Tuesday, 22 August 2017

Owling and swanning around

Hi Everybody!

Today I am sharing another mixed media piece, 9" x 10" made using a skin as I
showed in yesterday's post. As several people asked how the skin was
made, I have made a short tutorial after the finished photos. I used a
magazine image to make my skin, which was then stitched onto canvas
 and peeled and picked corrugated cardboard. The embellishments
were kept simple with some burlap, feathers and a scrap of

And a hybrid version for Jo's poetry in motion at AJJ:

I got the ideas for this skin from a book called 'Image
Transfer Workshop' from McElroy & Wilson. It is
available from Amazon and others, and I would warmly
recommend this treasury of ideas and tips to all who like
experimenting and playing. 
You start by choosing a well inked image, either ink-jet or from
a magazine. You cut it to size, and cover it with a piece of  Saran
wrap/cling film which should be just slightly larger than the

Smooth the film with your fingers, and place
parchment/baking paper under and over it. Place it all on a towel, 
and set the iron to medium/hot. Don't use steam! 
Make sure the parchment covers all the film. 

Iron it till the film melds to the background image, but don't 
let it burn. Lift up a corner to check if it is ready:

When it is done, cut off the overlapping film from the

Turn the image over. Lightly sand the paper backing, spray with
water and then rub the paper away with your fingers till
the image becomes translucent.

This gives wonderfully, grungy effects!

Some photos from out and about this week:

I have made a collage sheet with the images of the swans. Please feel free to download and use it if you want to.

The first is 'normal', to print and cut out:

Swans collage sheet Jpg

 The second one is with a transparent background for digital work:

Swans PNG 

 Have a great day, take care,
and thanks a lot for coming by!


  1. What a fab piece and a super interesting technique!
    Great photos - the swan photos are amazing and so are your freebies!

  2. Your owl piece is wonderful, in both variations, and love the poem you added, too. Interesting to see how you made it. It looks easy, but bet it's not! Lovely photos again, and I'll print out the swans for the littl'uns to play with, they enjoy colouring and cutting and pasting. Have a nice evening, hugs, Sarah

  3. Wow that Owl is quite something to see with the big eye. The skin technique looks interesting a bit like using gel medium and photographs. I find it all difficult. I have some trouble getting into your blog, my system crashed for some reason. Your posts have lots of beautiful photos, my slooooowww internet (temporary I hope) isn't liking it. I'll keep trying when I'm patient :) Take care xxx

  4. You are so creative Valerie, thanks for the instructions and a beautiful mixed media piece. Enjoyed your swans today.

  5. What a fab technique, and I love your owl! Is Saran paper just cling film Valerie? xx

  6. An amazing page with a stunning technique that I would love to try so must find the time.

    Thank you for all the beautiful swans all so well tubed and ready to use.

    We have just been chatting to friends about your wonderful walks by the Rhine as they were saying they would like to cruise on the Rhine as a special holiday..were your ears burning?
    Thank you for the email-just read it

    Love Chrissie xx

  7. That "skin" was nothing like I thought it would be. It is another transparency in my arsenal to use when I want something transparent. Your transfer is beautiful, and I loved the owl. It made a great tag AND a great page for AJJ.

    The swan is fabulous. They are so pretty, anyway, and I simply adored your photos of this one. Thanks for sharing both ways to download these lovely photos/images, too.

  8. I really enjoyed finding out how you created the skin and the grungy look is lovely! What a fabulous technique, thanks for sharing 😁. I love the beautiful poem you added and the owl image is so striking. Your owl seems to be watching everything as if he is using his five senses, just like the words say. For some reason I seem to remember this poem too, I think I studied it at school ...lol 😁. Thank you for another wonderful Art Journal Journey page and wishing you a lovely evening! J 😊

  9. Thank you for your tutorial,,need to give it a try! Your art work is beautiful and I love the swan photos


  10. This looks fabulous and such a great technique, thanks for sharing. Had a little catch up and yesterdays piece with the skin and quote is fabulous. Lovely photos from your visit to Lank.
    Avril xx

  11. Grossartig deine Technik von der Eule und von den SchwÀnen wie du das machst! Sehr intressant!
    Das Bild der Eule ist wunderschön geworden!
    Deine Fotos von den SchwÀnen sind so schön und auch die anderen!
    Schönen Abend wĂŒnsche ich dir!
    Lieben Gruss Elke

  12. Oh I love your owl piece! You are so generous to share your technique and your beautiful swan images. How lovely.

  13. Fabulous work with the Owl and i do love your swans both. Great poem to ;O)

  14. Wow love the owl, and amazing techniques you've used.
    So nice to see your swan photo's.

    All the best Jan

  15. You are amazing, thank you for the tutorial and again your gorgeous photos. Always enjoy this place!!!

  16. What a fun mixed media piece. I love that white owl! Thanks for sharing the technique.

  17. The technique makes sense to me now. It does give a great grungy effect. And then you put it together and make such a great piece, or should I say pieces. :) Those are great swan photos too. hugs-Erika

  18. That is one creation, wow, you are awesonme.xx

  19. Your page is so striking Valerie, and I love the swans!
    Hope you're having a lovely week,
    Alison xx

  20. I've never heard of transfer using Saran wrap. I have done something similar with packing tape. The Saran wrap means one isn't limited to the 2 or 3 inch width of the packing tape. Very cool and thanks for sharing.

    1. Thi sort of transfer is perhaps a bit more work but very versatile.

  21. That owl is amazing. Who'd a thought.
    Love the swans and downloaded. Thank you:)
    Have a great one.

  22. Wow Valerie, the owl page is awesome. Thank you for the step by step for the technique you used. Thank you for the beautiful downloads of the swans. I have filed them and I am sure they will be used. The photos were beautiful.
    Yvonne xx

  23. Great transfer tips, thanks a lot, I could never get a good transfer with inkjet, will certainly try this.

  24. The texture you created on the owl page is fabulous. Love how interesting it is to look at. Bravo! Seeing the steps you took to make it was really interesting. Also- loved the swan photos. :) Thanks for sharing.

  25. Hi Valerie, Your artwork is amazing. I love the owl page you created. Your tutorial and how to do the skin is excellent. Lovely around town photos too and the swans are beautiful. Thank you for sharing your swan photo images. Have a great creative week my friend. xo

  26. Great form, creative and so filled with deep detail. Nicely done and warm greetings to you.

  27. That owl piece is amazing! Stunning!!! So much work that goes into creating it! Fantastic! Love your pictures! Beautiful! Big Hugs!

  28. The owl image is wonderful! Thanks for showing how to do this technique it looks fascinating and I will be giving it a try sometime! Lovely photos once again! I love watching swans! Hugs, Chrisx

  29. What a totally cool Owl piece! Gorgeous!!! Is that also an owl feather? It is beautiful as well!
    Thanks so much for sharing the technique Valerie- going to give it a go!!
    ps, thanks for the swans- you are a peach!! by the way, the banana bread was virtually yummy! heehee

  30. A fascinating piece and I appreciate the tutorial. I really loved seeing how you presented the technique.

    And the swans make me swoon!


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