Tutorial – 2020 Canvas


I love the work by Kelly Rae Roberts and her collage-based canvases. Over the course of the pandemic, I took a Kelly Rae online class to help keep my mental health in check. So, as we approached the end of the year, what better way to celebrate it than with a canvas summing up all I learnt and how I felt about the virus. I made it in the pretty blues and pinks of the 13 Arts paper as these are the colours of my bedroom, my sanctuary.

 Begin by sketching a rough outline of a face and dress with a pencil on the left of the canvas

Next take a selection of patterned papers. Do not be precious about them, don’t save them for best, use them. Randomly rip pieces up and glue them to the canvas with gel medium, avoiding the lady.

Next take some paint in blue, pink and white. I made a thin wash of blue and painted it over random areas of patterned paper. I did the same in pink paint. Dry with a heat gun. Next take some bubble wrap and randomly add shapes to the pattern paper in pink and blue. Take a shape, I used a metal ruler and add some texture in black paint.

Dry with a heat gun again. Next make a thin wash of white paint. Paint it along the top of the canvas and let it drip down. Repeat until you have nice drippage.

I took a old tape measure, doily and vintage lace and added it to the canvas with gel medium

Next, take the blue paint used for the wash and paint in the lady’s dress. Print out a butterfly and cut in half to add as wings

Next paint in the face. Use a white layer of paint first. Build up with a cream paint. Then use various shades of browns to add shade and depth to the face. If you have Posca pens or oil pastels you can add fine detail and smudge with your finger for shadow etc.  Use a journaling pen to re draw in the face once complete and add the eye and mouth details. Use 13 Arts ephemera and stickers to add flowers to the hair.

Cover the whole canvas with gel medium and dry with a heat gun. Once cool, take a fine sandpaper and gently sand away. You can expose edges of the patterned paper, rip bits etc, high light pieces of paper. Sand the face to give a shabby chic look

To finish, use a black ink pad and different sized alphabet stamps to add a quote. I chose one I felt summed up 2020 for me.

I hope you feel inspired to have a go.

All the best for a better 2021


13 Arts paper pack: Sunrise

13 Arts Sunrise ephemera pack

13 Arts Sunrise stickers

Black ink pad

Plaid Multi Surface Paint in blues, pinks, white and hair and face tones

Alphabet stamps

12 x 12 primed canvas

Glossy gel medium

Oil Pastels

Lace, doily, tape measure

Bubble wrap, stuff for making patterns

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