African Adventure Wreath

The Secret Art Box – September 2019

Designer – Gill Goldsmith

This month’s theme was Africa and the box was filled with so many amazing products. The Powertex colour this month was Terracotta and there was also a plaster head, MDF animals and trees, rice paper, paper decoration, 3d sand, stencil, tissue paper, pigment, metallic ink, varnish and yellow Bister spray. I had lots of ideas, but decided on a striking African Adventure Wreath.

Powertex UK Secret Art Box, September Africa.
Powertex Secret Art Box September

Materials

So firstly, I got out the plaster head, Africa map MDF, the rice paper, tissue paper. I also had some white paper that had black painted markings on from my stash, (I thought it looked like zebra print) and started laying out my composition.

Choosing my Powertex materials
Choosing my materials

I started by painting the polystyrene shape with Powertex Easycoat mat. Attach the rice paper and then paint a coat of Easycoat mat over the top. This helps to seal the paper and stick it to the shape without bubbles.

Covering the wreath
Covering the wreath

Continue to place your papers in this way until you are happy. I painted the areas in between with terracotta Powertex. I also painted the head and Africa map.

You will see that I chipped away a bit of the polystyrene at the bottom of the wreath shape. This is so the flat backed figure head was nestled into the wreath to help support it at the next stage.

Now I was ready to use some fabric to create texture. This also helps support the head onto the wreath. I used some dishcloths, stockinette and paper decoration. I even gave the African man a little head band and created a loop to hang the wreath by twisting the fabric into a knot.

Adding fabric texture
Adding texture

I attached the MDF Africa map and rhino. I used 3d sand, mixed into the Terracotta Powertex and applied this with a palette knife. Then allowed everything to dry thoroughly before the next stage.

Spray liberally with the yellow Bister included in the box. This creates depth to your work. Although initially scary to spray your projects, I always encourage my students to just go for it. More is more in this instance.

Spray with Bister
Spray with Bister

Allow to dry thoroughly before moving on to the fun bit of drybrushing with pigments and inks. At this stage I also attached the MDF strip, which I had painted with black Powertex and attached some paper decoration and letters to spell out Africa.

Dry brushing
Dry brushing

I used a very dry brush with some ivory Powertex to highlight the fabric texture. This just lifts it, after you have added the Bister and makes the texture really show up.

This month we have a Dark green Powercolour pigment and the introduction of a new product, Copper penny metallic acrylic ink. I used green on the raised areas of the Africa map, where the sand was, and the lettering. Then Copper penny ink, to highlight the texture on the fabric, the paper decoration on the Africa wording and the African man bust.

Powertex African Adventure Wreath by Gill Goldsmith
Powertex African Adventure Wreath by Gill Goldsmith

That’s it, the completed project. Hope you enjoy this month’s Secret Art Box and will share what you create on the Facebook page. Check out more of my ideas from past boxes and more of my work on my Facebook page The Powertex Port. Until next month, happy Powertexing XXX Gill

4 thoughts on “African Adventure Wreath

  1. So far I have used powertex once when I made a top hat for my son on his bthday i have bought an African lady’s head so I can make a statue i am still nervous of off using it but hopefully with more experience it will get easier for me thankyou for the hints and tips

    1. Susan, thanks I’d say just go for it. Or alternatively if you’d like some expert guidance have a look at the tutor directory on the Powertex website and find a local tutor to help you with your African statue. There are lots of us all over the country and we are very friendly 😁 xxx

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