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I spent many hours in the studio exploring and experimenting with pigment and color. I loved it, I was passionate about it, but once out of school, I drifted away from painting. It was hard to fit it into my everyday life and it started to feel like an impractical thing to do. Working to pay the rent took priority, and slowly I stopped.
I never stopped making things, and I began exploring other mediums – things that were easier to do in the post-college, limited space and limited budget that I had. Years later, after trying many things, I now consider myself primarily a paper crafter.
But I still think about painting.
I thought it would fun to revisit painting, but this time approach it with some new tools, bring some of my paper crafting techniques to the canvas, and make some art again.
Below you’ll find the instructions on how I created this painting, but I really hope you’ll take a look at the tools in your drawer and think about new ways you can use them. Just use this project as a springboard and really make this your own. For me, the joy of painting comes through experimentation and discovery. The possibilities of a blank canvas are endless often frightening, but always exciting.
Begin by punching out a few shapes from a variety of papers using your favorite punches and Fuse Creativity System® design sets. I selected a Hexagon, a Flower and Circle Design Set. The flowers and hexagons were punched from cardstock and the circles were punched from a semi-opaque screen-printed rice paper.
Take your canvas (pre-coated with gesso) and use a wide brush to coat the edges and front of the canvas with a generous layer of a medium yellow paint. Before the paint is dry, gently place several flower shapes all over the canvas and onto the wet surface. Allow the paint to dry, then give the canvas a second coat of yellow paint.
Once the second coat dries, randomly place your rice paper circles on the canvas. Coat the circles with a matte gel medium and a sponge brush to adhere them to the surface. Gel medium may appear white when wet, but once it dries, it will become clear.
To add some dimension and depth to the paintings, building layers is important. To do this, use a dry foam brush to pick up just a small dab of paint and make light strokes across the surface. Allow the paint to dry, and then do the same with your other colors. You can add gel medium to the paint to make it more transparent layers. Have fun, keep building until you are satisfied with your surface.
Before the last layer dries, add a little texture to the surface. You can use a blade and gently remove bits of a few layers, make a few marks, and scratch in some patters. You can create this chevron by rubbing an embossed paper into the wet paint and peeling it away. The raised areas lift the paint leaving the zig-zags behind.
Take your die-cut hexagons, and adhere them to the surface using gel medium. I placed mine on the canvas in an abstracted “Grandma’s Garden” quilt pattern. Add a few layers of gel medium to the hexagons, allowing them to dry between layers.
Next, create a stencil by punching the edge of a cardstock scrap with a border punch of your choice. Lay the scrap on the desired area of the painting and use a small sponge brush and paint to dab the stencil.
Carefully peel the paper away to reveal the pattern. Repeat this technique around the canvas, and make a few more patterns.
To complete the piece, add a few more details. Run a dry brush with just a little pigment across the raised, punch shape to make them pop. Add a few lines with a thin brush to give shapes definition. Allow everything to dry, and add a few layers of gel medium to painting’s surface. This will polish the piece and a depth to the surface.
White, grey, and yellow acrylic paint