Tropical Art Doll Mixed Media with Powertex

I have never tried making an Art Doll before and I had so much fun making this. I wanted to make her really bright and cheerful with a tropical feel – the fabulous zingy cocktail colours from The Secret Art Loft Pigments, Inks, and Acrylics range were perfect.

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Materials Used

Extras used on the canvas: A4 canvas board, White Paper Decoration, 3D Sand and Balls, Assorted Lace Strips, dried beech nut outer shells and pine cone, small paper clay flowers, old key, gold glitter plus mix blue & green seed beads.

How it was done:

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First all the MDF components were popped out of the sheet and coated with Ivory or Bronze Powertex Fabric Hardener and left to dry. The box frame was constructed and hanger section attached (the Powertex acts as a glue too). I also coated one of the ‘waste pieces’ which I thought would make a great bird shape to insert into the box frame.

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A background panel for the box frame was cut from the FAB images on the packaging sheet and glued in place using Easycoat decoupage medium. Acrylic Inks were used to add a tint of colour.

Easy Structure paste was applied through a texture stencil onto the large background panel and to sections of the frame. The Art Quotes Stencil was used to apply text to the frame, and to apply random sections of text to the wings.

When dry, translucent inks were used to tint the text on the frame. The outer background panel was coloured with Lemon Meringue and Orange Marmalade acrylics, then brushed over with a little Metallic Golden Ink to highlight the texture, before sticking down the box frame.

The birdy shaped waste MDF piece was coloured with acrylic paints and layered into the box using Transparent Powertex to glue. The metallic embellishment was coated with Ivory Powertex and stuck down. The beak coated with Bronze Powertex, and eyes created with seed beads (dark centres created with Bronze Powertex, drizzled into the bead hole with a cocktail stick).

Transparent Powertex was used to coat the fabric flowers and massaged into the aqua cotton fibres. It was also drizzled around the sides to embed the seed beads. A little sand was mixed with Transparent Powertex to make a 3D glue paste to help hold the flower stems in place.

More acrylic paints were used to colour, and to brush over textured surfaces. Easy Varnish was used to stick down sequins, and to embed glitter which was brushed over sections for extra sparkle. Pearl Pigments in Varnish were also applied with dry brushing to add shimmer. I just love a bit of bling.

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The headdress and face were dry brushed with Pink Flamingo and Limoncello Gold Pigments mixed with Easy Varnish. Sequins and beads were added for more texture and bling. 1mm wire was used to make a hanging loop.

The wings were coloured with Acrylic Paints and Gold Ink and … yes I had to add some glitter sparkle too.

Fabric strips and ribbon were treated with Transparent Powertex and used to wrap sections of plastic tubing to create beads for the upper arms and legs. The upper arms were attached with 1mm wire, through the holes in the box frame, in such a way that they were held in place (i.e. not dangling). This enabled the lower arm dangles to hang each side of the body.

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The upper leg sections were attached so that they hung freely at the base giving movement. The lower arm and leg shapes were dry brushed with Varnish and Pearl Pigments, and beads stuck down with Transparent Powertex. These were hung from the upper arm and leg beads using wire loops so they dangled freely. Leaf and flower bead dangles were also added to the frame base and legs using 0.8mm wire (1mm was too thick to fit the bead holes).

The floral MDF shape was painted with acrylics, embellished with a metal filigree shapes and seed beads before gluing to the main background panel.

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My finished Art Doll just makes me so happy. I love her bright happy colours. Plenty of bling and dangles too – cannot help but smile.

After using all the provided shapes to create her I looked at the pile of waste MDF bits left behind – they inspired me to create a canvas. I never waste anything – ha ha.

AW Art Doll Canvas 1

I coloured the background canvas with Bronze Powertex. Texture and the text was then applied using Easy Structure paste through the stencils. I just love this sentiment from the Art Quotes Stencil.

All the waste bits were coated with Ivory Powertex and applied down. I tried not to think about it too much – as I can spend hours procrastinating on positioning stuff! I just wanted to be free and ‘go for it’ and see what happened.

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I then started coating some of the embellishments and building up the scene. Sand & Balls were added into wet Powertex and then coloured with inks and by dropping in some pigment powders.

I built up a sort of tree on the left hand side using Paper Decoration and lace, adding the Beech nuts and pine cone to embellish.

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More acrylic colour was added, and beads added by embedding in we Transparent Powertex. Pearl Pigments were added to varnish for dry brushing over some of the textures. Finally I just couldn’t help myself but had to add some gold glitter mixed into the varnish. More yummy bling.

The finished piece is fairly crazy and abstract but I was pleased with it. I thought that it looked like a foreground beach with water, sand and trees, then rising up in the background were buildings positioned up a hillside. A kind of tropical paradise I thought. You may see something completely different. That is the joy of abstract art. I had to pop in the key to ‘unlock the mystery’. I hope that you like my mad idea for using up all the scrap MDF bits.

Bye for now, Anne x.