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by Julie Brooks

Polite notice. All designs are copyright protected. I hope you will be inspired by my designs but please do not copy them. Thank you.

Saturday, 13 February 2016

Floral Heart Mixed Media Canvas

Hello everyone, I hope you are all well and managing to keep warm. It's a bit chilly here at the moment but we've had some lovely sunny days.

So, in my last post I provided a sneaky peek of a project I was working on, and now it's finished, so I'd like to share it with you all.

Ingredients used were:

12-inch box canvas
Winsor & Newton Galeria Acrylic Mediums Black Gesso Primer
Imagination Crafts Starlights Metallic Paints in Menthol, Dried Rose, Red and Blue
Mica powders - Moonlight collection
Ranger Texture Paste
Tim Holtz Collection Layering Stencil - Blossom
Stampendous Fran-tage Crushed Glass Glitter - steel blue and champagne
Creative Expressions Metallic Gilding Wax - Ultramarine
Treasure Gold and Treasure Pewter Wax Gilt
Assorted beads and flowers
Laser cut wooden shapes
Random felt and rubber pieces
Cork Washers
Large silver coloured metallic Butterfly charm

Many of these items were purchased a number of years ago and I had not got round to creating a project where I could use them. The most recent purchase was the Tim Holtz Stencil. The Starlight paints and mica powders were new additions to my stash last summer. So it was quite nice to be able to create this project and use up some of my burgeoning stash of random bits and pieces in the process!

So, this was a white canvas and the first thing I did was arrange my flowers in the shape of a heart. Then I began filling in with various beads. I wanted some height on one side of the heart and this is where my random pieces of rubber and felt came in, along with the cork washers, which originally I wasn't going to fix anything on top of, but it looked a bit odd so I did end up covering them with beads! I have no idea where the rubber and felt pieces came from or what their original intended use was, although I think the round felt pieces were intended to go on furniture or ornaments to prevent scratches on wooden surfaces - perhaps! Anyway, they were ideal for building up height.

I reached a point where there was an empty space in the top half of the heart. Originally I'd thought I might put a photo in there, but I couldn't think of the right kind of photo to use, so I changed my mind on that and decided to fill it in with more shapes and textures instead, but keeping it at a lower level just because it felt right to do that rather than have it all the same level.

Once I'd arranged and stuck everything in place I realised I now had to paint it all with the black gesso and guess what? I very quickly wished I'd painted the surface of the canvas prior to sticking anything onto it! It was so difficult getting in all the little spaces between things to ensure everything was painted black - a valuable lesson learnt! I blame the fact that the idea was bursting out of my head and so I had to start laying it out and sticking it all down asap before I lost it LOL. Does this happen to any of you?

Anyway, once all of that was painted with the gesso I then had a lovely matte black surface. It was quite pretty as it was, but I think I would soon have got bored looking at it!

I spent a few days thinking about applying colour and feeling very nervous about it! But in the end I just went for it, telling myself if it all went horribly wrong I could always paint over it all with the black gesso again! I used the Starlights Metallic paints all over it. The great thing about these paints, that really excited me, was that if you apply one colour, and then before that's fully dry go in with another colour, you can blend the "edges" where the two colours meet - they blend beautifully - and you end up with subtle changes in shading and a really smooth transition between the colours. I am totally in love with them! Plus, they are so super creamy and fluid that a tiny amount goes a really long way! The metallic particles in the paint add real glitz and shimmer and this is something I haven't done much of before - glitzy, blingy, shimmery - so this was quite a departure for me from my usual style, but I am totally in love with it!

Anyway, once I'd painted the heart and was happy with it all, I decided to add some texture around the border of the canvas because it looked a bit too flat and plain! So I used the Ranger Texture Paste on the Tim Holtz Blossom Stencil on all four corners and a little bit on the straight sections. Once the Texture Paste was dry I painted this with the black gesso. I quite liked it at that so left it at that point and went back to my heart. I decided to sprinkle some of the mica powders here and there and spritz with water, so that added yet another layer of colour here and there. I added more beads called "Rainbow", the colours of which tied in perfectly with my finished colour scheme, so no need to paint them! I also added glass glitter here and there, and gilding wax in gold and pewter to add another layer of colour. Finally I added in the lovely butterfly and glued some more of the "Rainbow" beads to her wings.

So, the heart was finished. I decided the rest of the canvas needed colour, there was too much matte black! So I then started playing with the mica powders again, sprinkling and spritzing with water until I was happy with how it looked. And guess what? I'd been using a pale pink mica powder which had a gold pearlescent shimmer to it when you look at it in the pot, and do you know what? On the black surface, it actually came out gold rather than pink - magic! Another thing to get excited about! Can you tell I haven't used mica powders before LOL! Finally I highlighted all the textured areas with gilding waxes to lift them away from the background a little. At last I was completely happy with the whole piece!

And here is the finished piece again for you to feast your eyes on!

Well, I hope you like my floral heart canvas. I've just got to find somewhere to hand it now!

Bye for now,
Julie x