Hi guys! I was playing around in the studio yesterday and decided to prep a bunch of surfaces for some new work. I got some great ideas from other artists about using some recycled materials for backgrounds that I had never thought of and decided to try it out. I literally combed through my garbage bag near my work station and dug out some packaging that I had thrown away. I gesso’d it up, and began to play with it.
In this blog post I am sharing the transformation of the packaging strip in the photo below, marked This One. I will show how I took this packaging and transformed it into a piece of art – my Lighthouse Mini!
The first thing I did was add a gesso layer to the front and back of the cardboard packaging. After the gesso layer, I added some dimension and stability using modeling paste and some stencils.
I then added some paper layers to the front and back. By this time, it was firm enough to work on, and there was no indication that it was ever a piece of packaging!
I added some pigment so some of the modeling paste and added a bit here and there.
Then I added some bits of this napkin (which did NOT come out of the garbage). I love using these beautiful napkins in backgrounds. I find that I prefer to open the napkin up and separate the layers so that I can use just the printed layer like tissue paper. I add this layer with matte medium or decopauge glue. I literally melts into the cracks and crevices created by the previous layers and looks amazing.
Once I had my background down, I added some paints and a bit of ink to it, then finished off the piece with my embellishments. I used some die cut paper decor, a bit of burlap, vintage ribbon, twine and of course a sea shell.
It’s a little shiny because it was still a little wet when I took the photo. I cover everything with a coat of matte medium so that it has a flat look because that’s just what I prefer.
I love the way it turned out. There’s no way I would look at this and know that it was made from recycled packaging!
Originally, I wasn’t planning on making this a tutorial. I just took some shots while I was working just in case I wanted to review them later. Anywhoo, I hope you enjoyed it!