I have primed the box and frame with gesso, and lined the box with silver mirror board.
For the frame, I have decided not to do crackle glaze this time, but to create a different finish using textured gesso, acrylic paints and my new iridescent acrylic gel medium - I have done some experimental pieces first, on ATC-sized card, which can now be embellished and finalised as ATCs as the results were quite successful.
There will be an acetate sheet suspended half way up as before, and this is the monogram I have designed, to be printed on the acetate:
Unlike on my hubby’s frame, this printed design will not occupy the whole space, but will be reduced in size to go in the bottom right hand corner. The top left corner will be occupied by the iridescent butterfly I have made for the purpose. I am very pleased that the unpainted reverse of this butterfly, which has a beautiful finish, will not be hidden, because it will be reflected in the mirror board.
(You can see full details of that project here – and the two following posts on the same subject.) The flowers I intend making for this project will not be roses – I’ve done an awful lot of roses recently and I am anxious for a change! Before I got my cutting machine, I downloaded the pdf version of Penny Duncan’s hibiscus flower and made up quite a few of these:
They took ages, as I had to print out the shapes and then cut them out by hand, but with Jiminy Cricut I shall be well away and have some more made in a jiffy, because I have used up most of these now, on projects such as this.
I have now painted the frame. The first stage was to add another layer of gesso, this time with a palette knife, and I stamped into it with rubber stamps. Unfortunately I don’t think the gesso was quite thick enough, because the impressions are not as obvious as on the test ATC piece, and I’m not so pleased with the results. Here is the frame with the first layer of acrylic paint in ultramarine.
After sealing it with some soft gloss gel medium, I added the cadmium yellow and Hooker’s green:
I wasn’t happy with how it turned out – there was too much yellow, so I added more green, and then some more blue… It was becoming much less defined than the original test piece, and also quite dark, so I added a wash of titanium white with some GAC-100 acrylic polymer, and then finished up with a layer of iridescent gel medium.
Frankly I’m a bit disappointed in the result; it looks too muddy, and the stamping isn’t obvious enough. I am going to apply some silver Treasure Gold when it arrives (I’ve got some on order) and this might pick out the shapes a bit better. Short of stripping it all off and starting again, I think I’m going to have to be content with what I’ve done because time is fairly limited, and there’s still quite a lot do do on this project. When the floral embellishments are on, it might look better.
I have not yet decided what to do with the mount; I’d like to continue the blue-green theme if possible, and maybe tie it in with the silver mirrored lining; I’ve been looking at a technique for painting foil with acrylics which looks very interesting, and I might do something like that; again I shall have to experiment first.
I do hate it when things don’t go exactly to plan, but this is a fairly new area for me, and it’s a lot of trial and error really. I just hope that when I’ve finished it, I think it’s good enough to give them, and that they like it!