Wednesday, 9 October 2013

Under Lock and Key by Alan Scott

Once again I have 'up-cycled' an old canvas bought from a car boot sale. Again I have used a electronic die cutting machine to make the embellishments. Materials used can be bought from That’s Crafty and if I have used a different brand of equipment, I have directed you to a very good alternative on the web site. 

This project relies mostly upon stencils and modelling paste to give the raised elements.



Electronic Die Cutting  Machine
Brown Paper
Clear Gesso
Tim Holtz Alterations - Hardware Findings
Indian Black Ink and Pen
Viva - Moulding Paste Dark Silver ~ Gold ~ Terra
Pastel Fixative
Baby Wipes
Small Length Bronze Chain





The top left hand photo shows the 'up-cycled' canvas - one that would be given a new lease of life! Now for the fun bit. Using up all that brown wrapping paper that's used to pack items into boxes - crafter's never throw anything away well do they? First thing we need to do as this is a coated canvas, is to make sure we wet the surface. It also helps to wet the paper so that it's a lot easier to manipulate when we are creating a surface.

Now for the PVA glue. Don't be shy or a meanie! Then after the paper has been ripped into sections that are easy to lay onto the canvas, start to build up an interesting base layer, not forgetting the sides!

The finished base layer. A good dollop of glue to just fix it into place and to make sure that the paper is saturated right down to the bones... or to the canvas surface. 
This is where we can use a thick bodied paste to build up layers. Moulding paste and acrylic paint when mixed together do just the same job. It's all about what you have in your crafting room/space right at that moment.

I first used a Viva terracotta coloured paint - as you can see it's one of those in-between substances. Not quite thick enough to be classified as a moulding paste but thicker than a paint. This first layer was done by dragging some 'paste' through the Studio Calico Mister Hueys Mask - Bubbles with a spatula - if one isn't to hand then an OLD store card is just as good. Leave to dry or 'skin' over. By this I mean allow it to become stable so that if you do put an object close by, the paste will not be flattened but will hold some shape and substance.
Then the next layer. I went with a golden paste from the Viva range. This one has a 'gritty' feel to it and when it dry's on your hand, it has a crushed 'brick' feel. I know it's not crushed brick but it's a very firm and gritty paste.
When the paste had dried, the next layer is a coat of white gesso. We do this so that when we start to paint, the surface is a lot easier to paint on. The photo on the right shows the selected colour range for the canvas.
Place a small amount of each paint onto the canvas, then with a small water tub, a wide brimmed brush and some baby wipes, get ready to start to lay down some colour. Once the paint has been moved over the canvas, we now need to start to create depth.
The quickest way to do this while the paint is still wet.. a BABY WIPE! These are a must have when doing Altered Art projects like this or as far as I'm concerned, all crafting needs these wonderful little things. It amazes me how something that wasn't meant to be used in our field has become such a staple item.  

If you look at the photos above this, you can see the difference. The paint has been 'thinned' where there are raised sections but left still the same hue at 'ground' level. To protect this we now need to seal it in. For this you can use a acrylic medium, however as I was going to be painting again, the best option is to use a clear gesso to give me a good base to paint onto while protecting the work we have done so far. 
I used a purple acrylic metallic paint over sections of the canvas, once again to help keep the paint in the raised section, I used a baby wipe to dictate how much paint was in areas. The baby wipes become my brush at times.
When that layer of paint was dry, I wanted the canvas to have an aged feel about it and to look as if it was a few hundred years old and a treasured possession. For this, I used black gesso as the painting medium. Gesso is not just for preparing a layer for painting. The white gesso is a wonderful white paint and the black is a deep black black, sometimes you get a black and it has a blue tint to it, gesso doesn't.  

Once again with the help of those trusted baby wipes you can build up the colour and not let the colour be the boss!

The canvas almost finished, well the layer of colour is. Just a few touches here and there are now needed. 

To give further highlights to the lettering I used a copper Pan Pastel. Don't be scared and say 'Oh you can't mix your mediums'. Where does it say that? You can use whatever you want, you're the boss when it come to being creative, so pull everything you have out, take stock and use things.
I was pleased the way that the Pan Pastel had coloured the raised surface, it gave another dimension, also the metallic Pan Pastel is a wonderful deep rich colour, as are all the metallic Pan Pastels. Don't dab or act as if you're trying to fit a screw into the wall, just take long strokes, ONLY IN 1 DIRECTION at a time and don't go back and forth. If you do, you will cause the pressed medium to become unstable and that way you will loose more than you use on a project.

It is best when after using pastels to use a sealant. This one here is a pump action spray that's non toxic.

Now then, its time to make the embellishments. For this I opted to use the Tin Holtz Alterations die to cut out some hinges, key and a key lock. I just used the thickest card I had available in my scrap box or I could have used an old cereal box. I cut out 3 of each. 

Using the black gesso I painted each one of the items. Now then, as  was going to glue them together I could have glued and then painted. There is reason in my madness. By painting each one separately, the amount of paint on each item would be different. I also made sure that all the base colour was being covered in paint. Then when it came time to secure them, the object would have reacted to the wet substance and became different. So when all glued together, they would create different edges. A black alcohol pen just touches up where the black paint missed - it's also a great tool to get inside of the key panel section when its glued up.

Using a dab of gold paint on my finger, I started to 'rub' down gold highlight to give that golden buff look, this was used very sparingly.

When the black gesso had dried, the same gold acrylic paint was used to paint the embellishments. While the paint was still wet, I kept on buffing the object so that it looked aged. 

The same treatment was done to the hinges. To make sure they adhered to the canvas, I resorted to my hot glue gun. Please take care when using this, as it can burn. Make sure when placed down it's onto a surface that can handle heat, just in case the glue drips from the pressure taken when forcing the glue out of the hot nozzle.

Now to give shading. For this I used a Pan Pastel in Paynes Grey and a small adapter. By rubbing under the embellishment to give that aged look, it also gives the impression that the embellishment is a lot bigger than it is.

Right, now to make the embellishments look natural. We need to give the impression of nails or screws, so this is when the Cosmic Shimmer Copper PVA glue came in. There is a wonderful collection of colours that can give you depth on a project.

Something was still missing from the surface. Viva do a great range of colours and textures. This Ferro is a nice gritty steel grey finish that can reflect the light. So I added just a little of it at the edges, the intention was to give the feel of metal. 

Back to the hinges, they still didn't fit in - they looked too new. Faber Castell do a great range of water soluble wax pen (I think they are wax, they have that feeling but I could be so far of the mark its not true) when they are placed onto a surface you're able to rub it.  

The hinge now looks aged and fits in just as I wanted it to.

I have in my stamp collection a set of magnetic ones. These are just a font style but they are very good when it come to just typing out a few words. Armed with some scrap card and a Memento ink pad, I started to stamp out my wording. 

The edges needed some treatment, so I opted to use an ink pad that complimented the card and just darken it at the edges. I could have used a brown but that wouldn't give me the look I was after - it had to be a darker hue of the card.

A cheap black Indian ink and a wide nibbed pen were used to frame the text. Not a great deal of care and attention was undertaken while doing this, as once again I didn't want perfect, I was after imperfect.

A little bit of dark metal chain was used on the key to give some movement or the look of movement. Also you would always put a diary book key on a chain......

Above, I have taken several photos showing in detail the finished project.


I hope you have enjoyed reading this project and how I went about it. As normal, if there are any questions please feel free to send me a message and I will get back to you a.s.a.p.



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