Friday 7 July 2017

All Squared Up

It's a new challenge at AVJ today and the lovely Tracy has chosen - 'All Squared Up' as the theme to get our teeth into. I have to admit to sitting thinking about this one for quite a while, I love all sorts of shape and form yet did you realise that there is a psychology behind shapes? Certain shapes make us feel a certain way. Shapes with rounded edges are softer and more approachable, while shapes with sharp lines and edges, depict strength and presence and sometimes anger.  How do shapes make you feel?  

Anyway when composing my project for today I chose a 23 x 23 cm shadow box to work with where the frame comprises of the outside and inside edges which look like two squares and an inner mount in it with a 12 x 12 cm aperture which gave me three squares to work with. I also decided that whatever I made to go inside the mount would also be cut into squares (4 x 4 cms) which would hopefully take my eye right through to the centre - but I also decided that these squares would have some rounded patterns so that the finished piece didn't make me feel as though I was purely conforming and ending up with a very formal design losing depth and interest in the piece as a whole. Circles, curves and handwritten text on the other hand would imply movement and interest, so that's where I was aiming.

- paint the frame with phthalo turquoise, dry and paint a thin layer of weathered wood. When dry randomly scrape over some white crackle paste and leave to dry naturally. Paint over with titanium white and when dry then dribble through some watery yellow oxide paint.  

For the inner small squares I cut five 8 x 8 pieces of card so that I could play with different textures and designs but mostly complementary colours so I could cut them down and have plenty to choose from for the finished design.  

Square 1
I used a sponge stenciling technique so I could get some visual texture in there and then gave it a coat of my dirty glaze to age it a bit.  

Square 2
This was rusted enamel with some stamping again to create visual texture.  

Square 3
Similar to a mega crackle and used in my last Tag Friday post.

Square 4
This is a drip and spritz background and some stencilling that can be seen here. When I came to the end to put the larger square together you will see I omitted this one completely, it just didn't look right.

Square 5
I've called this Coarse Stucco. It uses texture sand paste to get the gorgeous coarse brick/rough cement texture.  

The three techniques that haven't got a link to them will be coming up as full tutorials soon. Keep your eyes peeled for Technique Tuesday posts. They'll be short and sweet but each one will hopefully spark you off for creating backgrounds and altering elements for yourself using the DecoArt products.

I really like the textures and colours and didn't want to take the next step but with the design in my head I knew I had to.

I also started playing with designs, but .......... uh oh ............. thats not working for me, too busy ........

So out came some more squares and I played with more neutral backgrounds. The first was using White, titan buff, yellow oxide and raw umber and brayered in layers and then dipped in white and beige at the end.  

For the second one I sealed the card with white tinting base and the just layered watery washes of titanium white, titan buff and raw umber adding a few splatters towards the end.

So I played with putting the squares together into more different designs ....

.... but you know what I did next ....... I cut them into 2 cm squares and took out the textured stencil ones and added more of the neutral ones ........ now I'm happier.

The day before I got to this point my gorgeous Alison Bomber stamps had arrived and I knew I needed to use them on this. I chose one that I knew I could add some embellishments with and hey presto the shadow box started to come together.

With some wildflower die-cuts and the quote with the natural additions all I had to do was rub some antiquing cream over the crackles on the frame and wipe it back and seal with ultra matte varnish and finish putting it all together.

I will have to admit that the composition didn't quite gel with me, I wanted to put something in the top right hand corner but after experimenting with a stamp, border and even cutting some little 1/2 cm squares of the bits that were left over, nothing worked for me - so embrace white space is all I'm saying .........

So what started as a series of painty, grungy squares turned out to be a very clean project for me and I really quite like it so who knows this may creep in from time to time.

 Products used are from the DecoArt Media range including the fluid acrylic paints and mediums.

 I hope you'll be able to pop over to the AVJ challenge blog to see the amazing samples from the Creative Guides again, oh they really are amazing and so varied.

 As for me as from today my calendar tells me it is 26 days and counting - that's till the boot comes off hopefully. Have a wonderful weekend whatever you have got planned.

 hugs Brenda xxx