Wednesday, 2 January 2013

Tulip and the Butterfly Canvas by Alan Scott

This is the first canvas that I have done since I was introduced to the wonderful artistic world of Altered Art. After spending many hours on YouTube watching and learning from all the wonderful artists who give their knowledge freely so that others like me can learn and enjoy.
Like I mentioned, this is a new journey for me and I consider myself to be a 'NEWBIE'. So fingers crossed you will join in with me and we can grow together in this art form that is Altered Art. Hopefully along the way I will give you some tips and I must remember to make a note of any videos I feel are special, so that I can direct you to watch and take on board what the videos are sharing with us. One thing I have learnt is that you don't need a lot of expensive things to get going ....

The main stamps that I have used on this canvas are from that wonderful collection of stamps by Dylusions and they are called Further Round The Edge and Doodle Parts.


A 12 inch canvas bought in a set of 4 for £2.50 from the local Pound Shop. Why buy expensive when your first starting out?
Gesso (to prime the canvas and this also makes your mediums go a lot further when using colour on the canvas)
Acrylic Paints - you can buy expensive however I would suggest start to build up your collection. Buy the prime colours and bulk up with those cheaper paint sets (there is a buy 5 and get 5% off deal at the moment at That's Crafty)
Collection of paint brushes. All you need to start is a wide/medium and thin then as you get more involved build on that collection
Ranger Archival Ink Pad - Jet Black. As we will be using water based colouring, we need a ink that is water proof. I have not had any issues with this ink and it's always given me a great impression
Good white pen. I bought a fine nibbed Uni POSCA, however I also use a White Sakura and a Picket Fence Tim Holtz Distress Marker.
Aleene's Collage Instant Decoupage - Matt and Glossy Mediums
Craft Mat, larger the better - Stamps Away Ink Blending A3 Mat is perfect!
Small tub of Builders Artex (bought from the DIY place along with a role of mesh tape used when placing Paster Board onto walls)
Over the coming months you can build up your Ink SpraysShimmer Mists and Distress Stains (which I am starting to build up a collection of). Remember you don't have to jump in and buy the lot and then find out Altered Art is not for you. So buy small just the colours that you want for that next project. Then you can start to build up your collection of crafting materials or should I now start to say artistic materials! What ever you buy will only enhance what you already own. I started my collection of basic materials over 25 years ago and my brushes have been with me up and down the country. Once you buy quality and look after them, they last a life time.
Collection of old books. You want to dig out those ones that have turned yellow and aged, tissue paper for stamping onto (also a water brush so that you can rip around the stamped image, it makes like so much easier, trust me!), Good sharp scissors, heat gun
Baby wipes (the cheapest ones oh and lots of tea/coffee etc.........)


The first thing I did was to lay down a layer of white Gesso onto my canvas and then leave to air dry. Best to do all the canvases in one go, that way you can have a few put aside ready for when you get that artistic buzz. 


If you go to that warehouse that sells DIY things and has an orange logo, you can find a whole Grotto filled with wonderful things to use in your art. One of the best things I can suggest is to take a canvas with you and go to the wood cutting area and ask them from the off cuts, can they cut out a block that the canvas can slip over. This helps when it comes to stamping as the canvas will sag in the middle and not give a sharp crisp impression. There may be times when you are not after a full impression but just a snippet of the stamp design. Better to cover all angles.
The following day I selected 4 colours and at each corner laid down some colour. The colours used would give me a sky and a ground when dry. Then with a very wet brush, I started to move the colours around the canvas, blending colours into each other to give a 5th, 6th and 7th colour, adding water to help move the acrylics over the canvas. When I was happy, taking a baby wipe, I just then dabbed all over the canvas to lift off some of the colours and left a more muted pallet. A quick blast with the heat gun helped dry the canvas from its watering.
When the canvas was dry, I took some of the mesh tape and laid out 3 layers. Firstly, I placed some of the Artex down onto the canvas and then using a spatula, rubbed the tape into this wet layer to give an impression, so that when the tape was going to be secured into place, it would give a different texture. This is all about playing with different layers and textures. I wanted to do this so that it gave the canvas more dimension and gave a barrier that I wanted. The tape is not very sticky, so some of the Aleene's glue was used to help secure into place.
The canvas was then stamped on using the Dylusions stamps. When they had been given a blast of the heat gun, further colour was laid down. To highlight the leaves even more, I took a white marker and then placed lines over the leaves just once again to give some definition. What we are doing is making layers, this gives the person looking into our work something different to see each time the canvas is viewed.
I decided to use a Tulip and a Butterfly foam backed embellishments that were meant for wardrobe doors etc. A layer of Gesso was used once again gave me a key. The Tulip had to have some definition build onto it, so this is where the ready mixed Builders Artex paste comes into play. When it was dry (allow to air dry as this will avoid cracks), I took some acrylic colours and built up a layer of colour, dark up to light. These were both then secured into place using a good glue and left to dry.
There you have it, my very first canvas. I will try to make a video giving you a closer look at what I have done along with a few tips as to how I did this and that. I hope it will encourage you to give this art form a try - it's well worth it TRUST ME!!
Any questions please send me a message and I will do my best to help out.


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