Painting and stenciling layers on canvas

peace flag

After taking an online class with mixed media artist Seth Apter, I wanted to paint a flag that was pink, but not pink. Green and yellow, but...not. I wanted to contrast pretty summery colors and cute all-over patterns with a messy, distressed, toned back look.

stenciling layers of paint

I started with a sheet of sticky-back canvas trimmed down to a triangle, which I painted roughly with black gesso, then added bright pink on top. Pinning the canvas (which has a paper liner on the back) to a Smoothfoam sheet kept it from curling. The next layer was a tan stencil design, followed by ragged brush strokes across in yellow, and then down in green. I let each layer dry first before adding more.

cheap paintbrush strokes

Seth gave us a great tip - load a small amount of paint on to cheap paintbrushes from the hardware store to get wonderfully ragged and random lines with each stroke.

stenciling paint layers

After stenciling pink dots, I toned back the whole surface with tan paint, most of which I rubbed away with a wet paper towel immediately after brushing it across.

transparency between layers of paint

I really like how you can still see each individual layer of color and pattern/texture, even though everything is blended together and toned back. I stenciled and outlined some stars for the final layer, then glued on my lettering and a few small metal embellishments. I adhered the canvas flag to a slightly larger flag I cut from pink Oly*Fun fabric, which I had smudged with green and yellow paints around the edges.

It's all we are saying...give peace a chance.