Wednesday, 7 August 2013

Mixed Media Background Tutorial {based on 'Pavement Culture' Layout}

Hi!  Finally here is my Mixed Media Tutorial
 based on this layout - Pavement Culture.  

You can see the close-up shots of it HERE
to see the detail a bit more clearly.

1.  Choose your base paper - it should be thick, good-quality paper
 with a pale base & an unobtrusive print such as text
 (B sides are usually the best choice).

2.  Using a small palette knife (or old gift card) randomly place some embossing paste in a few areas (3 - 5) on your paper - 
make sure it is uneven so thicker in some places than in others.  

You could use molding/modelling paste if you don't have any embossing paste but this Wendy Vecchi embossing paste is perfect.

3.  Choose 2 colours of acrylic paint (from a tube or a paint dabber) & apply in the same way as the paste.  Dry off your layers in between applications.  I use a heat-gun but you can wait an hour or so for each layer to dry naturally if you are not in a hurry.  

Use a palette knife, old store card or glue spreader to apply the paint colours.  Blob them out of the tubes directly onto your paper, being careful not to apply too much product.

4.  Use a stencil/mask & an ink pad to add some stencilled details over your paint layers.  Do not use the entire stencil, just parts thereof as I have done.

5.  Stamp some images around your layout using black archival ink.  

You do not have to ink up the entire stamp - again using just parts of it gives a more artistic look & forget about the acrylic block.  

Apply directly to the stamp & hold it in your hand & roll it on for a more natural look.

6.  Remove the wand from your black misting bottle & use it like a pen, to create some semi-circles at the top & bottom of your layout as seen in the last image above.

7.  Choose another stencil & use it randomly in a few places on your paper, together with modelling paste, to provide a thick, braille-like impression.

8.  Now choose another stencil & some mist to apply to a large area of your paper to add a richer tone.  Look at how light my paper is before I added the "Pale Ale" mist. 

 Now look at how rich & "old" it looks once I have applied the 
mist. You need a sepia/mustardy colour for this.

9.  Spray your entire paper with  Ranger Perfect Pearls mist
 (or another similar clear mist) for shine.

10.  ALWAYS dry thoroughly in between layers & remember
 to dry from the back as well as the front to minimise
 the warping of your paper.

11.  Use some gesso on a background stamp to add some
 definition to the central area of your paper
 (to define & separate the top & bottom sections).  

Using gesso gives less of a crisp image to ink, 
which I prefer in this case.

12.  If you do not clean your stencils,stamps etc IMMEDIATELY after use they may stain.  This doesn't bother me but if it may bother you you will need to keep making frequent trips to the kitchen sink {ain't nobody got time for that....}.  

Or you can cheat like me & keep a container of baby wipes on your desk & wipe everything off after use then take it all with you to the shower when you are through.  (Yes I shower with my mixed media tools!)  This gives me the opportunity to give them all a good scrub!

13.  Using a piece of white cardstock or any other white card/
paper of roughly the same weight/thickness as your base paper,
 apply a liquid paper glue all over, starting with the edges then 
into the centre & all around, then place your media-embellished 
paper you have just made, on top of the gluey paper & use your 
roller to seal the 2 papers together completely.  

This will go a LONG way towards
 flattening your paper sheet out entirely.

14.  Looking at the details on your newly designed 
mixed media backing sheet,  position your 
photographs to take advantage of your design.  

I actually ended up turning my paper upside down 
altogether as it just looked better that way!

15.  Once you are completed you should be able to see parts of your 
original paper design peeping through your mixed media layers too. 

 This makes for much more interest than using a plain sheet of 
paper but does add to the "busy" look so you may prefer to use
 plain cardstock & add some text-printing etc through stamping.

  Chalk inks are fine if you don't mind the "bleed"as they are not 
archival, meaning that they will react to the next layer of medium
 placed on top of them whereas an archival ink will not.  

16.  In cases where I prefer a plain white backing paper to start 
with I use Daler Rowney Water Colour Paper - 180gsm - 
as this is thicker than regular cardstock - no more expensive - 
and can absorb alot more mediums (get a lot wetter) without warping.  
You buy this in large pads & cut each sheet down to size.

Usually the shorter measurement is 27.5cm so slightly smaller
than the 30.5cm of a regular square sheet of scrapbooking 
cardstock, so in this case I simply mount the paper, once
treated with my mediums onto a sheet of complimentary or
contrasting cardstock, black for example.

I hope this tutorial has been useful to someone :)

Please remember to share with me if you try this out!
I would love to see!!


Sandie Edwards said...

Fabulous textured background, with such inspiring colours.... beautiful!!! Love your step by step ...very arty.

Julie Tucker-Wolek said...

Thanks for sharing how you put this together!!! You are amazing!!!

Adriana B said...

awesome textures on the the collage photos of the step by step... great looking at the whole process :)

Mona Pendleton said...

Amazing tutorial Helen for such a beautiful page! Thanks for sharing your creative process!

Lynette said...

I always looking to see your process for creating your mixed media backgrounds. Thank you for sharing your knowledge. This beginner still need to learn a lot :-P


Thanks for the step-by-step peek into your creative process. Would love to give this a try!

Aline Marengo said...

I love your page. These effects are perfect!

Cassandra aka Scrap Savvy said...

Fab tutorial! Lol the showering with the mixed media tools.;) It is all about the multi-tasking...LOL!!!

Rachael Funnell said...

Very VERY interesting!!!
Thanks for sharing..

Keren Tamir said...

you always make the most fantastic backgrounds and this one is no exception. loving all the tutorials lately!!

Carin McDonough said...

Gorgeous layout and a fantastic tutorial as always Helen :)

Kelly Foster said...

What a fabulously grungy and unique background, Helen, I love it!

yyam said...

Wow. Love the rich, textured background! Lots of eye candy!
Tell me more about this embossing paste...I'm intrigued!

P/s: I used Daler Rowney watercolour paper too...but mine comes in 12 x 18 so I cut it down to 12 x 12.

Elena Olinevich said...

absolutely stunning background, great tutorial, TFS

sandi said...

Wonderful tutorial! Looks awesome!

Tracee said...

Thanks for sharing this tutorial, I love watching your videos too, but you are costing me a fortune with all these "things" I have to have lol

Eila Sandberg said...

Curious about that embossing paste too, never seen it before! I LOVE watching your process in conjuring up amazing arty projects! xoxox

Denise van Deventer said...

Gorgeous....thanks for this super tut! Some creative seeds planted! ;-))))