March 8, 2011

Canvas mini album from scratch

I told you I would be back today. . .and I am! See mom!!!!! Haha she said that I have been so consumed in costume design that I have not been posting. Well it doesn't help that I've had the worst sinus infection and the doctor made me fight it out without antibiotics. I was truly a zombie for two weeks until he gave in and gave me meds after a CT scan. So let's get down to business (hey that's a Mulan quote). Okay too many Disney movies for me and anyways, I am supposed to be in The Little Mermaid frame of mind.

I created a canvas album from canvas I purchased from Joanns. One thing you will need to keep in mind if painting on sewing canvas is that you will experience shrinkage if the fabric gets wet. It's not so much of an issue if you are sticking to acrylics but there is a little shrinkage there. With watercolors, I found the shrinkage to be pretty extreme. So I pre-washed the fabric right after I found that a layout I had done (months ago) shrunk. I lost 25% after washing and that was not due to the fabric fraying.

I diecut the butterfly using a Sizzix Bigz die. Then I stitched pages together. I thought that the threads may show through so I sewed on the body of the butterfly first before stitching the back side of the page on. If I would have made the album using a single layer of canvas, the watercolor would have bled through.

Next I primed the canvas with gesso.  I keep saying I used watercolors but actually I used Caran d'Ache Neocolor II Artists' Water Soluble Crayon Set.   I have seen these in the store and some brands call them water soluble wax pastels. You color as you would with a normal crayon and add water and there you have watercolor. Totally blendable. And you can also take your wet brush and pull color directly off the crayon and place on your paint surface. You can even draw on your hand and pick up color from there. We have gone to a birthday party and the woman doing face painting was using these same crayons to paint. 

I used Glimmer Mist and Hampton Arts spritz screens to create the designs. Then I took the spray that was on the masks and used the rest on other parts of the pages and the back cover. I know I should create tutorials but I go with the flow and without a creative plan. If you have specific questions, please feel free to email me.