Friday, 25 September 2015

SeaShell Mixed Media Canvas

Hi there Antony here... well at long last the summer holidays are finally coming to a close. I for one love to keep mementos from them. In previous years before my two sons came along my wife and myself travelled to America and collected over the years quite a collection of bits and bobs. So a few years ago I made a wooden unit with shelves, glazed it and ever since it has hung on a wall at the top of our stairs, a beautiful reminder of all the special times we had shared together. So this year rather than make a wooden unit I thought it would be nice to turn it into a mixed media project. Whilst on this years family holiday my 2 son Lucas and Hayden searched the beaches for shells, pebbles and washed up pieces of slate... oh and even more shells!

The products and materials I have used for this project are:- Pinflair Glue Gel, Pinflair Bookbinding Glue, Pinflair Black Decorative Paste, Pinflair die cut card shapes, Pinflair Liquid Buff-it and Craft polishes in various colours, A4 computer printer paper and some rustic string... As well as the shells, pebbles and slate!

Step 1 I firstly created the base or canvas for the project. I used 3 pieces of heavy duty cardboard measuring about 22cm square with rounded corners and stuck them all together using Pinflair Bookbinding Glue. Then using some standard A4 computer printer paper, I screwed it up and then stuck it on top of the card board using the Bookbinding Glue again. The screwed up paper created a beautiful unique base texture. I then let the glue dry for about 45 minutes.

Step 2 To enable all the paints to work well and stick on the shells, slates, pebbles and pieces of slate I washed them all in soapy water.

Step 3 Going back to the canvas and screwed up paper, I used a piece of sandpaper and sanded off all overhanging paper. This method of removing the overhanging paper gives a really nice clean finish and is also a lot quicker and more acurrate than using scissors or indeed a craft knife.
I then stuck together 3 heavy duty cardboard heart shapes. Next came the fun and some what difficult process of arranging the slate pieces on top of the cardboard hearts, so they looked as natural as possible, but at the same time so you could still see they formed a heart. When I was totally happy with the arrangement I glued everything in place with the legendary Pinflair Glue Gel!
Once the Glue Gel had set I used a sponge to apply Silver Buff-it craft polish to highlight the textures on the slate.

Step 4 Back to the canvas again. This time I painted the whole thing black using Pinflair Black Decorative Paste, but you could also use acrylic paint or black gesso. I used a sponge to apply the black paste, far quicker than using a paintbrush. Next was the turn for all the shells and pebbles... but not the slate pieces! The paints take quite a bit longer to dry on the shell and pebble, but you can speed up the process by using a craft heat tool.

Step 5 To add some colour to the canvas I used Pinflairs Liquid Buff-it colours using the Dry Brush Technique (see an old post for decorating a canvas bagfor more details regarding this technique) I used 3 different colours, Ice Blue, Peacock Blue and Caribbean Blue. Once the Liquid Buff-it had dried (which only takes a few minutes) I then used a sponge and lightly went over the textured surface with Pinflair Buff-it craft polish. This helped highlight the raised area of the screwed up paper texture. I used Silver, French Lavender and Blue from the Buff-it craft polish range.

Step 6 I then painted 4 large slate pieces with Caribbean Blue Liquid Buff-it and stuck them down to the canvas using Pinflair Glue Gel. I then left the Glue Gel to fully dry and then used a sponge and applied a small amount of French Lavender Buff-it craft polish to highlight the slates texture. Finally I punched 2 holes through the canvas so that I could thread some rustic string through it later for hanging purposes.

Step 7 Then I started to arrange all the blackened shells, pebbles and the slates I had arranged into the heart shape. I laid it all out dry until I was happy with the placement of everything before sticking everything into position with Glue Gel.

Step 8 I then left the Glue Gel to dry overnight and then the following day I started to paint all the shells and pebbles with various colour of Pinfalirs Liquid Buff-it. I painted dry on dry paint and also used the dry brush painting technique and even lightly sponged on the paint to create a beautiful mix of colours across the shells and pebbles.
When the paint had finally dried I used Silver, Copper and French Lavender Buff-it craft polishes to highlight the textures on the shells and the pebbles.
To finish off I sealed all the paint work with Buff-it Sealer. If I had only used Liquid Buff-it I wouldn't have needed to seal it. But because I used the craft polish I thought it was best to seal it, as I will most likely hang the plaque in our bathroom were moisture could ruin the finish.

I then used some rustic string and threaded it through the holes that I had punched through the canvas earlier. I knotted the ends so that you could see them from the front of the canvas for a truly rustic finish.

This type of mixed media canvas can be created from any bits and pieces you find whether it be from a holiday or everyday items from round the house, shed garage or even your garden. Give it a go... you will be addicted before you know it!

Until next time, Happy Crafting!

Samantha and Antony