been wanting to try with my stencils for a while now!
My project is a faux-ceramic tile treasure box with "tiles" made from cardboard (you all know how I like my cardboard!)
I started with a wood box I found at Joann that has a recessed top, perfect for filling in with tiles or some other kind of artwork. I painted the entire box with teal blue paint and set it aside. The opening on the top measured 6 3/8" x 6 3/8", so I cut 9 2"x2" squares out of cardboard so that they would fit with just a little opening between each one. Then I took the squares and used temporary adhesive to tack them together on a sheet of scrap paper so that they were all tight against each other - this way I could paint and decorate before separating my tiles and I'd have a pattern that continued from one to the other.
Next, I was super excited to try using the Clearsnap Designer Foils - I used Lagoon. You can get adhesive design strips that work with the foils, but I wanted to use them with my stencils instead. I found that the best way to use this particular type of foil for this project was to apply the whole strip of foil to a piece of wide Score Tape and then trace the shapes I wanted, cut them out, and apply over top of some of the stenciled areas for some contrast and shine.
And of course, I can't do a project without my dimensional paints - I used some Scribbles in a few different colors to add some fun dimension and color on top.
With that, the base of my faux tiles was done, so I went ahead and used my Pomegranate Chox and Batik stencil again to put a border around the lid of my box. I made sure to secure the stencil with painters tape and it worked great.
After that, it was time to turn the cardboard into tiles... I cut a piece of cardboard that was about 6 3/8" x 6 3/8" and put it into the top, then I adhered my "tiles" on top (You want that extra boost because of the depth of the inset part of the lid.) Once everything was in place and the glue was dry, I was inspired by Mary Beth Shaw's article in the most recent issue of Somerset Studio on acrylic pours (it's an awesome article if you haven't read it!) I took some glossy polymer medium and poured it over top of the lid and let it dry overnight. This is what gives the faux tiles that glossy sheen like the ceramic ones, plus it seals in all your work.
Once it was dry, it was time to grout my tiles! I took some old Diamond Glaze (any clear dimensional adhesive will work) and filled in between all of the tiles. Once that dried, I went through with white dimensional paint and laid that down over the top. I let it dry and came back a few times to fill in where air bubbles showed up during the drying process, but finally it was all set and ready to go!
You still get the shine from the foil and texture from the dimensional paint, but it really does look like tile! I was pretty pleased with how this turned out, and immediately filled it up with some treasures I've collected to use in my work some day :)
So that's it for me, don't forget to hop over to the other blogs today:
I have a few projects and updates that I haven't gotten around to posting here yet, so I'm doing a very quick round-up post...
First up, a few art journal pages that I did last month. The smaller book is a vintage physics book I found at the used bookstore and I've been working on top of the pages. I used the September StencilGirl StencilClub stencils on this page. The page on the right uses the Moroccan Doily stencil, acrylic paint, and lots of Liquid Pearls.
Next up, I got the chance to go to see the Black Keys in concert last month at the United Center with my friend Mary. It was SO amazing!!!
This last weekend I got out my sewing machine to make a little travel paintbrush holder for my upcoming mixed media classes in Connecticut (there are still some openings in my classes for anyone who's interested and on the fence!) I really just wanted an excuse to buy this awesome Cloud9 dragon fabric. lol. No pattern - I made it up based on some that I've seen. It's not perfect, but it's functional!
A very cool and flattering thing... for those of you who don't already follow him, Seth Apter has a weekly blog series where he highlights various blog posts - it's called the Week Links. This week he featured my post on StencilGirl Talk making the coptic bound books we'll be doing in my class on the 18th. I'm so excited to be included! Awesome inspiration if you haven't checked it out...
Another art journal page... more playing with the October StencilClub stencils! Love them this month... (and if you aren't in the club, if you sign up before the 15th, this is the set you'll start with :D) I had a background of acrylic paint and then used molding paste for the large circles (shaded with PanPastels) and then Wendi Vecchi gold embossing paste for the small circles. Various letter stickers for the message in the center.
I started a few new classes, including the Paint Mojo eCourse with Tracy Verdugo (I'm already more than 2 weeks behind. sigh.) and my beginning drawing class at SAIC started this week. I haven't been drawing or sketching lately, so this should be a good jump start!
And last but not least, for those who haven't heard but who have been asking about it, I opened a shop at Society6 where you can buy prints, phone cases, decals, totes, stationary cards, and other stuff made from some of my art. I only have some of my doodle / Zentangle pieces up right now, but I may add paintings or other things later if it goes well. For those who are interested, right now there's a free shipping promo that goes through Oct. 12th.
Whew! It's been crazy lately... and that's not even getting into how busy things have been at work! But it's all good, and more fun times and projects on the horizon!
It's the start of a new month, and that means this month's StencilClub stencils have been revealed over at StencilGirl! I'm totally in love with this month's stencils... I've been playing with them since I got them. Today I'm sharing two art journal spreads that I made with them over on StencilGirl Talk... head on over for more details!
A little hint... the one on the right uses my first (but not last!) homemade screen print. It turned out great!