Thursday, June 3, 2010

Beautiful Backgrounds

I think I mentioned a while ago that I received The Artistic Mother as a Mother's Day gift. (Or maybe I just mentioned that I had hinted it would be nice to receive it ;) Well, this week I have been sneaking a few moments here and there to work on preparations for the 12 projects outlined in the book. The first task after collecting materials was to select 4 pieces of card stock, 4 pieces of plain paper, and 4 pieces of junk mail, then coat them with gesso to prep them for painting. The next step was to create backgrounds using acrylic paints and the three techniques demonstrated in the book. I tried the techniques, then branched out to some other techniques that I've used in the past. Here are the basic backgrounds that I have created so far. If you click on the images, you'll see them better.

The first two were created by just dropping a few drops of purple and gold paint on the paper and smooshing them together. Then I stamped on them with solvent ink and coloured the edges with pastel, which I smudged with my finger.

You can't really see the metalic quality of the gold under the red, but I used a crackle medium to get the aged paint effect, and then stamped and pastel smudged the edges.

The gesso was a useless step on the one below because I ended up applying a layer of masking tape strips to the paper, which I then covered with a layer of gel medium to make it "archival quality" (not sure why I would need it to be -- but that's what the instructions I was following said to do!). When that was dry, I applied and then wiped off pink and blue paint to get a variegated texture. Then I stamped and pasteled the edges. I kinda like that look:)

The next one didn't work the way it was supposed to, but I'm still happy with how it turned out. I coated the paper with yellow paint, then gently stuck on some (wonky) flowers I drew and cut out of contact paper. Then I applied a coat of watery pink paint, which was supposed to seep under the contact paper and create darker images. However, I just got the basic shapes, which I then outlined with smudged pastel. And I stuck a few stamps in for good measure.

For the one below, I applied a coat of "Taffy" coloured paint, and while it was still wet I lay a sheet of imperfectly shaped white tissue paper, and smushed it around a bit to create some texture. Then I applied a layer of "Wedgewood Green" and removed some of it with a paper towel. It looked too dull, so I spritzed it with some gold mist -- though I don't think it shows well in the picture.

The last three backgrounds were created by putting three drops of different coloured paint on the paper and spreading them with an old, plastic gift card. I don't really like the muddied effect I got when I worked them too much. I stamped and pasteled one, but left the other two. I also sprayed them with a bit of gold mist because they were just too flat.

This last one actually had the same colours as the first two, but when I scanned them I played with the colour temperature and decided to change it to the cool blues.

What do you think so far? Do you have a favourite?

I still have a few more backgrounds to do -- can you suggest some fun techniques for me to try?


  1. Love your backgrounds! Have you ever tried embossing resist? Stamp with clear embossing ink, emboss with clear powder, paint over the stamped imagages, put a paper towel over the whole thing, iron off the embossing powder. . .

  2. Zora -- that DOES sound cool! I have yet to venture into the embossing world (except with the Cuttlebug), but that sounds like it would be a neat effect. I'll have to put those supplies on my wish list :) Thanks for the great suggestion!


Sincere responses . . .

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