Tuesday, March 8, 2016

Sea Creature Canvases with Flying Unicorns

I'm here today to share my project made using the Flying Unicorn March Your Passion Your Art kit. 
I adore the sea.  I love the peace I feel from the sea.  The Studio75, Lavender Morning  papers from March's Flying Unicorn kit made me think of the sea thus I created a set of 6x6 panels with sea creatures. 

These may look difficult at first glance, but they are just paper piecings and nothing more.
I found free black and white clip art from Clip Art Panda that I thought would be fun, simple enough to use and also provide me with decent mosaic results.  You can try your hand at drawing your favorite creature. I am no good at drawing.  I opted for the cowards way out.  

The seahorse and sea turtle were perfect mosaic candidates - the crab not as much, but I still love it.   Here are the clip art links:

How I made these canvases
I'd like to share my process.  This will show you just how easy and do-able this can be.  Learning how seems to take the intimidation away - which is good.  Intimidation doesn't lend itself to creativity. 

Step 1.  Each canvas is 6x6.  I wanted to stay focused and not add a lot of confusing embellishments and distracting textures.   While  canvas boards usually come pre-treated, I like to add some extra clear gesso to protect myself from...well....from myself.   I fear my heavy hand when I am misting.  Clear gesso allows me the ability to remove mists from the panel if I want as a sort of "do-over".  I admit I need that "do-over " most often.  

I chose Prima Color Blooms in Glistening Waves and Summer Sky.  

Step 2.  I found some sweet little black and white clip art designs and printed out at least three copies of each design.  One will be used as a background template and the other tow will be used as patterns for paper piecing. 

Step 3.  One image will be used as the background template for the canvas.  I inked that with Distress Ink in Peacock Feathers. Why?  Because I am creating a mosaic and will not stress when  the cut shapes do not fit perfectly.  It will still all match and look wonderful with the teal peacock Feather color as the base.  

Step 4.  Time to start the background.  I ripped some thin strips of paper from Studio75 Lavender collection - inked the edges with black and applied them to the canvas with Clear matte Gel Medium.  This gel medium acts as a nice adhesive.  

Step 5. I cut a small piece of cheesecloth and misted it with the mists.  I did heat set it with the heat gun to  move the process along.  I glued little pieces of the cheesecloth to each of the canvas.  

Step 6.  Add the clip art image to the canvas using more soft matte gel medium.  To do this, paint some gel medium onto the canvas, add the image, then coat the image with more gel medium.

Step 7.  Use the remaining clip art images to cut paper pieces and adhere to the canvas with matte gel medium. Before placing on the canvas, I did ink the edges with both black and Distress ink in Vintage Photo. 
Step 8. When the mosaic process is complete, I touched up the image with a little gold paint for definition.
Step 9.  I added a few accents to the canvas with the stamp that came in the March kit - the wonderful Prima Salvage District Stamp.  I did not do a lot of stamping - I added some to the turtle and a few small sections to the canvas.

Step 10.  Add micro beads.  Apply a generous amount of Soft Matte Gel Medium to the canvas and sprinkle the beads on. If you use a generous amount of gel medium, they will stick nicely.   
Here are the close ups of the final canvases

Supplies Used:
Flying Unicorn March Kit of the Month Your Passion Your Art
Studio75 6x6 paper collection - Lavender Morning
Prima Color Bloom Mists - Summer Sky 573867
Prima Color Bloom Mists - Glistening Waves 573942
Prima Art Basics Finnabair - Soft Matte Gel 961428
Prima Salvage District Stamp 584726
Gold Paint
Black Ink
6x6 Canvas Panels

Tim Holtz  Distress Ink - Peacock Feathers , Vintage Photo, Black Soot
Micro BeadsCheesecloth


  1. These are so beautiful Jennifer! Thank you for sharing your process...something I never would have thought of! You're so creative! Thank you for the inspiration!

  2. These are so beautiful Jennifer! Thank you for sharing your process...something I never would have thought of! You're so creative! Thank you for the inspiration!

  3. Who does this? You are so creative...you can be given anything to craft with and you make it a work of art! So fun to see your beautiful creations!

  4. Jen - your 3 canvases are gorgeous and thanks for sharing your process. My favorite is the wonderful turtle!

  5. This is such a piece of Art. Your step by step really shows the how to nicely. But you make everything look so ez pz. :) Love the mozaic design!! They look like tiles. So very creative Jen. Hugs ~~ Mary L