Hey Crafty People!
Welcome back! Today we are diving head first into mixed media for Tania’s awesome Altenew Academy class; Demystifying Mixed Media.
Now, I know that I have talked about mixed media in the past, and I even did a video where I talk about mixed media just being anything with more than one media used; for example, paint, stamping, die cutting, alcohol markers. Which it is, but I definitely dove much deeper for this class!
I’ve actually got an art journal where I do play with a much more typical ‘mixed media’ style, but I certainly haven’t ever created any cards quite like this before! I have two cards again for this class, so let’s get to it!
The first step was to trim down two pieces of mixed media paper; this isn’t as thick as watercolour paper tens to be, but it is thicker than card stock. It is designed to take a good deal more than Neenah 80lb, for example, but it is aimed more at paste/acrylic paint than several layers of watercolour.
In order to give the paper a little more resilience, I added a coat of Gesso to both, using an old gift card to spread it.
Gesso is like a heavy bodied acrylic, which acts as a primer and a barrier to protect the paper. However it can also be used over so many surfaces to allow them to be painted with a more traditional paint.
Tip! Gesso works because it has a textured, almost rough, surface which allows other mediums to grab onto it much easier. I find it easiest to apply using a card because it does pick up texture from a brush for example, whereas a card doesn’t have that issue.
Both of the cards that I made for this class took a sort of long, winding road to finish where they now are, because I was just having so much fun playing with them!! I honestly don’t think that I could recreate these exact cards again, but that’s kind of the point; they are completely unique and even using the same products again would produce a different result. That’s what I enjoyed about this class; the freedom it gave me to just PLAY!
I’m going to break down each card into the steps that I took and throw in some tips as I go!
Card Number 1 – Hello There!
1.I added some Paper Bag crisp dye ink to a blob of texture paste, the best way to do this is to use a glass or craft mat and just press your ink pad onto the mat then mix that into a portion of texture paste right there on your mat.
Once I was happy with the paste I added it to my Gesso coated panel, through the Skylight stencil.
Tip! Make sure that you clean the texture paste from your stencil right away because it will dry like cement and can ruin your lovely stencil!
2. I left this about 10 mins to allow it to start drying, then I sprinkled a gorgeous mix of gold, silver & copper embossing powders by WOW! It’s called Perissa, and the mixture contains different grades of powder so it melts to create this unique mix that looks stunning!
Then I heat set it using the higher speed setting of my heat tool, which melts the powders and also dries the texture paste; but it creates these awesome bubbles and some movement within the paste that gives such an awesome texture!
3. I put some more of the Paper Bag crisp dye ink onto my glass mat and sprayed some water onto it, then I added this to my panel in several ways:
I added the ink to the top of the panel, whilst holding it up over my mat; I love the drips down the piece that this gives.
I found that the ink wasn’t moving quite as much as I wanted, which I believe was due to the Gesso, so I also spritzed the panel with some water.
I also added lots of splatter into the wet panel; this works in two ways because if they land on a dry part they maintain that splatter shape, but when they land in a wet area the pigment spreads out which creates a totally different look.
I used the lower setting of my heat gun to speed up the drying portion!
Tip! I use an old shoe box as a ‘splat box’, which just means that when I’m doing any messy techniques, like splatters, I place the card panel into it which works brilliantly to contain that mess!
3. I added some warm brown shimmer spray that I have in my stash and to get that moving a bit more I also added a spritz of water too.
I dried it again using my heat tool, but not all the way dry. Then I sprinkled some more of that Perissa EP over the entire piece and it will stick to wet patches long enough for it to be heat set.
Tip! Heat it from below to avoid blowing the powder away before it has chance to melt.
4. I die cut the waterbrush hello sentiment from some Neenah 80lb and embossed it with the same Perissa powder.
Then I die cut the sentiment twice from some kraft cardstock and glued these together before attaching the embossed sentiment offset to create a drop shadow effect.
5. I added some more embossing ink with the mixed media brush ink from wow. I concentrated a lot of the ink to the bottom of the panel, but I brushed it up over the texture paste too.
I added more Perissa powder and I absolutely LOVE the distressed, molten metal look that it gives!
6. I cut the circle fine frames die from vellum and attached the whole thing to the back of the sentiment and I decided to add ‘there’ to it; I used part of a sentiment from Sentiment Strips 2, stamping it in Paper Bag ink on a scrap of kraft cardstock.
7. I added the panel to an a2 kraft card base, with adhesive foam tape!
Card Number 2 – Secret Journals
1.I used some gel medium to paste torn pieces of a book page onto my second piece of Gesso’d paper. You need to make sure that you add the adhesive onto the panel, then place the paper down and add more adhesive across the top. This does mean that there will be dried adhesive which would resist paint or other mediums; so this is when we grab our trusty Gesso again! A thin coat will enable you to add other mediums over, once it’s dried.
The Gesso also acts as a bit of a veil over the writing, which tones it down a little too, pushing it into the background.
2. I mixed some texture paste with some of the darkest grey from the Gentleman’s Grey set, and I added this through the Stone Wall stencil. I had some paste leftover, so I smeared that across the bottom of panel.
3. I sprinkled some embossing powder over this panel too. This time I chose some Gold embossing glitter and another of wow’s mixes called Black Magic which is black & gold.
I also used the mixed media brush from wow to add the same random, distressed embossing across the panel.
4. I stamped out the floral layering image from Simple Beauty set. I did a faux watercolour techniques that I learnt in an Altenew virtual workshop with the amazing Colleen of Irish Rose Creations. I’ve linked to her post so you can check it out!
Instead of stamping the leaves, I used a Versamark pen to add some embossing to each leaf, using that same Black Magic EP.
One of my absolute FAVOURITE techniques from this class was the secret journalling, where you add writing onto your piece, but in such a way as no one could read it! Of course you can just add a bunch of scribbles or nonsense but I really love the idea of adding something personal to your work!
I fell in love with card making because I just adore that I can sit and create a completely unique piece of art, pouring my heart & soul into it, then send it out into the world to bring a smile to someone’s face and a warmth to their heart.
This technique takes it all up a notch and that technique really resonated with me. So yes, my writing on this piece does say something, but no I’m not going to say what!!
I adhered the flower with adhesive foam tape and I stamped ‘You rock!’ from Simple Sentiments 2 onto a piece of the panel that I had trimmed down and glued it straight onto my flowers. Then I decided to add ‘Hello’ from the Mega Label Love set.
I swiped that same grey ink pad I had used in the texture paste all around the edges of the page.
This panel is on an a2 top folding card base; Neenah 110lb.
I really enjoyed this class, and exploring a style of card making that is so very far from my usual. I know that there are some techniques that I have explored that I will take back into my own crafty sessions, and that is awesome! I think we are always evolving as artists and that’s amazing!
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