Monday, March 4, 2013

Mixed Media Background Tutorial ! 4x4 Mini Canvas



 4" x 4" Canvas

Hello friends.  Today I want to share a 4 x 4" canvas with you and a tutorial on how you can create the background and these little tissue paper flowers.  

Don't have time to make one yourself??  I have some of these 4" x 4" canvas' with easel for sale if anyone is interested.  You have a couple of choices for phrases.  1.  Be You,  2. Enjoy LIfe,  3. Live Life with Purpose. 

I was going to open and etsy store, but things have been a little stressful since my mother moved in.  Maybe after we get her settled I can get back to that.  If you are interested in purchasing one, they are $20 plus shipping. You can email me at luv_2_stamp@yahoo.com.  



To create the background I used 4 different color acrylic paints and an old credit / gift card.  Basically you squirt a little paint across (horizontally) the canvas then use the card to pull the paint up and down vertically until you get the look you want.  Then turn the canvas and do it the other way if needed.  It just takes practice until you get the look you want.



I started by applying a full coat of the lighter - Tropic Bay Blue with a foam brush.  After that dried I used the technique described above with the darker - Bahama Blue.  Since I only wanted a small amount of the green, I didn't apply as much of that.  




Next I did white and didn't like that look - too much white.



So I added more blue.  Remember you want small amounts of the under coats to show through so that the canvas looks distressed.  So keep layering until you get a look you like.  If you are having a hard time getting that distressed look just by dragging the paint around .... then use a little sand paper (after it is completely dried) to rub off a little of the top layers and reveal some of the layers underneath.



Once you are happy with your background ... distress the edges of the canvas with white paint.



Adhere patterned paper or tissue paper (Pink Paislee - Daily Junque) across the bottom of the canvas as grass.



Distress the background more with a script stamp image.  You can do this by randomly inking a script stamp or use a Rollagraph.  I love the Rollagraph because I have control of rolling just a little of the image and lifting quickly.  If you need a stamp option - then Pink Persimmon sales a great small (ATC size) script image HERE.



Larger images are great for bigger projects, but because this is a 4 x 4" canvas, smaller script will work best because you want that barely there look.  Less is more in this case.  And always practice first on scrap paper.  If your ink is really bold, you may want to stamp a little off and then stamp on the canvas.  If you accidentally apply too much, heat set it and try applying more paint to cover up your script.



I have to tell you creating these little tissue paper flowers took a long time, but I do love them.  I purchased colored tissue paper, but you could always use white and paint them after you have created the flower.  

Depending on how large you want your flowers, and how tightly you twist the tissue paper, the size of the strips you cut may vary.  Any where from 1/2" - 1 1/4" will be good.  After you have cut a strip, twist it vertically so you have a long piece of twisted tissue paper.  Then you want to wrap the strips around in a spiral to create the flowers.  As I'm wrapping, I'm twisting the strip as well.  Not all of mine looked good enough to use and I got faster and better at it the more I made.  I use Aleene's Tachy Glue because it so inexpensive.  I'm sure there are easier ways to do it.  I've seen others use "Glubbers" by Cosmo Cricket and I think you can buy them at Joann's.  But they are probably for larger flowers.

After the glue was dry I sprayed them with spray ink.  I was trying to get some shadowing.  I used spray ink on the yellow and orange because the tissue paper was washed out and I wanted a brighter color.




Next I created teeny-tiny leaves and stems from pattern paper.  I doodled them on and then cut them out.  





Next I figured out placement for each of the flowers and stems.  BEFORE I glued the flowers on, I used a pencil to lightly dash around each flower so I would know where they went and then lifted them off.  Doodle with a black pen using the pencil guidelines.  Now is a good time to go ahead and doodle around the edges of the canvas and along the top of the grass if you want doodle lines.

This is a major tip you have to remember : You have to do any doodling you want to do before you put the oil pastels on.  Pens will not work over the oil pastels.  It could run your pen.

Next I rubbed on oil pastel colors using my finger over the dashed area's.  If you try to do this after you glue the flowers on ... you will have a hard time getting the color right up against the flower.  You want it to look like a halo or shadow coming from behind the flower.






Glue the flowers and just the top of the stem (under the flower) down.  So you leave the stem hanging freely. You want to be able to adhere part of the leaves from behind the stems.  Rub some green oil pastel over the tissue paper grass to add some shadowing.  



Decided where you want your leaves and adhere them.  Adhere stems.  If you want to add green shadow with oil pastel along the stem, it might be easier to add a little before adhering the leaves / stems.  I did rub a little of my green oil pastel on the leaves as well to add some shadow.  Use a black "sketch and wash" pencil to add more shadowing.  These are pencils that apply color and then you can brush a little water over them to smear them around a little.

  Hope you were inspired to give this technique a try!
Have a fabulous week,
Melisa



4 comments:

MaxineD said...

What a lovely cheerful project Melisa. I have not really started working on canvas yet - one day, I keep promising myself :-) - you do inspire me though.
Blessings
Maxine

Sientje said...

This is so beautiful! Thank you for this tutorial. I alway's have a hard time making backgrounds but this is easy.

Lisa S. said...

Love your mixed media masterpiece! The cheerful colors brightened my rainy day and I love how you created the flowers. Beautiful canvas!

Heather said...

This delightful and inspiring. Thank you for sharing.

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