Saturday, 17 September 2011

Altered Mirrors and Frames–Preparing the Backgrounds

After my first attempt in April, I am now going to do some more painted Ikea mirrors, and also some small Ikea frames which I’ve got from Ebay. We have got a harvest/flower show coming up at our church, and various people will be exhibiting and selling their work, and each artist has been asked to donate one piece to be auctioned to raise funds. I thought this was something I could do, and if they do not sell, I’ve got some ready-made Christmas presents! I originally bought the mirrors for Christmas presents anyway. I’ve got some more coming from Ebay, so I will have plenty in hand if these ones do sell.

I am intending to frame some of my small ATC-sized flower paintings that I did recently, in the small wooden Ikea frames, and I am going to paint those frames to co-ordinate with each flower painting. I’ve got 6 of these, and if they are successful, I shall look out for further packs of these frames on Ebay. It’s brilliant that so many people are selling Ikea stuff on Ebay, because we don’t have an Ikea anywhere near us, and it does mean we have access to the stuff!

These first three mirrors have been painted on the front and the back with white primer/undercoat.

They will be painted with black gesso and then grunged up and painted with my new rust effect, and some nice steampunk embellishments added.

I painted the other three mirrors with white gesso in the spring when I did my first painted mirror – I have since discovered that primer is a lot cheaper and will be using that in future, unless the subsequent treatment requires a gesso substrate. Here they are with two coats of dark-coloured emulsion paint, in readiness for a layer of crackle glaze and then a top coat of light-coloured emulsion.

I shall probably do daisies and/or ivy on the green one, harvest on the brown one and poppies on the blue one (that blue is actually a lot darker than it’s come out in the photo), adapting the flower designs I made for the ATC-sized cards.

These are the tins of emulsion that I bought to do the backgrounds with. I was thrilled that my hubby found a Dulux centre on a local industrial estate where they mix up any colour for you, in nice small pots (250 ml). When I had them mixed, he asked what I was doing with them, and when I explained they were for art, he was very interested. He told me that a customer had ordered two pots to be mixed and then had never come back to collect them, and he couldn’t sell them, so he gave them to me free! One is a lovely grey, and the other a very pale green, just perfect for my backgrounds!

The brown mirror is having cream as the top coat; the green one is having the pale green, and the blue mirror one is having grey.

On the extra mirrors coming from Ebay, I am going to do some textured gesso effects, and painting them with acrylics – a more abstract effect.

This is the brown mirror, with the addition of the crackle glaze, which is still wet at this point. If you spread it on nice and thickly like this (I used a foam brush and didn’t over-brush it) and going in one direction only, you get nice big cracks. You can see where the cracks will form, from this picture.

This is the dark green mirror with its top coat of pale green. I am very pleased with the large cracks that have formed, and I love the two colours together.

This is the brown one, with the addition of cream emulsion. Again, the cracks are very satisfactory.

Finally, the grey one. This grey is darker than I thought it would be, and if it hadn’t been a free one thrown in, I might have chosen a slightly lighter shade, but I think it’s come out OK with the dark blue cracks. It’s perhaps a more subtle effect than the first two.

When I was doing my flower paintings, I was delighted to discover that distress inks work really well on acrylic paints! I had thought that they wouldn’t, having experimented with them over gesso, which acts as a resist. The distress inks over the crackle glaze give a lovely subtle effect which really lifts the frames from the ordinary! I am so pleased with this effect! This is the green frame, to which I have added some Peeled Paint and Wild Honey fairly randomly over the surface, and then distressed the edges with Forest Moss. I used my Inkylicious Ink Dusters which worked brilliantly – you have to go carefully so as not to overdo the effect.

This is what I did with the brown and cream mirror. In this case, I added Wild Honey, and distressed the edges with Walnut Stain.

For the blue and grey one, I used Dusty Concord, and a very small amount of Wild Honey, and distressed the edges with Chipped Sapphire.

I am very pleased with how these three mirrors have turned out so far. As they have got water-based inks added, I think I shall seal them with some matt acrylic gel medium before doing the flower paintings.

As for the grunge mirrors, here they are with their coating of black gesso as a substrate for the rust effect which I shall be doing.

So far, I have only started working on one of these.

When I did my rust effect, I used some blue pearlescent liquid acrylic, which came out much too blue, and I decided I’d make up my own mix to resemble a verdigris effect. I achieved this using my Pebeo Deco Matt fluid acrylic paints in the following proportions, with the addition of some iridescent acrylic gel medium:

Cretan Blue: 2 parts

Antique Green: 2 parts

Lemon: 1/2 part

Iridescent acrylic gel medium: 3 parts

So far, I think this works pretty well, but I shan’t know until I progress a bit further with the effect, so I’m going to complete the first mirror before moving on to the others.

I have also made a few more moulds, using up the last of my Mold-n-Pour, using some nuts and bolts and screw heads, and a couple of clock hands that my dad lent me. When I manage to get some more mould-making material, I shall complete this with the remaining steampunk bits and pieces I’ve got, get them cast, and apply them to the frame before adding the rust effect, so that part of the project is on hold for the moment.

The next step is to start the flower paintings on the first three mirrors, and also to prepare the backgrounds on the small frames, which arrived this morning, and I haven’t yet photographed them.

1 comment:

  1. Great looking frames Shoshi! I am looking for some ideas for gifts for friends we will be visiting in Spain and I think that a wooden handmade frame would be a good idea. I am anxious regarding the travel but we will be in a hotel for a week before we start visiting peoples homes so if I need to crash I can. I have had such a hard time this week with the ME/CFS and the FM. The trip to my sons was a real trial! Thanks for sharing the idea! Vickie

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