Wednesday, 23 January 2013

The Boxing Match by Alan Scott

I wanted to do something different for this canvas. I have been given the opportunity to own a lot of highly illustrated Books. The illustrations that are inside these books are just a wonderful decades worth of imagery that I can bring into this wonderful media that is Altered Art. Apart from the main images, the layers that are beneath them are just as important in the overall finished canvas. A lot of people just see the flower.. the stamped and cut out main image but miss the wonderful textures and layers of colour and markings that have been done to make up the final piece. So if anything comes out of this project, I hope that you start to see the building blocks that an artist has done to make their art piece.
This canvas contains lots of stencils, stamping, colouring, by the use of sprays, markers and ink pads. Below is a complete list of materials used. I know that you don't have the main imagery. You can substitute these with anything you have in your crafting arsenal.
The male figure head that's at the base is a stamped image! It doesn't look out of place amoung the printed images, so don't think 'Oh I can't do this as I don't have those figures'. The last thing I want from you is to make a exact copy of this. What I would like you to do is take hints, tips and ideas from what you have seen and then bring them into your own art pieces. You can take stamped imagery and use them. The Lost Coast Design Stamp - Boxer would be a good stamp to use on a project like this. If you are not into stamping but like to build up your art materials, you can use cut outs. That's Crafty is not just a place for stampers and scrapbookers, it's a place where anyone who has a crafting idea and would like to build up a collection of materials, can do so.


Now then, if you're looking at the list above and saying .... 'OH I CANT DO THIS LOOK - AT ALL THE MATERIALS NEEDED!' then I feel I have to say something at this point. Like all the Design Team members of That's Crafty and a lot of crafters out there, we have built up our crafting arsenal over many, many years. I started collecting my crafting bits way back in the mid 1970's, when I started on my career path as a Photographer/Graphic Designer. One tip I was given was to always buy the very best quality that you can afford, as it will last. So much so that 100% of my water brushes are now over 30 years old. Look after them and they will give you years of service and crafting memories. You do need to buy materials - that's a given. I store my rubber/acrylic stamps in plastic containers and they are stored away from sunlight. I always clean them after I have use them, wash my brushes, clean my mats etc.

Now then, this time I didnt cover the canvas in Gesso. I took some old print outs of old papers. You can search the net, there are lots of FREEBIES for this kind of thing, however please respect the designers copyright if there is one. 
After I laid down a layer of paper using the Matt Medium, when dry I took the Gesso and started to block out areas. I didn't want the background to take over but for it to reveal areas when viewed upon. If you have placed to much on, then use a baby wipe to remove or give a quick spritz of water and then use the paper towels or your brush to move the Gesso about the canvas. When you're happy, a blast of hot air from your heat gun will aid in the process. Gesso will also help when it comes to laying down colour. It will keep that depth of hue and will not be over taken by what is below.
Build up layers of interest. The templates can make wonderful lines or use them as a mask with the spray inks. When you have laid down a layer of colour, always get into the habit of then placing a layer of Matt Medium onto this new surface. This will fix it and it will not be affected by the next later. You can use a heat gun, however I like it to air dry. Heat and glue can cause bubbles! While it's drying, move onto another part of your altered art piece. Stamp out your imagery and then spend time using colour to build up a story. I printed out my main images and using the grey ProMarkers.
The idea when making an art piece like this, is to split it up into sections. That way, while one part is drying, you can move onto something else, this way you're not hanging around with nothing to do when you want to be crafting.
When it came to build up the picture, I had to look at it and experiment with placement. This also included the stamped images, that looked as if they were sewn or stitched on. The one at the base gives the two boxers a grounding. The images on the left of the picture, gives the men sitting something to ground them - if I had just put them there, it would have looked as if they were floating. That's why I always try things out before I secure them into place. When I was happy with the placement, they were secured using the Matt Medium and given a layer of the same.
I have to hold my hand up now and say that the male's head at the base, covers up a dreadful error - I tried to give the base some hand drawn decoration. Looking back, I should have selected a mask/template that I have and used that.
The main images were lifted from the canvas, so that they would have a shadow and I also gave them a slight curve, so that this would be seen from any angle.
Taking the font stamps, I stamped out a title, placed a black box around them and then cut then out. Using the distressing tool and the different foam pads I had used with the distress ink, I 'skuffed them up' then secured them into place.
The last thing I did was take some black Gesso and go round the edges of the canvas - it had become tattered and not looking nice.
Any questions, please send me a message and I will get back to you as soon as possible.


  1. An amazing background to the boxers.

  2. A real work of art here Alan with an amazing amount of detail.
    Fliss x


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