Fabulous Frames

By Annette Smyth

Hello there,

Did you catch Tracey Evans on Hochanda on 27th September? if not click here to go to the Hochanda site and watch the shows on rewind at 11am and 3pm. If you did then you will have seen the amazing frames and panels now available from Powertex UK.

The frames are constructed from MDF and provide a beautifully stable base to apply all the lovely Powertex textures onto.

They come in 2 options.

I fell in love with these beauties when I saw them and have been creating like crazy with them. Here are a few of my makes.

Fabulous frames

Mixed Media

I created these pieces using the MDF frame and panel, they are coated in a base of Ivory Powertex and Easy Structure. Texture was added with stencils, mark making, MDF lettering, Powercotton, Paperdecoration and 3D Sand and Balls.

Secret Art Loft acrylic inks were then sprayed on to give the base colours and enhanced with the Secret Art Loft acrylic paints as the colours match perfectly. A little bit of bling was added with gems and silver leaf.

Africa themed mdf frame by Annette Smyth

It’s all about Africa

This piece was also created on the MDF Frame and Panel. This time I used Ivory Powertex along with Easy 3D Flex and 3D Sand to create the base texture.

The mdf additions – trees and letters, were all coated with Powertex Bronze and then stencilled on using Easy Structure to give texture.

The plaster torso (African Semi Prince) was also coated in Powertex Bronze.

A rice paper image was added to the central area using Easy Coat Mat before the lettering was added on top

The whole piece was then drybrushed with Powercolour pigments using Easy Varnish and the same pigments mixed with Powerwax were used to give the depth of colour on the frame area.

Cow skull Powertex art by Annette Smyth

Cow Skull Dreaming

For this piece I used the same frame but combined it with the Dreamcatcher MDF set which I stencilled onto using Easy structure. I used StoneArt clay in the new Cow Skull mould to create the focal point and added lots of extra flowers.

The base was Ivory Powertex and the additional texture is from cardboard, Powercotton, dishcloth, Paperdecoration and 3D Sand and Balls.

Again I used the Secret Art Loft acrylic inks and paints for colouring.

Powertex art by Annette Smyth

Heading East

For the Eastern themed pieces I chose to use the MDF Inset Frame and Panel. The plaster Buddha sits beautifully inside the opening with lots of room around the edges to add texture and colour and the lovely MDF symbols.

The top panel uses Black Powertex, Easy Structure, Hessian and 3D Sand and Balls. Once dry I used Easy Varnish and Rich Gold pigment to add the highlights.

The lower piece used Ivory Powertex, stencilling and texture with Easy Structure. The acrylic inks and paints provide the intense colour and Easy Varnish with Rich Gold pigment was used for the highlights.

Keep an eye out on this Powertex Magazine for some fantastic step by step articles from my design team colleagues. They will show you other amazing projects you can create using these frames.

We love to see what you create so please post your makes on our Facebook group, The Powertex Studio. Inspire others to have a go.

See more of my work or join me for a workshop at my home studio in Leamington Spa. Please take a look at my website www.annettesmyth.co.uk or contact me via my Facebook page.

Until next time Happy Creative Adventures.

Axx

Mosaic Madness

Designer – Annette Smyth

Hello Everyone, this month’s theme of Ancient Rome has got me really excited.

Why I hear you ask?…….Well, my Dad was born in the village of North Leigh in Oxfordshire.  It is here that the remains of one of the largest Roman villas can be found.  At its height, around the early 4th century it had 4 bath suites, 16 mosaic floors and 11 rooms with underfloor heating.  I expect the inhabitants found our climate a little cool!  

Mosaic madness

It was the mosaic floors that really grabbed my imagination and so I did a bit more digging into their symbolic meaning.  I found that homes often had a mosaic with medusa in. This was considered a lucky talisman as  it was thought to ward off evil,  as her stare would turn the viewer to stone.

Powertex Mosaic Madness by Annette Smyth

I immediately thought of using stone art to create the tiles and rather than Medusa I chose to use the Green man plaster , a more gentle image. The piece needed to be rustic and aged so bister was the perfect choice and having missing and misplaced tiles around the edge also gives it a timeworn feel.

If you would like to read more about the history of the villa please click here.

Materials List

Mdf circle or old hardboard place mat – mine was 28cm wide
Ivory Powertex Universal Medium
Stone Art
Green Man Plaster face
Brown Bister
Colortricx pigments – Red Ochre, Yellow Ochre, White, Mocha, Ultramarine blue
Easy Varnish
Powerwax (can be replaced with Stone Art see step 12)

You will also need
Non stick rolling pin
2 pieces of wood to be used as guides for rolling out your clay in step 2 – mine were just under 1cm thick 

1 Make Stone Art clay

Make the Stone Art clay by mixing the Ivory Powertex with the Stone Art.

2 Roll out the clay

Using the wooden guides, roll out the clay on a non stick surface.

Using guides allows you to roll to the same depth each time.

Texture added with sponge

3 Adding texture

Using a texture sponge, press into the clay to create texture then cut up into 1cm squares with scissors.

4 Dry enough tiles

Place these tiles to one side to start to dry.  I used 122 on my piece.

Designer tip – make spare tiles to test dry brushing colours on later.

5 Paint the base

Paint both sides of your base with Ivory Powertex and dry.

Place the plaster face on the base and roughly draw around it.

6 Make up your “grout”

Make up a paste of Stone Art powder and Ivory Powertex.  Think of this as your grout.

7 Attach the plaster face

Place some paste inside the line for your plaster face, paint the back of the plaster with Ivory Powertex and then place onto the base.

8 Place your tiles

Spread out more of paste, in a thickish layer, around the face and start placing your tiles in your chosen pattern.  

Mosaic sprayed with Bister

9 Spray with Bister

Spray with a light misting of brown bister and leave to dry overnight.

10 Add colour to the face

With a damp sponge, remove excess bister.

Using the Red and Yellow Ochre pigments mixed with Easy Varnish colour the plaster face.

Add Ultramarine Blue to the eyes.

Dry brushing the tiles

11 Colour the tiles

Using the Red Ochre, Yellow Ochre and Mocha pigments with Easy Varnish I coloured the outside 2 circles of tiles.

12 Colour the grout

Using Powerwax mixed with Yellow Ochre I created a paste to fill in the gaps between the tiles and up to the plaster.  Remove excess with a damp sponge.

Allow to dry overnight and polish with a soft cloth.

Top tip

Why not try using the Stone Art paste mixed with Yellow Ochre if you don’t have any Powerwax.

I have really enjoyed creating this piece and can see so many more projects that would work well with this technique. How about making your own plaque with your house number on?

I would love to know what you create following this article. Why not share your creations on the Powertex Studio Facebook group.

If you would like to see more inspiration ideas why not have a look at my previous article or join me for a workshop at my home studio.

Until next time, Happy Creative Adventures………Axx

Planet in the Night Sky

A fantasy planet

Designer – Jill Cullum

Planet in the night sky in Powertex by Jill Cullum
Powertex Planet in the Night Sky by Jill Cullum

For my planet in the night sky, inspiration came from warm summer nights, sat in the garden, looking out for shooting stars. I decided to try and replicate one of the planets. Hmmm, once started though, my imagination overtook and the finished article became much more magical.

Easy 3d flex makes beautiful cracks and texture. Experiment using different mediums to add colours. Here I have used layers of inks and acrylics, with a final layer of wax.

As you will see from the photographs, things changed along the way. This is what I love about mixed media. Some layers get covered, some peak through. It’s all part of the journey of creating what you love. Just go with it!

The Secret Art Loft acrylics and inks work wonderfully for layering up. Their translucent quality makes blending easy, and the metallic inks look like molten metal.

Top tip

I find it is really important with mixed media, to let each layer dry thoroughly before moving onto the next. Not an easy one for me, as I am an impatient crafter. However, your layers will become muddy if they aren’t dry.

Materials list

Creating a base

Creating a base for the planet with Powertex
Step 1 – creating a base

Pour Powertex liquid colour onto the canvas. Spray with Bister of a different colour then dry with a hairdryer, to create the crackle effect.

Add texture by creating a heavy crackle effect

Adding more texture to your planet base with Easy 3d Flex
Step 2 – adding texture

Mix Easy 3d flex with Ivory Powertex to create a clay. Layer over half of the canvas. Dry with hair-dryer spraying lightly with blue bister during the process.

Creating further texture

Use Powertex and fabric and clay to add texture layers to your planet
Step 3 – creating further texture

Using material, coated in Ivory Powertex and small ‘craters’ made from the 3d flex clay, build the layers of your planet.

Adding colour

Add green colours to the cracked areas of the planet
Step 4 – adding colour

Start by adding green ink to the deep cracked area and violet acrylic to the green side of the planet.

Building layers

add clay craters and shapes to the surface
Step 5 – building layers

Using greens, pinks and purples, layer the craters, blending as you go. Paint the material section with black acrylic, then add layers of metallic acrylic.

Powerwax

Use Powerwax mixed with powder pigment to layer on colour to your planet textures
Step 6 – Powerwax

On the side created by 3d flex, add a layer of Powerwax, mixed with pigment. Once dry, wipe with a damp sponge to add interest.

Finishing Touches

I decided my fantasy planet needed a touch more ‘bling’ so I added a few beads, blending in with the colours I had chosen along the way. The joys of creating a fantasy planet are that you can really be free with your choice of colours and the texture that you create. It’s nice not to be too rigid in your planning, as planets evolve, then so should a piece of art.

Planet in the night sky

Powertex planet in the night sky by Jill Cullum
Powertex planet in the night sky

I am looking forward to seeing lots of new planets, so feel free to share them in the Powertex Studio.

If you would like further planet inspiration take a look at this blog from Annette Smyth. Or why not join me for a workshop to create your own planet. Bye for now, Jill x

The Northern Lights in Powertex

Aurora Borealis in Powertex
Northern Lights using Powertex

Designer: Donna Mcghie

In this article I will show you how to recreate my interpretation of the Northern Lights using Powertex.

The Northern Lights, or Aurora Borealis have always fascinated me. Like the ocean which was the inspiration for my last blog, they have that ethereal, slightly unworldly quality. They are a reminder of just how wonderful nature can be.

The lovely Tracey Evans at Powertex HQ asked if I could use lots of colour and texture in this article. I used the gorgeous pigments to create the fluorescent greens and pinks for the sky. Textured stone art clay was added to signify water.

One thing I hadn’t realised before doing some research for this article, is that the Northern Lights also occur during the daytime.  However the human eye is unable to see them at these times as the sun is too strong for them to show up.

Materials List:

Cover the canvas

Powertex base for Northern Lights Blog
I mixed Sherbert Dip Pigment with White Fabric Hardener to create a luminous base

I roughly covered my canvas using a mixture of Sherbert Dip Pigment and White Powertex for the sky, and White and Blue Powertex for the sea.

Create crackles

Northern lights sky created using powertex pigments
I also added some Violet Valentine to the sky

After spraying with Black Bister I blasted with a hair dryer to create crackles, and used a palette knife to scrape back and allow the yellows to shine through.

Stone Art sea

Powertex Clay added to canvas for Northern Lights Blog
I had added in some trees in the background here, but they didn’t look right so I faded them out using my pigments over the top.

I used segments of Stone Art clay to create the illusion of a choppy sea. Powertex pearl pigments reflect the colours in the sky.

Tree textures

Powertex acrylic ink used to create trees on canvas
Rather than having the trees all along the shoreline, which didn’t look right, I opted to use an asymmetrical composition instead.

Putting a cluster of trees fading downwards, I painted some corrugated cardboard with acrylic and used a stubby brush to indicate branches.

Highlight waves

Powertex Power Wax to give highlights to waves on Stone Art Clay
Make Stone Art clay by mixing a small quantity of Stone Art with some Powertex until it forms a dough like substance

I liked the way the Stone Art clay waves were curling and decided to highlight this using Powercolor Titanium White Pigment.

Powerwax sky

I used Powertex Powerwax for a deep shine on the canvas
Powerwax is perfect for adding extra depth and shine.

Finally I added some extra depth to the colours in the sky using Powerwax and pigment. I dip my finger in the wax, then the pigment and gently rub on in a circular movement.

Using the Powerwax in the final stage really helped to bring the picture to life. I was able to create beautiful swirling patterns in the sky using the amazingly vibrant Pearl Pigments which gave just the ethereal atmosphere I was hoping for.

Northern Lights in Powertex

My finished Northern Lights Powertex Canvas

That’s all from me for this month. I hope you have enjoyed this step by step article, and would love to see any Northern Lights inspired artwork you create over on our Facebook page. Please feel free to leave any comments, (especially nice ones).

If you are in the Southampton area and fancy coming along to a workshop you can find all my upcoming events on the blog section of www.artandmurals.co.uk. My Facebook page also has my events listed.

Take care, and see you next month 🙂

Certified Powertex Workshop

What’s in a Powertex Workshop?

Have you thought about going to a Powertex workshop but haven’t yet, because you’re not sure what to expect? Well come with me and let me give you an insight in what’s in a Powertex workshop.

Powertex workshop

3d Flex Texture Powertex Workshop Samples

I was invited to a Powertex workshop earlier this month by Jill Cullum, of Purple Meadow Arts & Crafts. She is the Certified Powertex Tutor for the area where I live. Jill has been on all her training, so this means that she is qualified to teach and use all the Powertex products in her Powertex workshop.

Jill explaining the samples and what she did.

Where to begin in a Powertex Workshop

Everyone getting stuck in covering their canvas’s. Janet, top left wanted to do the technique but on journal covers, so Jill brought along a journal for her to work on instead. So if you know what you would like to do, contact your tutor before hand. They are very flexible and happy to oblige where possible.

Jill demo’d the next couple of steps and then went round checking everyone was okay and understood what they were doing.

Close up of Janet’s journal covers.

Whilst the canvas’s were in the drying box Jill demonstrated how to mix up the 3d flex. She showed what the right consistency with the 3d flex was to aim for. 

Then showed how to apply the paste onto the canvas.

Then it was their turn, with guidance from Jill.

Getting ready for the next stage

Whilst the makes were back in the drying box, we all sat down and had a natter with a cuppa and some chockie biscuits. I took this opportunity to ask them what they thought of the workshop so far.

One said that it was so different to what they normally do and it was good to come without any expectations.

Another said that they have learnt so many new techniques already and we haven’t finished yet.

Another said that is was nice to do something different.

After the coffee break, all the pieces came out of the drier. Look at those amazing cracks on Anita’s canvas.

Now the fun begins, adding the colour. The hardest part seemed to be choosing which colours to use from this huge selection. Everyone was encouraged to move out of their comfort zone.

Jill chose purple and green, these aren’t her normal ‘go to’ colours.

Jill demoing on her canvas, how to use the wax with the pigments and acrylics and how to built up the layers and blend the colours.

Everyone well under way with their colours.

Really coming along now.

Fabulous blending.

Anita was building up layers to replicate the colours she had in a photo on her phone.

Finishing touches

Once everyone was happy with their canvas’s, the last thing to do was to touch up the sides to make them black again. The black just seems to make the colours pop.

And here are the proud owners with their finished pieces.

This Powertex workshop took around two and a half hours from start to finish. Just look what you could do with the right guidance. All these ladies really enjoyed themselves today.

How many of you have a bottle of Powertex sat on your craft desk but haven’t opened it yet. A workshop is a great way to get started. 

Find your local tutor

There are over 100 Certified Tutors dotted all around the UK. To find the one nearest to you, click on this link which will take you to the Powertex Tutors directory. Login and find your nearest tutor who will be happy to help you with a workshop. They cater for everyone, groups, one on one, two on one, a group of friends or join a scheduled workshop and meet like minded people, the possibilities are endless.

I hope this has given you an insight into how a workshop runs. I hope that it’s nowhere near as scary as what you thought it might be, just go along. You will be made to feel very welcome and you’ll love it so much, you’ll want to go back. Most of the tutors have their own FaceBook pages and list their planned workshops under events. So if you see something you fancy, get it touch. Nothing is out of reach with the right guidance.

Would you like to become a Powertex tutor? Be inspired by an article from Jan a Powertex UK certified tutor and find out how here.