Sunday, 4 May 2014

Multitasking with a vengeance

Today's post comes with a smugness alert! Not quite sure why I have so much energy right now but long may it last. This weekend is officially a holiday but rather than lounging about I've had a really productive day. I won't bore you with too many details (as most of them involved domestic stuff that has long been ignored -  we can at least now see out of the windows!!) but suffice to say I worked like a woman possessed and crossed off a long list of jobs.

Sunday is my day for baking so while the dough was doing its thing I planted out the dahlias that had overwintered in the greenhouse and started a watercolour portrait - as you do. While the first layers of paint were drying I supervised the bread and made biscuits. Then back to the drawing board, literally.

I can't believe this is the first time I've made an attempt to paint Amelie. I think children are the hardest subjects to paint so I've probably been too scared to have a go. I think it's a good idea to photograph your in progress drawings - for some reason it's easier to see the faults in a photo than when you look at the real thing.

After the paint was dry I worked into it with Derwent Graphitint pencils. They are water soluble so you can wash over them with water for a more painterly effect. The dry pencil picks up on the tooth of the watercolour paper I've used making it look quite grainy. That's not such good news for a child's portrait because little children have such smooth skin but I rather like the effect in combination with the washes of transparent watercolour paint and I may leave it like that. I shall look at it again in the morning and hopefully know exactly what needs doing to finish it!

Since last week's DMTV video aired I've been asked how we attach quilted panels to a box canvas. Now I know we've covered this on DMTV before but not everyone has been a member since we began almost 5 years ago so here's the answer. If the piece is designed to cover the canvas right to the edge like the example above, it can't be sewn in place because the wood of the frame would be in the way of the stitching. In cases like this we almost always glue the panel in place.

We take a strong glue like this one and use just a narrow bead of it squeezed near to the top edge of the canvas panel. The quilt is placed on top and pressed in place. If you prefer to use a fixing method that is less permanent, you could attach velcro dots to the corners of the panel and stitch the complementary dots to the back of the quilt. This would allow you to remove the quilt if you wanted to but it's unlikely it would ever need washing - I just brush dust away with a clothes brush or, if necessary, vacuum the panel with the upholstery attachment.

Now, if the quilted panel sits on the box canvas with a margin around it like the one above, it could be stitched in place although, once again, this particular example is glued in place.

This very beautiful quilted panel of Laura's is indeed stitched to the box canvas. The stitching becomes an integral part of the design as well as being functional.

Here you can see the securing stitches on the back of the canvas.

I hope that answers the questions and is useful for anyone planning to mount work to a box canvas!

Many thanks for dropping by - I'll be back again soon - Linda


  1. Hmmmm lovely tips - thank you. Happy Bank Holiday!

  2. Wow you have been busy- with great results! If you got any of that energy to spare can you waft a little bit my way?

  3. Amelie's painting is amazing!!!! Great job!!!

  4. Thanks Clare - we had a lovely Bank holiday weekend catching up with jobs in the garden. Weather cooperated for once didn't it?

  5. Dotty - if I knew how to bottle it I'd be a rich woman!

  6. Thanks Robbie - I'm glad you like it!

  7. I'm just catching up on my reading! What a lovely array of little pillows!! I bet they are going to be a hit at the stand. I unfortunately won't be coming to Birmingham this year, life got in the way, but I'm sending my two friends over as representatives! :)
    Thanks for the tips on mounting work on canvas. I've been mounting mine on painted birch boards, so they are rigid, and the Gutterman glue works wonders!
    I look forward to reading more soon. Take good care of yourself and all the best,