Yesterday I posted this canvas I created for a recent swap. It changed a lot along the way, so I thought I would share the process along with some photos I managed to take while creating.
The first step was adding inky, "dirty" paper towels to the canvas with a 50/50 mixture of gesso and mat medium - a "faux" plaster technique. I separated the plies of paper towel to add just one ply and "smoothed" this into the wet mixture creating wrinkles and texture.
Once fully dry (takes quite awhile) I covered it all with another coat of gesso. Note - if your towels have spray ink or other mediums on them, which are not permanent, you will never get back to pure white! But it's a great way to avoid the "blank canvas" syndrome.
When that was dry, I added modeling paste through an irregular diamond-pattern stencil.
Next came the fun part - adding all the bits and bobs. In this photo you can really see what all I added - everything but the kitchen sink! I had forgotten to clean my paintbrush with gesso in it and it sat overnight. It was unsalvageable so I decided to add it to my piece. Other things added were: buttons, a plaster frame, chipboard pieces, screws, paper flowers, beads, bottle cap, resin flower, hinge, wood plug and a few assorted metal pieces.
Several more coats of white gesso blended everything together to prepare for the colors.
Here's where I stopped taking photos! I added turquoise and magenta spray inks, blotting up and adding more until I was happy with the look. The finishing touches were dry-brushing over textures with gesso and adding some silver metallic paste to some high areas.
This is such a fun technique - I hope I've inspired you to make one of your own!