Tuesday, October 11, 2016

Reverse Glass Painting with a Color Burst Background

Hey everybody, I am a collector of old stuff...so, you can't imagine how happy I was when I found reverse glass painting in an antique store the other day.  Reverse glass painting has been around since the middle ages in one form or another. This piece is a vintage piece from the 30's or 40's and based on the subject matter, may have been created by a local artist.

I really loved the image...it's like so many images I photograph while walking on the river near my home.

And, although the "crinkled" aluminum foil background is typical for pieces created during the 30s and 40s, I felt like it needed something more.  I really wanted to see this piece with a magnificent sunset behind it.

I really love that silhouette image, I see it quite often when I'm walking near the river.



So I decided that it would be great to use Color Burst to create a wonderful, watercolor background that would capture some of the beauty of our sunsets.

First, I removed the tiny nails from the frame that held the foil background in place.

Then carefully removed the backing and the foil back ground.  I discovered that this was a "at home" DIY piece...the mat board on the reverse side was actually a phone book cover.

Here's close up of the foil once the piece had been deconstructed.  There were a couple different kinds of foil, and it looks like they had some color, but the color has faded away over the years.

The next thing I needed to do was to create a Color Burst color palette that would, approximate the colorful sunsets I see outside my front door nearly every day.

 I chose, Cerulean Blue Ultramarine Blue, Lemon Yellow, Gamboge, Orange, and Merlot.  That's a lot of color for an 8x10 background...but I wanted it to be very colorful!

So I created a loose, "washy" background with lots of color.  I didn't really try to catch any detail on this background.  The details are in the painted glass that overlays this background so you can be messy.  

When I reassembled this piece with it's new Color Burst background...I loved it even more. The sunset is so glowy!

If you like this project, make sure to check back in a couple days...I recreated a similar vintage reverse glass painting with a frame from a resale shop, stencils, and Color Burst. 

Til next time, 


I'm Growing and Opening a New Studio!

 I had no idea what to expect when I moved back to Indiana about 2 years ago...I knew I'd do something, I just wasn't exactly sure what it would be.  Having left the comfort of a corporate job...it would be a new chapter and a new beginning. 


When I moved back, I found the ideal location to live and work.  I live in a historic building in Newburgh, Indiana, on the banks of the Ohio River.  It's perfect...my town has quite a few antique stores, a few artists, a few galleries, great restaurants, friendly people and amazing water views every day of the year! It's really an incredible set up! I have loved every minute of it and not once regretted "ditching" my corporate job and moving back to "small town" America.   

Yet, at the same time, I am outgrowing my present space!  There are times when I need to have help kitting for classes...my current studio is on the 3rd floor, so it's not exactly conducive for moving boxes and boxes of art and craft supplies...and there's not a lot of room for additional people to help me do my business...and, routinely, I get requests to stop by my studio for a visit.  I've had guests from all over the USA, from New Zealand, and this year the Director of the Indiana Board of Tourism even paid a visit to my humble little studio.  

So, when the office space, on the first floor of my building became available...I jumped on it! And, I am so excited about what that's going to mean for me and my business...I'll be able to do a lot of things that I've only dreamed about until now.

It's my plan to develop a working studio where I can host gallery nights and pop up exhibits.  There are so many wonderful local artists whose work needs to be seen. I am planning to work with The SW Indiana Council of the Arts to make this happen!
My new space will also allow me to develop a space to create videos and more online content.  I could not be happier about everything my new space will allow me to do! It's not my intention to be a retail store, with regular hours...at all. I'm a hippy artist and keeping a regular schedule ain't my bag these days. Instead...it's my goal to create a maker space that will allow me to expand on the things I'm already doing...and I think it's gonna be pretty dang cool.

It's all really new, and happening really fast...I get the space around the first of November...and I can't wait to get started.     

 Make sure that you're following me on Facebook at Ken Oliver Crafts to see more of how the plans come together!

Tuesday, September 27, 2016

Watercolor Pumpkin Patch

Hey everybody, Fall is finally here and no doubt your craft projects and art will be inspired by this wonderful season.  This is a watercolor painting project that I think you'll love. It's a pumpkin patch painting using one of my new 12"x12" stencils and Color Burst. 

I chose a Color Burst palette that's perfect for fall...Yellow Ochre, Orange, Burnt Orange, Burnt Umber and Lamp Black.  I love this color palette for fall...in fact, it's the first time that I've really focused on using Burnt Orange...the deep orange tone is wonderful!

And, here's the new stencil I used.  
It's 12"x12" and called Harvest Pumpkins.

To get started, I placed the stencil on top of one of my 12"x12" Mixed Media Art Boards, the front side of the board is covered with watercolor paper, so it's a great surface for this project.  And, as you can see, I've already used this stencil with black ink, It actually helps you to see the stencil image in this photo. 

With the stencil in place, I used a pencil to trace the outline of the pumpkins, and if you'll notice, I used the stencil to add an additional pumpkin...I simply traced the 2 pumpkins in the foreground, and moved the stencil over to add an additional pumpkin in the background on the right side of the composition.  Here's a tip, you do not have to "draw" this image with any exact precision...in fact, I just kind of scribbled through the stencil to create my "drawing."

Then, I started to paint the image with Color Burst Burnt Orange and water.  You may have seen Color Burst sprinkled and spritzed...painting with Color Burst is a little different.  Tap out a bit of Color Burst powder into a paint palette, then pick up the pigment with a wet brush and begin painting and blending.

From here on out, it's like paint by numbers, I completed the painting by filling in little sections, until each section was painted.  It's cool to watch it all come together.

And then, used Color Burst Olive Green to paint the leaves.

To paint the background, I create a muted wash with Yellow Ochre, Olive Green, and Burnt Umber.

And filled in the remaining areas with a subtle watercolor wash. You'll notice, I left the tendrils blank until the watercolor wash background was complete.  It's easier to paint them on top of the background rather than to paint around them.
To complete the painting, fill in the details, like the tendrils, pumpkin stems and...

some "straw" in the foreground with Burnt Umber. 

Here's a list of the supplies I used:
Ken Oliver Crafts Mixed Media Art Board 12"x12"
Ken Oliver Crafts Harvest Pumpkin Stencil 12"x12"
Color Burst Burnt Orange, Orange, Yellow Ochre, Olive Green and Burnt Umber
#10 Robert Simmons White Sable Round Watercolor Brush
Black Frame, Canvas Corp.

I didn't include links to the projects...please ask your local retailer to order them for you or do a quick google search if you don't have a local retailer.  You'll find lots of options.   

This little painting will look great in your home from now through Thanksgiving...and your friends will think you're a watercolor genius!

Thank you again for stopping by today, I hope you've picked up a little inspiration and will try water coloring with Color Burst and stencils.  

Til next time,


Monday, September 26, 2016

Color a Card with Cut 'n Color Stamp and Die Sets, Tree of Life

Hey everybody, I hope you're having a great day! I am having an artful day in my workroom, creating shaped cards with my newest die and stamp sets...this set is called Tree of Life.  You can use the stamp and coordinating dies for lots of projects ranging from cards to mixed media art.

These sets are beautiful and intricately detailed.  I designed them especially for coloring.  You can color with Color Burst, watercolors, or your favorite markers.

To get started, I stamped the Tree of Life image on my Water Media Paper from Canvas Corp. with Archival Ink.  You'll want to use a permanent ink that it waterproof and won't run when you color over it.


 Then, I colored using my newest Color Burst colors, Rich Moroccan Shades.  The color palette is beautiful and includes Cadmium Scarlet, Cerulean Blue, Gamboge, Olive Green, Burnt Umber and Lamp Black.  And, I colored with a watercolor brush and water. 


When I'd finished coloring, I cut a shaped card from my Water Media Paper and cut out the colored image with the die set. Before I cut the die, I applied Stick It adhesive to the back side of the Water Media Paper...it really makes gluing intricate die cuts very easy. 

I made a couple examples for you to see...one with a background of Cerulean Blue, and one with a background of Gamboge.

If you'd like to see how I made these cards, please watch this Facebook Live broadcast from my Facebook page Ken Oliver Crafts. And, make sure to LIKE my page.  

The stamps and dies are brand new and will ship next week, so make sure to ask your local retailer to pre-order them for you.  You will love coloring and cutting these dies! 

 Thank you for stopping by today!  I hope you have a wonderfully crafty day! 

Wednesday, August 31, 2016

Color Challenge Winner

Hi Everybody...

Thank you again to everyone who submitted art last week for our first Color Challenge.  The palette we worked with was a beautiful palette of Turquoise, Chartreuse, Yellow Ochre, and Burnt Umber. 

This weeks winner is Ayoti Mittra from the UK.  Thank you Ayoti for submitting your wonderful artwork.  I follow Ayotri on Instagram and Facebook and I always love seeing her work.

Thank you again to everyone who participated! And make sure to leave a congratulatory note for Ayoti in the comments below!

Be on the look out for our next color challenge! I'll be sharing it soon! 
Til next time, 

Tuesday, August 30, 2016

Color Challenge: Turquoise, Chartreuse, Yellow Ochre and Burnt Umber

Hi everybody,
This past week, our color challenge was to use the colors Turquoise, Chartreuse, Yellow Ochre and Burnt Umber on a project or work of art.
It's a great color palette to use and a little unexpected...

...but it works because it's an analogous color palette, or, the colors are beside each other on the color wheel.  (Burnt Umber is neutral). 

And, I've been amazed by the projects that everyone has submitted.  They're all just stunning.  At first, I thought I'd randomly pick a winner.  But, the works are all so beautiful, I couldn't choose one myself, so I would like to put it up for a vote.  Please vote for your favorite by commenting with the Number and Name of the project that you would like to vote for.

1. Milagros C. Rivera

2. Milagros C Rivera

3. Lauren Bergold

4. Lauren Bergold 

5. Kathy Davis

6. Emilee Grupp

7. Pam Miner

8. Lisa Smith 

9. Ayoti Mittra

The voting is now open and will remain open until noon, 12:00 pm, August 31, 2016, so you only have 1 day to vote.  Feel free to share this blog post with your friends to let them see the color palette we worked with and give them the chance to vote for their favorite.  Tomorrow, I'll count the votes and name the winner here and on my Facebook Page. The winner will receive a set of Color Burst Caribbean Brights. 

Thank you again to everyone who took my color challenge this week. I'm planning to have another color challenge really soon!

'til next time,