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 🙂

Northern Lights

Well here we are Autumn is almost over the dark nights are with us. I love crisp cold dark nights when I can see lots of stars twinkling in the sky after the stunning colours of the setting sun. Here in the UK there a only a handful of places where, if the conditions are right you might spot the Northern Lights. Going to Norway or Iceland to see the Northern Lights is high on my bucket list but until then, I have created my own abstract Powertex painting to stir or feed that dream!

So grab a coffee and relax while I take you through some very simple steps to create your own version.
First I took a canvas that had been part used on a demonstration and it already had some texture at the bottom. I had created the texture using a mix of Easy Structure and Powertex sand balls which I put down on a white 30×30 cm canvas.
I then made up some Easy 3D Flex with some white powertex and using a metal artist pallet knife I spread the 3D Flex mixture vertically on my canvas. As the base texture was already dry, I painted over a good coat of White Powertex.
Next I mixed up some blue bister granules using a teaspoon of granules to 30 mls of warm water from the kettle with 30mls of white vinegar. This gives a crisper look when sprayed on your canvas as can be seen in the image below. I also sprayed some standard black bister at the top area of the sky section
To give more depth I sprinkled some blue bister granules onto the area representing water and rocks and sprayed this with water.
I then left the whole thing to dry and crack over two or three days.
Once it was dry I washed back the black area of bister using a damp sponge. I then used a mix of the Aqua blue and Deep Sea Secret Art Loft acrylic inks to create the dark water and sky. I then used Secret Art Loft acrylic paints in Key Lime, Blueberry Pie and Plumb Pudding on a very dry brush to create the colours synonymous with the Northern Lights.
I then added some metallic highlights using Golden Metallic and Viola Metallic inks as well as Green Ginger, Limoncello Gold and Colortricx Pearl pigments mixed with Powertex Easy Varnish.
I can’t tell you exactly how I added the pigments and colours as I use loads and loads of very light layers, just experiement and have fun!
Here is the finished piece

 

Here is a short video tour of the painting giving closeups on my colour blending.

 


See you in December where I have created a Powertex Christmas Ornament!

Bye for now
Fi