1.07.2015

Tidal Pools - Mixed Media Layout

title

I adore mixed media layouts.  I love making my craft table a mess while getting to play with all the different textures.  For Christmas I got some of the Prima Art Extravagance Texture Pastes.  I particularly asked for the White Sand because I knew I could use it for my sister and her husband's vacation album.  They took a ton of photos of the northern California coast line.  Hello, beach layouts!  After Christmas I was itching to use my new mixed media pastes and I finally got a chance earlier this week. 

So here is the first beach layout in all it's grand mixed media glory!  

This photo is of a tidal pool with lots of algae and coral.  Since most light bounces off the surface of water (the larger waves: reds through some greens) and only a little enters the water (the smaller waves:  some greens down through the blues and violets), many colors appear muted underwater.  So I used Photoshop to amp up the colors underwater, making the colors above water appear extremely vivid.  I love the effect it gave--like hyper-realism.  

layout
Layers of White Sand Texture Paste, gesso and Distress Inks combine to make
a dreamy underwater layout.  


I started by inking up my non-stick craft mat with various blues and greens from Tim Holtz's Distress Inks, Distress Stains and Ranger Alcohol Inks. I spritzed it all with water
detail of texture paste
Layers of color and texture are created with inks &
White Sand Texture Paste from Prima Marketing.
then ran my 12x12 sheet of 
white paper through it all a few times to get plenty of color on it.  I set that aside to dry while I cut shapes out with my Silhouette Cameo.  

Once my background sheet was dry, I used a Prima stencil and the White Sand Texture Paste in a few spots.  Then I began to color and use various mixed media on all the shapes.  For the seahorse, I started with an ultra thin layer of the Copper Crackle from Prima then layered over White Sand and some Distress Inks and then Distress Crackle in rock candy.  I used a final layer of Distress Inks to color the cracks by using an inker to color over the spots I wanted colored, then using a towel to wipe the excess off.  For a finishing touch, I added a Doodlebug mini pearl in Beetle for his eye.  

detail of seahorse
Distress Crackle layered over White Sand Texture Paste gives a distinctive bumpy look and feel with a glossy enamel sheen.  The cracks created by the Distress Crackle give another opportunity to layer color without completely covering the base layer colors.  
For the coral, I started out by coloring them with Distress Paints and Inks then a layer White Sand and white gesso.  I colored two of the coral die cuts orange-red and the other two green.  In the photo, most of the algae and coral are green but there are a few spots of reds so I wanted my elements to match that.  I finished off with a little bit more Distress Ink in the opposite color of the base color to give a little more depth and for shadowing.  I did much the same thing for the star fish.   

detail of starfish in corner
Starfish are naturally bumpy and grooved so the White Sand
texture paste is perfect for recreating that life-like look.
As for the sand dollars, I inked them after doing a layer of White Sand.  I followed up with Distress Crackle and more inks (like the seahorse).  

For the shells, I used White Sand first.  From here I deviated.  The conch shell at the top of the layer got a layer of Distress Crackle and then I colored with Distress Inks.  The clam shells were inked and then the edges of the larger clam shell got some Distress Crackle. 

Since the seaweed was long and full, I wanted it to fade more into the background.  I started with a layer of White Sand, inked in green then splotched on Distress Crackle.   

Once everything was dry, I mounted the photo on some vellum to keep it simple and began layering everything on.  The finishing touches were plenty of pearls, some gems from Prima and two Echo Park brads.  

detail of seaweed
The seaweed really fades into the background with minimal coloring while the green coral pops over other die cuts while fading into the background.  The different colors offer the ability to layer
without diminishing any of the elements.  
At first I thought maybe I put too many pearls on there, but they sort of remind me of bubbles.  In the end, I'm really happy with the way it turned out.  

For a full list of all the products I used, visit my Scrapbook.com gallery

Happy Crafting!
Adrienne