A Winter’s Tale – Nostalgic Powertex

By Donna Mcghie

My prompt for this month’s Powertex article was A Winter’s Tale.  The festive season is fast approaching and my mind wandered back to those seemingly halcyon days of Christmas’ past.

Nostalgic Powertex Christmas tree by Donna Mcghie tells A Winter's Tale
I just love the retro look of these Christmas Rice Papers

Obviously memory plays tricks on us all, but for me, nothing beats a bit of nostalgia at Christmas. I fell in love with the retro look of the Victorian Christmas Rice Papers, the style of the images really made me smile. 

However, rather than making me think of all things Victorian, for me they conjure up memories of the early seventies.  Lots of gaudy tinsel and Slade blasting out Merry Christmas on Top of the Pops.

I decided to attempt to create a wall plaque that captured some of that seventies atmosphere. 

So grab yourself a snowball to drink, (or something non alcoholic from the soda stream if you prefer), and let’s  have a bit of festive fun with Powertex.

I deliberately chose to keep this project fairly simplistic and quick to do.  The reason being is that most of us are frantically busy on the lead up to Christmas, and don’t have much time to set aside for crafting.  Hopefully this little tree can slot in to the timescale somewhere though.

Materials List:

Step 1

Powertex nostalgic Christmas tree by Donna Mcghie - A Winter's Tale
I use a sponge to apply the colour as I find it quicker

Mix together green and white Powertex Fabric Hardener to a pale green colour. Sponge over your tree shape and allow to dry. You can use a hairdryer to speed this process.

Step 2

Nostalgic Christmas tree, Donna tells a Winter's Tale
By adding stone art we are starting to build some texture

With a flat brush apply Easy Varnish where you want to place the images. Then gently put them in position and brush over them again with the varnish to seal. Add some more hardener in various places and whilst damp gently dab on some Stone Art.

Step 3

A nostalgic WInters Tale with Powertex by Donna Mcghie
When adding the ink, protect your images with paper.

Using a small pallet knife scrape some Easy Structure downwards to give the impression of branches. Blast with a dryer, and then add some Acrylic Spray Ink.

Step 4

Powertex nostalgic A Winter's Tale by Donna Mcghie
The darker Bister adds some depth

Now add more branch shapes with Easy Structure, dry and spray with the Bister.

Step 5

If the pigment does not show up enough, you can add white fabric hardener as well

Now mix a small amount of white pigment with easy varnish, load a flat brush, wipe off on paper towel, and gently sweep over your tree segments. Gradually building up the intensity until it looks like snow.

Step 6

A Winter's Tale Powertex project by Donna Mcghie
A sprinkle of glitter, and we are done

A final flourish of glitter and we are done 🙂 I like to use a very fine bio degradable glitter as although we’re going for a seventies vibe, it’s good to use current sensibilities about sustainability.

I decided to add a simple star on the top but obviously if you decide to make one you can bling up your tree with whatever takes your fancy.

That’s my lot for 2019 folks. I have really enjoyed sharing my makes in these articles and have equally enjoyed seeing what you share with us on our Facebook page, so please do pop over and share any of your nostalgic makes.

I’ve been making lots of other festive decorations which you can see on my own Facebook page here.

The other design team members have been busy as well. I particularly love Fiona’s Christmas star from last year.

Have a wonderful Christmas everyone, and here’s hoping you get lots of Powertex goodies in those stockings 🙂

Van Gogh Inspired Powertex

This article is about how my favourite artist influences what I create with Powertex. Gosh, making this choice was as tricky as choosing a design from one of my fellow Powertex design team members. The main three artists I whittled it down to were Vincent Van Gogh, Lucian Freud and Frida Kahlo. 

Vincent Van Gogh style Powertex
Swirly patterns reminiscent of Van Gogh often work their way into my art

“I want to touch people with my art. I want them to say ‘he feels deeply, he feels tenderly’.”

Vincent Van Gogh

All three have very different styles, but each of these artists work, move’s me on an emotional level. To me their work has a kinaesthetic quality to it.  I almost want to dive right into the painting and feel the textures of paint they have layered on. Obviously I hold myself back from doing this as I’m not a fan of getting thrown out of art galleries.

Van Gogh quote with Powertex art
I incorporate some of Van Gogh’s quotes into my art using the Powertex stencils

“If you hear a voice within you say ‘you cannot paint’, then by all means paint, and that voice will be silenced.”

Vincent Van Gogh

Looking back on my Powertex work

When I looked back over my Powertex work, the style of Van Gogh seems to have influenced me the most. Maybe it is because the textural aspect of Powertex works so well for creating those swirling patterns of colour, that can carry add such emotional clout to an image.

paint brush incorporated into powertex journal
I added an old paint brush as it just felt like it belonged in this piece

A while back I did a step by step on how I created a Van Gogh inspired bottle, complete with starry starry lights which you can find here.

I had fun incorporating the twisted willow into this design

“The heart of man is very much like the sea, it has its storms, it has its tides and in its depths it has its pearls too.”

Vincent Van Gogh

I have also created a journal using the same techniques.

“It is with the reading of books the same as with looking at pictures; one must, without doubt, without hesitations, with assurance, admire what is beautiful.'”

Vincent Van Gogh

I stumbled across a book of Van Gogh’s letters some years ago, and was blown away by the beauty of his words. He used words just as beautifully and just as brutally honestly as he used his paint brush.

I am a doodler and a scribbler, and never keep my journals clean and tidy. They tend to get lost in the chaos of my studio, and resurface when the time is right for me to use them. But this one is precious to me. This one I never lose.

front and back of my van gogh powertex journal
The one journal I always keep safe and sound

Who inspires you?

Here at Powertex UK we love to see photos of your creations, and to find out who you have been inspired by. Please feel free to share them over on our Facebook group.

If you would like to leave any comments here, they are also very welcome. You can see more of what I get up to over on my own Facebook page.

That’s all from me for now folks, keep on Powertexing and I will see you in December.

Powertex Dreamcatcher

Designed by Donna Mcghie

Powertex dreamcatcher by Donna Mcghie
Step by step guide to creating a Powertex Dream Catcher

The story behind my Powertex dreamcatcher. I will always have a bit of a soft spot for dream catchers.  When my daughter was young she suffered awfully from night terrors. 

We tried many techniques to get her to have a peaceful night, and spoke to many professionals as well.  One of the things we tried,  hoping that it would help her even if just a through a placebo effect was a dream catcher. 

I’d be lying if I said she slept perfectly once we hung up her dream catcher. The thought of it catching those bad dreams and holding them at bay definitely had a calming effect on her before she closed her eyes at bedtime to go to sleep.

Thankfully those days are long behind us now, and my daughter is now a young woman.  But she has seen the dream catcher shown here and I know this is something she would still hang up in her bedroom or living room.

For this dream catcher I used the gorgeous ink sprays now available from Powertex UK.  I just love how vibrant and easy to use these are, and how they automatically blend into each other to create almost an air brushed effect. 

Materials List

How to make my Powertex dreamcatcher

Prepare the frame

Prepare the frame
This mdf frame is so easy to use


Paint the Powertex mdf frame and panel with Ivory Fabric Hardener and set aside to dry.

Mix up Stone Art clay

Mix up Stone Art Clay
I used the mould for one cow’s head, but made lots of the flowers to add onto my final design

Mix up  Stone Art with Ivory Fabric Hardener to form a clay. I  pressed this into the Cow Skull and Flowers mould.

Spray with acrylic inks

Spray with acrylic inks
I put the small raised square to one side for now and only sprayed the larger piece

I wanted to create a surreal dreamy effect, so popped out the shapes from the MDF Dream Catchers and used them as stencils, spraying over with my ink sprays randomly.

Add Easy Structure texture

Add easy structure feathers
The easy structure adds texture to the design

Put Easy Structure onto a pallet knife and smear it through a leaf stencil.  I also sponged silver acrylic onto the leaves.

Use Bister spray for depth

Use Bister sprays for depth
Bister gives added depth to the design.

I added more texture by soaking my natural paperdecoration in transparent hardener and placing around the edges. I also sprayed the edges with Mahogany Bister Spray.

Lay out Paperdecoration

Using Paperdecoration
I sprayed the cow’s head with acrylics to keep in with my colour scheme

Put together the inner section and add paperdecoration (soaked in transparent hardener) and the cow’s head. I did not glue it in just yet.

Layering paperdecoration
Once I was happy with this section, I secured it onto the larger piece.

I soaked my light pink paperdecoration in transparent fabric hardener and add this to my design also.

Mdf feathers

mdf feathers
Once the easy structure was dry I painted my feathers with Raspberry Sorbet Acrylic and also dry brushed them.

My next step was to add texture to my mdf feathers by using the Easy Structure and my feather stencil. I put them to one side to dry.

Paint and add clay flowers

Stone Art clay flowers
I used lots of these little flowers

Painted all the small flowers with Acrylic Paint and once dry, dry brush with White Powercolor.

Add crochet fabric

Create the dreamcatcher
If you are clever enough crochet your own middle, or do what I do and scour the charity shops

I soaked some crochet in the Ivory Hardener and secured it into the mdf circles. Once dry, I sprayed with my inks and added flowers

Glue the pieces together

Glue the dreamcatcher pieces together with Powertex
My mdf feathers are glued to the dream catcher to help secure the whole piece together

Glue the dream catcher into place and add feathers to the design.

Dry brushing

Powertex dream catcher with feathers by Donna Mcghie
The finished Dream Catcher

Finally I dry brushed my whole piece using the interference pigments and the white Powercolor.

Finishing Touches

The interference colours were gorgeous to use with this project, as I honestly do think they have a dreamy quality to them.  I also used a sponge to add just a touch of the aqua ink to the tips of the feathers. I felt they needed something extra to help them blend in. 

TOP TIP: I was slightly concerned about the dream catcher adhering to the square, but found by putting glue on both the top of the dream catcher, and also the larger feathers it secured on nicely.

That’s all from me for this month. If you’ve enjoyed this Powertex dreamcatcher, I would be really grateful if you popped over to check out my Facebook page as well. You can also see my last design team project that’s great for Halloween.

Until next time, keep powertexing 🙂

Powertex Ghoul Shoulder Accessory

Designer – Donna Mcghie

For this month’s articles the Powertex Design Team were asked to look back over the archives and put our own spin on a previous creation by one of our colleagues. What an inspiration it was going back over past Powertex sculptures and creations.  I was spoilt for choice.  However, the one creation that stopped me in my tracks was the Powertex Halloween Ghoul from October 2018, by the very talented Anna Emelia Howlett, of Rosehart Designs. 

Powertex ghoul for Halloween
A spooky little Powertex Ghoul shoulder buddy for Halloween by Donna Mcghie

I have to admit to have never having watched a Harry Potter film in my life. I was unsure what a dementor was, but I liked the challenge of doing something so outside of my comfort zone.

However, this was not to be an exact copy of Anna’s brilliant design.  My take on it was to create a smaller one, who could be worn on the shoulder to watch over me as Halloween approaches.  Whether he is friend or foe remains to be seen.

“Where there is no imagination there is no horror” So says Sherlock Holmes in Arthur Conan Doyle’s book  A Study in Scarlet.

Anyone who has ever watched a horror film with me will testify that I have a very vivid imagination.  It was still great fun creating this little Powertex dementor though

Materials List

How to make a Powertex Halloween Ghoul

Step 1

Skeleton base for Powertex skull
In Anna’s original she adapted her skull to have an open mouth. Mine was too small to do this.

I  poked some wire in the base of my skull for a neck, and then built shoulders using wire, foil and masking tape.

Step 2

powertex skull base sitting on shoulder
I placed my ghoul on the jacket shoulder to check it fitted

I added on long bony fingers with some extra wire.

Step 3

Powertex ghoul stage 4
I propped him up on a plastic container so I could work on him without it sticking

I painted him in black Powertex and added kitchen roll for texture.

Step 4

Black Powertex adds texture to the halloween ghoul
As well as material I added texture with Paperdec and string

I soaked thin cloth in Black Powertex Fabric Hardener for his cloak.

Step 5

Powertex Skull Head
Scary Face!!

I decided to enlarge his mouth and eyes by making holes with scissors.

Step 6

Final dry brushing of the Powertex ghoul
Dry brushing brings out all that texture

Finishing touches

Once my ghoul had dried I added the final touches of dry brushing, using Anna’s choice of pigments.

Getting it to sit upright on my jacket was a challenge. Initially I had planned to use velcro, but decided I didn’t want his company on a permanent basis, only on spooky nights.

I compromised by using big safety pins. As I had only used thin material I was able to push pins through his cloak, and also hook them over his bony hands. This ensured my ghoul stayed in place and looks over my shoulder as long as I want him to.

Powertex Halloween Ghoul by Donna Mcghie

I hope you have enjoyed my take on Anna’s Powertex ghoul. Any comments you wish to leave would be greatly appreciated. You can see the original ghoul over on Anna’s blog here. We’d love to see your take on a Powertex Ghoul, over on our Facebook page The Powertex Studio.

You can see more of what I get up to over on my website or my facebook page. That’s all from me for this month. Until September take care, keep on creating, and may all your ghouls be friendly ones 🙂

Powertex Giraffe

Unique Powertex giraffe garden feature

Designer – Donna Mcghie

For this article I was asked to create a 3D animal using Powertex and recycled materials.  As anyone who is familiar with Powertex will know, the possibilities for this are endless. My brain was buzzing with ideas.  However, it was when I was sorting out stuff to take to the dump, that inspiration hit for a Powertex giraffe.

Step by step blog on how to create a powertex giraffe
Follow my step by step to create a unique Powertex Giraffe for your garden

I was loading a broken floor mop into my van that I settled on what I was going to create. The mop was speaking to me, and what it was saying was one word.  Giraffe.  As I turned it round in my hands, a picture started to form in my mind.  I even had a ready made pose, with the head lifted high, as though nibbling on leaves.  Yes I thought, I’m going to make you into a giraffe’s head sticking out of a plant pot in my garden. 

A strange thing to think?  Maybe, but I’m willing to guess that anyone who is into Powertex will have had similar thoughts on a regular basis.

mop to use for giraffe
Look at that, a ready made Giraffe shape

We have a plant that overhangs our fence and I decided to turn this into a feature by placing my giraffe so that it can decoratively nibble on the leaves. I opted to only make the neck as I thought it would look quirky sticking out amongst my plants.

Materials List

Making a Powertex Giraffe Garden Feature

Create the head

mop head for giraffe
I like to recycle a lot of packaging in this way

I scrunched up old plastic from packaging and old rubber gloves to form the shape of the face, before covering tightly with masking tape.

Create the base

sand base
Sand in the base that contained the disinfectant holder gives a bit of weight to stop it being too top heavy.

I filled the part that held the disinfectant base with sand before also covering with tin foil and tape to add weight.

Create the neck

masking tape to prep the surface
Please excuse the photobombing from Logan my dog. He was very interested in what I was making

Using old plastic I padded out the shape of the neck all the way down, and bound tightly with masking tape before painting with Powertex Fabric Hardener.

Stone Art clay and horns

giraffe head with stone art clay
I used old toothbrushes for the horns, and stones for the eyes

I mixed Stone Art Clay  face and neck leaving some pole (and sand) free to bury in soil in my plant pot.

Make the eyes and ears

Top tip, leave some wire hanging over the end of the ears to dig into the clay to ensure they stay put

I molded some ear shapes using tin foil and wire, before covering with tape and clay and adhering to the head. I also pushed some stones in for the eyes.

Easy 3d Flex clay

Make 3D Flex Clay in exactly the same way you made the Stone Art Clay. Be sure to leave it somewhere warm to dry off and create crackle and texture

I dry brushed with Powertex Rich Gold Pigment before adding some Easy 3D Flex patches. A stamp added even more texture.

Fabric eyelashes

I wanted my Giraffe to have gorgeous long lashes

I used Black Powertex Fabric Hardener and some tassles from an old key ring to create luscious lashes for my Giraffe.

Use some fringing

fringing for neck
This fringing that I got from the Scrap Store was perfect for my Giraffe’s neck hair

I soaked some of this fringing in Bronze Powertex to create the hair for my giraffe’s neck, and left the whole thing to dry off completely.

Dry brushing

giraffe neck with Powertex texture
Just look at all that texture in that 3D Flex!

The finishing touches

The final step was to dry brush the whole thing in Bronze Gold Pigment. This create a contrast to the Rich Gold that was on the Clay underneath the 3D Flex patches.

I wanted to be sure that anything  I used apart from Powertex was recycled.  Hence the stones for eyes, and the toothbrushes for horns.  I had thought of using old corks for the horns, and toyed with using hessian for the patches, but my love for Easy 3D flex won
out. 

If you decide create something similar, to ensure it is weather resistant please be aware that Stone Art Clay needs to be kept indoors for 6 months initially.

Gerald will stay safely inside until next year. Just before putting him
outside I will give another couple of coats of Easy Varnish, especially on the
Easy 3D Flex patches.

Powertex giraffe by Donna Mcghie
Powertex giraffe by Donna Mcghie

Obviously if you choose to make your own Giraffe you can do it on as big, or as small a scale as you wish – using anything that is available to you at home. If you decide to make one please do post a photo over on our Facebook page as we love to see what people are inspired to create. 

If you are unsure about how to create Stone Art Clay, my fellow design team member Annette has great instructions in this blog.

Thanks so much for reading, I hope you are inspired by Gerald. You can see more of my work on my facebook page, and my website www.artandmurals.co.uk.

Until next month, take care and Happy Powertexing 🙂

Stormy Sea Tag with Powertex

Designed by – Donna Mcghie

Powertex stormy sea tag scene using mdf tags by Donna Mcghie
Seascape tag

Tags are really popular in the crafting world at the moment. For my stormy sea tag, I’m using the A5 tag from Powertex UK. They are great quality to work with, whatever your style of crafting.

Don’t you just love the fact that we all have our own individual style?  Obviously style evolves as we experiment and learn new techniques.  My own style I would describe as rather haphazard.  I’ve never been one for over thinking a project. 

Once many years ago an art tutor declared my work to be very ‘organic’. Initially I wasn’t quite sure how to take this, but I think I know what she was getting at. As an artist I like to allow my paint, Powertex, or whatever medium I’m using to have a life of it’s own.  You could say I’m a ‘go with the flow’ kind of a girl.

Go With The Flow

What do I mean by ‘go with the flow?’ Well, according to the artist Jenny Holzer “Going with the flow is soothing but risky.” I find it soothing to allow Powertex to take on a life of it’s own. I also love the sense of risk, the excitement of never quite knowing what I will end up with.

That could be why I love stormy seascapes. How wonderful that everyone’s storm will end up slightly different.

Materials list:

1: Prepare with White Powertex

Prepare mdf with white powertex
A5 tag and lighthouse mdf

Sponge Powertex White over MDF pieces and set aside to dry.

2: Blue Bister

Powertex mdf tab with blue bister and white fabric hardener for sky
Powertex Blue Bister makes a perfect blustery sky

Spray Powertex Ready Mixed Blue Bister on the top third of the tag. Use a damp sponge wipe away spaces for the clouds.

3: Adding fabric strips

Powertex mdf lighthouse template
I set this aside to dry for a while

Soak denim strips in transparent hardener to for sections of the lighthouse and paint the top.  A blast of ready mixed black bister gives a rugged effect.

4: Pouring Powertex

powertex mdf tag with bisters and fabric hardeners for stormy waves
This was my favourite part, where I got to ‘go with the flow’

Fun Time! Pour blue fabric hardener with smidgeon of white for the wave. Whilst still wet spray with green bister and blast with dryer for movement and crackles.

5: Place the lighthouse

powertex stormy seascape tag with lighthouse
It’s starting to come together

Place the lighthouse into position. Almost there now, just a couple of final touches and your picture will be complete.

6: Adding texture

powertex texture on mdf tag
Time for some texture

Steel grey pigment with some easy structure paste create a rock for the lighthouse to stand on, and 3D Sand with Yellow Ochre Powertex form a shoreline. If you wish to add a few more wild white touches with a pallet knife, go for it.

Finished Piece

Although this is only A5 in size, I think it packs a punch.  As I stated above, this was very much a ‘go with the flow’ project. 

Of course does help to have a rough idea of composition to keep the image interesting. Being a fan of the so called rule of thirds so, I placed my focal point (the lighthouse) to the left of the scene.

I also roughly directed the white foam on the wave to guide the eye up towards my focal point.

Powertex tag by Donna Mcghie
Stormy sea tag
The finished stormy sea tag

Please do post photos of your own stormy sea tags over on the Powertex Facebook Page, we love seeing what you create. Also feel free to leave any comments on here.

You can get tips on using Stone Art clay on a canvas seascape in last month’s blog.

I’m the Powertex tutor for Southampton, so if you are interested in a workshop please pop over to my website where details can be found on the blog section. More info on Jenny Holzer can be found here.

That’s all from me for now folks. Keep on going with the flow and see you next month.

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 🙂

Powertex Fairy Lights Bottle

Van Gogh Inspired Powertex Bottle

by Donna Mcghie

Van Gogh Powertex bottle
I was inspired by my favourite artist Vincent Van Gogh

For this month’s Powertex step by step article I was asked to use fairy lights to create a lighting feature. So it just had to be a powertex fairy lights bottle!

The thought that immediately sprang into my mind was a painting by one of my favourite artists, Vincent Van Gogh.  I love his style of swirling, vibrant colours, and thought this would work really well with Powertex.

The painting I decided to pay homage to was Starry Starry Night.  I loved the thought of twinkly fairy lights shining through a swirling Powertex sky. 

Where to start

I decided to use a bottle as my base, and to use Powertex Paperdecoration as my main medium.  I love how it organically has all the textures and swirls I was hoping to recreate.  Paper dec  would also conveniently give me lots of gaps for those starry lights to shine through.

Powertex bottle light project
Powertex paperdecoration is just perfect for this project

There were some challenges with my idea.  Such as how to keep the glass showing through the gaps nice and clear.  But a bit of thinking outside the box overcame these, and I am really happy with the end result.

I’ve always loved Van Gogh, but fell in love with him even more after reading a book of his letters to his brother Theo. He wrote, like he painted, from his heart and soul.

Materials List

Step by Step

Wrap your bottle in bubble wrap to ensure the glass does not get too smeared to allow the lights to shine through.

prep for Powertex bottle project
I also wrapped my paper decoration round to ensure it was wide enough. Be sure to leave a few strands of this separate to use later.

Carefully soak your Powertex paper decoration in blue powertex. Lay it flat and swirl some yellow ochre powertex over the top.

blue and yellow powertex fabric hardener
the yellow swirls are prominent in the original painting

Now gently wrap the coloured paper decoration around the bubble wrapped bottle and leave to dry.

powertex blue paperdecoration wrapped around bottle
Ideally leave overnight to harden

Once dry, remove the bubble wrap and place the paper decoration back over your bottle, along with whatever embellishment you have chosen for the moon.

powertex blue moon bottle
I used a fabric button soaked in Blue Powertex for the moon. Also added some material strips around the bottle neck

I made white swirls using tiny strips of paper decoration soaked in transparent Powertex, and also added my twisted willow securing in place with strips of material.

powertex twisted willow
the twisted willow fits in perfectly with this design

Finally I enhanced the whole thing with dry brushing, and also added some minute stars, gems and eco friendly glitter.

powertex fairy lights bottle
Back view of my Powertex Light Bottle

I’m really pleased with how this powertex fairy lights bottle turned out. The powertex pigments I used to enhance the design were Colortrix Silver, Powerpearl and Terragreen, Powercolor Titanium White and Pearl Pigment Sherbet Dip.

I chose to pay tribute to Van Gogh, but I do think there are so many other artists whose style could be used for these bottle lights. I’d love to see any versions you come up with over on The Powertex Studio Facebook Group. If you are inspired by this, you might also want to check out my last blog which also has a painterly theme.

Thank you so much for reading.

If you would like to see more of what I get up to you can follow me on facebook, or check out my website. I look forward to seeing you again in June. Donna 🙂

Powertex Roses on Canvas

Designer: Donna Mcghie

How to paint beautiful roses with blended pastel colours using Powertex

Powertex painted roses on canvas
Painted Powertex Roses on Canvas

One of my favourite photos is of my daughter, face painted as a fairy and for this article I decided to incorporate this into a Powertex roses on canvas painting. (I do tend to use family quite a lot for inspiration, as you can see in my January blog for Powertex UK which was done in memory of my nan.

I achieved this by photocopying my chosen image onto a piece of plain rice paper and then adhered it onto a canvas using powertex easy varnish

Top tip

Other ways you can achieve a similar effect are by using Powertex Powerprint
or alternatively choose one of the gorgeous faces available in the paper selection

Materials Used:

Blue, Grey and White Powertex Fabric Hardener

Powertex Easy Varnish

Rasberry Sorbet Acrylic Paint

Mint Jelly Acrylic Paint

Black Powercolor Powertex Pigment

Powercolor Lime Green Pigment

Interference Red Powder Pigment

Colortricx Power Pearl Powder Pigment

Powertex Easy Structure Paste

Powertex One Stroke Roses

As an ex face painter, one thing that is guaranteed to bring the wow factor to any design is a rose painted in the one stroke style. This method uses different colours blended together on the same brush to create the effect of highlights and low lights. I love the pastel effect it can create on the petals.

Gorgeous Pastel Effects can be achieved by painting with Powertex

To achieve this look you will need a flat brush, Easy Varnish and a selection of colours in either Powertex Hardener or you can use the gorgeous Acrylic paints available from the Website.

How to Achieve the One Stroke Effect

Paint thick stripes in the colours of your choice onto a separate sheet of paper. Always have a thin edge of white to achieve the highlight effect

Carefully load up a flat brush with the colour combination, being sure to keep that crisp white edge. I like to dip my brush in Easy Varnish first as this helps achieve a smooth blend in the colours.


Step one. Do a circle of background petals. Be sure to let this dry before moving onto step two

Step two. Place the brush down, and then twist slightly as you move around to create the rose shape. It does take some practice, but once you get the knack you will love it

Once you feel ready to, move onto your canvas and have some fun. I also added some texture with lime green pigment mixed in with some easy structure, before dry brushing with Interference Red and Power Pearl Pigments.

I love the ethereal effect of the finished piece


That’s all for now folks

Thank you so much for reading. I would love to see your powertex paintings over on our facebook group The Powertex Studio

If you would like to see more of what I get up to, please do pop over to my facebook page or my website which gives details of all my workshops local to Southampton.

Powertex Art Doll MDF Kit

mixed media powertex art doll using rice paper
There are no rules for these Art Dolls, other than have fun creating!

Where to start with an Art Doll

If I am completely honest, when I first opened my new Powertex Art Doll MDF Template I was a little bit daunted. I had never even heard of the term Art Doll before. And was a little bit worried that I would not be able to do it justice.

I got in touch with Tracey Evans at Powertex HQ. And asked her if there are any rules I should be adhering to when it comes to creating an Art Doll. Nope, she relied, no rules whatsoever.

Well, that was music to my ears. No rules meant that I could absolutely go to town with my rather bonkers imagination right? Right Tracey confirmed. Within no time at all, my reservations morphed into excitement.

This was going to be fun!

Art Deco Theme for inspiration

I started off by gently removing all mdf cut outs from the template. And having a bit of a play around with them.

I used some Transparent Powertex to fix the square frame together. And thought that this would fit nicely over one of the faces, available in the Powertex Rice Papers.

I had some gorgeous turquoise feathers that I had picked up some time ago. As soon as I played around with placing these on my design, a vague concept started to form in my mind. I was going to go Art Deco. I wanted my Art Doll to look like something you would stumble across whilst rummaging through an old attic.

How to start your Art Doll

Using the turquoise as a base for my colour scheme, I painted all my mdf pieces with white Powertex. I then took my oblong backdrop and poured small amounts of blue Powertex and yellow in dribbles onto it. Whilst this was still wet I then sprayed with blue bister and blasted with a hair dryer. This created an interesting texture on which to base my design.


mixed media powertex backdrop
Although very little of this back drop shows through on the finished design, I’m pleased I did it, as it set the mood for the look I was aiming for

I used the same technique for the frame for the face. However, I left the inside of this white so that I could stick on my face and it would show up nicely. (I didn’t want the face to look too pristine. So when I was dry brushing at the end I purposely added a bit of white to age the photo slightly.)

Mixed media rice paper powertex art doll
I deliberately added some white powercolour to help with the aged photo effect

I added the same face but smaller to the mdf shape, then adhered to the top of the oblong template. Next I added a shabby halo made of a scrap of gold coloured metal. To adhere everything I used Powertex Transparent Hardener. I wanted to add some interest to the wing shapes at the top. So I used the negative shapes from the template I had taken them from. This formed a stencil which I could spray some bister through.

bister stencils for powertex mixed media art doll
I also added on some real white feathers to add even more texture

I left all my mdf pieces overnight to dry and ensure they were securely adhered in place.

The next day I dry brushed using pearl white, white and copper powertex pigments to add to the ageing process.

My final step was to add on some of my beloved bling. Especially those gorgeous turquoise feathers which had been the inspiration for the Art Deco look.

Powertex mixed media Art Doll
My finished Powertex Art Doll

I honestly cannot say how much I enjoyed making this. Once I had put my fears to one side and embraced the freedom of just going for it.

If you would like to share your own creations, the Powertex team would love to have a look over at our facebook page The Powertex Studio.

Need more inspiration for your Art doll kit, take a look at some of the other articles from Design Team members to spark your imagination here is Abigail’s and Anne’s interpretation.

Thanks so much for reading.

I’m Donna and you can see more of my work over at www.artandmurals.co.uk