I have had some small 5" x 7" canvas boards sitting on a shelf daring me to use them for over a month. Then the Clarity Challenge for August arrived. I have also been attempting to add more texture to my cards recently, so my choice was a no brainer - horizontal line - Stencil, Stamp, Grunge Paste!
So, where to start? A coat of Titanium Buff acrylic paint never seems to hurt from what I've seen, so that was my first job. Then I mixed Fired Brick, Rusty Hinge and Walnut Stain Distress paints with some grunge paste - still a bit light, so I added a drop of Walnut Stain re-inker to darken things up and scraped it onto the canvas in the top left and bottom right corners through the Brick Wall stencil. Adding liquid colour meant that the grunge paste became a little sloppy and bled under the stencil in places - but that just added to the grunge effect as far as I was concerned.
OK. So far so good - winging it seemed to be working. I remembered a Gelli Plate YouTube video of Barbara Gray's that I had seen and decided to use my Birdhouse and English Garden stamp set from 'In the Classroom'. The verse also seemed to fit as I was making things up as I went along. I added some of the trailing foliage using Coffee Archival ink and then felt that a little extra colour was necessary. The sun rays stencil seemed ideal and a little orange would fit perfectly, so... Dried Marigold for the first layer (using my trusty Claritystamp brushes), then Spiced Marmelade coming in from the outside of the stencil and Rusty Hinge at the outer edge.
I stamped the verse in Coffee archival ink, but this time I heat embossed it using clear detail embossing powder - not quite straight - drat! Maybe the birds would add a finishing touch and draw the eye away from the slight wonkiness of the verse. Note to self - do not press on too hard when adding small stamped images to a canvas - even if you do want to heat emboss them. The first bird came out a bit more of a blob than a bird; time to read over the verse several times, take a deep breath and avoid making the same mistake again. Stamping the birdhouse into the bottom left hand corner was the final touch, as I felt that the canvas lacked a little balance. I didn't heat emboss this time as I liked the look of the texture of the canvas through the stamped image. So there you have it - my first canvas and my first entry to the Clarity Challenge; life really does begin at 50!