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SUNFLOWER - DOUBLE CANVAS with lights - for Imagination Crafts

This piece is actually a double canvas - with LED lights behind it! Created for the Imagination Crafts show on Hochanda, this DT piece took on a life of its own.

Yay! it lights up!
Preparation

The canvases were 10in x 12in and 8in x 10in. I prepped both with Rusty Patinas, making sure the colours toned but weren't exactly in the same place, and varying the intensity around the edges (more patina here, more rust there). I added Starlights paint in Topaz (my new favourite favourite) and Bright Gold round the edges, using a finger.
The large canvas (10in x 12in)

I stencilled the swirl from the Sunflower stencil all round the edges of the 10in x 12in canvas using Structure Paste. I then brayered over this with Starlights paint in Topaz and Bright Gold, hitting just the high points (making sure not to get any paint on the background of Rusty Patinas).

Next, I cut a section right out the middle of the 10in x 12in canvas, using a craft knife and a metal edged ruler. This is so the lights could pass through easily.
I then painted the back of the canvas with Shabby Chic paste in Chocolate, diluted with water to make a chalk paint,.
Next, I stencilled over this using the all-over background stencil with Starlights in Maroon. Subtle, but THERE, if you know what I mean. And I do think that with something like this, the background needs to be well finished as people are sure to look!
The small canvas (8in x 10in)

First, I stencilled the Sunflower portion of the stencil onto the 8in x 10in canvas using Structure Paste, then brayered over with Starlights in Topaz and Bright Gold, as for the large canvas.
I then a very generous amount of  Magi Bond to draw shapes in between the flowers and covered the glue with large Artsy Stones. Once dry, I painted these with Starlights in Topaz.
I added a second layer of Magi Bond, added more Artsy Stones - this time in Small and Medium, and painted with Starlights in Bright Gold. I like to use a small stiff bristle flat brush for this, and stipple the paint on.
I added a final layer of  glue - this time I used Magi Glaze - dribbling over the stones already there, then filling in places with more Artsy STones, but leaving them white this time.
For the sunflowers, I used copious amounts of Transparent Relief Paste (the whole jar, in fact) using a palette knife, echoing the shapes of the petals. This needed to dry overnight as it's easily half a centimetre thick in places. (If I'd had a second pot of the paste, these would have been even higher!)

The paste dries exactly how it's applied, so you can see the dimension and the shapes the palette knife made, and still see the colours underneath.
I also added touches of Starlights paint in Cream and Bright Gold, on the very highest points, to add a little bling and reflection in the light.
Adding the lights

First step - I glued the smaller canvas to a piece of foam core board (thick cardboard would do as well) and used a hot glue gun to attach the LED lights close to the outer edges, leaving the wire free.
Test your lights! If there's anything wrong with the lights, or you need to move them so that they show up better, now is the time. If all is well, and you're happy, feed the battery pack and wire through the hole in the large canvas. Add a strong glue (I used glue gel) to attach the small canvas to the large one. Allow this to dry completely before even attempting the next step.
Make a stand - I used a piece of chipboard (cut from the back of a sketchbook) and glued a piece of scrapbook paper at the back, to act as a hinge. I painted both to match the back of the piece (Shabby Chic paste in Chocolate, diluted with water, then stencilled using Starlights in Maroon).

I added glue to the back of the paper tab, then attached it to the back of the canvas as you can see here (check the bottoms are level). Again, let this dry completely before the next step.
I also used the Shabby Chic paste to colour the back of the foam core board on the back smaller canvas, as you can see it though the hole I cut.
I made the holster to hold the battery pack by folding a piece of cardboard over the pack, adding a little extra for ease. I actually made a little box (you could also use a large matchbox) but folded the flaps outwards. Again, I painted this to match.

Finishing touches

I diluted Starlights paint in Bright Gold - into a spritzer bottle (about one fifth paint to four fifths hot water, but adjust to taste). Don't forget to shake well! Then I lightly spritzed the back for a little more sparkle.

I added strips of self-adhesive magnetic tape to the back of the battery pack and also inside the holster, to keep the battery pack from moving when stood up on display.
This did take a while to do - mainly because of the drying time needed, but wasn't as difficult as it looks. Very addictive, so I'm sure I'll be making more (perfect for a Christmassy display).

I hope you like it!

All materials (except the glue gun, glue gel and magnetic tape) from Imagination Crafts.

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