Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Catie's Tutorial - what fun

Hi everyone!  Catie here today.
I get lots of comments on the backgrounds I create, so for my tutorial I thought I'd show you one of the ways I create backgrounds for my layouts.  This one is a mixed media style.  Hope you enjoy it.
Step 1:  First up, I use texture paste and a stencil to create some texture on my page.  Often I'll use more than one stencil, to get some different patterns/designs happening.  I use a palette knife to smear the paste over the stencil, and depending on what I'm making (or how I feel!) sometimes it's a thin smear, sometimes it's a really thick smear.  Then, grab the heat gun, and blast it!

Step 2:  Then, gesso, to seal the paper, because for this background, I'm going to be saturating it with water... Again, using the palette knife to smooth the gesso thinly over where I have laid the texture paste, then pressing the knife down on where the gesso is thicker and lifting it straight up to create a ripple effect for a different texture.

Step 3:  Now to lay down some colour!  I love this bit!  I am really loving using gelatos lately, as they are so versatile and create some really amazing effects.  I've also used water colour sticks to colour the birds. So, basically, I put the photo down, to see where I wanted to place it, then selected my colours based on the colours in the photo, as I wanted to extend them out into the background.  Then I smeared the gelatos in my chosen colours around the page, using the photo as a guide.  You can see in the middle bottom photo in the collage below what the page looks like with the colour down and not yet blended.

Step 4:  Next, water... lots of water.  I sprayed, then blended using a paint brush, then sprayed some more water, and blended some more, and repeated this process til I had my desired effect.  I also saturated one or two spots, and let the colour run on the page.  Then, I used the heat gun to dry it all out, and 'chase' the colour runs across the page (as you can see in the bottom left pic in the collage below).

Step 5:  So, you can see now what the page looks like with all the colour added and blended, with the space for where the photo will go.  Next, I add a bit more depth to the page using stamps and the Faber Castell Pitt Big Brush pens. 

Step 6:  I finished off the background by adding a few stamped flowers, and some music notes around the birds, with Tim Holtz distress ink.

And voila! There, you have it - the completed background, with the photo sitting on it (to show you where I picked up the colours), ready to embellish and finish off.

I hope you've enjoyed seeing one of the processes I use.  If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to ask - I'd be very happy to help!

Thanks so much for looking,
Catie x


  1. Absolutely RIVETING...took in every little bit of this - thanks so much for sharing....& the bg you make looks fabulous:):)

  2. This looks great, thanks for sharing Catie..

  3. oooo very cool. i'll be trying this.