Sunday, 4 August 2013

Wise owl says ....

... a lot of things including: you really should finish some projects, your craft room could do with a bit of a tidy up, did you really need to buy more stash last weekend and  it doesn't matter how many layers of paint on a canvas there is, keep going until you are happy.

There is a lot of layers on paint on this canvas because I couldn't quite get the effect I was looking for - an old tree with lichen and moss subtle toning but bright not dingy. I take loads of pictures of trees when we are out and about.  On a regular basis my husband will find me smiling at a tree, stroking it and have my camera lens as close to the rippling peeling bark as I can get it.  So when I saw Helen Chilton's Barn Owl on the PaperArtsy blog this week I thought I'd spend Saturday creating my interpretation using some the techniques and ideas.

To get the dark brown background colour that I kept returning too I mixed Cinnamon and Little Black Dress to get a really dark shade, the chalkiness of the Fresco give a really matt finish which strengthens and deepens the colour a lot. 

I used grunge paste through the wood grain stencil to add a layer of texture, not too much as I didn't want deep lines. When it was dry I also gave it a light sand.

Then the fun began in terms of adding layers and layers of colour. I tried:  Concrete (like this but I needed a different background), Mocha Mousse, Cinnamon, Beach Hut, Mermaid, Guacamole and Tinned Peas. All weren't quite right and ended up looking too dingy and muddy and not quite the effect I was trying to get.

I started again this morning with a dark brown layer and this time I lightened what was left on the craft sheet with  bit of Concrete and gently wiped that on with Cut and Dry.  I didn't put too much paint on the Cut and Dry and wiped it on a bit of kitchen roll to get the excess off as I wanted a light shading of colour not a full opaque coverage. Next I added in places very watered down Honey Dew to look like lichen staining.  Finally I added embossing powder to the wood grain lines to highlight them. The embossing powder can stick everywhere so I use a brush and my fingers to brush away what I don't want.

Wise owl was stamped on tissue paper and thin layers of Honey Dew added to the back. He was stuck on some corrugated card with added grungy staples and a bit of thin string.  I wanted him to look like a notice stuck on a tree rather than living in the tree if you get what I mean.

So I'm now off to follow more of wise owl's saying and finish some of my other projects on the go!



  1. Jo, Wise Owl looks gorgeous - I thought it was a piece of wood he was mounted on, so it works for me, lol! I think he has to be my favourite stamp. Enjoy the rest of your day, finishing projects.. yeah, right, me too!!

  2. This is spectacular. I also thought the owl was on a piece of wood, so you've succeeded in your mission!

  3. ...your patience paid off Jo, the colour and texture you achieved looks awesome, and the owl image is gorgeous...I'm like you with bark, oh the colours and textures Mother Nature creates are simply stunning and as for lichen, it's amazing stuff from the colour to the texture, love it all, I could sit amongst wood all day and just breathe in the aroma....anyways enough of that ;) a stunning pice of work Jo...Mel:)xx

  4. Beautiful. You got a cool wood effect. I was up close studying the lichen added to age part if a harry potter set at WB studios, London last w/e and they added tiny green squiggles of fibres randomly to look like moss growing in walls. Looked really good. But what embossing powder did u use. I blew up the pic and can't figure that out. Was it matte?

  5. Wow that wood looks amazing!! I really thought it was real...
    Fantastic work!

  6. Beautiful piece Mr Owl...he was the first vintage set I got!! The wood effect looks fantastic!!

  7. Wow Jo, that really does look like wood, it's amazing.

    Lin x


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