Christmas Gifts - Mixed Media Canvas Part 7: Final

Continuing on from the last post.... A canvas for my niece Miss C. This is the final part of the Mixed Media Canvas, hope you liked it!

Preparing To Wax: This stage is so much fun, I love playing with wax! There are quite a few types of waxes you can used and many ways to melt it but I just grabbed a packet of white (bleached) beeswax from my local art store. That's all I could find so I made do. You can purchase different types of beeswax and in different forms. I was on the hunt for a block of natural beeswax but I didn't want to wait for it to come via snail mail.

Melting The Wax: I have an old cake tin that I use for melting my wax with my heat gun. Quick and easy! You could also used an old slow cooker to melt your wax or a melting pot. I use a flat wide brush to apply the melted wax, it spreads the wax out better.

Applying The Wax: Once my wax was melted I applied short strokes over the entire canvas. As it was beginning to dry I could see where more wax was needed and I applied more. Don't worry about any brush marks in the wax as the heat gun will take care of that next.

Heat & Move: Once the wax had started to dry, I noticed a few places where the wax had pooled so I took my heat gun and remelted these parts. Using my brush I pushed the puddles around the canvas till I was happy with the thickness of the layer of wax. I had to do this a few times to get an even coat of wax over my canvas. I used the heat gun to slightly melt other sections of the canvas to get rid of the brush strokes that showed up in the wax. No need to completely melt the wax, just a few blows with the heat gun is enough to give the wax a lovely sheen.

Waxed Views: Sorry about the photos above, it was hard to get a good photo of the finished layer of wax. As you can see the wax has softened the edges and given the canvas a very slight dreamy effect. The layer of wax also seals, protects and holds onto any embellishments (like the key) that are attached to the canvas.

You can take this step further by scratching or cutting into the wax and rubbing ink or a diluted paint mixture into them to add yet another layer of goodness. I have tried this with Tim's Walnut Stain and a little of raw umber acrylic paint mixed with a little glossy gel medium. The results are gorgeous. I chose not to on this canvas as I was happy with the overall result and thought this would be more of what my niece would like. I can always introduce her to some dirty art later on.

Well, that brings me to the end of this tutorial, I do hope you enjoyed it and found some inspiration along the way. Maybe even discovered something! If you have any questions, please don't hesitate in leaving me a comment or even sending me an email. I would love to hear from you! You can find my email below my profile.
Lastly, here is the finished canvas:


Christmas Gifts - Mixed Media Canvas Part 6

Continuing on from the last post.... A canvas for my niece Miss C.

For this post I want to concentrate on adding highlights to the canvas and touching up any area's that I thought needed that little bit extra.


I just want to jump in here and talk about the differences in the two photos above.

Adding Highlights: There are quite a few products out there such as iridescent paints like Jo Sonja's Iridescent Colors that you can use for highlights on your canvas. I did find another one called FW Pearlescent but I haven't tried this one yet. I chose to use an Iridescent Gel by a French company called Pébéo. You can mix this gel with almost any acrylic color to give it a pearlized or iridescent effect or it can be used alone which is what I did. It goes onto the canvas as an off white color but when it's dry it becomes more iridescent. 
In the top photo you can see that the gel is quite gold and add's real depth in the cracks but compare it to the next photo from a different angle and the appearance changes. I chose to use some brush strokes (you can really notice this in the second photo) to apply the gel in some places as well as using my finger to blend out the edges in other sections of the canvas. 
Here is an excellent example of the difference between adding highlights and leaving them out.

Notice how much depth the top photo has compared to the bottom photo which has no highlights. Amazing isn't it!



More Highlights: I used my brush and my finger to add more highlights and depth to various parts of my canvas paying close attention to the raised up area's left by using texture paste and gesso. Most of the time I choose to use gesso instead of white paint as most of the time I like to add another layer. With gesso being a primer it's perfect for me to add layers over it and build them up if I want to.

Shimmer & Shine: In the last photo you can just see the area's that have highlight's as they shimmer and shine from different angles. You can see that I have added the iridescent gel to the bottom of the tree's canopy, around the bottom of the cloud, underneath the word bits and a little in the grooves of the gauze.




The Sides: I only added light touches to the sides of my canvas such as adding more dark blue slightly watered down and blended it in well with my fingers. A few raw umber accents on the tree trunk and along the edges of the green spotted paper.

Guess what.....we are about to go onto the last stage of how I completed this canvas and this part is loads of fun! See you back here tomorrow for the last part of my mixed media canvas for my sweet niece Miss C.


Christmas Gifts - Mixed Media Canvas Part 5

Continuing on from the last post.... A canvas for my niece Miss C.



Stain Around the Doll:  Now that the canvas is completely dry after adding the doll, I made up another mixture of a small amount of raw umber and loads of gel medium and added a stain around the doll making sure I didn't get any on the dolls face.

More Painting and Blending: Seeing that the canvas dried for a full 24 hours, I noticed some area's needed a little more definition so I added some more undiluted acrylic paint to the texture paste circles I created in a previous step (part 3). Remember to blend your colors so they flow seamlessly from one color to the next. I added some of the stain I used for around the doll, into the inside of the circles using my finger to blend it in to create even more shadow and depth. Notice in the above photo how the top of the circles look much higher than the rest of the circle.

Inspirational Words: I wanted to make sure that the words or phrase I used tied the whole canvas together and I definitely wanted something that a teenager would/could relate to hence the words 'FOLLOW YOUR DREAMS'. I adhered the printed words onto a thick layer of chipboard, inked the edges with my favorite color ink Pinecone then adhered them to another layer of chipboard and inked again. I added some distress ink Antique Linen over the top of the words to dull the white of the photo paper the words were printed on.

Add Embellishments: Time to break out some of my favorite scrapbooking supplies. I always find somewhere to add a little 7 Gypsies key. I HEART keys! A key says to me "You hold the key to unlock...." (insert so many different words and phrases that the key can represent to you). I also added some ribbon trim to the dress to make her look even prettier and a tiny little jeweled heart on her chest. I really had an urge to add a bookplate, another one of my favorite embellishments but as they say 'less is more' even though that only works some of the time in my! So I left the bookplate off, it really had no place on this canvas, maybe if I had used a single word I could have used a bookplate. I am happy with the result any way.

We are finally nearing the end now and I am starting to get excited to see the finished product. More photos and guides tomorrow.

CREATE OUT OF YOUR COMFORT ZONE... You won't regret it! xxoo

Christmas Gifts - Mixed Media Canvas Part 4

Continuing on from the last post.... A canvas for my niece Miss C.




Another Layer: Building up layers on your canvas can really give it dimension so on with another layer. This time I have used gauze to build up some layers using matte medium to adhere it and some texture paste over the top.

More Paint: I have added some paint to the texture paste and gauze with acrylic paints. No need to add any gel medium as we want thick full color now. I added small amounts of paint to the edge of the tree, the tree's knots, under her feet, a little under the tree top and some around the bottom of the cloud to emphasize the depth and shadow.

Blend The Colors: I made sure that I continued to blend the undiluted paints. It helped if I just dipped the tip of my brush into gel medium and mixed it roughly in between the colors I wanted to blend. If the paint is starting to get transparent, use a tiny amount of water to blend the colors.

Add The Doll: It's finally time to add my petite doll. Making sure my canvas was dry in the area I wanted to place her, I used lots of matte medium to adhere her to the page. I made sure all her sides were stuck down well by adding a good layer of matte medium over the doll as well making sure I didn't go over her face too many times. I left the canvas to dry for a complete 24 hours before I started on it again.

Quite a long process but it is so worth it in the end. This isn't my first petite doll/mixed media canvas and I have learned by my mistakes. On my very first canvas in one of Suzi's classes, I totally rushed the beginning stage of staining with the raw umber mixture and the result was horrible. Well the girl's and Mum liked it but I don't like it. The doll had such a pretty little face too. I just added another notch on my learning curve.

Back tomorrow with another part of the process!

Play Nice xxoo

Christmas Gifts - Mixed Media Canvas Part 3

Continuing on from the last post.... A canvas for my niece Miss C.




Continue to Stain: After a few layers of staining, let the canvas dry overnight to see if you need any more stain or shadowing. You can always add extra gel medium to lighten the stain. I also added some to the trunk of the tree with a slightly darker mixture to add definition.

Add Other Colors: Time to play with some more colors such as shades of blue and green. I made a mixture of aqua using Jo Sonja's Aqua with loads of gel medium and slowly added the color to the upper area's of the canvas. I used a shade of green called Olive and mixed the gel medium with it also and applied it to the lower half of the canvas. I applied a much darker shade of blue over the aqua at the top of the canvas adding a little water on my finger tip to help blend it in.

Don't Forget the Sides: With the sides of the canvas I added a little less gel medium to make the paint less translucent. Try using your fingers to blend the colors together for an even flow from one color to another.

Texture & Layers: Using gesso, I applied it generously over some bubble wrap and stamped it onto the canvas and a little on the sides as well. I used an old thick roll that my garbage bags were wrapped around and dipped it in texture paste a few times before stamping it onto the canvas. To add more layers to the canvas, I used some text stamps on the trunk and sides as well as adding my new favorite Unity Stamp to the top of the tree.

More photos and guides tomorrow, hope you are enjoying this little walk through!

Get Messy!! xoxo

Christmas Gifts - Mixed Media Canvas Part 2

Continuing on from the last post.... A canvas for my niece Miss C.


Patterned Paper: I added more patterned paper to my canvas as I wanted something intricate behind my dolls body as well as repeating the pattern elsewhere on the canvas to help tie it in.

The Edges: I chose this particular canvas for it's sides. I knew I wanted to make this canvas quite dimensional adding some elements that flowed over the edges.

Matte Medium Layer: Now that I have my paper, tree and doll placement figured out, it's time to stick everything down. There are a few different products you can use for this but I have chosen Golden's Matte Medium. Once the pieces are stuck down, I added a light layer of medium over the top of everything paying close attention to the edges making sure they are stuck down.

Layer of Stain: Mixing raw umber acrylic paint and loads gel medium, I went around the edges to add depth and shadow to the canvas.

More photos and guides tomorrow.......ENJOY! xxoo

Christmas Gifts - Mixed Media Canvas Part 1

I wanted to create some gifts for my family this year and this gift is for my niece Miss C. She is a teenager and I wanted to make something that she could put in her new room. My sister recently built her own home so she has a fresh, gorgeous new room to decorate. I wanted it to be inspirational for her, to have some meaning and maybe introduce her to her own creative spirit that may be locked inside her just screaming to be let out!

I haven't mentioned this before but I have been taking some art classes by Suzi Blu. I love her style, her gorgeous petite dolls, each little face is so different from each other. As Suzie says, it's near impossible to create the exact same face as you have before. I have been practicing my petite doll faces trying to find my own doll face style. I still have some ways to go as this journey takes time. It's not something you should rush. It's not something I want to rush! It has been quite some time since I have put pencil to paper and I have to say how much I have missed drawing. I still have my first Derwent Graphic Designer pencils I purchased when I was still in high school. Some are a little short now but still work like a charm. Gosh, next year they will be 20 years old!!!! Does that make them vintage

Here are some shots of the piece I am working on for Miss C titled 'Follow Your Dreams':


The Face & Body: As you can see the first stage was to draw the petite doll then shade and color her with delicious prismacolor pencils (I HEART these pencils). I then traced her dress shape with baking paper from the kitchen then turned the baking paper over, placed it onto my chosen patterned paper I wanted for her dress and went back over what I had traced. Now I have the outline of her dress on my patterned paper and I can begin to cut out her dress.

The Cloud: I made this cloud using a shipping tag. I adhered vintage book page pieces to the tag and added some watered down gesso over the top. I left some words showing through for interest. I watered down some acrylic paints and added strokes of color in different area's of the tag. Once the tag was dried, I drew a cloud shape on the back of the shipping tag and cut it out.

The Tree: I was actually inspired by a tree that CD Muckosky did on her page titled 'On a Lovely Limb' for the CK blog. I shaped the outside of the tree with layers of about 5 different shades of green (again, HEARTING the prisma's) then added loads of little crosses in the same shades of green to fill the tree. I only used about 3 different shades of brown on the trunk, just making quick long strokes all the way down the trunk. I added a little yellow ochre and chartreuse to the tunk to help lighten it as there was a little too much brown going on. I added a few knots as well just to make it seem more realistic.

Back tomorrow with some more pictures and guides.

ENJOY! xoxo

Hybrid Altered Book - Super Quick Tutorial

Last month I was asked by my good friend Catherine if I could create something using a collaborative kit she was taking part in called Delight. Here is a preview of the kit:

Of course I said yes, that I would be happy to create something for a great cause. I created these digital pages using this huge kit:

The last digital page inspired me to create an altered book using the layout as my guide.

It was quite simple to create and didn't take that long at all to put together. I took the measurements from the open book I altered and created another layout using those dimensions in Photoshop.

After preparing the book, I printed out the new layout and cut out the photo using a sharp craft knife. I placed the layout inside the open book and used the layout as a template to mark on the page where I had to cut out my window. Using my craft knife, I cut through all of the pages.
I marked lightly on the layout where the fold of the book would go and used a bone folder to fold the layout in half. I then adhered the right side of the layout down only. This allows the pages to move freely when the book is opened and closed.
Decorate the book cover now so if you need to use any brads or eyelets, they will be hidden with the ribbon in the next step.
Attach some ribbon to the inside front cover page and the inside back cover page, adhere the first page down to hide the ribbon, brads and/or eyelets and do the same for the back cover.

Here are some shots of the finished product:

The Cover

The Inside


If you have any questions, please be sure to leave a comment, I would be delighted (no pun to answer them ;c)

As mentioned in a previous post, I am going to make one of these for my sister for Christmas but I will be using only traditional products this time.

I have started working on a new project for my niece for's a little sneak peek:

Have a creative weekend and get messy!!! xxoo

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