The Secret Art Box – May

A Home Under the Sea

Designer – Jill Cullum

A home under the sea Powertex canvas by Jill Cullum
A home under the sea by Jill Cullum

I was so excited to receive my first ‘Secret Art Box’, and I was not disappointed when I opened it.  Full of possibilities to create this article with.  It’s a challenge of being given a box of ‘goodies’ and then creating out of my comfort zone.

Materials List

Inside the art box was a cute fish. I was in my element as my last article was based around my love of the beach. I wanted a different style this time, so with several possibilities in mind, I chose a canvas as my base.

Detail of Powertex canvas

The secret art box fish

Not content with one super cute fish, I wanted two!  With a sharp knife and careful cutting, I sliced the fish in half.  Using the reverse of the canvas I covered the top half with the nautical paper, using Easycoat Matt.  The bottom half cried out for some stone art and brown Bister. 

Powertex Secret Art Box May fish under the sea theme
Fish and clay details

The sea bed was created by adding texture with stone balls, material and clay pieces. The adorable mini ammonite moulds as well as the shell mould in the ‘Secret Art Box’ made the clay shapes.  The fish needed lots of lovely texture, you can really go to town with this, especially when adding colour.  Terragreen pigment works a treat for this theme. 

I love the way things develop as your creative piece comes together and I didn’t really have a picture of the finished piece in mind. It just happened along the way.  I hope you like it and feel inspired to create your own ‘home in the sea’.

Secret Art Box May is a Home under the sea Powertex canvas
Home under the sea detail

For more sea themed inspiration take a look at my last blog here.

I am looking forward to seeing your pieces of art, using the May ‘Secret Art Box’. Please share them at The Powertex Studio on Facebook.

Secret Art Box May Powertex project by Jill Cullum
Finished mixed media canvas by Jill Cullum

A little teaser of my next blog, which will take us from the sea, into the sky! Bye for now, Jill x

Something fishy by Gill Goldsmith

Powertex UK Secret Art Box

Gill is demonstrating the May Secret Art Box and it’s got a watery theme! She’s diving in to the contents and using the unique and mystical Terragreen pigment to create something fishy! Read on for the details.

So I opened the May Secret Art Box from Powertex and WOW! Look at all the goodies that I received and in my perfect theme… nautical.

May 2019 Secret Art Box from Powertex UK

Something fishy

My first make had to be using the fish and I had the idea of making him with a fish bowl. (I’d seen the clear plastic bowls in a well known shop where everything is £1!) So I first covered the fish in black gesso and extended his fins, tail and mouth with air dry clay. I used the ammonite mould, included in the kit, to create his eyes.

Create the fish shape

Tail and fins

Next I covered him in fabric, using the black Powertex in the kit to give the effect of scales and fins and added fringing to his tail.

Create the fins and tail

Seaweed and shells

I created some rocks for the base of the fish bowl, recycling old gloves that I had used to Powertex in. I created texture with the balls in the kit and made shells with the cutter from air dry clay.  Then I used fabric to create the seaweed and left it drying on tin foil. These create movement in the finished pieces. I also used a piece of wire covered in fabric to attach Mr Fish to the bowl.

Leaving pieces to dry

Dry brushing

When all my pieces were dry I’m ready for the exciting bit. The dry brushing with the pearl pigment included in the kit (this month was Terragreen) and some Interference Blue from my stash. I placed the seaweed and rocks into the fish bowl and secured them with Easy Coat Mat, which is a great varnish and strong glue. 

Something Fishy Powertex project by Gill Goldsmith

Final touches

Mr Fish was dry brushed in Terragreen and Gold pigments. I used the fabric covered wire to attach him to the bowl and brushed this with Curacao Blue.  He was also attached to the bowl with Easy Coat Mat varnish. The final touch was using the tiny message from the glass bottle in the kit, which read “Make it Happen” to the top inside of the bowl and this project was complete.

Something fishy by Gill Goldsmith

Mr Fish Secret Art Box Project by Gill Goldsmith. Gill is a Powertex tutor at The Powertex Port in Chatham in Kent. You can see other Secret Art Box projects here and here. If you’d like receive a Secret Art Box, full of Powertex and mixed media goodies, you can subscribe here at Powertex UK.

Clowning around with Powertex Clownfish

Powertex Clownfish sculptures by Annette Smyth

By Annette Smyth

Powertex Clownfish sculptures by Annette Smyth
Clown Fish

Hello everyone and welcome to my latest article.  I was so excited when I found out the theme for this month was UNDER THE SEA.  I love anything connected with the ocean.  So much so that I think I could have been a mermaid in another lifetime. In fact my dream home is next to the sea with an airy, light cliff top studio looking over the waves and beach – I did say it was dream!

My inspiration for my creation came from old photographs I had taken during a diving holiday.  Whilst flipping through the album these cute little clownfish kept appearing time and time again. Obviously they were crying out to be made into a sculpture.

I like to use StoneArt clay for my Powertex clownfish sculptures.  Making my clay up and giving it time to rest before using it, I find gives me the best results.  Resting it overnight double wrapped in clingfilm in my usual method.

DID YOU KNOW –  Stone Art clay will keep for at least two weeks if kept in an airtight wrapping.  

Materials List
Kitchen foil
Masking tape
Ivory Powertex Universal Medium
Powertex Stone Art
Powercolor pigments – White, Orange, black
Powertex Easy Varnish
2 black glass eyes on metal wire

You will also need 
Plastic gloves
Paintbrush
Plastic container to pour Powertex into and mix Stone Art clay in

Create Clownfish Armature

  1. Using the foil, form a teardrop shape with slightly pointed ends and flat bottom approximately 10cm long and 2cm thick – don’t worry about fins, they come at the clay stage

2.  Cover the shape with masking tape

3. Paint with a layer of Ivory Powertex Universal Medium

Adding Stone Art clay

Powertex Clownfish Stone Art clay

4. Make Stone Art clay using Ivory Powertex – see the “how to” video from my previous article here.

5. Cover your fish with clay.  Blend the joins together with a slightly damp finger.  Pinch the clay away from the body to create the fins and tail.  

6. Place the eyes in position and push through the clay into the underlying tape and foil.  Leave aside to dry.

TOP TIP – Use a pointy tool or cocktail stick to make the hole for the eyes as this will go through the tape more easily.

Adding colour

7. Using the easy varnish and orange pigment dry brush the stripes onto the fish. See “how to” video here.

8.  Now repeat with the white pigment filling in the gaps between the orange stripes.

9. Finally using the black pigment paint thin lines where the orange and white stripes meet and dry brush black around the fins and tail.

I decide to create a soft coral for my fish to sit in using an old cotton mop head and Ivory Powertex.  

Powertex Clownfish by Annette Smyth
Clown fish in coral

Just think of all the other fish and sea creatures you could create. Have you seen the amazing Powertex Ammonite Light article by Jill Cullum. Your sea babies would look fantastic nestled into this.

I would love to see what you come up with.  Why not leave your comments on this article below and share your makes in the Powertex Studio group on Facebook.  

Until next time Happy Creative Adventures and remember you can always find me on my Facebook page and on my website.

Axx

A fishy tale

Hello Powertex Lovers!,
I would like to share a project that I put together for Tracey and Anna’s show on Hochanda.
As you can see I have used the MDF fish that was part of a kit on the show.  It was an excellent canvas to show some of the brilliant effects that Powertex can produce.

Firstly I put the few pieces of the MDF kit together which is simple and explained on the packaging. I went on to paint the MDF in ivory Powertex to give it a base and then in certain places I adhered 3D structure paste where I wanted to add texture and dimension. 

I have been collecting egg shells over the last few weeks thinking that I would want to use them for something in the near future (as we all do with odd bits and pieces I’m sure!) and this project was shouting out for them to be used to give a scale like appearance. I broke the shells up quite small and then embedded them into the paste which held them perfectly. 
I also wanted to include some bits and pieces which would probably be found on the sea bed so I included shells, which I distressed, netting (which had oranges in from Asda!), sand and a little bottle with a message in.
Natural brown, yellow and green Bisters were used to add a base colour and then dry brushing with a variety of power colours.

Oh and don’t forget the googly eye to add a bit of fun!
It was a great project to have a play with and you can achieve many other equally eye catching results with this MDF blank canvas.
Thankyou for popping by and hope this project has given you some inspiration for one of yours that you may do. Don’t forget to save the egg shells for excellent texture!
Bye for now
Jo 🙂