Saturday, March 16, 2013

My First Canvas EVER!!!!

This canvas was totally inspired by Leanne Bishop and Leanne's was inspired by Anna Dabrowska, you can see some of her work HERE. She is an amazing mixed media artist and I love, love, love what she creates. 
I saw Leanne's on pinterest and I just had to make myself one and I knew just the picture that I wanted to showcase. Leanne takes you through her process from beginning to end so it really makes it user friendly and easy to make one for yourself. 
I loved her use of colors and blue was actually the colors that my girls had on this day when i took this picture. So I went with the colors that Leanne used except I used a lighter blue to begin with. This was my first time working on canvas and doing anything like this so I wanted to go step by step with her tutorial to make sure I did it all correctly, because of this, mine resembles hers a lot.

So to start I used tissue paper and Claudine Hellmuth's matt medium. I love Claudine's matt medium to adhere just about anything to anything haha!! I also added some chicken wire, ribbons, lace and some fabric lace type stuff that looks like coop wire but it's fabric. 

It didn't matter what color the lace and such was because I used gesso to paint over it anyway and it was going to be a different color entirely. I added the chicken wire after all the tissue, lace and ribbon. Gorilla glue worked best for the heavy stuff.

Once all that was one, painted and dry I started adding my metal and flowers etc. I sort of laid everything out first before glueing and this isn't even all of it, I added more later.
I used misc items I picked up at thrift stores, Tim Holtz stuff, Prima, just about nothing was off limits here. I even used an old piece to a Singer sewing machine. Cardboard swirls, buttons from jeans, a wrench, watch parts hair clips etc...I even raided my husbands garage stash (and he didn't have any nuts, bolts or washers, can you believe it?) I just happen to have one bolt in my stash haha!

Once everything was laid out I started gluing, I went with the bottom layers first, mostly flowers and flat pieces and then built up from there. I used part E6000 and part Gorilla Glue (two part) for all of the pieces. 
Here is the tricky part.... Leanne used a bunch of different sprays on hers and I wanted to as well but alas, I have none of the sprays she used. I don't know how to make my own alcohol ink sprays so I improvised and used acrylic paint.
I put a good layer of gesso over everything first...
then I started with white paint, light blue, dark blue and lastly black. 
The funny thing is.. I thought I could use a mix of sprays for the part in the black and all I had on hand was some that didn't work so well. I sprayed it and it just faded and ran and the gesso showed through really badly. It almost looked stained, I almost died!!! I thought it was ruined!!!
 So I dabbed it with paper towels, waited for it to dry and then painted over it with black paint.
I actually like the way the black area came out, it almost looks old and has a tinge to it so the sprays weren't a mistake at all, I like the way it looks.
Here are some pics....

After it was all done being painted I then went and added a few more items here and there and painted those until I was happy with it. I added a little white paint over the top to bring out some of the details.
I really like the way it came out, I just need to put a layer of sealant and it will be all finished. 

 I love the way the girls are just looking out into the water in the picture, they look so serene and at peace and the water is calm. This is one of my favorite pictures of my girls when they were younger and I just love how this showcases the picture of them.
My kids and I used to love to play I spy and we have many many I spy books that we used to sit on the couch for hours and try to find everything. I kind of think of this project as a sort of I spy for us.
I get a ton of inspiration online and when I see something that I want to do I normally change it up to make it my own but for this project I really liked how I could use my own items and put my own spin on it but make it closely to someone's I admire. 
Thanks for coming by :)


  1. LOVE this! I have been dying to try this technique. What a great way to use those leftover odds & ends in my stash.

  2. Love this I have to make one but I dont have any laces so I have to get busy and fine some I was going to this drapeie shop and they sell them real cheep but the went out of buisses so tahts out ... i dont want to give a lot for it and then paint it or glue it but we will see I got some new paper doll stamps to day and I want to do one with the girls as I came them there is 3 YOU did a great job on this one and bu the way you do have a theme for your canves , I SPY US..... take care

  3. Funky! I like how all the interesting elements come together with the paint at the end.

  4. Most EXCELLENT! The striations of color are that! You put great items on as well, and your photo is darling! Beautiful work, and love the outcome!!!

  5. That's one fabulous frame! Love your collection of goodies and the way you colored everything. The results are awesome.