Monday, April 18, 2016

Gwen's Gems: Mixed Media Canvas Tutorial

Hi everyone, it's Gwen here today with this month's installment of Gwen's Gems! For this one I decided to get back to a bit of a more classic type project with a mixed media canvas tutorial. I took several themes that I really love: collage, creating windows to see the layers beneath, and using molding paste as well as cardboard and combined them all on a single canvas.

Here's the finished piece - it measures 24"x24"


Ready for a tutorial?

I had a general idea for where I was going to go with this, so I started by cutting out different sized rings from sheets of cardboard.


Next, I coated all of the rings with molding paste. Do you have to do this? No. But I wanted to get rid of the cardboard texture and also coat the edges since I knew they'd be visible and I didn't want the open sides from plain cardboard. This was tedious, but I'd probably still do it if I had to do it over again.


While the molding paste was drying, I took several sheets of deli paper that already had some paint on them and stenciled on top of them with a bunch of my new stencils. For this first one, I used the Decorative Medallion stencil, the Decorative Curvy Ornament stencil, and the Decorative Filigree Ornament stencil. Then I colored them in with paint markers.


Next up, I stenciled all over the paper with gold pigment ink and my Ornamental Peacock Feathers stencil and then heat embossed it with gold embossing powder. Love how this came out! I'll have to do this again so I have a few more sheets of this.


I did more stenciling, including some on plain copy paper, to get a large variety of patterns that I could use to collage the canvas. The other stencils I used here are: Decorative Folk Flower Screen, Decorative 6-Petal Flower Screen, Ornamental Circle Cluster Screen, Ornamental Petals Mask, Ornamental Embroidery Stencil, Ornamental Compass Mask, Ornamental Compass Screen, and Ornamental Floral Screen. (So you know, basically all of my stencils. Ha!)


Next, I just started ripping them into pieces and collaging them onto the canvas with gel medium. I added some ransom style letter stickers, some patterned paper, stamps, and other bits of ephemera here and there to mix it up a bit.


Once the background was collaged, I placed the cardboard circles and adhered them into place with heavy gel medium.


Next, I started painting out the background with a mix of red, orange, and yellow acrylic paints. 


I left it light or completely open here and there so that there would be places where the background would be more visible.


Finally, I went through and painted the circles gold. I had originally thought that it would be easier to do it last instead of painting them before gluing them on, but if I did this again I would definitely paint them first - I think it would be easier to keep from getting paint on them while adding in the background color than the other way around, but it worked out in the end!

Here you can see the cool dimension you get from the circles - I added some shadowing under each with paint to emphasize it a bit.


A few close-ups so you can see how the background is still there as a layer even though I painted over most of it.




(Those runaway letters above have since been put back in their places more permanently!)

So there you go! I hope you enjoyed this month's project! If you're inspired to make one of your own, make sure to come back and link us up!

Until next time, happy stenciling!


31 comments:

  1. All the texture and wonderful color gradations on this piece are fabulous, Gwen. I especially love the way you work with deli papers.

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    1. Thank you Carol! I love deli paper for this kind of thing since it's so thin and easy to work with :)

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  2. Totally brilliant!!!!!!! Start to finish, the project is a winner! You're a gem yourself, Gwen, for sharing this inspiration!

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    1. Aw, thanks Cecilia! It was fun to do... happy to share!

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  3. Oh wow, I hope to try this! Very beautiful, Gwen!! {goes searching for her gold embossing powder...} :)

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    1. lol, thanks Anna! I've rediscovered my love of embossing powder lately... so many ways to use it in mixed media!

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  4. I love how your brain works...and works...and works... Then there are your hands that work...work...work... Thank you for your inspiration!

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    1. lol, thanks so much Karyl! I can't stand not having stuff to do, I guess it shows ;)

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  5. Love the 3D look - very nicely done!

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  6. Such a beautiful piece! Had to laugh when you said it was tedious putting the molding paste onto the circles...I had been thinking that when i read the circles had to be cut out. Wonder if My circut machin could do it instead. :)

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    1. lol, thanks Lisa! Yeah, cutting out the circles was tedious too, but not nearly as bad. I used my super old EK Success circle cutting template thingies to cut the starter lines and went over with an x-acto knife. So not as bad as it could have been, but not the most fun part of the project by a mile :D

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  7. Such a beautiful piece! Had to laugh when you said it was tedious putting the molding paste onto the circles...I had been thinking that when i read the circles had to be cut out. Wonder if My circut machin could do it instead. :)

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  8. Everyone has said what I've been thinking already, but just amazing work and your colors and stencils are just great.

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  9. What a good idea! Amazing work!

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    1. Thank you so much! Much appreciated :)

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    1. Thank you Stephanie! Really appreciate it :)

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  11. Fantastic. Will try using your techniques

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    1. Thanks Susan! I hope you'll post if you do so I can see!

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  12. So wonderful. So many things to look at, delve into, look again.. Love that you used 3 translucent colors for the background, and left some of the collage to peek through. Such vibrancy! Love the texture of the raised circles, too, and the fact that you shaded them. That is a subtle thing, maybe not noticeable unless you're really looking for it, but I'll bet it makes a remarkable difference in the end.

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  13. So wonderful. So many things to look at, delve into, look again.. Love that you used 3 translucent colors for the background, and left some of the collage to peek through. Such vibrancy! Love the texture of the raised circles, too, and the fact that you shaded them. That is a subtle thing, maybe not noticeable unless you're really looking for it, but I'll bet it makes a remarkable difference in the end.

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