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Saturday, January 19, 2013

The Butterfly Experiment

Hi everyone,

Micki here to share my little experiment using the gorgeous butterflies from Balzer Designs Butterfly Stamp set and the coordinating 6x6 TCW stencil – Layered Butterflies. I already love using stencils and Embossing Paste. Totally love that technique but I have to admit that using stencils and acrylic paint is harder for me. I never seem to get a really clear design.
As you may know, I don’t let that stop me. Pure stubbornness . Before I share some of my “experiments”, here is the final result:

I started by using Dylusions Ink Sprays, randomly spritzing these onto the canvas.  Once dry, out came the Adirondack Paint Dabbers.  I wish I could say I had a "plan" but I really didn't.   I love creating backgrounds and tend to just play.  Keep your art journal or extra papers nearby to "clean" your brush or excess paint/ink off your project or Inksentials non-stick craft mat.
Next I started playing around with the  Layered Butterflies stencil and different tools to apply the paint; Adirondack Paint Dabbers, sponges, foam brush, paint brush were all tried and all yielded pretty much the same result.  (However, that could be due to user error) The butterflies on the canvas were done by using the dabbers directly to the stencil.  Once that was dry, I then took the matching Balzer Designs Butterfly Stamp and stamped the corresponding butterfly stamp over the stenciled one. 

In the picture above, the green butterfly was stamped first, then did the stencil and then stamped the outline stamp.
The green butterfly is ok, but I was not happy with the orange one or the purple one.  Notice the smeared edges of the purple one?

Definitely was not happy with the orange one either.  I got in a hurry and didn't line the stamp up correctly.  Now at this point I could have used gesso to cover it up and start over.

Instead I opted to use tissue paper.  Stamped the butterflies a couple of times, then cut them out.

I did a rough cut, not worrying about cutting exactly along the stamped outline.
Using Claudine Hellmuth Matte Multi Medium and a brush, I added these right over the original stenciled/stamped butterflies on the canvas.

While that was drying, I stamped the butterflies on my many excess colored tags, left over papers and colored chipboard coaster.

I ended up using the butterfly stamped on the chipboard coaster.  Because I didn't want the butterfly to blend into my very bright, multi colored background, I used my fingers to smear some Claudine Hellmuth Blank Canvas before adding the chipboard butterfly.

Then came the really fun part... adding texture using stamps.  I used Faber-Castell Gelatos with Claudine Hellmuth Studio Doodles Foam stamps. Apply directly to stamp and mist with water.

The paint dabber was applied directly to Honeycomb stamp from Market Street Stamps and then randomly stamped all over.

Next came Donna Downey's Inspire Words stamps from Unity.  The thing about canvas, I didn't like the brown ink, so I just used a wet wipe and erased it.  

Instead I stamped the words on extra left over inked tags/papers and cut them out.

A black marker was used to go over the butterfly outline

I admit, it's colorful.  The bright pink is bright, but considering I didn't pay any attention to colors, instead just getting lost in the moment of playing, the color combo isn't half bad.

Lots of playing and the one thing I learned about stencils and paint..... LESS is more. I used brushes, foam brush, stencil foam brush, cosmetic sponge and I actually had better luck using my fingers as the tool to apply paint over the stencil.  The other thing I learned..... smudges, irregular lines, smeared paint..... it's all good and oh so much fun!  And that is the important thing, right?!   Oh and now that eP shop has the PanPastels and the new (oooh giddy with joy) Tim Holtz Distress Paints, I see more "experimenting" in the future!

I hope you were inspired to get out your scraps, paints and just play! 

Supplies used:


Unknown said...

Looks like you really had fun making this. I just love getting my hands all inky using different media. It turned out a work of art!

Tracy said...

wow genius...You sure had a ball putting it together !!! I am soooo heading to the shed today to get all inky and painty ,lol I find splodging the paint on and then using my fingers works best for me too!
Totally loooove your project!!

butterfly said...

What a WOW canvas - the colours and life and movement and fun and spontaneity of it... just fabulous! Way to play!!
Alison x

Redanne said...

Wow, I am so pleased you showed how you got to the end result, I am new to paints and have learnt a lot from your steps. The end result is so beautiful....

joy said...

Fabulous project! I, too, have a heavy hand when using paints with stencils!

Kim said...

Amazing creation, Micki! I love the template and coordinating stamps...really beautiful!

lilscrappers said...

mmm, makes me want to try :) I like the butterfly with two different wings

Marjie Kemper said...

Ooooh, so many gorgeous layers! Love how the words look cut-out and the butterflies are just fabulous!

Donna-Marie said...

Super color combo!!!
A lot of planning went into this and it shows!!! Thanks for the inspiration this is beautiful :-)

Donna-Marie said...


Colleen said...

This turned out wonderful. Love all the colors and I'm just as stubborn when it comes to my crafting so I get it.

Rea' said...

Micki, this is amazing, makes me want to stop everything else and go play... what fun techniques! The colors are great ...cheerful... exciting !!

Laurart said...

WOW!!! I am going to try this! Thanks so much for sharing
Laura xxx

Erin Smetak said...

I absolutely love your whole creative process! The butterflies are so beautiful!