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Mixed media on balsa wood panel “Soulmates” for Finnabair CT

Mixed media on balsa wood panel

Hello, my lovely friends!

As you may have noticed already, my mixed media artwork is oscillating quite a bit between shabby chic, vintage or nature-themed projects and more contemporary and abstract ones and I must confess, I love them both. It really depends on the mood I’m in, a book I read, everyday life events, or some music I listen and so on.

In only a couple of weeks, it will be our wedding anniversary and, thinking back at the extraordinary way my husband and I have met and got married, I decided I will create a project to reflect all these thoughts and feelings. So, a truly romantic, with a vintage tint mixed media collage/assemblage from me today, that I hope you’ll like. ?


Soulmates – mixed media on balsa wood panel

I started by collaging old book pages on my panel using soft matte gel. When this was dry, I spread a thick layer of white heavy gesso using a silicone brush and stuck a piece of fine cotton gauze on top, working the fabric into the gesso with my fingers to create some texture. I dried everything with the heating gun and then I glued down a lovely pressed flower ( that I picked up in one of our beautiful walks last summer ?) using soft matte gel. After drying, I wrapped some string around my balsa wood panel and applied more gesso here and there.

Soulmates – mixed media on balsa wood panel

The next step was to add mica powders in different shades of greens and blues, so after sprinkling the powders with a brush, I spritzed them with water and tilted my panel this way and that to help them flow. I really wanted to add a vintage feel to my background so, in order to do that, I splattered some strong tea all over my panel and added some background stamping with a couple of clear stamps.

I love using my stamps without an acrylic block, as I don’t like a “clean edge” look, I rather like to use fragments of the stamps as I think this way they enhance that old and worn feel I was after.

In order to create a softer look, I added a thin layer of white heavy gesso applied with a sponge and a very light hand.

Soulmates – mixed media on balsa wood panel

Next, after covering my balsa wood panel with soft matte gel, I added a generous layer of clear crackle paste using a silicone brush. (This way your crackles will stay in place, no matter how much work you’ll add on top, and they will never chip off.) While the crackle paste was wet, I sprinkled some art stones and mini art stones, here and there and then, I left everything to dry naturally, overnight (you will not get the same results if you try speeding this step).

Soulmates – mixed media on balsa wood panel

Next morning I continued to add more depth and colour to my background using art alchemy opal magic paints.

While the paint was drying, I started working on the mechanicals and painted them using rust and patina pastes and then, assembled all my elements and attached them with heavy body gel, creating my composition.

Soulmates – mixed media on balsa wood panel Soulmates – mixed media on balsa wood panel

To embellish my mechanicals lotus flowers I added some glass beads, micro beads and glass glitter to the centres and then, to create more depth and enhance the colours I added art alchemy waxes.

I am always mesmerised by the amazing effects you can achieve using these fabulous waxes.

Soulmates – mixed media on balsa wood panel

To add some highlights, I used the art alchemy Sparks and a tiny touch of fine glitter – a drop of these paints will add real magic to your project.

Soulmates – mixed media on balsa wood panel

I hope you enjoyed and got inspired by my new project and you are ready to create some magic of your own. ?

Here is my video where you can watch my creative process and here you can find a list of all the products I used. Enjoy and have fun!

Have a wonderful day and a great and creative weekend, my friends, and don’t forget to check out my Online Workshops  ? I’d be delighted to see you in the classroom!

Much love,

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  1. Love this. Thanks for the tutorial.

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  2. What an absolutely gorgeous piece Sanda!! And now I need to know the story behind your love affair with your husband!! Looking at this piece and reading over you words, I feel the deep connection and love you share- most wonderful ,my friend! Thank you for sharing this with us!
    hugs&love to you,Jackie

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