Posted in Mixed Media Art

Gone to the dogs! A new recycled canvas project.

No, don’t be alarmed, it is not me that has gone to the dogs, really!!   I just thought I would share a work in progress post today.  I’m still in the ‘recycle’ mode when it comes to my old art, and I have a small pile of acrylics that I know I can easily paint over.  I’ve never really gotten into acrylics, as my main medium for painting has always been oils.  In fact the only acrylics I ever had were very cheap ones, and after many years, they simply dried out and were binned in my last purge of old paint tubes.  What I have left now is mostly craft paints, some very good large pots of acrylic that I actually used on some old furniture many years ago, and also some half decent tubes I picked up when Michaels had a sale a couple of years ago.

Frida Kahlo
An old greyscale painting of Frida Kahlo

The small pic on the right is one of those in my pile to ‘do something with’.  It is an 8 x 10 canvas board, and is meant to be a fast painting of Frida Kahlo.  It was painted in 2007 when I was going through a ‘greyscale’ phase, and trying to paint as if I was kind of sketching.  I wasn’t impressed with it at all, and so it ended up shoved in a cupboard for *cough* about 6 or so years!

The other day then, as I was rifling through the pile, I pulled it out and decided I would attempt something with ‘mixed media’.  The first thing I did was gesso over it a couple of times to hide as much of it as possible, because as you can see, there is quite a bit of dark paint on it.

Once that was done, I thought, well, what shall I have a go at?  I didn’t want it to be too difficult, but I also wanted to do something I liked.  In recent years I have been painting pets and a couple of other animals here and there – and nearly all of them are digital.

Digital – funky Pitbull

One of them I really liked, and actually have framed and hanging in my kitchen is what I call my “Funky Pitbull”.  So, I thought I might try and do something a little similar on this old canvas board.   I liked the greens and blues, and I have used them in the new work, but decided to opt out of the pinks and purples for this one.  (Well, so far!).

My first job was to create a background, which I did by simply painting all over the canvas – and yes I actually DID use some soft pink … but it didn’t last long.  After that I added some printed tissue paper (Thanks Liz!!!), and drew in the outline of the dog.  It’s  not exactly the same, but close enough for my purposes!

Stage one begins!
Stage one begins!

Not the greatest shot here, but it was quite a dark day when I took the first work in progress photo.  I  put some gesso on the interior of the dog and then left it to dry overnight.  The outline of the dog would certainly change, but it was there more as a guideline than anything else.

Over the next couple of days I started to add more paint, and specifically start working on the interior of the dog itself.  I wasn’t sure if I wanted another ‘funky’ dog, or a more realistic version, so in the end I decided to go for a compromise and see if I could add a little (and I mean little) bit of realism to a more softer ‘funky’. I then added some more of the tissue paper in various places, popped on some circles with gesso (Did I mention I have run out of white acrylic paint?!!!), did a few more things and because I DO need to go get some supplies to do what I would like to do with it before I call it done, I have just put it aside to really dry out.

Ok, so here he/she is.  For the most part, I won’t be doing too much more to the dog itself.  Perhaps some more detail or shading in the body bit, but overall for me, I am happy with how it is looking at the moment.

Stage 3 !
Stage 3 ! It’s starting to look like a dog!

I did add some very watered down black paint around his face to try to create some depth – albeit very subtle.  I also decided I liked the fact his eyes are not the same, so left the blue paint from underneath showing through.

The shadow around him is still ‘in progress’ too – I want to feather that out even more, especially at the top of his head.  I have left the space above that bit clear for now as I want to paint in a quote of some kind, and also add some words on the right hand side – well, maybe!   I also haven’t decided what colour to paint the circles yet either.

You can still see a little hint of pink around, so I thought I would leave that in.  One thing I do want to add to it is some silver shimmery paint.  I do have a tube of that, so that might be the next thing I do.

I have decided though that there won’t be any raised stuck on embellishments with this one, as when it is all done, I intend to varnish it so it really sparkles.  (It does look a lot more vibrant in real life actually).

All in all, for my first ‘paint and tissue paper’ project I am quite happy with how it is going.  I will definitely post a shot of it when it is all done.  (Hoping to go grab some supplies in a day or two – especially white acrylic paint!)

Thanks for taking a peek, and feel free to leave a comment, or to say hi.



Self taught artist back living in New Zealand after more than a decade of living in Canada. Starting over in more ways than one but always up for the challenge!

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