Friday, February 5, 2016

Guest Designer Anna-Karin Evaldsson: Mixed-Media Canvas

Perspective is everything

Hello everyone! This is Anna-Karin and I am so happy to be a guest designer at StencilGirl. I love stencils since they are so versatile and you can do so many different techniques with a stencil. And there are so many gorgeous StencilGirl stencils!

I did a mixed media project on a canvas covered Masonite board (13.6 x 10.6 in), using a whole bunch of different stencils. The inspiration for the piece came from Carolyn Dube’s beautiful ArchedAqueduct stencil, which reminded me of Italy, and not only of aqueducts, but also of buildings and old porticos. Because of the theme, I used rich warm colours on the board, a different colour combo than what I often reach for. I was tempted to add some turquoise, but in the end decided not to.  I took step-by-step photos and you can use the techniques for any type of project.

After coating the board with gesso, I tore out text and images from an old dictionary. There is a map of Rome and of Italy, a photo of the famous Pont du Gard aqueduct in France, which I saw as a teenager, and an image of an old statue. Glue to the board with gel medium.

Coat with a thin layer of gesso, depending on how much of the text and images you want to cover up.

I used Deco Art Media paints, but you can also use other acrylic paints. Paint with Yellow Oxide and Raw Sienna. Mix a little bit of Glazing Medium into the paint, to give you more working time before it dries. Use the back of a paint brush to add writing and scribbles. I wrote things like ‘aqua’, ‘aqueduct’ and ‘Italy’.

I love Mary Beth Shaw’s MB’s Grid Stencils set, which contains three stencils with differently sized squares. Squares are so versatile. First use the largest one and sponge Raw Sienna and Burnt Sienna through it.

Next, I used the mid-sized squares together with Yellow Oxide, for very subtle squares.

Stamp the background here and there with Ranger Jet Black Archival Ink, or another waterproof ink.

Apply shades of brown through the Arched Aqueduct stencil, varying the placement of the stencil until you are happy with the result. I thought my board by now looked like a multi-layered old building.

Stamp here and there with a crackle stamp and Potting Soil ink.

I thought my board needed some more bright yellow and made a glaze with Hansa Yellow Medium. It made a big difference and added more life and drama.

For a focal point, I used one of the birds on the Three Crows stencil by Kimberly Baxter Packwood. Smear Crackle Paste through it with a palette knife and let dry.

Use the smallest stencil and add three squares on three different places, with Texture Sand Paste.

I love to use words and text on my projects and there are four layers of words on this board - the paper, the scribbling, the stamping and finally sentiments done with Carolyn Dube’s fabulous Wall of Words stencil and Black Texture Paste. This stencil contains so many great sentiments and would be awesome as a background too. I will be using it a lot.

When dry, the small squares were painted a rusty red and given a shadow to make them look more dimensional.

Add a subtle gold element with Seth Apter’s Urban Insiders Circle stencil, in three places.

When the bird was dry, I painted it and gave it a nest of dyed cheesecloth. Two additional small pieces of cheesecloth were placed on the board. For extra texture, splatter a little black paint here and there.

Most of the paints that I used are transparent, which means you can see the background through the layers of paint. I love that you can see the old dictionary image of the Pont du Gard here.

I like the way the black sentiment stand out on the background. Add some black and dark brown around the edges of the board too.

The rough red squares form a visual triangle which leads the eye around the project.

Wherever you look, you can find little details, such as the word ‘Rome’ hiding beneath the paint here.

The combination of squares and arches makes for an interesting design.

I had such fun making this project and it is now hanging on the wall of my studio. Thank you so much for looking at this tutorial.

Happy crafting!


: Stamper’s Anonymous – Classics #3, #7, #15

Ink: Ranger Archival Ink – Jet Black, Potting Soil

Paint: DecoArt Media Fluid Acrylics – Yellow Oxide, Raw Sienna, Burnt Sienna, Hansa Yellow Medium, Gold Metallic, Raw Umber, Burnt Umber, Carbon Black, Payne’s Grey, English Red Oxide, Transparent Red Iron Oxide, Quinacridone Red

Medium: DecoArt Media – White Gesso, Matte Medium, Crackle Paste, Black Modeling Paste, Texture Sand Paste; Ranger Dina Wakley – Glazing Medium


  1. Wow..Its Awesome ..Filled with warmth and interesting stencil work !

  2. What a beautiful project. I love it!

  3. beautiful projects - thanks for the how to

    Barb Housner

  4. is my e mail

    Barb Housner

  5. Such a glow and depth. Beautiful!

  6. Beautiful project. I love the colours you have used, can feel the warmth of Italy.

  7. Fabulous. I love the depth you got using all those layers.

  8. Totally awesome! Layers of stenciled images, transparent paints, "hidden" details and a nesting bird capture the warmth of earlier times. Anna-Karin I appreciate your sharing so many details of how you make it all happen! Many thanks!

  9. Love it! The color combo is terrific; I'm glad you stayed with this palette. It reminds me of a trip to the south of France when I was a teen, seeing either this bridge or something similar. The warm colors evoke those warm, summer memories for me. I love all the layers and how adept you are at pulling together all the different elements into a varied but cohesive layout. The simple shapes work really well. Thanks for all the tips.

  10. Depuis votre passage sur un de nos magazine, je suis votre blog et je suis venue jusqu'à celui là pour le votre tuto... C'est magnifique et vos explications donnent envie de faire pareil. Merci beaucoup. Bises

  11. Love it, every inch is delightful!


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