Brush Strokes

I love paint brushes!  I have well more than I need and generally pick the same old favorites to create with, while others are simply 'bench warmers'.  One evening, after working many long hours on a canvas and feeling a bit punchy, I gave a third stringer a chance after I thought I heard it say, 'Put me in coach, I'm ready to play'!  Ah yes, everyone loves those uplifting sports stories where the underdog finally gets a shot at the big time, wows the crowd AND gets the girl!  This, however, is not one of those stories... Yes, that's right, this young newbie paintbrush lost it!  Lost it big time, coughing up bristles all over my wet canvas!

Newbie couldn't cut it as a player, but guess what, he got a second chance!  In all his technicolor glory, Newbie became the leading actor in my new canvas, "Brush Strokes"!  Don't you just love happy endings!

I started with applying white gesso to three 4" x 5" mini canvases.  I wanted to build up layers, so I began with modeling paste through stencils, drywall tape and yarn, followed by cardboard, string, thread, cheesecloth and torn pieces of a teabag. I add a little more interest with a script stamp and Sepia Archival ink. Art stones and mini art stones were the last base items added prior to beginning my monochromatic background tones. 

I sprayed, misted and dropped dots of several colors in the the Lindy's Stamp Gang Starburst spray line and in Prima's Color Bloom Spray Mists.  After achieving the color effect I wanted, I set my canvases aside to work on the focal brush.

I often work in monochromatic and neutral tones, but I must say, painting the brush in it's vivid colors was like going to a party:  I need to get out more, color-wise! I started painting the bristles first, those troublemakers I mentioned earlier, and then I worked down the brush handle, merging one color into the next.  I finished by splattering paint on the brush...and myself and my workbench and my stool which I also sat in.  Like I said, it was a Party!

Gluing the brush onto the three prepared canvas secured them together.  I added some accent around the brush with bronze micro beads.  The canvases were then wired onto a metal rack I had picked up at a thrift store.  


Lastly, the final touches:  the letters for the phrase Brush Strokes and two additional 'aged' brushes, all of which, after being altered, were wired to the background rack.

The wood letters were gessoed and triple-emblossed in the following order -  First: clear distress ink and Vintage Photo Distress Embossing Powder; Second: Vintage Photo Distress ink and clear embossing powder; and Third: Black Soot Distress ink and a mix of clear and gold embossing powder.

The two 'aged'  brushes began as brand new, shiny-white dollar store brushes.  I applied white gesso followed by Lindy's Steampunk Sepia Starburst spray and gave the handles a blistered finish with the heat gun.  I dabbed some of my homemade rust paste on the ferrules of the brushes and painted a heavy coat of DecoArt Media's Crackle Glaze onto the handles, leaving it to dry overnight.  The next day, I sandpapered some of the glossy finish off the crackle glaze and coated the brush handles in antiquing cream, wiping off the excess with a soft cloth.  I was happy with the result of the aging process, especially the fabulous deep crackle of these two brushes in contrast to the colorful focal brush - our rising star, "Newbie".

Smiles all!


Product List

Prima Art Basics:  Modeling Paste, 3D Gloss Gel; Prima Color Bloom Spray Mists: Frost, Worn Leather; Prima Art Alchemy Acrylic Paint Metalliques: Fresh Orange, Emerald Green, Rusty Red; Prima Art Ingredients: Art Stones, Mini Art Stones, Micro Beads Bronze; Prima Cling Stamp: So Happy Memories with You.

Lindy's Stamp Gang Starburst Sprays: Clam Bake Beige, Steampunk Sepia, Creme Brûlée Creme, Down The Rabbit Hole.

Ranger Dylusion Paint: Fresh Lime, Lemon Zest; Ranger Distress Inks: Clear, Vintage Photo, Black Soot; Ranger Tim Holtz Vintage Photo Distress Embossing Powder; Ranger Dylusions Stencil: Black Diamonds.

DecoArt Media: Crackle Glaze, Raw Umber Antiquing Cream, Titanium White Antiquing Cream

TCW: Mini "Art Is" Stencil

Folk Art Acrylic Color Shift Paint: Pink Flash; Blue Flash

4" x 5" canvases, white gesso, string, thread, yarn, cheesecloth, teabag, wire, paintbrushes, drywall tape, cardboard, metal rack, gold wire, clear embossing powder, gold embossing powder

I will be entering this canvas in the Scrapki-Wyzwaniowo February Challenge - BRUSH! 

I also would like to enter the Stamps & Stencils Challenge: Texture, Crackle and Paint

And lastly, the February Challenge at Creative Embellishments, spreading my love for art!