Thursday, September 8, 2011

I've been browsing through the book "Plaster Studio: Mixed Media Techniques for Painting, Casting and Sculpting" by Stephanie Lee and Judy Wise. 

I've always been intrigued by plaster and used some spackle as a texture medium in paintings but I've never really tried to seriously work with it until I looked at this book and saw that it wasn't as hard as I thought.

I'd been to my favourite thrift store, Value Village, and found a pair of rectangular framed canvases that begged to be turned into something else.  I was just going to paint over them but they had such a nice simple black frame that I thought they might be perfect for a pair of plaster panels.  I wish I'd taken a before picture because they were just a pale floral prints that seemed a bit washed out.

I first primed the canvas to give it a bit of tooth and then spread a 1/4" coat of drywall compound over the canvas and let it begin to dry a bit.  When it was still moist but not sticky, I used a variety of items to deboss the compound.  I used a doily for a sunburst effect and a greek key pattern and other line patterns to create texture.  Then I let it dry overnight.

The next step was to give everything a base coat of acrylic paint.  I used a neutral colour(buff) since I was still undecided at to my overall colour scheme.  My next step was to use red and yellow fluid acrylics over the canvas, blending the colours in some areas.  When this was dry I gave the canvas a coat of sealant (Mod Podge).  I saw this on a You Tube video.  It allowed another coat of paint to be placed on the canvas and then removed from areas with a baby wipe. 

I added a coat of burnt umber and some more yellow.  I wiped back areas to reveal the original colours.  When I liked my finished product, I once again sealed the canvas with Mod Podge

Here are my finished pieces:

Here is a close up of the sunburst detail from the doily.

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