Saturday, April 20, 2013

The Dark Canvas

Bombs, explosions, weird weather and wind...
I just needed to work on a canvas. So decided to take photos of some steps along the way to share on the blog.

Step One: The Idea
My ideas stem from various sources for different projects. I've only started working on canvas so my ideas are a bit scattered. Mostly I work from a product or an image that I'm itching to use. But this canvas came from the craving to do something with darker colors. I also had all these grey stars laying around from where I had punched out a stencil for my last small canvas. This lead to thinking about the moon and when that happens, inevitably, I begin to recite the old poem, "Man in the Moon".
"The Man in the Moon as he sails through the sky
is a very remarkable skipper.
But he made the mistake of trying to take
a drink of milk from the dipper.
He dipped it in to the Milky Way
and slowly and carefully filled it
but the Big Bear growled
and the Little Bear howled
and it scared him so that he spilled it."

All over my house.

Okay so that last line my sister added when we were kids because when we would watch stars in the summer, the Big Dipper always seemed to hang right above our roof. So if it spilled, it would rain down all over our yard!

This became the inspiration for the canvas: a night scene of the moon and stars hanging above a house with a large tree. (The tree represents one of several HUGE maple trees we had in our front yard as kids. sigh. I miss those trees.)

Step Two: Fill the Canvas
I didn't take a photo of this. I found dark colored papers in blue and a black/green pattern. I also decided to use a purple and a sheet of black paper with grayish star swirls to edge it. I ripped them up and decoupaged them to the 12 X 12 canvas. I'm still trying to use up old papers that I've had for years! The colors gave me a start and the stars gave me some good ideas.

Step Three: Paint
I was tempted to leave the papers like that but I decided that to make the scene I would use torn bits of paper. Since those papers would also be dark, I needed to paint the canvas to make them pop. So I used two of my only four Golden Fluid Acrylics; a purple and a blue.

(Apologies on the crappy photos! My canvases are very reflective and it's hard to get a good photo of them. Couldn't go outside...way too windy!)
I used a pretty light coat of both colors. I mixed in some Silver Bells Silk Acrylic as well to give it an iridescence. Touched up with some streaks of the just the silver in a corner where I felt my moon would go.

Step Four: Add the images
I wasn't sure whether I wanted to scuff up the canvas background a bit but eventually just decided against it. I had quite a few items to add to the scene and figured I'd add more texture after I had all of them down.

The stars were already punched out and I just decoupaged them on. Using scrap papers, I tore out the shapes for the house, trees, and little patch of ground. The moon was the white side of a circle I had cut out from a patterned paper that I never used on something else. I just shaded the side with gelatos and then stamped an odd splatter pattern in black. I didn't ink the stamp up very well and went with second and third generation stamping. I didn't want the moon to look like it was really patterned, just wanted a touch of shadow and texture there.

This is where I stopped. I'll be working on this piece in the next few days and will post more as it progresses. I'm hoping to add some glitz or metallic to the stars. I haven't decided whether I'll put a quote from the poem in the space between the tree and house. That area is bothering me so will have to fill in something there and a quote might be perfect.

Meteor shower happens this Sunday and Monday nights! Hope the weather clears in my area!
"Do or Do Not; There is No Try." ---Yoda, Star Wars


  1. Anonymous2:38 PM

    I can't wait to see the final product. I think having part of the quote in it would be great...just not the "all over my house" part. HA

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