A Powertex mixed media project – Heron canvas – Jinny Holt

Tranquillity at sunset

Good morning fellow creative people, my project for January was a pair of MDF birds and they look like Cranes which are very similar to Herons, well I think so, which is a bird I see on a more or less daily basis when I take our dog for a walk by the river, so my cranes have now become herons.

49701109_225105988413800_1671287734695624704_n

I have to confess in my head I was going to do freestanding birds, not dissimilar to a fellow Design team member, so I had to rethink how I was going to bring my birds to life. Then it hit me, why not do them on canvas! So this was my train of thought. I had an old powertex canvas and decided to recycle this as the backdrop for my birds.

49580984_2526828210677053_4624620385453735936_n

 In fact, I already quite liked this canvas as a backdrop and helped me to plan a backdrop for my birds. I then added some extra texture to this canvas, using TRANSPARENT POWERTEX  to help adhere my texture to the canvas.

49344787_280667132612727_2592093422621818880_n

I had a rummage through my stash and found these old split washers and nuts, which I overlayed over pieces of odd scraps of lace and PAPERDECORATION and a little bit of stone art paste which has added more texture to the canvas.

TOP TIP ~ when using paper decoration, spray with water before soaking in Powertex, it will react quicker and thus save creative time ~

49457160_271157443581458_353789311008636928_n

I have also added some little pegs to give the illusion of reeds.

49831323_398316947599499_3766798679231430656_n
I added extra texture on the sun part of the old canvas with stone art clay.
49467920_2204467493109513_5402195115991105536_n

I next painted the whole canvas with a thin layer of Ivory Powertex, just to give it a base for the new colour.

49864934_763425604056154_5110100845525991424_n

I then painted my canvas with pigment colours and the secret art loft paints.

TOP TIP ~ Did you know you can use your pigment colours like watercolours?

I would not use this technique if your project is to go outside, you will need the varnish for this but as my project is a canvas, this is fine.

I stuck with colours that were related to the scene, which I helped by spraying over with a water bottle as I wanted it fairly transparent in colour… DARK BLUE which I absolutely love, brown tones for the reeds and red, orange and pink tones. Now for the magical part, dry brushing … I did the dry brushing next and painted my pair of birds in BLACK POWERTEX and made some stone art clay and added this for texture to the body and neck of the birds.

49348842_279693516043131_5633009596235776000_n

I next concentrated on the wings and made a rough shape of the wings with some wire and then covered them in lace scraps that I found which resembled a feather shape

At this point, I decided to leave it all to dry overnight.

49560121_2191332807848485_3843105645192544256_n

The black sticks are now going to be my bird’s legs as I cut off the ones from the bird template.

49763668_2339036742991204_1964441028131815424_n
49628769_437361593468674_717651102010441728_n

I added some discs to the underside of the birds, so when it was all assembled they would have a height to them.

Once I assembled the birds to the canvas, I then decided to do some dry brushing to showcase all the texture and add some depth to them. I started off with the silver pigment and varnish and then topped it up with white pigment, which added extra highlights to the texture on the wings and bodies.

I took some close up photos so you can see all the yummy texture. I hope that I have inspired you to create with Powertex.

You can find all the materials you need at Powertex UK

You can find me on…

Facebook at MUMS SHED

WordPress at  MumsShed

You can get loads of inspiration from the Powertex addicts on Facebook

Being creative is not a hobby, it’s a way of life!

Thanks for reading

Jinny 

Powertex Japanese Cranes – Annette Smyth

Happy New Year everyone. I hope you had a peaceful Christmas and Santa brought you everything you need.

So here we go with a whole new year of creative adventures and to kick it off , I got to use these beautiful bird templates. They have so much potential and I have loads of ideas flying around my head for future projects.

In this blog I’d like to share my step by step instructions for how I made the templates into Japanese Cranes – with a little bit of artistic licence. I recommend you read through the instructions before starting.

For this project you will need

You will also need 2 deep sided plastic containers, a small container (the foil base from a mince pie works well), cling film, brush and something to stir the clay mixture with ( I use the handle end of an old wooden spoon). Apron, gloves and plastic cover for your work area are also a good idea.

Building the armature

I started by using the foil to build up a more rounded shape on the head, neck and body of the bird templates. Keep checking the shape from all angles and compare the birds side by side to get the proportions right.

I built the wings separately and then taped them into place on the birds however you can build the into the body as you go.

When you are happy with the shapes slide them onto the metal spikes to check that they fit side by side. Make any necessary adjustments.

I attached the larger bird to the spike, at this stage, by securing with masking tape then building the leg shape with foil. Next I covered the whole bird with masking tape,

The smaller bird, I choose to work off the spike so that it would be easier to get around all sides of both birds with the clay. To enable you to attach the bird to the stand later, leave the legs of the smaller bird uncovered but cover the rest of the bird with masking tape. Make sure the hole for the spike does not get covered.

I then painted both birds with a coat of White Powertex.

Adding the clay

In one of the deep plastic containers, I mixed the White Powertex with the Stone Art to create clay (see the ‘how to video’ in my Penguin blog). Mix the clay to a soft dough consistency so that it is easier to apply to the birds. Once mixed wrap in clingfilm to stop it from drying out.

When you’re ready to start the sculpting, warm up your clay by kneading it thoroughly, then start applying to the birds in manageable pieces . I started at the beaks and worked down the neck and bodies. Smooth the clay out with your fingers making sure you thin it out where pieces lay over one another so that there is no bulky areas. Keep some clay for use on the small birds legs later on.

There is no need to put clay over the wings as these will be covered later.

I used approximately 250g of clay on the larger bird and 150g on the smaller bird. Don’t worry as any spare clay can be kept wrapped in clingfilm for a couple of weeks and will still be workable.

Shaping the wings

I then took strips of the white Paperdecoration and dipped it into the white Powertex. Work the Powertex through the paperdec and squeeze out any excess. It should be covered but not dripping.

Lay these strips over the wings working down towards the tail. To get thin wispy feather effects pull the paperdec apart once you have covered it in Powertex. 

Next, I placed the small bird onto the base, attached it with masking tape, painted the legs with white powertex then covered with the spare white stoneart clay. I chose not to cover these with foil as they would have been too bulky.

Leave overnight to fully dry.

Adding colour

Mix a 10p amount of Easy varnish with each pigment to a single cream consistency. Use this to paint the beak (yellow ochre) head (red), eye and neck (black). Varnish dries very quickly so you will need to remix more as required.

Mix a dry brush blend of easy varnish and black pigment to make a thick paste. (see video below) Wipe off excess colour then use this to dry brush the wings. Make up a similar paste with black and a touch of white (grey), again wipe off the excess and use this mix to dry brush the legs.

https://youtu.be/RcPNuHFeVIE

Dry Brushing

Final Touch

Finally, I added some large 3d balls to a small container, sprayed generously with yellow bister then added enough transparent powertex to make the balls clump. I placed this onto the metal base and patted down. I repeated this until I had a nice covering on the base. I then dripped the remaining mixture into any gaps to help bond the balls. Leave overnight to dry

I hope you have enjoyed this project as much as I did.

I will be running full day workshops at my studio in Leamington Spa, on the following dates if you would like to join me to create a crane.

  • Tuesday 29th January 2019
  • Wednesday 13th February 2019
  • Sunday 3rd March

For further details, please see the workshop section on my website www.annettesmyth.co.uk .

Until next time, Happy Creative Adventures

Annette x