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

Initial Star Plaque

The Secret Art Box – August 2019
Designer – Gill Goldsmith

The August Secret Art Box arrived and I was excited to unpack it and see what was inside this month. Again I wasn’t disappointed with the amount of contents…gorgeous papers, stamps, a bundle of letters, fabric textures, MDF tags, blue bister granules, aqua acrylic ink, Lead Powertex (which we haven’t had before) and the most gorgeous MDF Initial (everyone got one specially cut for them) so mine was a G. I use mine to create an Initial Star Plaque.

Powertex Secret Art Box August 2019
Powertex UK Secret Art Box August 2019

I wanted to showcase the big letter G, as well as some of the other products and so decided to use a star canvas panel I had as a start.

Initial star plaque with Powertex. Powertex star canvas by Gill Goldsmith
Initial Star art by Gill Goldsmith

Materials

The Secret Art Box – August 2019

Additional Materials

How to create your Initial Star Plaque

Apply texture

Lay out papers and use stencil for texture
Step 1

I used the manuscript paper, which I tore into strips and attached to the canvas using Easycoat Mat, which is a glue and sealant.

Next I added random areas of text with the stencil and Easy Structure applied with a palette knife. Allow this to dry.

Add Stone Art clay

Using manuscript papers from Powertex UK
Step 2

I had some black Powertex left over from another project. Using Stone Art I made up some stone art clay and applied it in just two areas.

To create more texture I used the word stamp included in the box and imprinted this into the clay whilst it was still soft.

Paint with Powertex Lead

Use Powertex in Lead grey to paint some ares of the canvas
Step 3

I painted in all the areas I wanted to be covered in the Lead Powertex and you can see that I left some areas, where the script paper had been applied, free from colour.

Add fabric and mdf

Add mdf shapes and initial
Step 4

Now to start playing with all the lovely textures including in the Box. I added some mesh, hessian and stockinette across the centre of the piece, which was the perfect place to sit my MDF Initial G.

I also added the cherub and the ART letters to the bottom right point of the star. All of the material and MDF is covered in Lead Powertex and then allowed to dry thoroughly.

Bister spray

Spray with Blue BIster. Initial Star plaque with mdf initial
Step 5

Now for the fun bit… spray the canvas with the blue bister. Mix up the granules with water in the empty spray bottle, which gives the perfect consistency.

The more you spray the more detail will be brought out in the dry brushing stage, so don’t be shy. Allow this to dry.

Acrylic ink spray

Use Powertex Secret Art Loft acrylic inks
Step 6

This month to complete the colour scheme we are working with Aqua, a gorgeous blue colour. Again don’t be shy, spray liberally, but again you will see I have left some of the script clear. This is sealed with the Easycoat mat. I didn’t want too much colour on these parts, so if you do cover it my accident you can wipe it back with kitchen roll.

Finishing touches

Here is my final piece. Mix a small amount of your favourite metallic pigment with Easy varnish and then wipe the excess onto kitchen roll. Stroke your brush across the surface of your work to catch the colour on the highlights.

Powertex UK Secret Art Box August Initial Star Plaque. Initial Canvas by Gill Goldsmith
Finished Star Initial Canvas by Gill Goldsmith

This piece is now hanging in my home studio and is a really unique and personal piece of art. I have lots more items left in my Secret Art Box that I haven’t used, so keep an eye on the subscribers Facebook page for another project in the next few weeks. My last Secret Art Box project was a Venetian Mask Canvas which is also here in the Magazine.

I hope this initial star plaque has inspired you to create with your Initial this month. Please don’t be shy and share your makes on the Secret Art Box subscribers Facebook page, we love to see what you create.

You can find me on Facebook at The Powertex Port.
Until next month, Happy Powertexing..

Gill xxx

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

Bluebird – The Secret Art Box – Powertex UK – Tracey Evans

Blue Powertex mixed media Bluebird the secret Art Box Powertex uk craft subscription box

What do you put in a Secret Art Box?

When we were discussing launching our subscription boxes we loved the idea but what were we going to include?

We came up with loads of different ideas – and abandoned most of them! We settled on the fact that if we were receiving the box we would love them to have a theme but not a set project, we wanted you to be free to create whatever you felt inspired to and at the same time build a collection of products to try, we also wanted it to be suitable for all abilities.

That sounds easy enough you may think but the trouble is I love so many things, once I have a theme I could go on forever!

How would we inspire you?

We will be including a short verse on the contents page which is intended to set your imagination free, most of these have been written by one of the HQ team Claire Ivins. We hope that you are will share your projects with us using #secretartbox and #powertex on FACEBOOK and INSTAGRAM, we love to see your makes!

Each month some of our design team will also be creating projects using items from the box.

CLICK ON THE IMAGE BELOW FOR A SHORT VIDEO OF MY FIRST SIMPLE PROJECT

Bluebird Art Box

Carry on Powertexing!

Tracey X