We have had a bunch of rain this spring and when I can’t get outside I like to wander around in my local craft store and look for things I can alter and push to a new level through the application of color, texture and of course stencils! The clearance section is always a great place to look for weird odds and ends to play with.
On my latest trip I found a little standing piece of wood with a clip on it. I am assuming it is used to hold photos or notes but since I like to make ATCs and swap them I thought it would be a fun way to display my latest swaps or personal creations!
Whenever I start a project I pull out the markers, stencils, pencils and paint colors I am thinking about using I always leave myself room for last minute additions of paint or a different material but I like to pre plan a bit and get a balance of cool to warm colors with some bright pop for added contrast. I just picked up a few of these Art© Chalk and Metallic Paints so I thought they would be perfect to experiment with and I liked the idea of having a matte and glossy finish on the same piece. I selected two stencils to use TCW2107 Scribbled Heart Fragment and TCW2114 Repeat Tile Remnant and of course my go to applicator/blending tool from Ranger.
My first step for this piece was to apply a coat of gesso. My go to brand for gesso is Golden because it creates a really flat chalky texture and with a little added water you can also make it slightly transparent, this gesso holds up the best to all types of application and color mixing. I added a touch of water to this particular application because I needed to cover over the glossy finish that was applied to this original piece of wood, but I also wanted to see a bit of the antique worn edges that lends a bit of character. I let this dry completely before I moved on with adding color.
After my Gesso dried completely I applied a thin layer of Turquoise Blue Art© brand paint with a dry brush. I then tore up some ephemera from a magazine that I had painted blue and glued it down using some matte medium. Next I brushed the edges of the ephemera with the Turquoise Blue paint left on my brush to blend the ephemera and the background together. The paint application over the edges of the ephemera creates a more international seamless look for my background.
Next I selected a few different mediums to apply a hand rendered illustrated look to my piece. I wanted to mimmic the bits of worn edges that could still be seen under my original application of gesso so I selected 2 darker colored mediums (Graphite Faber Castell pencil and black Stabilo 3 in 1 pencil) and one lighter medium (Ironlak dual tip marker). I applied the marker first because I wanted to use the brighter color to break up the composition and then I applied the pencil by scribbling lines along the edges of the marker. This helps to further define the composition and direction the eye moves along the piece and provides a nice line weight variation to add visual interest. I applied the Stabilo pencil last because it is water soluble and the wet marker would have smeared it if I had applied it first.
I typically apply my darkest colors last because it allows me to evaluate the piece as a whole and look for opportunities to apply additional visual interest through high contrast. To create this contrast I applied the black Stabilo sparingly and towards the bottom of the composition. Applying it towards the bottom creates weight and draws your eye down. I chose to apply the Stabilo pencil in this way because I knew my next step was to apply the stencil and I wanted to leave an open space towards the top for it. Having strong visual elements at both the top and bottom help this piece feel more balanced.
When I originally selected my color palette I knew I really wanted the stencil pattern to POP off of the textured background so I selected the Metallic Magenta paint to create a color contrast against all of my cool blue colors. I applied the stencil slightly off center to the right so it would intersect the large solid blue area also on the right and then I turned the stencil and placed one of the tile shapes pointing in from the left, this creates balance and helps to create an interesting resting place for the eye. I then smeared a bit of magenta on the edges to again mimic the original worn edges of the original piece of wood.
In the above close up you can see the details of the worn edge and the line variation of marker to pencil as well as the strong color contrast of the turquoise and magenta.
To show how this final piece could be used I created a fun ATC (artist trading card) using stencil TCW2107 Scribbled Heart Fragment and the same process outlined above to build up color, texture and layers. Since I had planned up front to use the scribbled heart fragment stencil I again applied the scribbled look to the ATC with marker and pencil. I used a bit of yellow watercolor on the ATC to really give it a stark color contrast and then added a saying that I wrote that really ties the whole piece together. “Love is Scribbling Outside of the Lines” – Tori Weyers
The Crafter’s Workshop provided me with some product to create this project. This post also contains affiliate links. The opinions I share are solely my own.
Thanks so much for checking out my project! I hope you have a super creative day! Until next time!
The Crafter’s Workshop Design Team Member