Saturday, 15 April 2017

Portrait in parts

For this portrait I'm starting off by using some stencils and stamps to make a background. I especially like the stencil with the jumbled letters and numbers you can see below all the others. There is also some acrylic paint, disposable palette papers, and sponge rollers.

I used the first colour paint over the stencil (left hand side) which leaves some of the white surface of the canvas showing. I then flipped the stencil and used black paint on the remaining bit of canvas. I continued to flip and apply paint.

Time for a few stamp impressions.

I now have a background on the canvas - I may need to over paint to make it more black later.

Next step, is to make a similar effect on some card which I'm going to cut up into labels.

 Cutting up the cardboard prints (which have been backed with black card)

Using a bradawl to make a hole.

Threading with my chosen thread, and attaching to the painted canvas.

 Adding more. They hang loose from the top. When happy I'll fix them permanently with a staple gun and hide it all under a piece of fabric or similar.

 Showing the reverse of my tags. There's nothing on them yet, but I shall fill with sketches/paintings etc of eyes, noses, mouths, ears - whatever takes my fancy!! A portrait in parts.

Saturday, 8 April 2017

Just having fun - Portrait Shuffle

Here's a copy of the latest posting on

Experimenting with portraiture

I like glass perfume bottles and have collected them over recent years. Can you see the little one in the collection below with the glass strands around the outside? Graham gave it to me for a Christmas present about 5 years ago.

If you've decided to join in the TOH Portrait Shuffle, you might be wondering how a perfume bottle fits into the theme. You may also be looking at your blank A5 canvas and wondering what on earth to do!

To help explain, the TOH gallery at Festival of Quilts this year will be about portraits and will be full of quilts and textiles made by 27 different artists, and their work will be very different from each other as it will be based on their own interpretations and how they identify themselves and others.
Some of the accompanying text to exhibition:

A portrait can be almost anything, from a face to a bouquet of flowers. It’s an open term allowing for discovery, experimentation and interpretation of self and others.

A perfume bottle is an interpretation of self in that it is about my loves and relationships, and perhaps says more about what makes me tick than an image of my face.

Image 1: Making a background using a stencil and waterproof pen.

Image 2: Filling in the stencil shapes with some marks.

 Image 3: I've left a perfume bottle shaped hole!

 Image 4: A pen and ink drawing onto caligraphy paper, stuck into place using acrylic gel medium.

 Image 5: Painting over the background using watercolour.

Image 6: A wash of white paint tones it all down a bit, and provides a better background for some stamping.

Image 7: Adding texture and text with stamps, and a final layer of gel to seal it all and lift the colour with shine.

Saturday, 1 April 2017

Portrait Shuffle  you can buy your pack on this link or on

Come and join Through Our Hands, and everyone over on the Portrait Shuffle!! Join in and collectively raise some much needed money for Save The Children and help them stop children starving to death.  You can make a difference you know, and this is one way.

For £20 you get a Portrait Shuffle Pack (a guaranteed minimum of £5 will go to Save The Children - and we hope more depending on postage costs and who joins in) It's being organized by Through Our Hands (myself, Laura and Linda Kemshall) and we will be posting lots of ideas on our blog along with your work.

You also get to be exhibited at the NEC in August (not compulsory though if your a little shy). After that we take everyone's work and give a little shuffle, before sending you back someone else's beautiful work.

So, you get a pack, lots of fun, a free exhibition at a prestigious event, a piece of original artwork sent to you through the post, AND you get to help suffering children around the world. What's not to love? Please join us and make a difference.