Monday, June 15, 2015

Roots Canvas Tutorial

Hello friends! A big thank you to everyone who commented on my Simon Says Stamp The Color of Fun Blog Hop post over the weekend. I had such fun reading all the comments. 

For everyone who subscribes to my blog by email, it should work normally again now. I had missed that it wasn't working and I am glad I was told about it so that I could fix it. So sorry!

It is Monday and a new Simon Says Stamp Monday Challenge is up, this week we are all about paste. I love pastes and all the fun techniques you can do with them. 

I wanted to try something new this week, and decided it was time to use one of the larger canvasses I have at home. This one is 11.5 x 15.5 in (30 x 40 cm), not super big, but larger than the canvasses I normally work on. It was such fun creating this and it will hang right in front of my desk on a patch of my wall which is a little ugly. The wonderful Stencil Girl Nosegay 9 x 12 stencil by Cecilia Swatton was calling out for a large project, so I made it the focal point of this canvas. 

The canvas was painted with Dina Wakley's paints and I also used dies by Tim Holtz to create the blocked look. This is a tutorial, and the techniques would work for many other projects too.

Start by coating the canvas with gesso and when dry, tear squares and rectangles from Tim Holtz Postale tissue wrap. Glue to the canvas with gloss multi medium, also adding a layer on top of the tissue paper. Crumble the tissue paper a little, especially on the piece at the bottom.

When dry, white-wash with a thin layer of gesso.

Die cut Friendship Words Blocks and the dots from the Mixed Media set, from watercolour paper. The Sizzix Precision Base Plate is my new best friend when it comes to intricate dies, since it makes it so easy to get a perfect cut every time. I kept the center pieces of the letters (o, a, e, etc.), so that I could glue them to the canvas too.

Tear around the dot pieces and glue to the base of the canvas. Adhere the words with multi medium Make sure they are properly stuck down.

I also glued down some of the leftover letters, but only on the bottom part, since I wanted lots of texture there. 

Paint with Dina Wakley's paints. You can mix a lot of shades from a few colours. I also added some Glazing Medium to the paint, to give me more time to blend the colours on the canvas. I was aiming for a blocked design and used the pieces of tissue paper as a guide. Masking tape was applied to make the blocks more defined. I liked this look, but I was afraid the Nosegay might disappear a little on the background. 

 Therefore, I decided to white-wash the canvas to tone down the colours.

Add shading and definition around the blocks with Umber paint. 

The canvas of course needed some stamping too, and I used Simon Says Stamp Tiny Alphabet Background. It is diagonal, but I simple turned it to get straight, or more or less straight, stamping. 

Time for the Nosegay. I made the green by mixing Lime and Lapis, which was then added to Prima's Light Paste. Carefully apply with a palette knife.

When the paste was dry, I painted the flowers white, and when the white paint was dry, they were painted with Pearl

Watered-down Umber and a small paint brush were used to give the plant a shadow, along one side. Roots were painted with the same paint.

I wanted some circles too and used the fun Urban Insiders Circle by Seth Apter, together with Prima's Graphite Sand Texture Paste.

I also smeared some Graphite paste along the base of the canvas, and where the ground area was. I also smeared some 3-D Gloss Gel on the ground part and sprinkled Frosted Mica Flakes on top. I liked the idea of mica hiding among the important roots as a kind of treasure.

The shadows add dimension to the flowers and stems. I also painted a darker shade of green here and there on the stems.

The Tim Holtz Friendship Words Blocks worked well here and really added to the blocked design. I also liked using additional words to support the theme of the canvas.

When I decided that my canvas was about roots, I had a look for quotes to use and found this one by J.R.R. Tolkien. I really liked it and decided to use it here. It is the first part of a poem, describing Aragorn, but I think it has bearing on a lot of things in life. I stamped it with Hero Arts alphabet stamps.

I added quite a bit of Umber around the edges of the canvas.

The Graphite Paste has a really cool glitter look and it worked well as soil, and together with the mica and the pearl paint.

I was happy with the contrast between the more clean top part of the canvas, and the busier and more textured base part, with the dot die cuts and the jumble of random letters.

Here you can see the shine of the Graphite Paste and the mica flakes better.

I also painted and stamped the edges of the canvas. 

I hope you will join us in our paste challenge this week! Remember that one random participant wins a $50 gift voucher from Simon Says Stamp

Thank you so much for visiting today! I hope I inspired you to use some paste.

Happy crafting!




  1. Wow what a beautiful canvas and a great quote too!
    Groetjes Karin

  2. Thank you for the in progress photos! Love those mica flakes and texture paste. Great touches.

  3. Beautiful! I love all the textures and elements!

  4. Love this canvas! A great quote, and I love how you used that stencil.

  5. Love this canvas! A great quote, and I love how you used that stencil.

  6. Gorgeous textural piece Anna-Karin. Love the layers and the lettering and touches of black . Lovely . Tracy x

  7. Wow! This is so beautiful! Love all the layers and the depth you created.

    Snoopy :D

  8. Wow what a beautiful canvas Anna, thank you so much for sharing this!!

  9. Gorgeous texture, gorgeous colors and I love how you highlighted the words!

  10. This is so cool, Anna-Karin! Love the stunning color scheme and all the amazing texture! Hugs, Sandra

  11. This is SooOoOooOOOoo pretty! Those subtle shades are absolutely gorgeous and as always, I appreciate your process descriptions and detailed pics.

  12. This turned out nice! You provided great step-outs in your tutorial. I love that tiny alphabet stamp (want one) and am amazed by how well you stamped on the letters for your poem. The lead from Simon's blog said the size was 30 x 40 and, being in the US, I thought WOW that's big (in inches, you see). Still, at 12 x 16 it is much larger than a card or tag and what a lovely addition for the walls of your studio.

    1. Thank you for your comment! I was also happy that I didn't mess up the stamping of the quote. I know, 30 x 40 in would be really big! I realised I had written the size in centimeters instead of inches, even though I usually use mainly inches on my blog. It was late at night, and I totally forgot to convert.

  13. Wow... this is such a beautiful creation, Anna-Karin. Love the great texture and colors. :)

  14. What a wonderful quote and I LOVE the gorgeous colours that you've used, they are just stunning! A beautiful piece of art, Anna-Karin and as always, I adore your style! :)

  15. This is a gorgeous piece of art and would look beautiful hanging in a living room. I love the color blocking it is so striking and of course the beautiful flowers!

  16. This is an astonishing piece of art. Very inspiring. Love every detail as well as the quote. Cheers

  17. This is so beautiful Anna-Karin. I love the color palette and am so appreciative that you used my stencil in this piece.

    1. Thank you so much Seth! That stencil of yours is so cool.


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