Sunflower Garden Mixed Media Artwork

Image of the 12" x 12" completed Sunflower Garden on mixed media board.
Sunflower Garden 12″ x 12″ Mixed Media Board

Hello and happy early Autumn!

For this project, I wanted to try using the TCW9054 12″ x 12″ Mixed Media board, and I wanted to challenge myself by doing a whole project using only the ColorSparx powders as the color.

I live in Kansas, which is the Sunflower state, so I thought that it would be lovely to give a local nod to the fields and gardens of sunflowers blooming here, and nodding gently in the light breeze.

I chose to use the TCW863 Sunflower Meadow stencil in the 12″ size, which was a perfect fit for the mixed media board. I also wanted to create a little additional interest in the background, so I chose one of my new favorite stencils, TCW454 Specimens 12”.

The Crafter’s Workshop provided me with some product to create this project. The opinions I share are solely my own.

I started by creating a randomly applied background of Olive Green ColorSparx powder, both as a water color wash and then splattered some around randomly across the background of the project. I sprinkled some kosher salt onto the wet water color then dried it with my heat gun. This is one of my favorite water color techniques to use. I just love the effect it creates when it dries!

Close up image of the dried water color background showing the kosher salt effect and color splatters.
Olive Green ColorSparx background with kosher salt effect.

To add the little bit of extra interest to the background, I used stencil TCW454 Specimens 12” with matte medium gel applied with a palette knife. I then dried this with my heat gun, held a little too close, to create a bubbly raised texture by slightly overheating the matte medium gel.

Close up of the matte medium gel texture added to the top background area for a little extra interest.
Close up of the matte medium gel applied to the background for extra interest.

Next, it was time to plant my sunflower garden. Using TCW9005 White modeling paste, I mixed the Marigold, Burnt Orange, and Gamboge Colorsparx powders to create customized colors for the flower petals and centers, then applied them through the TCW863 Sunflower Meadow stencil. Once the modeling paste was dry, I applied water color washes of the same colors to deepen the color. For additional depth, I sprinkled Sepia Colorsparx powder directly into the flower centers onto the wet water color. An added bonus was the few stray grains that produced a tiny splatter of Colorsparx effects on the petals!

Close ups showing the sunflower centers and petals.

For the stems and leaves, I used three shades of green Colorsparx powders, Chartreuse, Terre Verte, and Olive Green each mixed with the TCW9005 White modeling paste. For special effect, I did not mix the Colorsparx powders into the modeling paste completely, this way the modeling paste had sparks occurring while I was stenciling, to add dimension.

For further definition on the leaves and stems once dry, I hand painted blades of grass, added shadows, and applied a little dimension to the stems by using individual water color washes with the Olive Green, Chartreuse, and Sepia Colorsparx powders.

Close up showing the stenciled stems and leaves, and hand painted grass.

To finish the background, I applied a water color wash of olive green over the matte medium gel stenciling, then applied random highlights with the Chartreuse colorsparx water color mix. And with that, my friends, my garden was complete!

Want to see a two part step-by-step video tutorial for this project? Hop on over to my YouTube Channel and check it out!

Until next time, happy experimenting and happy day!

Michaela Butterworth
The Crafter’s Workshop Design Team Member

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