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Monday, August 25, 2014

Free Spirit

Hello eP friends,  Micki here to share my project using Prima's Free Spirit stencil.  Or to be more accurate, perhaps I should say my multiple attempts of creating this mixed media piece:

My original idea was to create a background using doing a PanPastel Resist, which I had done on a smaller birchpanel board and had turned out great.  So first thing first I applied a thin layer of gesso, followed by adding Distress Embossing ink through several stencils:

Next I swiped the stenciled area withPanPastel:

I continued to add stencil layers using embossing ink and more PanPastel colors,  making sure to leave the center because I knew that's where the Free Spirit stencil would end up. 
 At this point, I wasn't happy, it didn't "speak" to me so I started to go over the sections with Dina Wakley paints and stenciled Prima's Free Spirit on the board in white:

I didn't like the harsh lines from the added paint, but decided to focus on the face next. By the way, were you wondering why I used white paint with the Prima's Free Spirit?  My idea was to color her so that she looked more painterly.   Taking a pencil, I sketched in the lines.

Next I added paint, mixing some White, Umber, Lemon and Magenta on my Craft Sheet for the skin and a little Black Gesso and Umber for the hair. And Blackberry for the headband and flowers.

Well, I decided that this wasn't going to work for me, especially with those harsh lines from the blocks of color I had added earlier and the hair was completely wrong.  What does one do now?  More paint!   I added more blocks of color.  Only  I would add more color, then painting with white over the still wet color paint.  I was going for a variegated look.  And because we are in our first heat wave of the summer here in Kansas, I was having major issues with the paint staying wet, so I solved that by adding a little Liquitex Glazing Acrylic Fluid Medium and mixed it in while applying the paint on the board.  
Because of adding all these blocks of varigated color, I had completely lost most of the inked stencil design, particularily the two Decor I stencils in the two corners.   I wanted more texture and decided to add Studio 490 White Embossing Paste with Prima's 6x6 Decor I stencil.  For the bottom corner stencil I mixed a teeny bit of Blackberry with the embossing paste and for the upper corner stencil, a little Tangerine was added. 
Next I stenciled Free Spirit again, lining the stencil up and re-stenciling her with black gesso.
In hind sight, I probably should have left the colors showing through the stenciled image.  But I filled her in with paint, coloring the headband, flowers and stems with Splash of Color-Silks Acrylic Paints.  

At this point I almost decided to completely walk away from my project. Start over - completely over, but I had been working on this for over a week and I was determined to finish it (plus I didn't have enough time to start from scratch, lo)
By coloring the hair in Umber, the feathers were completely lost in her hair.  To fix that, I re-positioned the stencil and added white embossing paste over the feathers.  While that was drying I decided to add a darker color around the front of the face.  Just like before, I added Dina Wakley's Heavy Body Acrylic Paint -Night, mixing it with white to blend.  

At this point I added more stencils and stamps for texture (and hoping it would bring this project together).  Next the Free Spirit stencil was ligned up for the third time and black gesso was very carefully pounced around the outline and the face detail because I had lost that when I filled her in with paint.
I used a brown gelato under the feathers which I blended with my fingers to help give some depth.  Distress Stickles were added to the flowers and on the embossed feathers. 

I added some detail with my Fude Ball Pen, filling in where I had missed with paint.  
You know how I always use gelatos or big brush markers to add depth, well, this time I used Prismacolor Watercolor Pencils, only instead of activating them with water, I used a blending stump to burnish the color.  
Found some old alpha die cuts which were painted and glued to spell out "Free Spirit".  And still not completely happy, I decided to stick my finger into white paint and randomly adding paint wherever my finger hit, along the edges, over the embossed corner stencils, etc.


I'm not sure if this is completely finished.  It doesn't feel complete yet but I do like how Prima's Free Spirit stencil turned out.  I think it's the background.  I may still change it, but for now she is sitting across from my craft table.
If you are still with me and my lengthy explanation, I wanted to show you what happened when I cleaned the Free Spirit stencil by laying it on a brayered background (my granddaughter had created).  I layed the stencil down, spritzed a lot of water over the stencil, I wiped using a baby wipe and this was the result:
Is that not awesome?  Looks kind of watercolorish, doesn't it?  Problem is I tried to recreate this result with no success, noooooooooo!!!!  

Anyway, thanks for letting me share.  I hope I made sense, sometimes it's hard to remember which step I did first, know what I mean?   As for me, even when a project does not give me that "finished" feeling, or doesn't turn out like I had hoped, I always come away from my craft table feeling I've accomplished something and that is the beauty and therapy of art for me.

I hope you were inspired to create!

Supplies used:


Sue Lelli said...

I LOVED following along with you on you creative journey! She is Beautiful! (LOVE the second image too)! Your colors are so vibrant - especially when you added the silks and distress stickles! If you change it, it will be amazing but I think it is pretty Beautiful now, Micki!

Anonymous said...

Fabulous tutorial Micki! Loved going through your thought process and how you changed direction. Your canvas is gorgeous! Love the second image too. Sue C x

Bonnie Irvine said...

What an awesome sharing of your process! I always love how much I learn hearing and seeing your process. I find it so inspiring and it reminds me to respond to my inner voice that's saying "what if you did...or added..." Amazing creation. I love this project.

Julia Aston said...

It IS so hard to create on the fly which is what you have to do with a work like this - as you really don't know how it will look until you do it - thanks for sharing all your starts and stops - it came out wonderfully after all of your efforts!

Greta said...

Thank you for sharing your thoughts & process for this incredible project! A great lesson in not giving up! I also love the look with the colors showing through Free Spirit. The clean-up image is amazing!

krcmasterpiece said...

I applaud you for your continuing on until you like what you achieved! That is a true artist challenged! I did love her hair with the multi colors. Once you gesso'd her face again after painting it-she really popped! Adding the darker color to the front of her face was the right thing to do as well. I think she turned out great!

Steph Ackerman said...

Wow, how amazing. Your canvas is gorgeous.

Unknown said...

Love, love, love her!! what an amazing background ... pulling out the pan pastels and embossing ink tomorrow!!

Andiepants said...

This project is amazing as well as your perseverance! I'm so glad you stuck with it. The final result was phenomenal honey. {{hugs}}