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Spirit of the Sahara

#itac17 #itac17challenge4 #aallandcreate

Hi everyone, as you might know I ‘m participating in the International Tournament of Art & Craft (ITAC ‘17) and this is my entry for the fourth challenge. This week the challenge is focusing around the theme of “Africa“. I had a general idea about Africa but not really having images popping in my head when I read the challenge text. One of the fun parts about these challenges is that you have to dig in and find out more about each theme when you create your project, I had a blast!

All the details for this challenge you can find here:

You’re asked to use certain elements in your project (if you would like to know which ones, than follow the link) and this project also should tell a story, like in the third challenge.

I choose to work on a canvas (30 x 30 cm in size) because of all the elements that I wanted to ad to this project and this canvas size seemed to be the best base for that. I took pictures of the different steps so that you can see the project grow with me:

Step 1:

I primed the canvas with The Crafter’s Workshop “White Gesso“ (TCW9001). When that was dry I applied a coat of DecoArt America Acrylic Paint in the colour “Snow (Titanium) White“. One of the elements given in this challenge was “words or text “, I choose to use some pages from the book Genesis from the bible, since this is a religious story about the beginning of the world, comparable with Africa being the biological cradle of humanity. I adhered parts of these pages with The Crafter’s Workshop “Matte Gel Medium“ (TCW9011) and using a brush (washing the brush afterwards). All these mediums I also applied to the sides of the canvas.

With my project I would like to attract attention to the story of one of the most beautiful animals on this earth: they are large but peaceful, hunted for their ivory and known for their wisdom. Elephants play a truly important, but often unknown, role in the ecosystem of Africa. If you would like to read more about African elephants than you can go here:

That’s why I feel that these majestic creatures are the true spirit of the sahara!

I searched on line for silhouettes and found this image of an elephant with her young. I traced them on the canvas with my trusted carbon paper. After I did that I applied Talens “Crackle Medium“ on the canvas, mainly around the outer edges on the top side and also on the sides of the canvas. Then I set the canvas aside to dry.

Step 2:

When the Crackle Medium was dry the canvas was ready to receive some colours: I was inspired by the “rust effect “ / “warm bright colours “ mentioned in the elements in the challenge, that’s why I choose DecoArt Americana Acrylic Paint in the colour “Georgia Clay“ as my colour for the earth part and the silhouette. And I choose a contrasting colour in the form of Winsor & Newton “Deep Turquoise“, mixed with DecoArt Snow (Titanium) White, as the colour for my sky / sun set.

While the paint dries you get to see the “cracks “ (mentioned as one of the challenge elements) appear, caused by the Crackle Medium.

Next I created “texture“ with The Crafter’s Workshop (white) “Modeling Paste“ (TCW9005) over parts of a The Crafter’s Workshop stencil called “Desert Mirage“ (TCW753s), on the front of the canvas and also on the sides.

I also applied this modeling paste over the body of the elephants to give them a bit more of a 3D effect.

Step 3:

When the Modeling Paste was dry I applied the same Georgia Clay paint colour over the modeling paste area’s and then to create a bit more attention for the raised area’s I used DecoArt Americana Acrylic Paint in the colour “Heritage Brick“ a little over the stencilled area’s and the elephants. Next I started working on my “repeated ethnic patterns “. I found some interesting pattern design on line and replicated those, it’s not as easy as it looks and what was funny is that the pattern I felt was the most difficult, the one with the arrows, turned out to be the easiest. I used Amsterdam Acrylic Markers in the colours “Titanium White “ and “Oxide Black“ to draw the patterns on the canvas, not only on the front but also on the sides. These markers have a 2 mm size nib to make the drawing easier.

And to enhance the “rust effect“ I also applied some Stampendous “Aged Copper Embossing Enamel” on the canvas: it contains some green particles that create a more rust like effect. I also put some of the embossing enamel on the turquoise part of the canvas, where the copper colour from this embossing enamel shows up really nice, in the end it looked like the elephants are throwing up dust as they walk.

Note: this can be a messy and slightly “dangerous“ element to ad to your project: you put the embossing enamel on top of the canvas, it’s not yet adhered, when you melt it it will adhere, but heating it with a Ranger Heat It tool from the top will blow particles of and can melt the paint layers and embossing paste that you applied earlier. So, the best way to go over this is to: put some of the embossing enamel on top of the canvas, lift the canvas, keeping it horizontal, and heating it from the underside, making sure that your heat tool is hot, but not keeping it in one spot to long because this way you will also risk melting the paint and/or embossing paste. The effect was well worth the risk though!

#itac17 #itac17challenge4 #aallandcreate

Step 4:

When the paint dried for about 24 hours I varnished the canvas with an acrylic varnish (be careful around the embossing paste parts because the varnish can pool here, resulting in a not wanted milky texture).

When the varnish was dry I could proceed with my last step: “charms, pearls and metallic wire“. First I screwed in two little screws on the back of the canvas, facing inwards, so that the canvas could still hang on a wall. One screw on each side, here I could wrap the metallic wire around to have the construction not fall of the canvas. Next I went looking for wire and charms/pearls. I found some dark grey pearl beads, some haematite beads (haematite is also mined in Africa), small facet glass beads and some metal beads with patterns. And in my stash I also found a charm featuring the Tree of Life, which matched the theme for this project nicely. I beaded these elements on different places of the wire and adhered the wires on the back like mentioned before.

Some final detail pictures:

And that finishes this Africa project! Hope you enjoyed and until the next time, have a creative day!

I would like to submit this project to the following challenges:

- International Tournament of Art & Craft: Challenge 4: Africa : #itac17 #itac17challenge4 #aallandcreate

- Eclectic Ellapu: Floral and Fauna and/or Nature:

- Creative Artiste Challenge Blog: Anything Mixed Media Goes:

#itac17itac17challenge4aallandcreate #TheCraftersWorkshopWhiteGesso #TheCraftersWorkshopMatteGelMedium #DecoArtAmericanaAcrylicPaint #TalensCrackleMedium #TheCraftersWorkshopstencilDesertMirage #TheCraftersWorkshopModelingPaste #AmsterdamAcrylicMarkers #StampendousAgendCopperEmbossingEnamel

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