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Building the “raft”
This project uses no formal base but instead the structure becomes part of the layout. You could use lollipop sticks, wooden pieces or cut your own shapes using greyboard. The ones shown here are the latter. Start by building the “raft”, place two vertical lollipop sticks slightly nearer than the width of your lollipop sticks. Using hot glue or gel medium, adhere your horizontal pieces fairly neatly but not perfect. With another lollipop stick, place an angled stick starting from ⅔ of the width at the bottom up towards the top right corner. Adhere this with more glue and allow the piece to set.
Gesso gives us a key for any paint we wish to apply; it’s particularly important on greyboard to prevent your paint soaking in. White gesso is going to keep any colours you apply light and bright; black gesso is good for metallic colours and deeper/desaturated tones. This example uses white gesso as a base.
Dry brush on some acrylic paints; this will dry quickly but set it aside for now.
Stamping the sea-ne
Onto some good quality stamping card, stamp your seagull and shell images using a beige or sand coloured ink pad. This adds to the aged weathered effect, but grey could also work too. Colour your image using shades of black, grey, brown and yellow ochre. Next, fussy cut out these elements, rounding the bottom of the seagull image. This part of the design won’t be seen, so don’t worry too much about the path you take. Adhere the shell as a 3D wing using silicon glue or other 3D adhesive. Set this aside to set.
Assembling the piece
Moving back to our raft, apply a mix of gel medium and blue pigment using a palette knife. Gel medium always dries clear, so your colours will darken as they dry. Bear this in mind when mixing your pigments. In the sample above, the gel medium was originally sky blue coloured when applied, demonstrating how much your colours will shift as the gel medium dries. Working quickly, while the gel medium is still wet, add thick texture paste directly to the waves; here, I used Pretty Gets Gritty Marble Texture Paste. The texture paste mimics the froth of the sea, so apply it wherever your waves break. Embed in the seagull piece into the wet gel and texture paste. You can always add a little foam pad to the top of the seagull once dry. Set to one side overnight to allow the gel and texture paste to set.
Stamp your sentiment onto stamping card and blended over with Antique Linen Distress Ink. Cut into strips and edge with Walnut Stain Distress Ink. Finger curl the strips and apply using gel medium to your raft.
Once fully dry, grab a silver pen to dot on nails wherever the lollipops intersect. You can also add a little patina to add even more of a weathered finish.