Mixed Media Canvas – Assemblage and Latex Lace

Mixed Media Canvas – Assemblage and Latex Lace

Hi! It’s Heather from Thicketworks, and
today I’m gonna share with you my process for going from a blank canvas to
a finished mixed-media assemblage – incorporating latex lace. There are
absolutely no rules so when it comes to mixed-media –
but I find that a good place to start is to lay down a layer of texture…and I
like to do that with good old joint compound, and whatever stencil I can get
my hands on. Name-brand texture pastes are great, but I NEVER buy them – because
joint compound does everything I need it to do. It adheres perfectly to the
surface of the canvas – it remains flexible and it gives me an amazing
background on which to add DIY Coffee Stain! As you can probably tell, I am
CHEAP! You won’t catch me drinking this stuff, but I get my instant coffee
crystals at the Dollar Store. At this point in the process, I don’t really have
a cohesive idea of what is going to happen with this canvas. I’m really just
interested in getting some texture and pigment on there. Today I’m reaching for
Metallique in Dark Velvet. That rich metallic plum color is perfect for the
vague vision that I have in mind. It may seem counterintuitive, but I’m going back
over that metallic surface with a mixture of white and brown matte acrylic
paint thinned down with more coffee stain. Okay, so now we have a background
of sorts and I can begin to play with the components of the assemblage. 3d
Matte Gel is the perfect adhesive for odd and heavy items like these. This
little circuit board and plastic panel come from – I have no idea what – but I
love the complexity and texture that they will give the final piece, so on
they go! And here I’m just adding a sardine can…
because: YEAH! Okay, this is the part where I do a shameless plug for the
Mixed Media for Beginners Course! If you’re interested, there’ll be a link in
the description…and it makes sense to mention it here, because I’m about to affix a bunch of cast bolt and screw heads… which is one of the things that we play
with in that course! All right, back to this project. I’ve got to say: I love
sticking these little faux bolt and screw heads to just about anything that
will stay still! Today, they’re going to add interest to the sardine can and
these electrical components. I tend to make large batches of things that
interest me, so these glass gems I accumulate regularly and they’re easy to
incorporate into all kinds of mixed media work. I love you Dollar Store! Thank
you for these gaudy sticky back flat back pearls! Yeah, they’re hideous (at
least to my eye) but they have a really intriguing shape and they’re going to
add to the sort of steampunk/industrial vibe. Once we get the finishes in place
they’ll just melt into the background. I love Tacky Glue – and I water it down
slightly so that it’s easier to dispense. It makes a perfect adhesive for all
kinds of paper applications like this tiny panel of card stock that has had
joint compound applied through a stencil on its surface. We’re deep into the UGLY PHASE of this process at this point! it’s easy to get scared off when you see all
of these weird colors and textures and components together like this it looks
awful! But as you begin to add components and harmonizing elements like these
beads and microbeads, things begin to come together on a textural level. It’s
all about keeping an open mind at this point!
Let your intuition guide you and find ways to repeat the same types of
textures and patterns. That attention to repetition of pattern and texture will
pay off big-time once you harmonize that surface with
something like heavy black gesso. This is going to create Magic out of the Mayhem!
Do your best to get that black gesso into all the nooks and crannies and
create harmony out of what was utter chaos! Using tacky glue that’s been
thinned even more in a little needle tipped bottle like this, makes it easy to
create borders and drips around the edges of this main assemblage…and those drips are going to come in handy when we add microbeads! I turn to these again and
again because in a very unobtrusive way they add a layer of texture and interest
that is just phenomenal! However, they are very rascally and they are brilliant
escape artists! Don’t use this method to try to corral your microbeads – it is a
disaster! I usually work over something like a cookie sheet. In spite of their
wayward tendencies, I’ll never give up my microbeads…because of what they can do for an assemblage like this. They really help tie everything together. Now that
the main components of the assemblage have been put together, I’m turning to
Rusty Red Metallique paint to create a little more interest in the background.
I’m a big fan of the way that drips appear on the surface of a canvas –
especially when it’s textured like this one. Dark Velvet Metallique paint will now
be used to create an even more harmonizing layer over the assemblage
itself – and to help blend it into the background by covering some of the drips
that we’ve created with microbeads. White gesso can now be dry brushed over
the surface – and that will help to emphasize some of that fantastic texture
that we’ve worked so hard to create. It will also give us a ground on which we
can add further pigments. Yep, I’d say we’re comfortably past the hideous stage
at this point! But I want to add a little more richness and subtlety with this
Heidi Swapp Color Shine Bronzer. I love this spray – it’s a rich sort of coffee
color with a metallic gleam and it is a beautiful harmonizing agent. At this
point it becomes easier to visualize where I want the piece to go, and so it’s
a no-brainer to add this cool little light bulb on a spring! It just has to go
there! I really love the look of industrial components coupled with
feminine flourishes, so I always have a huge number of castings on hand ready to add to an assemblage like this. The almost machine-like shape of the main
assemblage here is toned down and given flair by the addition of these
flourishes and tiny feminine touches. At this stage, the piece is really beginning
to come together. I’m feeling a sense of rhythm and repetition – but it’s not
boring (at least not to me) A few more touches of microbeads to help unify everything, and then it’ll be time to add the latex lace!
I’ve used this lovely lace border mold to create latex lace that I’m going to
apply right across the upper edge of this canvas. Tacky Glue is a great
adhesive for a substrate like this. I like to glue the lace into place and then
come back over the top with a dampened brush and a little more adhesive. Once
the adhesive has begun to cure, I’m going to add Aged Brass Metallique Wax. This is
going to help emphasize that lovely lace texture! This metallic wax is easy to
apply with a fingertip, but you can also use a brush if that suits your needs. To
create a little more balance in the final composition, I’m adding one more
latex lace component. At this point I’m satisfied with the composition and will
be turning my attention to the surface treatment by adding heavy black gesso
and blending it out with lots of water. Once the surface has been dried I want
to add a little extra energy into that surface treatment by adding splatters of
white gesso. Thinned turquoise craft paint is going to help give even more
energy to the surface. I’m dabbing it on in strategic areas and then blending it
out with a generous spray of water. The goal with this step is to create some
exciting contrast and to tie all the components together through the use of
that contrasting color sprinkled throughout the design. Because we have a lot of underlying metallic feeling surfaces here, the choice of a turquoise
paint is not an accident: it’s evoking a kind of patina – even though of course
it’s a fantasy finish. But although this is a fantasy finish,
yes, the eye and the mind interpret that turquoise color
coupled with industrial looking components and a lot of metallic gleam
as something that might occur in a real-world application. Once the
turquoise paint has thoroughly dried it’s time for one last pass with the
metallic wax. This mixed-media assemblage canvas incorporating found objects and
castings and latex lace is now complete. I’m enjoying the interplay between
masculine and feminine energies in this mixed-media canvas. Thanks for hanging
out with me through the creation of this piece! It was a lot of fun to share. I
hope that it’s useful to you in some way and that you can incorporate some of
these techniques and ideas in your own work. Thanks again…until next time…Bye

56 thoughts on “Mixed Media Canvas – Assemblage and Latex Lace

  1. I LOVE Steampunk so much and this piece really made my heart sing. I loved seeing the inter-mingling of "masculine" and "femine". I guess it's something I never really thought out when working on a piece like this. Heather, you truly are the Mistress of Mixed Media. I need to go on a scavenger hurt for some supplies and definitely order me some fondant moulds. That Latex Lace is totally the bomb. 🙂

  2. Hi Heather…actually everyone calls me Flower…ha…I have a fun and funky boutique in a little hippy town called Yellow Springs Oh. anyway…you probably already know this tip but I was touching up some of my Iced Enamels with Art Academy was color and it looked heavy and textured so I used my heat gun on it and it flowed into a beautiful finish…FYI

  3. Thought it about time I watched you properly. The turquoise at the end was the 'game changer' for me! There are so many altered, industrial, steampunky, grunge etc etc assemblages out there & I too, have boxes of "junk" to do something of this ilk. However, I want it to be MY interpretation of said many versions. That's what makes mixed media so intriguing & magical. Also, like you mentioned, it could evolve/be evolving, to this conclusion in reality. I like the idea of another world I'd discover (dressed ala Lara Croft), a submerged 'archaeological' find (think reverse box canvas at "ugly" stage). It'd be baron with tumbleweed & gritty dust (you get my drift). I'd brush back the surface, unearth the textures & get to work with waxes, "coffee", water, gesso (all in vats, of course)…….An actual landscape piece of mixed media art!! How Cool would that be??
    I've totally & literally gone wondering off in my fantasy mind. Oops! 💫 My sincere apologies😄
    All I NEED is endless hours, no responsibilities & lots of casts!! Easy😀 Your encased clock faces & other parts really brought out the magpie in me too! Tyfs, Heather! Utterly Bonkers Caroline. 🐾🐾🔐🔑🔓🔩🔧🔨😸

  4. That was an awesome transformation, even hubby was fascinated on this one, got some guy action going on in this one, Thank you Tracy..:) LATEX HAS ME GOING, CAN NOT GET ENOUGH OF THOSE VIDEOS,, LOVE NEW

  5. Have to tell someone this story and I picked you to tell, I scrubbed my old kitchen about 5 years ago, took off all the hardware fixture, aged brass and Patina, did not know this technique then, there were over 100 cabinet hardware peices, I scrubbed those boys with vinegar until the Patina Green was gone, now, I wish, I would have never done that, because now I find that awesome, aged and vintage.

  6. I’m waiting for my new medication to kick in and give me back some of my energy. Your videos are so inspiring. This piece is breath taking. I love the light bulb in the little tin. I’ve bookmarked this video. There’s so much to see and learn from. Thank you for sharing and to give me something to watch as I recuperate. .

  7. Wow! Awesome piece! Thanks for speeding through and liked the narration, and I usually dont like videos with voice overs, loved yours. Tfs

  8. All I can say is wow just awesome. Have a ? I have gesso but it’s very fluid or thin and I noticed a lot of mixed media artists use heavy gesso just want to know why is it that it covers better and you only need one coat or is there another reason thank you so much

  9. Ohhhhhh my holy wowzers…. I wish my mind worked like that!!! I loved it, minus the turquoise, but thats just my taste!

  10. I love it. I'm also a frugal kind of person. I like to ad things that have no longer use, like that circuit board and so on. I have a little box of aluminium shaving that i can wait to find a project to use it on lol. But what i really want to try soon,is those gorgeous latex laces. I also use that joint compound lol.

  11. Im wondering, is it ok to use old screws, nuts and bolts etc? Do they need to be cleaned properly or is a scrub with a wire brush sufficient, and if not cleaned of residual oil etc, will that damage the paint and other products used? I’m glad I stumbled across your channel, it’s the first time I’ve heard the process actually explained, along with some why’s.

  12. It did look pretty hideous before you made it all the same color then added the finishing touches, you have a wonderful imagination to see the possibilities with simple materials

  13. It's 9 o clock am and i am enjoying drinking my coffee by seeing your art Heather.This voice of yours calm me down…It's magic to turn out all this pieces into art.I can't wait to find a job and start my own channel soon…:)…i find something that you might find it interesting and soooo amazing as i did….xxx

  14. Tengo una pregunta, con que rellenas los moldes de silicona ? Nunca lo había hecho y me voy a pedir alguno… gracias preciosa

  15. Just found your channel, so happy I did amazing work totally love this assemblage, can't wait to check-out your other video's. Love the idea'of using products from the hardware store, so much cheaper than the craft store supplies. Thanks for all the tips…..Mary

  16. Funny how individual tastes differs, I was saying stop stop you have gone too far (that was mid range in project) but when you see the finished project its wow with capital letters

  17. Hello Heather I discovered your tuts last evening and was just loving your work. I also love your tone of voice and your exceptional use of the English vocabulary. Its refreshing to listen to your succinct way of describing your work and your use of descriptive adjectives I would be remiss if I didn't mention your use of every day products that can be acquired locally and inexpensively. So glad I ran into your work. TFS Alas! I am too old to attempt such delicate work as the laces. They are fascinating how they can transform a simple form into something so beautiful. Loved the mask. Love all things New Orleans and spooky.

  18. i can't get over the sardines can and keep thinking about the ones I have in my kitchenboard…
    Beautiful piece, BTW, just… damn! sardine can? how genious is that?

  19. I had a feeling we could use that stuff instead buying gesso. Lol the ugly phase.
    Wow the ugly just got interesting. Thank you for the coffee ingredients.
    I comment as I watch so it doesn't make sense, but I hope to you it did. tfs

  20. You are truly talented, and I cood say this in any other video of yours, I get lost in time in every video I see of you.

  21. I was looking for a way to incorporate items onto my canvas.
    I started watching this and to be honest i thought it was just awful!… BUT then.. Oh my Goddess and All the stars that ever fell!!!
    This is incredible.
    You have absolutely INFLAMED my imagination.
    Thank you! So much.
    This has changed my life.
    All the tiny little knick knacks and odd bits and bobs I have saved for no reason other than their texture/shape/design struck some kind of harmonic chord inside me ALL MAKE SENSE NOW.
    I adore this.
    I can't wait to try.
    You Rock.
    For real.

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