Monday, December 30, 2013

Hope Springs Eternal

The Banners of Hope project will be displayed in traveling exhibitions such as hospitals and nursing homes.

The Craft and Hobby Convention and Tradeshow (CHA) is coming up really soon in Anaheim, California. All the best vendors will be there to show professional designers, instructors and store owners the latest and greatest in crafting supplies.

Unfortunately, I won't be attending, missing my first CHA event since I joined many years ago, but thanks to Charity Wings, I'll be able to participate in at least one part of the show. If you don't know about Charity Wings, click here and see one of the most amazing, selfless, charitable, giving group women I've ever met.

This year, Charity Wings is sponsoring Banners of Hope. The CHA Designer Members were invited to participate, providing  8" x 12" mixed media pieces which will be hung banner-fashion in the Charity Wings booth, so if you're attending, please be sure to stop by. You will be able to create your own banner on the spot, and these will become part of a mobile display, bringing art and hope to people who need it most.

The technique I chose to use is more of a fine art technique which I learned years ago from the extraordinary artist Louise Cadillac.

Part of my working background is being an electrical engineering draftsman for a utility company. I later became their graphic design artist, which reinforced the urge to keep things good and straight. That's why I was so happy when KellyCraft came out with the fabulous Get-It-Straight Laser Square and Docking Station. I didn't need a drafting table or t-square or straight edge clamped to a table anymore, plus it's portable and lightweight. It's one tool I can't do without. Now, back to the drawing board blog post.

Being able to keep my words straight with theGet-It-Straight Laser Square and docking station makes this a piece of cake to put together. I used it to not only keep the words straight, but also to form the folded edges of the banner fabric to the right size.

This technique can be used with photos, words, entire sentences, whatever you want to put on a canvas, paper or just about any other base. The catch: you can only use transparent acrylic paint. No craft paint, no "I'll-use-this-Ultramarine-Blue-because-I-already-have-it-and-it-looks-like-Pthalo-Blue" excuses. Transparent colors are the only way to do it, and I prefer Golden Acrylics. They may be a little more, but if you respect your work, you should use the best you can afford. You can use the small bottles of liquid or the larger tubes.

You can add as many layers as you like for this project. I have done paintings with as many as 40-50 layers. This piece was only made with about five layers.

Here's the quick and easy version if this technique:

  • Canvas or paper banner, approximately 12" x 18"
  • KellyCraft Get-It-Straight Laser Square and Docking Station
  • Golden Acrylics: Matte Gel Medium, Nickel Azo Yellow, Quinacridone Magenta and Pthalo Blue
  • Computer printout of phrase
  • Foam rubber stamp, leaf
  • Harlequin Stencil, Crafter's Workshop
  • Aleene's OK to Wash It and Flexible Stretchable Fabric Glue
  • Workable Fixative or Krylon Triple Thick Glaze
  • Tools: scissors, sponges, brushes, pencil, white gesso

Tips: Be sure to allow all coats of paint to dry before adding another. This applies to the whole project. You can use a hair dryer to speed up the process, but it could dull your colors.

Note: Before I began painting, I folded all the edges of the canvas and made the 2" hanging pocket at the top of the banner.
I put the straightest canvas edge against the right side of the Laser Square to get started and set the laser line at 2" from the top. I drew the line with a pencil, then folded and pressed it into place.

For the second fold, I lined up the first fold along the right side of the Laser Square. I continued this for the remaining edges to perfectly line up my edges and I had my 8" x 12" banner.
Note that I did not make the folded edges the same width. Since my project was limited to 8" x 12", I made my measurements by making sure my surface was the proper size. I trimmed the excess canvas and glued the edges with Aleene's Flexible Stretchable Fabric Glue, making sure to leave the sides of the 2" pocket edge (shown being measured in this photo) open for hanging.


 Now to get down to the fun stuff!

I first coated the canvas with a 50/50 mixture of matte gel medium and water. After drying, I brushed on a coat of Nickel Azo Yellow, using a paper towel and bubble wrap to remove some of the paint and add texture. When that dried, I added Quinacridone Magenta to the right side and Pthalo Blue to the left, blending in the center, but allowing some of the Nickel Azo Yellow to show through. Once again, I applied bubble wrap and paper towels to remove some of the paint to allow more of the yellow base to come through.

After the paint dried, I applied turquoise acrylic to the stamp then stamped randomly to create more texture.
I used a stencil and sponged more turquoise paint over part of the background. Anything you can add to create texture will work. If your piece gets too dark, apply some elements with white gesso, then paint over them with acrylics to tone down the brightness.

Print the phrase and spray the front with either workable fixative or Krylon Triple Thick Glaze. This prevents the ink jet ink from bleeding when you add the adhesive. Trim out the letters of HOPE, leaving a 3/16" border and tear the remaining portions of the phrase to reveal a white edge. Line up where you want the word HOPE. Before you add it to the piece, be sure to coat the back of each letter and phrase with Aleene's OK to Wash It. This will be your adhesive to apply the letters and will keep the paper from buckling when you add paint. Once all papers are adhered, place a piece of wax paper over the banner and roll it with a brayer to make sure all the paper is smooth. Let this dry, then coat the front of the paper with Ok to Wash It as well. Allow to dry, then apply a finish coat of Nickel Azo Yellow to the entire piece.

This was so much fun to create, and I hope it brings a smile to some faces. What about you? What would you use the KellyCraft Get-It-Straight-Laser Square and docking station to create?

No comments:

Post a Comment