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 🙂

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.

Mindfulness Mandala Triptych

Designer: Shell North

In this article I will be showing you how to create a Mindfulness Mandala Triptych. I wanted to incorporate one item as my focal point, the product of the month Easy structure paste. Wood was chosen to work on as this is something I haven’t done for a while. Easy structure works well on any flat surface that’s a natural element such as wood, metal, fabrics. This technique would also look great on an artist’s canvas, a sheet or grey board or wooden box. Even a sheet of metal, a glass pane and so much more could be used.

While looking for inspiration, mandalas came to mind. Mandala is a Sanskrit word, meaning circle. They can be used to focus attention and create a state of mindfulness. A universal symbol of wholeness and unity. The circle mirrors the universe, the movement of the stars, creation, cycle of life and the passage of time.

Mindfulness is often used as a therapeutic technique. It is being present in that moment, but being accepting of our feelings, thoughts, and bodily sensations and our senses. Often what brings us into our senses is doing something, but in a mindful way.

I often find myself in a state of mindfulness while creating.


Each person’s life is like a mandala – a vast, limitless circle. We stand in the center of our own circle, and everything we see, hear and think forms the mandala of our life.


Pema Chödrön

MATERIALS LIST

Tools

  • Various ¾ inch flat brushes,
  • Small plastic pallet knives,
  • Large pallet knife
  • Paper cutting knife,
  • Hair dryer,
  • Kichen roll/paper towels,

*Because Bister spray can stain, make sure the area you work on is covered and protected.*

Step by Step

I selected a series of Mandala stencils from my personal stash and played around with the composition on my Triptych. I decided to add texture around them and a few embellishments to add depth to the piece. 

Creating texture with Powertex Easy structure.

Scrape Easy structure paste through each of the positioned stencils, holding with masking tape where needed. Dry with hair dryer.

Tidy it up.

Using a paper cutting knife, cut down the seams where any stencils overlap between the triptych pieces, so the edges are tidy when separated.

Give it a base coat with Powertex liquid hardener.

Using a wide flat brush, give the wood triptych pieces a coating of Powertex liquid hardener in Ivory.

Adding colour with Bister

While the Ivory liquid hardener is still wet, spray generously with 2 colours of Bister, over lapping the colours in the middle. Dry with hairdryer immediately.

Mindfulness Mandala Triptych

Adding another 3D layer

Apply transparent medium to the backs of all embellishments and place in centre of random mandalas. If they over hang, trim with scissors.

Mindfulness Mandala Triptych

Creating 3D flex paste

Using Powertex liquid hardener blue, 3Dflex powder and yellow Bister spray liquid, mix together until a thick ‘dryish’ paste. Adding more 3Dflex if needed.

Creating more texture and interest

Spread the 3Dflex mix between mandalas using a large pallet knife. Spread in one direction to create torque within the 3Dflex paste to encourage cracks!

Getting 3Dflex to crack

Spray over the 3Dflex paste with Bister in co-ordinating colours as before, 3Dflex also needs heat to crack so dry with hairdryer closely on hot setting.

Mindfulness Mandala Triptych

Highlighting

Now everything is dry, drybrush with Powertex liquid hardener-Ivory, this will absorb some of the bister pigment so will darken after a few moments.

Mindfulness Mandala Triptych

I added the finishing touch to this triptych by dry brushing with a mix of Powertex powercolor pigment powder in white mixed with a little easy coat varnish adding the final textural layer to the piece.

Mindfulness Mandala Triptych
Finished Powertex Mindfulness Mandala triptych

Top Tips

  • Have a bowl of warm soapy water to hand to put the stencils in after use so they are easily cleaned as the structure paste dries fast.
  • If you are not getting cracks with the 3D flex, try leaving item for a few hours in a warm place such as on top of a radiator or sunny window sill on a hot day.

Feeling inspired by this Mindfulness Mandala Triptych? Why not try this at home and post your creations on the Facebook Powertex Studio page?
Powertex studio

If you would like to come and learn this workshop find more details to future Triptych workshops here. Or send me a message at The Crafty Little Corner.

We love to hear your feedback so please leave a comment below. Did you catch my last blog? Find it here.

Well that’s all from me for now,

Peace, love and mandala’s Shell x

Rusty Powder

Rusty Powder -February – Powertex Product of the month

This month the team at Powertex Uk have picked rusty powder as their product of the month! Read on to find out how to mix it and see some examples of work with the rust effect created with this product.

How to mix


You can mix the powder with Powertex or Easy Structure and spread with pallet knife or brush. Next you need to spray a mix of water and vinegar on the wet surface. You can then repeat this as much as necessary. Next step is letting your piece dry for 24 hours or longer because this allows the rust process to take place.

How to create a coarse paste

You can obtain a rust paste by mixing Easy Structure with the Rusty Powder and a dash of vinegar. The other thing you can do is mix Powertex with 3DSand, the Powder and a dash of vinegar. This results to a coarser paste and a rough rust effect. 

 

Gorgeous Powertex rust by Tracey Evans
rusty art doll
Rusty Art Doll by Tracey Evans
Close up of texture and rust created with Powertex by Tracey Evans
Powertex and rust by Tracey Evans
DSC00452.JPG
A gorgeous textural canvas by Sam Butler
photo.jpg
Fabulous Steampunk clock by Annette Smyth
thumbnail_20180929_150831.jpg
Beautiful rusty wings canvas
by Shell North @thecraftylittlecorner.co.uk

Fi Potter
by Fi Potter for Mixed Up Creative

We hope you have enjoyed seeing pieces created by the team. Enough so that it inspires you to have a go! Join us over on Facebook in The Powertex Studio and share your makes. Until next time.

Take time to do what makes your soul happy – Pocket Watch project

When I first caught glimpse of this project pack I was super excited. This was one fun project to make. And I thoroughly enjoyed creating this pocket watch. It was even more exciting because I got to use our Tracey’s studio at hq to create mine. There is no feeling like being in a big studio with every Powertex product imaginable to hand. Oh its heaven…….

So without further a do here is my design for this months project pack.

As usual I made a layout of the items I was going to use. I just had to use some of the rose and daisy embellishments. I made some stone art clay with the stone art powder and Powertex and pushed the  clay into the daisy and rose mould.
Top tip: If you layout your composition for the design you wish to achieve before you start, its a lot less messy.

 Next I took my Ivory Powertex and coated all the mdf and embellishments. The only thing you need here is Powertex. It’s magic formula glues, sticks and paints your works of art.

Top tip: I didn’t use all of the mdf shapes in the pack. This means I have them leftover for any other projects I wish to use them on. You can chose to use them all or save some for other projects you have in mind.

Top tip: Your items won’t be instantly stuck so if you want to relocate them you can pick them up easily and move them to another part of your design.

To add some extra texture to the piece I took some sand and balls and mixed them into some Ivory Powertex I had poured out. I then used a plastic palette knife to apply the mixture on various areas of the piece.

 I then sprayed blue bister on the left side, green in the middle and black on the right side. I accidentally used brown and only have the photo with brown. But I just sprayed the black on over the top. Bister is a walnut stain so it covered the brown perfectly.

Top tip: I like to mix my bister granules in a small bowl with hot water, this enables them to dissolve better. I use the back of a teaspoon to crush any granules that haven’t fully dissolved. You can pop them in a spritz bottle and shake them, it completely personal preference.
I then dry brushed red ochre, yellow ochre and turquoise powercolor over the black stained side, to give a faux rust effect. And turquoise, moss green and yellow ochre on the blue side.
I think you can tell I loved creating this one and I had some left overs that I can use for other projects. I hope you all enjoy the project pack and find some inspiration in our blogs. Do share your makes with us at Powertex addicts united on Facebook or join our new group. We love to see what you are making. Toodles Anna xXx You can find more of my work on @ Rosehart Studio.

 

 

Fairy house delights by Anna

One of the projects I completed when demonstrating at the Powertex UK stand at the NEC hobbyshow in November was the new Fairy house which has now been put into a project pack for February. Just for you!

I had a lot of fun creating this piece I used the black Powertex on the base, one of my go to favourite colours in the Powertex range. On the lower part of the piece I used a mix of sandballs and Powertex. Then added on the door, toadstools and windows. Added some extra detail with the mdf dropouts and cobwebs.
On the roof I used the natural paper decoration, by cutting it into little pieces and layering it to give it a tiled 3d effect. I used some of the Powertex UK embellishments in between the natural paper decoration. I also added one of the new Raven mdf shapes.
I then dry brushed with powercolours burgundy, turquoise and yellow ochre. And used the new interference colours to give a little shimmer effect to the roof. If you’re looking for a magical project this month you need to get your hands on this one while stocks last. Toodles Anna xXx

Powertex goes Industrial

Hi I’m Kore, artist, crafter and tutor at SkySage Studio. I’m bringing you my industrial Powertex make using the Owl Project Kit. I’ve always loved birds of prey and I had a close encounter with a rescued barn owl once. She was called Willow and she wasn’t nearly as excited as I was!

My industrial owl project is inspired by my love of the film Bladerunner. Real animals are rare in that futuristic world and synthetic, fake animals were kept instead. So here is my half organic, half machine owl.

The owl project pack contains everything needed to make a beautiful owl for indoor or outdoor display. I add some Stone Art, a drop of ivory Powertex and some red Bister spray to my ingredients!

I start by painting my mdf pieces with the bronze Powertex. While it’s wet I adhere one of the wings down. I’ve already decided I’m going to decorate my owl in two halves so I add a thin layer of Stone Art powder to the right side of the wet Powertex. This makes a great natural texture. As you can see I’m not too precise with it!

I leave the Stone Art to dry and add strips of lace, covered with Powertex and lay them out down the left side. Some Easy Structure paste through letter stencils is layered on top of the Stone Art. I’m not trying for readable words, just random shapes. The Stone Art leaves a soft “furry” feel on the right side.

While that’s drying I mix up some Stone Art clay with the bronze Powertex. Just enough to cover the raised wing and make some textured feathers. I press the clay onto the wing, thick enough to press in some metal embellishments, painting them, layering them up and sticking them down with Powertex.

 

 

I roll out the left over clay and use the wooden beak shape as a template to cut out some feathers. When the Easy Structure paste is dry, it’s time to paint everything with bronze Powertex and start adding the rest of the embellishments.

Adding the geometric pieces from the Drop Outs creates the machine like shapes. I’ve chosen my pieces so now I just keep layering them up, wooden shapes, metal pieces and my Stone Art clay feathers. I check everything is covered with bronze Powertex ready for dry brushing.

While I wait for that to dry off I prepare the wooden circle for the eye. I apply some ivory Powertex, and Bister with heat for this lovely crackle technique. Time to wait for everything to dry….

I choose Copper and Green pigments to add colour by mixing with Easy Varnish. Dry brushing on Green for the organic parts and Copper for the machine parts. I use some white highlights for contrast but the pigments in the pack can be mixed for lots of options. The green and copper look brilliant together.

The final pieces are dropped into place on the eye and a quick check for the need for any more white highlights.

Here she is, my mechanical Willow.

 

I got so absorbed by this project. Just me and my Powertex. I have all these pieces left over for another project!

Don’t forget to post your finished project in our Facebook group at Powertex Addicts United. I’d love to hear what inspires your owl project. Until next time, let your art out to play!

Kore x

Technology – enabler or thief?

Hello there

Over the summer I got to spend time with some of the younger members of our family and their friends.

It was lovely to get some playtime or so I thought. They all arrived armed with their latest ‘couldn’t be without’ gadgets ps3, ipads, mums iPhone to name but a few.After a fizzy drink and piece of cake they all found their own comfy spot and went on to conquer their own digital universes!!!

I was all ready for crafting, mud pies to beat Mary Berry into submission, rose petal perfume that Dior would die for, French skipping, British bulldog and hopscotch to name but a few.

What would these small people do if this was all taken away, would they find their inner creative and start inventing new games or revisit the ones I played as a child.

So it raised a question in my mind – Technology – is it an enabler or a thief of innocent childhood pastimes? Which in turn inspired this piece of artwork.

Using the beautiful rice papers from Powertex UK – hop onto the website here and have a look at the amazing range that is now available there really is something for everyone.

Along with Ivory Powertex, bisters, lace embellishments and the inner gubbins of an old computer destined to be crushed.

I worked out my frustration at being cheated out of a game of tig and came to the conclusion that yet again it is all about balance, there is a time and a place for both

Happy creative adventures

Annette

We’ll meet again….

Well, what an amazing response we had from you all at the Birmingham NEC hobbycrafts show. It was so wonderful to share with everyone our love for Powertex!
The team at Powertex Uk hq worked like busy bees and did a grand job of filling packets, labeling, punching, stapling, organising and packing stock in between the normal day jobs. 
Tracey and Garry out did themselves again!! They had a long Wednesday set up, with a 7 am start and they didn’t return home to 6.30 pm. But they certainly brought the blank canvas that was the stand to life. With a beautiful array of new products, samples and jaw dropping, stunning artwork.

The creative team were a buzz with excitement. It’s so lovely for the tutors to get an opportunity to get together and put a face to the name you often speak with on social media. And gives them all the experience of a big show and to share there knowledge and passion too! 

We managed to catch up with some old faces and some brand new ones who had never seen Powertex before.
We had a good lark about with our neighbours, whom included the crew at Hochanda, Craig at Marbling 4 fun and the team at Totally beads to name but a few. Convinced some of them to go pink for Powertex pink sunday. And raised a bit of money for Cancer Research in the process.  Who says you can’t have a bit of fun on the last day!
We crashed out yesterday and had an easy one. Traceys feet were broken, don’t worry not literally, Garry had overdosed on sweeties and my ribs were aching from all the laughter. We always have a good crack at the shows and I think that’s apparent from the atmosphere on the Powertex UK stand. 
We hope you all enjoyed yourselves. We definitely did! Until next time, we’ll meet again. That’s all folks. Toodles Anna xXx 

Jack, Sarah, Powerwax and an important question!

Hello again

Well I bet you were wondering what has been happening with Jack and Sarah?

They took 6 weeks leave in Summer and Jack took her on her own Grand European Tour.  They kissed on the Rialto bridge, climbed every mountain in Austria (!), visited Aphrodite’s rock and ended their tour at Monets garden in Giverney France.  Here inspired by the surroundings, Jack knew he had found his true soul mate and so just had to ask the question……….

He chose a MDF box which had been altered using Powertex Ivory and 3D Flex with bister.

Moulded fish and lily pads had been added and coloured with bister also.

The whole box inside and out was then shaded using the new Powerwax to give beautiful depth and shading.

But what was the question?

 

And what will be her answer?

Until next time have fun in all your creative adventures

Ax