Monday, August 11, 2014

Textured Elephant Canvas

Hello everyone!! I hope you had a good weekend. I have a tutorial to share with you today, for a textured mixed-media canvas board. It's made for this week's Simon Says Stamp Monday Challenge which is all about scratches. Distress something, use a scratch stamp, or anything else you can think of.
I made something a little bit different this week, using other colours than I normally do. Purple is the one colour I don't reach for very often, and I don't even know why because I like it lots. When starting with this African scene I did not have much of an image of the final result, except that I wanted to use the scratchy sketched elephant stamp by Tim Holtz and this wonderful quote.
I started out by applying gesso to a canvas board ( 8 x 8 in), adding scratches into the gesso with my Ranger scraper tool. I made a horizon line, some rough mountains, grasses in the foreground and a scratchy sky. Let dry.

I forgot to take two step photos when I did the painting, since I was having so much fun. I started with the sky, adding yellow and orange Distress Paints. Continue with the lighter blues and then the real fun started when I dropped in Chipped Sapphire and Dusty Concord and misted heavily with water. Tilt the board so that the paint runs. The paint will settle darker in the scratches. Let dry. Next I painted the mountains using mainly Dusty Concord and Shaded Lilac, with a touch of blue. Before the paint is completely dry, you can rub some off from the textured peaks, to reveal the white gesso. The foreground was painted with yellow and orange paints.

Turning the board upside down., I dropped in browns at the base, misted with water and let them run into the scene.

And a little bit of Chipped Sapphire for a darker touch and to mimic the sky colours. I also added some Tarnished Brass to the grass, for a shimmery look.

It is almost impossible to get a good stamped impression on such a textured background, instead I reached for one of my favourite tricks, stamping on tissue paper. Tear the edges around the images and apply gloss multi medium where you want to place the elephant. Repeat with more multi medium on top of the tissue paper. The trees are by Darkroom Door.

Start adding paint to the elephant, since the Distress Paint is thin, you'll need several layers. Also paint some shadows under the trees and the elephant.

Here I added more white and darker purples, trying to remember where the shadows should be. It is easier if you keep a stamped impression of the elephant in front of you.

A white dot in the eye and more work on the elephant.
At this stage most of the original lines of the elephant will have disappeared and I added a lot of sketched scratchy lines to bring back that appearance, using Ranger's new Fude pen. I also sketched more grasses in the foreground and made some scribbles in the sky.
Here you can see the final elephant a little better. My sketch lines aren't perfect, but they also weren't supposed to be.

For a third scratchy element, I die cut part of the title and some birds from foil tape. The tape was scratched into with a needle tool before it was painted with the same paints used for the sky. Isn't this a great quote? Some more pen work around the title. 

Two of the die cut birds were cut out and glued to the sky. The gesso scratches look real cool.
The second bird in the sky. Here you can also better see some of the scribbles.

I love the unpredictable effect of the paint running down the canvas.
Join us this week in our scratchy challenge, I am looking forward to seeing what you'll great. As every week, one random participant wins a $50 gift voucher from Simon Says Stamp.
Thank you so much for looking! Have a great week!
Surfaces: Ranger Metal Foil Tape Sheets
Stamps: Stamper's Anonymous Tim Holtz: Life Adventure; Darkroom Door: Wilderness Vol. 1
Ink: Ranger Archival Ink: Jet Black
Medium: Ranger Dina Wakley White Gesso; Ranger Multi Medium Gloss


  1. I love love love this.What a fantastic piece of art.I am definitely going to try.

  2. Wow, this is amazing! I love the final piece and the picture guide plus description of the process is brilliant. It has inspired me to "have a go".

  3. Stunning! i love the texture with the background and I have been wanting to create something with an elephant and you did it beautifully!

  4. Your canvas is just amazing. Love the colors and all that texture.

  5. Wow! What a fabulous piece of art. It is amazing and what a great "how to". I will definitely give this a try. Thanks

  6. Incredible Anna-Karin! What a wonderful canvas! I love all the texture and beautiful scene that you created! Fascinating!

  7. Anna-Karin this is amazing, love the texture, everything !!

  8. This canvas is amazing! Love the step by step to see it becoming the gorgeous piece it is! The scenery is so pretty! Hugs, Sandra

  9. I can't find the right words to express myself. You are an ARTIST.
    This is wonderful. Anneke.

  10. You always create the most wonderful scenes and this one is no exception - it is a beautiful piece of art! Anne x


  11. Love the Technique you did on this one Anna Karin... very nicely created also with the colors, and the elephant... charming attitude on him/her.... love it all the blue and yellow is nice together... Love, Light and Peace...Bonnie

  12. Gorgeous textural piece , quite atmospheric. I love your backdrop and the elephant is fabulous. Tracy x

  13. The tissue paper idea is so effective. This piece brings the art out of craft - leaving c & f - clever and fabulous.

  14. Wow! Love this!!! The colors and texture are wonderful. Beautiful elephant. I enjoyed seeing how the whole canvas evolved. I love the e. e. cummings quote.

  15. Gorgeous canvas! I love the step by step texture and additions in each photo.

    Simon Says Stamp!

  16. Beautiful canvas. I love how you created the sky. It's magical! In my opinion, you are the best scene stamper there is. Combine it with your mixed-media and you've got amazing art.

  17. How gorgeous! The texture and colors are amazing. :)

  18. great art! texture and colors created depth. thanks for sharing.

  19. It is not simply a canvas, is a work of art! Really wonderful, I have no other words!BARbarayaya

  20. This turned out so cool-looking! I really was wow'd by these techniques and love how the "scratch" theme was carried out through that fabulous elephant stamp. Love how you tied everything together-- it is stunning!

  21. This is just...WOW! An amazing piece of art, Anna-Karin and so unique! As always, your work is just stunning! :)

  22. You sure are a very talented artist Anna-Karin - this is BRILLIANT! Nicola x

  23. You always come up with such fun projects. Blessings!

  24. sooo amazing! I love how you were able to use such bold colors and yet create such a feeling of light!


Thank you so much for leaving a comment! Happy Crafting!