African Adventure Wreath

The Secret Art Box – September 2019

Designer – Gill Goldsmith

This month’s theme was Africa and the box was filled with so many amazing products. The Powertex colour this month was Terracotta and there was also a plaster head, MDF animals and trees, rice paper, paper decoration, 3d sand, stencil, tissue paper, pigment, metallic ink, varnish and yellow Bister spray. I had lots of ideas, but decided on a striking African Adventure Wreath.

Powertex UK Secret Art Box, September Africa.
Powertex Secret Art Box September

Materials

So firstly, I got out the plaster head, Africa map MDF, the rice paper, tissue paper. I also had some white paper that had black painted markings on from my stash, (I thought it looked like zebra print) and started laying out my composition.

Choosing my Powertex materials
Choosing my materials

I started by painting the polystyrene shape with Powertex Easycoat mat. Attach the rice paper and then paint a coat of Easycoat mat over the top. This helps to seal the paper and stick it to the shape without bubbles.

Covering the wreath
Covering the wreath

Continue to place your papers in this way until you are happy. I painted the areas in between with terracotta Powertex. I also painted the head and Africa map.

You will see that I chipped away a bit of the polystyrene at the bottom of the wreath shape. This is so the flat backed figure head was nestled into the wreath to help support it at the next stage.

Now I was ready to use some fabric to create texture. This also helps support the head onto the wreath. I used some dishcloths, stockinette and paper decoration. I even gave the African man a little head band and created a loop to hang the wreath by twisting the fabric into a knot.

Adding fabric texture
Adding texture

I attached the MDF Africa map and rhino. I used 3d sand, mixed into the Terracotta Powertex and applied this with a palette knife. Then allowed everything to dry thoroughly before the next stage.

Spray liberally with the yellow Bister included in the box. This creates depth to your work. Although initially scary to spray your projects, I always encourage my students to just go for it. More is more in this instance.

Spray with Bister
Spray with Bister

Allow to dry thoroughly before moving on to the fun bit of drybrushing with pigments and inks. At this stage I also attached the MDF strip, which I had painted with black Powertex and attached some paper decoration and letters to spell out Africa.

Dry brushing
Dry brushing

I used a very dry brush with some ivory Powertex to highlight the fabric texture. This just lifts it, after you have added the Bister and makes the texture really show up.

This month we have a Dark green Powercolour pigment and the introduction of a new product, Copper penny metallic acrylic ink. I used green on the raised areas of the Africa map, where the sand was, and the lettering. Then Copper penny ink, to highlight the texture on the fabric, the paper decoration on the Africa wording and the African man bust.

Powertex African Adventure Wreath by Gill Goldsmith
Powertex African Adventure Wreath by Gill Goldsmith

That’s it, the completed project. Hope you enjoy this month’s Secret Art Box and will share what you create on the Facebook page. Check out more of my ideas from past boxes and more of my work on my Facebook page The Powertex Port. Until next month, happy Powertexing XXX Gill

Venetian Carnival Canvas

The Secret Art Box – July 2019

Designer: Gill Goldsmith

This month’s Powertex Secret Art Box was full of wonderful Venetian Carnival themes and there was so much to play with. From the gorgeous lace and MDF masks to the Venice themed rice paper and the Fleur de Lys mould from ArtyCo. I couldn’t wait to get creating my Venetian carnival canvas.

Powertex UK Secret Art Box July 2019
Powertex UK Secret Art Box July 2019

I’ve been to Venice twice and think it is a beautiful city, so wanted to recreate the beauty and also the aged feel of the buildings with my piece. An 8 inch box canvas was the perfect size to create my mini work of art.

Additional materials used:

  • 8 inch box canvas
  • Powertex Easy Coat Mat
  • Blue and Brown Bister sprays
  • Powertex pigments in Violet Valentine, Clear gold and Silver

How to create your Venetian Carnival Canvas

Step 1

I painted the canvas with Easy Coat Mat and stuck the paper in position making sure I painted more over the image to help it adhere and protect the surface.

Applying Powertex rice paper

Top tip

A great tip is to wet around the edge of the image you want on the paper with a wet paintbrush. The paper will tear easily and give a textured edge.

Step 2

Next I created more texture on the canvas by mixing the Easy 3D flex, included in this month’s box, with the white Powertex, also in this month’s box.
Mix it until the clay spreads easily. Apply with a palette knife to the top and bottom corners to give the Italian stucco plaster effect.

Easy 3d Flex texture on canvas

Step 3

You could allow this to dry naturally but I sped up the process with a hairdryer. This gives a lovely bubbly texture.

Step 4

Using the white Powertex I painted the large mask. Dip the lace pieces in Powertex, making sure they are covered but not saturated.

Step 5

I worked on the large MDF mask using the various lace pieces included in the kit, and the MDF flourish and moulded flourish. Use White Powertex to stick it to the canvas.

White Powertex venetian carnival mask on canvas

Step 6

I created an air dry clay fleur de lys from the Artyco mould and added to the canvas.

Step 7

I removed the Venice wording from the MDF carrier sheet and used the negative image on the canvas.

Ensuring it was coated in the Powertex and then adding embellishments from my own stash of paper flowers, corners and charms.

White Powertex venetian carnival mask on canvas

Step 8

When completely dry, I sprayed it liberally with blue and brown bister. Don’t panic if you feel you’ve sprayed too much bister, you can wipe it back so it’s not so dark.

Adding Bister colour to Powertex mask

Allow this to dry thoroughly, before you highlight the piece with dry brushing.

Step 9

Finally once this was dry I could use my Pearl Red Pigment, Turquoise pigment and the Plum Pudding Acrylic Paint and varnish included in the kit.

This is where the piece comes to life, as you dry brush each area of detail and see all the texture emerge.

I also used violet valentine pearl pigment, clear gold and silver pigments from my stash.

Tutor Tip

Use a tiny amount of varnish, about the size of a 5p, and dip your brush into the varnish then lightly into your pigment. Work this on your brush and then take the excess of colour off on a cloth or kitchen paper before lightly stroking the brush across your work. The art of dry brushing is a dry brush, light strokes and build up the colour.

Powertex Venetian carnival canvas by gill goldsmith

I hope you enjoyed this project and that you will give it a go yourself. Please share your makes in The Powertex Studio and The Secret Art Box groups as we love to see what you create.

My last Secret Art Box project was an underwater theme in May. I’m a Powertex tutor in Kent, UK and you can find out more about me and my workshops at The Powertex Port.

Until next month, Happy Powertexing,
Lots of love
Gill xxx