Monday, 25 August 2014

Shine - a canvas project for the Kraafters Kommunity 12345 Challenge

This is the first challenge I've ever taken part in. Yay! This challenge was originated by the Kraafters Kommunity on Google+.  It's a lovely crafting community growing by the day - make sure to check them out!

The challenge rules were very simple. Your project had to include the following:

1 of something - for me it's the canvas
2 dimensional items - I used foam and twine
3 papers - I chose book paper, printed tissue paper and handmade watercolour paper
4 colours - I used Liquitex Basics acrylics: cadmium yellow deep hue, cadmium orange hue, quinacridone magenta and metallic copper
5 letters - I chose the word SHINE

Simple as this challenge may sound - I did struggle to come up with a concept at the beginning. Once I chose my word, I had a vague idea of what I wanted to do, but I found it very difficult to get started.  There was that "big" white canvas staring at me. I say "big" because it's the biggest I've ever done, but at 12" X 9" it's hardly gigantic.

When I chose my colours, I made sure that they would mix well together. I new I wanted something bright and cheerful. My word SHINE suggested yellows and oranges and I chose the magenta simply because I love it and it harmonises well with the other two. The metallic copper was to be an accent colour that I used for stamping.  When I got over my initial block, I took a deep breath and just started smudging the paint on the canvas, straight out of the tube with my fingers. And I absolutely loved it! What was the big deal? This actually turned out to be the easy part. Within just 5 minutes I created a colourful background that I instantly fell in love with.

The rest of the project turned out to be very much a "labour of love" with a lot of toing and froing between ideas, false starts and, yes, waste of materials. But it was all worth it in the end! The terms of the challenge made the project a bit more difficult for me to complete, but it also made me think outside the box and consider using materials that I wouldn't have used otherwise.

Once the background was dry, I decided to use my homemade foam stamps to lay down some random accents with the metallic copper paint. Looking back, I may have cornered myself here in terms of the composition. At one point,  I decided to turn the background stamping into doodles, which, in turn, very much restricted my possibilities. Perhaps it would have been better to think about the composition first. Then again, too much thinking takes the fun and spontaneity out of the equation. Luckily, it all worked out in the end, though at one point I was so stuck that I even considered abandoning the project altogether and start afresh.

Here are some photos of the process and end result. I hope you like it!

Canvas with Liquitex acrylics - I originally envisaged a landscape design 
I added metallic copper paint with foam stamps
I added black and white doodling over the stamp marks
The finished project
The sun is supposed to be the focal point of the design

I stamped the letters on painted and torn book paper and outlined with a white marker

I used foam as one of my dimensional items (it was originally white but was easy to paint with the acrylics)

I used printed tissue paper for the background

The twine was painted the same yellow colour as the other elements

I added bits of twine to the middle of my stamped doodles for texture


  1. OH MY GOODNESS! This is wonderful! I stared at the lovely background for quite some time before moving on - I just love it! Then, as I move through the rest of the story I am just elated to see the graphics and dimension! WOW! I had no idea it would turn out like that and it seems you had fun. I am quite impressed with our little group and I have got to say I am really glad you shared the ups and downs and did NOT abandon the piece. I just love it!

  2. Shine it dose!!! An amazing piece of art. You did the challenge honor with this. ...wowzer

  3. Comments on my blog - YAY! It doesn't get any better than this! Thank you so much Heather and Sylvia - I'm so happy!

  4. This is a fabulous canvas...LOVE IT! Love those colors and all those elements!

  5. I love the finished piece (I mean, I REALLY love it!). But what I love just as much is your description of how you set it up, and then struggled to get started ,and then contemplated your options . . . even mentioning the wasted materials (my biggest fear!!!). Yet, look at how it turned out!

    Thanks, too, for the photos that give us a close look from so many angles. Five-star presentation, beginning to end.

  6. Felicia, Debbi: thank you so much for your kind comments! You really made my day!


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