I am always in awe of the different ways I see other people use the various art mediums available to add texture to their art. When artists offer tutorials in books or on blogs, they always make the end result look effortless and I have to confess, I'm usually still too intimidated to try the techniques myself. But as one who has only one rule when I teach scrapbook classes, I decided it was time to follow my own advice and finally create an altered artist's canvas.
The rule for any class I teach is simple. There is no stressing allowed! There are a variety things we stress about when we're in unfamiliar territory but the one I hear most often when teaching a class is fear of making a mistake. Fortunately, with the style of art I enjoy both creating and teaching, mistakes can either be easily corrected (usually covered up!) or even better, they can add character to the project.
The base of this project is an 8" x 10" artist canvas. I used Light Modeling Paste as both an adhesive and a means of adding texture to the canvas. Modeling Paste can be found in craft and hobby stores in the section where you find artist brushes, paints, and canvases. There are a variety of ways to apply Modeling Paste including using special artist's spatulas, a credit card, or my tool of choice, an old butter knife! Start by applying an uneven layer of Modeling Paste, about 1/4" thick, to the entire canvas. It needs to be thick enough to squish up around the sides of the butterflies but not so thick you lose the detail of the outline.
Using the All-A-Flutter Squeeze Punch, punch 16 butterflies from various patterned papers. I used scraps from my scrap bucket.
Position the punched butterflies on the canvas and press them into the Modeling Paste. I used the end of a pencil to do this so I could get in close around the edges of the butterflies. If you find the Modeling Paste is too thin or too dry in some areas, don't be afraid to apply more. We're going for a rough textured look so it doesn't need to blend smoothly with the existing layer.
When the modeling paste was dry, I quickly and randomly sponged stamping ink over the surface to finish the project off with an aged look. And this is the point where I began to stress because I had "ruined" my project! The ink quickly absorbed into the Modeling Paste and did not blend evenly. Hoping to salvage my project, I brushed a layer of Distress Crackle Paint over the surface. I did not apply this evenly nor did I cover the entire surface. The ink was still visible in some areas. When the paint was dry, I was extremely pleased that I had actually improved my project by making a mistake with the inking stage!
I finished off the project by layering some muslin scraps, an small crocheted doily, and some beads, buttons, and more punched shapes. The final step was covering the outer edges of the canvas with a strip of fabric.
So now you know, this was my first attempt at creating an altered canvas. The result of a few very easy steps, a little trial and error, and even a mistake is an altered canvas with some fun color and a lot of nice texture that I can proudly hang on my wall in my craft room. Your Summer School assignment is to gather together your supplies and create an altered your canvas yourself with the attitude that you will not stress!