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Creative Canvas "Sisters" by Vicki Nicholson

Vicki Nicholson sent us in this innovative "altered art" project and we liked it so much that we created a magazine ad based around it. Vicki also agreed to share the entire step by step project with the Paint Talk community. I hope that this piece inspires you all to get creative with Jo Sonja’s paints and mediums and if you follow the steps below and complete your own “creative canvas” why not add a comment with a photo of your work.

‘Sisters’ Photo Creative Canvas


Canvas and Photo
Atelier White Gesso
Jo Sonja’s Texture Paste (image 2)
Jo Sonja’s Magic Mix (image 7)
Jo Sonja’s Tannin Sealer (image 8)
Jo Sonja's Artists' Colours Burnt Umber
Jo Sonja's Artists' Colours Rich Gold (image 3)
Jo Sonja's Artists' Colours Pale Gold
Gold Leaf*
Copper Leaf*
*Note: Jo Sonja’s Rich Gold or Burnished Copper paints may be used if preferred.

Brushes, Palette Knife,1/2 inch Flat Brush, Mop Brush,Tin from a drink can, Colour matched cotton for sewing, PVA glue- acid free, A4 Reflex paper

1. Preparation

• Choose canvas to suit photo. Apply 2 coats of White Gesso to the canvas. Allow to dry.

• Apply photo with acid free PVA glue or similar and ensure you don’t get any glue on the front of the photo. Allow to dry.

2. Texture Paste

• Apply a 2cm strip around the photo, overlapping the edge. Once you have it applied to your liking, create a rough texture with the palette knife. Allow to dry.

• Apply 2 coats of Burnt Umber to the textured area. Allow to dry, then dry brush a heavy amount of Rich Gold over the Burnt Umber. Add a touch of Pale Gold to highlight. Magic Mix can be used as a sealer and/or medium in this process. Scumble a little Texture Paste to the surrounding area to create slight texture.

3. Leaf

• Apply Gold and Copper leaf to the remaining areas.

• Apply a liberal amount of Tannin Block Sealer to the area. While damp, lift the leaf with the Mop Brush and gently lay it on the canvas surface. Lightly press down with the brush to make sure the leaf has adhered. You could stipple it further when it has dried.
• Detail over the leaf with Burnt Umber. Either by bagging with Retarder or scumbling with colour. Hight light with Rich Gold. You want to get an antiqued look.

4. Paper Material (image 4)

• This looks like webbing and will add a dimension to the canvas.
• Sew an A4 sheet of paper with continuous lines, 1 cm apart on a sewing machine. Turn the page around and do the same. The lines don’t have to be even. You will end up with a page of little squares.
• Mix Burnt Umber with a little water and soak the paper in it until the paper softens. Rub the paper away in patches. Allow to dry in a scrunched up position. Cut into pieces as required and sew on little strips of tin. Glue this into position. Highlight with Rich Gold and Pale Gold.

5. Tin (image 5)

• Use an empty drink can and cut with scissors carefully around the lid and base. Then slice it into a rectangle. Cut the shape you prefer. On the reverse side, emboss the wording you would like. Remember it would need to be in reverse so you can read it correctly when turning the tin over.
• Stipple around the edges and make some small holes to get a needle through. Scorch the tin over a flame. I use the gas hot plate. Use kitchen tongs to hold the tin safely. Mind your fingers and allow to cool.

6. Finishing
• Place the tin where you would like it to be a feature. Sew it on with a coloured thread that will blend in. Glue on the paper material.
• Add anything extra that you might like.
• Varnish with a satin varnish. I have cross hatched the varnish over the photo so it becomes matt. It views better on the wall.

If you have any queries or comments regarding the process or project we’d like to know and will endeavour to answer them.

We would appreciate postings of other images from this project so you can photograph and post pictures of your work on paint talk,join in the discussion and help to inspire others .

Have fun with canvas!