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From the Artist Tribe - Encaustic Painting with Stencils

Check out what Jill McDowell is sharing today from the Artist Tribe! She's done a gorgeous encaustic painting using several of my stencil designs:

Encaustic Butterfly Painting - Jill McDowell

Jill used my Boho Butterflies, Christmas Poinsettias, Decorative Filigree Ornament, and Not Afraid to Try stencils. Make sure you head over to her blog for more details and photos!


From the Artist Tribe - Art Journaling

Hi all, Jackie Neal is back today from the Artist Tribe with another art journal spread in her sari journal.

2 Sari JJ 8-18 (3)

Jackie used the Enchanting Elephants and Irresistible India collage cutouts and some of the embellished trim, a small Kuchi patch, as well as my Art Deco medallion and Collage Textures and Patterns, Circles stencils.

Make sure you head over to Jackie's blog for all of the details and lots more photos!


From the Artist Tribe - Patchwork Sari Scrap Belts

The Artist Tribe has been taking it a bit easy this summer, but today Linda Edkins Wyatt is joining us to share how she made these fantastic patchwork sari scrap belts!

3 belt views

She's used embellished sari scraps and Turkmen jewelry parts to put these together, and the results are just spectacular! Make sure you stop by her blog for more photos and lots of details.


An Artist Book Cover with Stencils and Embossing Powder

Hi all, and welcome to my stop on this week's blog hop with StencilGirl and Emerald Creek! At this point I don't think that it's really any secret that I love me some embossing powder. It's such a versatile medium, and you can use it in so many different ways! Of course, embossing powder also pairs perfectly with stencils, so I was thrilled to hear that StencilGirl and Emerald Creek were teaming up to do a second blog hop (we also did one in December of last year. If you missed it, make sure to check that out too for even more inspiration!)

This time around, I decided to decorate the cover of a handmade artist book that I've been working on. I wanted something that was extremely textured and grungy, and yet still fit with the overall theme of the book, which is courage.

Artist-Book-Cover---Stencils-and-Embossing---Gwen-Lafleur

Of course, I also put together a short tutorial so that you can see how to recreate these effects in your own projects. Ready?

To start, I coated the cover with black gesso, let it dry, then used a gold texture paste with my Chinese Garden Plum Blossoms stencil to get the flowers onto the background. You could do this with pigment or embossing ink and embossing powder, but I knew that I was going to do quite a bit of layering and melting in the vicinity of this design and I didn't want to lose the crisp lines, so I used the texture paste instead.

Textured-Embossed-Artist-Book-Cover---Step-1-2---Gwen-Lafleur

Once the texture paste was dry, I took out some scraps of tissue paper, matte medium, and a brush, and started laying the foundation of the texture in the background. It doesn't really matter what the pattern is on your paper, (or if there is one!) as it will all be covered up in the end. (Old sewing patterns also work great for this.) 

I coated the background in matte medium, scrunched up some tissue paper and then coated the back of that as well, and then laid it on the wet background, manipulating it with my fingers as I went so that I created lots of peaks and valleys with the paper. I kept doing this until most of the cover was coated, leaving the flowers peeking through.

I worked fairly quickly at this point - this was partly to keep myself from overthinking the positioning of the tissue paper, and partly because I needed the matte medium to be wet for the next step, which was the application of a lot of Baked Texture embossing powder.  I started with Rocky Road, sprinkling it around the edges and right along the areas next to the flowers - I wanted something very textured and crusty looking, and this was the perfect way to get that look. I tapped off the excess powder and returned it to the jar, then I used Dirty Sand, making sure to leave some areas open, then repeated one more time with Chunky Rust. I put the extra powder back in the jar each time so that I could use it again later.

Textured-Embossed-Artist-Book-Cover---Step-3-4---Gwen-Lafleur

Once the entire background had its first coat of powder, I pulled out my heat gun and went to work. I kept it pretty close to the surface so that the medium and powder would bubble as it melted. The effect you achieve with this is fabulous! (Just a note that you may have heard from me before, but because you're heating acrylic mediums here, you get fumes. I always cover my nose and mouth for this process - I even have a respirator in my studio for really extended embossing sessions!) 

After the first layer was melted, I took out Ancient Amber, Deep Sea, and Patina Oxide and alternately re-melted the surface with the heat gun, sprinkled powder on the hot surface, and then heated to fuse it into the surface. The result is a gorgeous, mottled look that you really can't get any other way!

Once I'd gotten the texture I wanted in the background, I pulled out a blend of gold leafing flakes and applied some on the background, then used some gold wax from PaperArtsy and applied with my finger on the tops of the texture - it adds depth and shine, all at the same time.

Textured-Embossed-Artist-Book-Cover---Step-5-6---Gwen-Lafleur

Next I used Seth Apter's Never Again stencil along with clear embossing ink and Charred Gold embossing powder to add a few words into the openings of my flowers.

To this point, I'd done a pretty good job of adding the grunge factor, but I needed some boho - bright colors to the rescue! I used my Posca paint markers to color in the flowers. I like to add in a few shades of the same color or two similar colors and blend them with my finger while they're still wet.

Textured-Embossed-Artist-Book-Cover---Step-7-8---Gwen-Lafleur

I also pulled out my Marabu Art Crayons and added bits of color into the background, using my finger and a water brush to spread it out a bit.

Finally, I took some Emerald Creek Fleur brads, poked holes in the cover with an awl, and then inserted them to give a subtle, decorative touch to the cover. I used my finger to wipe a bit more of the gold PaperArtsy wax over the surface - the raised design on the brad really picked it up beautifully!

Textured-Embossed-Artist-Book-Cover---Step-9---Gwen-Lafleur

Voilà ! The finished cover!

Artist-Book-Cover---Stencils-and-Embossing---Book-Standing---Gwen-Lafleur

Here are a few close-ups so that you can get a good sense of the amazing texture you can get by using embossing powder in your mixed media work:

Artist-Book-Cover---Stencils-and-Embossing-Closeup-2---Gwen-Lafleur
Artist-Book-Cover---Stencils-and-Embossing-Closeup-2---Gwen-Lafleur

I hope you enjoyed today's project... I know I did! Of course, now for the part you've all been waiting for!

GIVEAWAY
One lucky winner will receive $50 in Gift Certificates to Emerald Creek and StencilGirl® Products!

SG and EC blog hop GIVEAWAY image
Enter to win by leaving a comment below, then be sure to visit the other blogs in the hop and comment; the more blogs you comment on, the more chances you have to WIN!
One winner will be chosen at random from all blog comments. (One comment per person per blog please.)

You have until Tuesday, August 21st at 11:59PM Central Time to leave your comments.
The winner will be announced on the StencilGirl® Products Facebook page and Emerald Creek’s Facebook page on Wednesday, August 22.

Make sure you check out all of today's posts for lots of fabulous inspiration!


From the Artist Tribe - Romantic Collage with Stencils

Hi all - Linda Edkins Wyatt is joining us today, showing a few beautiful examples featuring one of her favorite ways to unwind... collage.

IMG_2199 change crop
IMG_2199 change crop

Linda has layered a variety of papers and ephemera and then added journaling and stenciling on top. She used my "Not Afraid to Try," Art Deco Alphabet, Ornamental Compass Screen, and Art Deco Flower Medallion stencils.

Make sure you stop by her blog for more photos, and to hear more about her process for how she chooses the different papers and brings these lovely collages together!


My First Online Class - Boho Grunge!

I've had requests to do online classes for quite a while now, and I'm thrilled to share that it's finally become reality! Today I'm releasing my first online class, "Boho Grunge," with StencilGirl on their StencilGirl Studio website.

This course will walk through the creation of a mixed media panel, done in my signature Boho Grunge style, from start to finish . I didn't have the project pre-planned other than to bring some likely options to the shoot, so you get to see the organic process as it really happens in my studio!

Here's the project that I make in this class - it's called "Crossroads."

Boho Grunge Full Promo - Gwen Lafleur

In the workshop, I'll share the background technique that I used for this piece, as well as some stenciling tips, how I created the layers, and how I selected and assembled the elements of the focal point. I'll even show how I made different metals look the same and applied a faux rust effect! You can use these techniques to create a similar piece on your own, or apply them individually to your projects.

I'm very happy with how the class came out, and it was a lot of fun to film it... I hope you'll enjoy taking the workshop just as much! You can check out the introduction video and intros to each of the course chapters for free, or register now! I hope you'll join me!