Welcome again and today we’re making a mixed media reverse canvas using red, white, and green card stock for holiday themed decor.
I started out by cutting pieces of Basis card stock in “dark red” – I made narrow strips just wide enough to collage over top of the staples on the back of an 8×10 canvas. I then cut down a piece of Basis card stock in “olive” to fit inside the middle of the canvas “shadow box” area. I measured the area before trimming down carefully, leaving enough room so that I could wiggle the card stock into the space.
Don’t forget to check out the step by step video tutorial below:
Next, time to prep the canvas. I threw down a ton of Artists Loft acrylic in white and spread it all over with a foam brush. I ran around the inside edges with a palette knife to smooth everything before setting it with my heat tool.
I then grabbed my pebeo modeling paste and squeezed some out onto my finger to dab into the holes that I wanted to cover up on the inside rim. I think I would have preferred using spackle – but my jar was dried out, so this did the job.
Next, I adhered the red paper strips with matte mod podge and a foam brush. I made sure to apply the medium to the canvas as well as the back of the paper, to ensure good adhesion and minimal warping. As I applied each strip, I let the corners overlap. I thought at this point it might be fun to imitate wood on these panels, as the dark red reminded me of cherry wood.
Once everything was good and covered, I set it aside to dry, then came back in later to trim off the excess paper bits with my scissors. I brought out a woodgrain stamp I bought on aliexpress and used Stazon jet black because I knew I might use watercolor over the stamping. I decided not to mount the stamp to a block or anything, just pounced into the ink and onto the frame.
I take a dark purple Tombow Dual Brush Pen and start defining shadows where the “faux planks” intersect. As I draw with the marker, I smudge with my finger before the ink dries. I add these details all around the edges.
At this point I wasn’t sure how I wanted to finish off the frame. To help get my brain seeing the end result more accurately, I decided to apply some mod podge to the canvas and the green card stock and insert it before determining next steps. I make sure to cover everything as well as I can with a layer of mod podge before letting it dry.
Next I come in with a darker tombow marker in gray and further define the wood grain shadows. I also dab water onto the frame as I blend, to create a more organic effect with the ink. I knew I wanted to start grunging this up, so I got bold and went heavy with liquitex basics black acrylic. Covered the whole panel by brushing it on. This part is always a bit scary but usually worth it. Seeing that much paint, it seems like you’ll never get it where you want it – but all you have to do is come in with a wet cloth to take away paint layers. Eventually, the more you “polish” away the paint, the more it looks distressed and weathered.
I brought in more black paint on a brush to coat the inside rim of the piece. I use a paper towel to go around for finishing touches, I also use it to add black paint around the outside edge of the canvas as well.
I used my silhouette portrait to cut a design I made from Classic Crest 80lb solar white. I wanted to apply the letters onto the canvas and use the cut-out as a stencil, so I can see where to place the letters. I use some washi to attach the cut-out to the top of the frame, so I can lift and set it back down in the same place. Then I use some craft tweezers to pick up each letter and apply multi medium matte to the back, before pressing it down firmly in place.
To keep the glue from sticking everything together, I lift the “stencil” image once the letter is adhered, then let it come back down for the next one. This part can be kind of tedious, but I find it oddly therapeutic.
The only issue was that the snowflakes were so small, it was hard to lift the stencil after placing them. I managed, and decided to leave the smaller snowflakes off in lieu of adding some doodle accents.
I use a molotow white paint marker to add curly lines at the top and bottom next to the snow flakes. Also, some little dot details. And that completes the piece! I recommend sealing with a matte clear spray to make sure it’s good and protected.