I’ve been feeling inspired lately by the snow we’ve been having, and since Thanksgiving has come and gone, that means Christmas is on its way and those kind of seasonal images and colors pop into my head.
I had a piece of gorgeous scrapbook paper with blue mandalas on it and thought it would serve as a great background for the image, the mandalas could represent snowflakes in a rough sort of sense.
I glued the page down using Mod Podge then shored up the edge and added a little interest with a strip of washi tape. I knew I was going to be painting over the paper, so I gave it a coat of Liquitex clear gesso then sanded it down a bit after it was dry (I find the tooth in the Liquitex clear gesso is very rough so sanding helps it a great deal.) I wanted my scene to have a tree, a snowman and the sentiment “Let it Snow”, so I sketched their shapes onto the page with a pencil. I then wanted to play a bit with masking and watercolors, so I used my Grafix Liquid Frisket to mask out the aforementioned shapes so I could paint over and around them without worrying about trying to maintain their shapes.
I allowed the page to dry thoroughly then painted the little scarf and hat details on the snowman with watercolors.
At this point, I felt the mandala background was a bit too dominant and distracting in the white areas, so I used my Artist’s Loft acrylic paint in metallic white to tone down the mandala images a bit. I also used it to give the sentiment better definition.
I still wanted my tree and snowman to “pop” off the page a little better so I took some phthalo blue acrylic and painted around them using a small dry brush. I eventually wanted some more of that gorgeous blue around the rest of the page so set to adding more by just painting with my finger around the upper corners and edges.
I added a drop shadow around the sentiment using a Dertwent Inktense colored pencil, coloring around the edges then brushing over it with a damp brush.
I drew little snowflakes on the page with a white Uni-ball Signo pen, then dotted more snow shapes on with more acrylic paint and a small paint brush.
I added final details to the snowman – his face and nose – with a Sharpie pen and a Staedtler marker in brown for the stick nose.
The layout was close to being finished, but I decided I’d add the magical sparkle of snow to the page using my many (and seldom-used!) glitters I had on hand. I sprinkled the glitters onto a plastic palette (I use the plastic lid off of an old salad container) and then using one of my junk brushes, I dabbed the brush into Golden Soft Gel Matte, smeared it through the glitter and then “painted” the glitter onto the page. This works very nicely – it adheres the glitter to the page and no loose glitter comes off later on. Way better than putting down glue and then trying to sprinkle glitter over the glue. I added some additional interest and texture by spreading a bit of Faber-Castell Glass Bead Glitter Gel on the page with a palette knife in a few areas.
This layout is super fun to shift around in the light to see all the different spots where the glitter sparkles. See my materials list below for the list and names of all the glitters I used on the page (and see if you can identify them in the photo, haha!)
Hope you enjoyed the layout. Leave a comment below or like the page and share with your friends. :) Thanks for reading!
List of materials:
Canson Mixed Media sketchbook
Liquitex clear gesso
Golden Soft Gel (Matte)
Artist’s Loft acrylic paints
Uni-ball Signo pen
Derwent Inktense pencil
Elizabeth Craft Silk Microfine glitters in Green, True Red and Royal Blue
Finnabair white glitter
Advantus Corp extra fine glitter in Cerulean