Friday, 22 April 2016

1943 Found Relative

 Hi it's Brenda here with another of my canvas board projects.
In February when I went to our UK craft trade show called Stitches I was lucky enough to attend a workshop with Tim Holtz and watch him demo several times on the stands. It was fabulous trying out the new Distress Crayons and thought I would use some of the techniques he taught us and demoed and add any of my own to make this canvas board. The design is similar to the one he taught.

I began with set 2 of the crayons, scribbled some of the colours over the board and spritzed with water. Although they have a short smudge time when spritzed and rubbed with your finger the pigments are activated and will blend together. The depth of colour depends on how much water you use. I made mine quite wet and dabbed with a piece of kitchen roll which took some of the colour out leaving the board underneath exposed again. I heat dried it. But the colours looked pale so I took set 1 and set 2 and lots more colours blending them together.

To add another layer I took aged mahogany, rusty hinge, bundled sage and brushed corduroy distress inks and blended over the top. Now I bet you would expect the crayons to blend around with the inks but they don't, the inks give a complete new layer over the top. Next I gave it the dip and dry and the spritz and flick treatments drying with the heat gun.
Following that I stamped the lattice stamp in black archival to begin to get more interest.

 The colours are very deep at this point and I love using white as an 'absorber' to give the whole piece a more muted effect. So out came the picket fence distress spray stain and a few quick spritzes plus some light sprays of water I got what I wanted to achieve. I gave it a coat of micro glaze and a spray of matte sealer.

Next I chose some ephemera pieces and adhered to the background. Silly me didn't let the spray dry enough so some of the colour moved but I don't think it detracted from the look of the finished piece. Now to add dimensional texture and I used opaque matte texture paste through a stencil and let it dry.

Using the medium brush I applied crazing collage medium over the complete surface and let it dry. Whilst that was happening I die cut some greyboard numbers and painted them with tarnished brass distress paint. I also took a word key and painted it with tarnished brass and picket fence distress paints.

Because the surface is now completely sealed on the canvas board I came in with some of the crayons and smudged the smooth pigment again to add deeper colour and to create interest on and around the ephemera pieces and the texture. The crayons also pick up the crazing which gives a beautiful porcelain effect, it was impossible to photograph on canvas.

I finished off with another piece of ephemera and one of the found relatives girls cut down and then added the key. Well I say it was finished but I waited till the next day to photograph it in the light and at this point thought I would add some glue stick foiling, can you see some of the traces of it?

 So happy with this piece.

Thanks for stopping by and have a great weekend.

hugs Brenda xxx


  1. waue stunning, love it, thanks for showing this ;O))

  2. Absolutely gorgeous canvas, Brenda! Many techniques, many layers, many colours - fantastic! I love it!

  3. Oh dear, Blogger is being really silly today.... sigh. Brenda, your canvas is a real stunner, I love the touches of foil - it does indeed have an opulent feel! xx

  4. It is gorgeous, Brenda ! Love it !
    Corrie x

  5. Wow, Brenda - words fail me!! This is a fabulous tutorial, and gives me the oomph I need to try the crayons.... adding the Picket Fence back in is perfect, as are the detailed shadows you added later to the ephemera - absolutely wonderful and I can't stop looking at all the various pieces!! Thanks, as always, for such beautiful inspiration and teaching! xxx Lynn

  6. I so wish I could attend one of your collage classes Brenda. I love the more muted tones here and all the wonderful layering and details. Simply beautiful! I hope you aren't relying on that key on return from hols! Have a lovely week. Nicola x

  7. Good to see the crayons in action here - still haven't had a chance to sit and play with mine (and anyway, I haven't got all my other stuff here to add into the mix!) - and I love the colour tones you've achieved. Great texture and fabulous collaging, of course.
    Alison x