Wednesday, 23 October 2013

'Expand Your Horizons' Art Tile Fun!

Hello Lovely!

I hope you're well and happy? Have you been arty? Ooooo - do tell!  It's good to be back, and I have stuff to share and things to show. Without further ado, here's my first offering for you ...

This is an art tile I've been working on for a couple of weeks now - FINALLY finished, lacquered and ready for Etsy. I've decided to try and sell more through Etsy if I can as it's a bit tough to get to galleries at the mo but the bills still keep a-comin'!

I love art tiles ... they're such a versatile form of art display. You can mount them in open or covered frames, attach a small hook and hang them as they are, or display them on a stand or easel. It means you can add colourful art to any corner or wall, no matter where you live. This one measures 30cm x 20cm and is roughly 5mm deep. There are twenty-three separate pieces, hand cut and painted to my design, assembled in layers to give a slightly dimensional effect. I took a FEW pictures so I could show you some of the process:

First - I select the colours, a mix of gouache and liquid acrylics, then cut strips of card (about 1mm thick) - and paint. Once dry, I drew some stylised waves onto the strips. I REALLY wanted this to have a more illustrative look. Out with those trusty Tim Holtz scissors....snip snip!

Once done, I added outlines and details with really rich and creamy acrylic ink, representing the movement of the sea and foam -

I'd decided to add a mix of turquoise, grey-blue and sea greens - any excuse to use some of my favourites! I'd already sketched the overall design so I had a good idea of what the final image would look like, but I still had to play about with layers and shapes to make sure I'd be happy.

The sun layers are done in much the same way, but I opted to crumple the pages - the surface of the sun isn't smooth after all! This paper is fairly lightweight and to achieve crisp creases I moistened the paper with a light mist and left it to dry while crumpled up. Once dry I opened it carefully and painted it - the paint colour was perfectly smooth but the wrinkles were still crisp.

At this point I managed to delete the rest of the pictures when I stupidly cleared the wrong memory card on my camera!  BUT - basically, I carried on in much the same way, drawing and cutting shapes freehand to match the sketch I'd made. I used a combination of multi-medium matte gel and very high-tack glue to assemble everything once I'd laid it all out and taken a quick piccy to remind me of what I should be doing! I deleted that piccy too. I am an idiot.

Once everything was set, I added background detail. The art board had already been wrapped in roughly 12 layers of acid-free tissue paper, then covered with smooth designer paper and given a quick spray of lacquer as a base for paint - works a treat. The white acrylic ink is perfect for this design - it really adds to the idea of a tile, as it has an embossed look and a slight gloss. I added gilding wax and heated it enough to create a bubbled texture.

I wanted some text and I added the words "Explore your horizons - take a leap of faith!" around the sun. I wanted them to be subtle so that the colours and images would be what caught the viewer's eye.

Once everything was 'just so', I added several layers of lacquer, leaving them to dry naturally. This really does give the finished piece the look and feel of a tile, which I LOVE!  Here are some more pics of the final design:

I had a nice time decorating the back of the tile - like I say, these are really wonderful arty projects to create! Already covered in the tissue colours, I added layers of printed and stencilled circles along with some wave layers to reflect the main design. I added a title block made of recycled paper which I heavily distressed so that it would look like it had been floating through the oceans in a bottle! 

Honestly, I had so much fun doing this I'm almost sorry I'm done! Think I might design another one....oooo....or a couple of little ones! oooooo......   If you'd like to buy this original artwork, or look at the Etsy auction you can view it directly by clicking HERE

I'm off now to add this to my Etsy shop, then I shall be back with another post! Thanks for reading - big hugs, Shroo :) xxx


  1. That's a wonderful and complex art tile,, and I can tell you ..I LOVE THE BACKSIDE TOO...

    amazing at all!

  2. Gorgeous Tile :) and thank you for putting me in your Side Bar !
    Michelle x