Thursday, July 18, 2013

Canvas Tips & Tricks with Tracy

Hi all, Tracy here with a few tips for creating your own mixed media canvas piece.

My canvas board for the Simon Says Stamp and Show green challenge incorporates a mix of elements from torn paper, paper clay, recycled corrugated card and lots of texture. I would like to take this opportunity to share a few tips with you all for creating my mixed media piece.

  • Add dimensional pieces, embellishments, torn pages or embellishments prior to painting if you would like the pieces to blend into the canvas. Obviously you can add embellishments at the end as a contrast to the painted elements too. There are no rules!
  • One thing that always helps me with composition is to lay the pieces out prior to painting, playing around with arrangement and taking a picture each time and then looking back on each one and then decide on which I prefer best.
  • If you can not decide on an arrangement, place pieces on the canvas, walk away and then come back a few hours later and then make any decisions.
  • When adding texture with embossing paste I like to apply an uneven coat rather than smoothing the embossing paste as this adds so much more texture to a piece.
  • If you want to apply texture in a different colour you can add acrylic paint to the embossing paste, mix together and then apply. Just ensure that whatever you are mixing with the paste is not too fluid as this will affect the consistency of the paste.
  • When applying embossing paste through a stencil it can be helpful to tape the stencil to the canvas to ensure no embossing paste seeps under the stencil.
  • Highlighting texture really lifts the canvas, using white or gold or a contrasting colour works beautifully. On my canvas I dry brushed with a gold paint to highlight all the raised areas. To dry brush, simply use a tiny amount of paint and lightly paint over the raised areas. It is important to remove any excess paint from the brush, your brush should be virtually dry when dry brushing.
  • To blend the corrugated card into the background I always find a good tip is to add texture paste around the edges of the raised areas and then paint over.
  • If you add charcoal around stamped images or around a focal image this really lifts the focal point from the backdrop. 
  • Using a white pen to highlight areas also adds dramatic results.
A few other tips I would suggest are:

  • If you want to add texture to your canvas without using Embossing Paste try crumpled tissue paper adhered with PVA glue and then painted over with paint, looks fantastic.
  • Always remember if you are not happy with the finished result, you can always paint over it again with Gesso and begin again.
  • If you use a canvas board rather than a traditional canvas, stamping directly onto the canvas board is much simplified and you will achieve a crisp clear image. Otherwise stamping onto tissue and then applying to a canvas is also another option.
  • Painting over a dimensional canvas with black Gesso and rubbing over with wax gives an alternative finish and gives a dramatic finish 
  • Experiment with texture and adding a variety of recycled
    elements, they work fabulously when covered with a coat of paint. A few
    examples are metal foil, nuts and bolts, screws and nails, buttons, the
    list is endless.

Thanks for joining me today! If you'd like to see the detailed step-by-step instructions for my ferns canvas board you can find them today over on my blog.

Thanks to Tracy for these great tips & tricks! Now are you feeling inspired to get green? Join us in this week's challenge! Click here to see the rest of the design team's entries and to enter your creation. For the full rules, read the "challenge rules" posted in the side-bar here on our blog.


  1. Wonderful tutorial! Thanks for all the fab tips! I am always inspired by your canvases.

  2. Fabulous canvas..and thanks a lot for sharing these tip ,they are really helpful !

  3. Great tutorial, Tracy. The texture tips are good ones and I'm sure I'll be using some of them! <3 Candy

  4. Love the beautiful texture and great tutorial! :)


Thank you for taking the time to leave a comment.

Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.