Wednesday, 30 January 2013


I have just become a convert to the wonderful world of the 12 inch template by Crafters Workshop. Like a lot of you l have a few 6 inch ones but never thought about up-scaling. However when l came across the bargains that can be had @ THATS CRAFTY ON LINE l had to dip into the piggy bank and spend some of my Christmas prezzy funds. So much so that l now have almost 20 of them. I can see so many new and interesting projects where they can be used.
This is one of the projects that l have used a Template called Family Tree. This project also has imagery from one of my personal fav designers Dyan Reaveley under the umbrella of DYLUSIONS Stamps called  DOODLE PARTS - FURTHER AROUND THE EDGE - AROUND THE EDGE These and a lot more are available from THATS CRAFTY ON LINE STORE.
Cheap 12 inch Canvas
Archival Ink - JET BLACK Ink Pad [If you use pro-markers then use Adirondack - Pitch Black Ink Pad]
Music Print Paper [I used a Music printed Napkin if you want to know where then send me an message as l have found a wonderful store selling loads of great designs]
Bird on a Swing from a Home D├ęcor Embellishment kit [From a £1 plus store]
Tub of Plaster of Paris [DIY section at your local DIY Store]
Baby Wipes Cheap and non perfumed.
A4 Clear Plastic Container
As with all new canvases we have to 'Prime' it. This is done by laying down a coat of Gesso. This helps with any paints etc. that we are going to use. The Bird on the swing was also coated with Gesso. Why clean a brush 2-3-4-5 times when you can do it just the once. So look around and anything that needs to be done do it and leave to dry.
When the Gesso had dried we can start to build up our layers of papers, imagery,paints. Each layer should give the final project a different point of interest. Don't worry about laying down paint over paper. By using baby wipes we can remove paint and then have control the amount of hue or colour that's going to be seen.
Using the Tree Template l found it easy to use the stencil and a black waterproof Marker so that l could have lines to colour in. I can also build up a bigger image by using the leaves to expand the tree so that it was just the tree template. The canvas can be filled in. Once again after l havd coloured the tree and the leaves in the Sakura Pens came out to play !
When your happy with the background the next step is to build up the decorative elements. This can take a lot of time and can be quite repetitious  However once your in the zone you will be surprised how quickly you can finish this section.
Using your chosen ink start to stamp out 4 sets of all the images you want to use. Then when you have put the black ink away select your colouring medium and start to build up layers of colour on your leaves. When l say lay down colour you do want to build up different hues. After all you have spent a lot of time building up a background with your acrylic paints and inks to put down flay artwork on top of this it will not look nice. Think about shadows and highlights.
When you have finished the colouring in [I always do this at the same time so that the same colours are used for each section and l don't get mixed up] This next tip is why l suggested the A4 Plastic container. Place all your cut outs in here to keep safe and dry. Its so easy to put to one side and then something wet can get in touch with your hard work. There are several in my craft room that have been labeled with some tape and the project has been scribbled on so l know where everything is for that project.
The next part is to cut out these images. I like to use a new blade in my craft knife if gives me more control, l say this as l have been using a craft knife in one way shape or form now since my first job as a Graphic Designer way back in 1978. If some one was going to tell me that l would have access to digital electronic cutting machines, Computers with great art programs l would have had them driven out of town lol.
When l bought the bird it was part of a highly glittery set of embellishment that was meant to be used to decorate a wardrobe etc. As Pink Glitter would not go with this scheme l had to look at how l could change the colouring. [Oh l got the Tulip from another canvas from the same set!]
Taking the Bird and the spatula l started to build up some definition onto the bird. You don't have to go down to each feather just give the feel of feathers. Place to one side to dry out and get ready to paint.
Before we start on the bird we need to make the swing look like it should be there. You can make it green to fit in or like me l tried to go for that metal look.
Lets now take out bird and make it tropical. Using the selected paints start to lay down colour and blend the colours at the edges you can use a wet clean brush to feather the edges as well as Baby wipes to gently remove colour. Take your time don't stress out. If your not happy all you have to do is Gesso and start again. Craft and painting is not meant to be a stressful hobby. Its a place we go to relax and get away from the troubles of the day.
When your happy leave to dry. You can use your heat gun however l like to let my painted items air dry. I don't know if its just me but l feel it gives a richer colour.
The next part is take our glossy accents and give the bird a highly glossy look, once again after you have done this place to one side to dry.
Okay this is the moment we all have been aiming for... Lets build up our project. Before you glue everything into place, just lay the components down on the canvas to make sure your happy with the placement. Don't forget DON'T place the main image or the focus image dead centre always place it just off centre.
When your happy with the way your final composition looks start to lay down the images with your clear strong glue. Don't forget to embellish the swing as this will give some depth to your final project. The last thing you want is your project to look as if the bird has been placed there as an after thought so remember LAYERS, LAYERS and then MORE LAYERS.
If you want to ask any questions then please ask away, send me a message and l will get back to you as soon as possible.
asw crafting my signature

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