Alice’s Aspens

 
Not long after I put my very first artworks up on DeviantArt, Facebook, and Etsy, one of my mothers-in-law asked me if I would make her something for her office. She said she loved aspen trees, and her color scheme was mostly mauve and green, perhaps dark maroon. Other than that, all the details were up to me. I had some ideas, but I really wanted to see what would happen, just letting it “flow” — creating with the Creator! šŸ˜€

 
I took down a blank 14×18 inch canvas from my art wall, chose some colors using my freshly made Color Test cards, and pulled the color down with a credit card to create beautiful streaks.
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alice1a   alice1c

 

With that drying, I started figuring out a way to make a whole lot of 3D aspen leaves. I figured out that if I put a little dab of air dry clay in the bottom half of a leaf mold, then gently stretched it into more of a broad triangle shape, it looked more or less like an aspen leaf. Some turned out better than others, of course.

alice1e

 

Now, how to make those conspicuous light-colored trunks? Could I make those a bit 3D, too?

 
I did some experimenting with a few different Golden acrylic mediums, trying to create a slightly convex linear object that would be lightweight and textured…

alice1g

 
… and the winner was light molding paste!
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alice1h   alice1i

 
I tried to make the plain white trunks shimmer a bit using iridescent pearl paint, and then added makeshift lenticels (the semi-horizontal lines on the trunks).
 
With the trunks settled into their permanent places, it was time for the backmost layer of greenery.
 
This is fiber paste mixed with fluid acrylic paint and it was SUPPOSED to be the darkest layer…

alice1k

 
While the fiber paste dried true to color, my own favorite medium, clear granular gel, dried MUCH darker than expected.
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alice1l   alice1m

 
Notice how the topmost, lighter parts became darker than the bottom layer when it dried?
That was NOT supposed to happen. šŸ˜„
Well, there’s NO WRONG ART, so… Moving On!
 
At least the leaves maintained their lightness, so all was not lost. šŸ˜›

 

So now the whole thing was darker than I had anticipated and I still had not used any mauve, so I got out the fiber paste again, and tried to mix a mauve and sneak it in, as vague blossoms at the base of the trees…
 
I wound up with so much extra “mauve” texture trying to get the color right (using like 4-5 different paints), that I had enough left over to put it through a small stencil, then onto a piece of canvas board, and finally onto my ever-ready scrap paper.

alice1o

 
I honestly didn’t like it much, so I tried to “fix” it best as I could with more of the dreaded darker texture, and it did seem to help — the darkening worked in my favor this time — yay! :O>

 

Well, I had been having this simple two-word phrase in my head off and on whenever I worked on this project, so it seemed appropriate to add it, along with one of my beautiful crosses.

alice1t

 
The cross I set in a little field of gel medium mixed with Speedball glow-in-the-dark acrylic ink, and the letters I painted first in white then in two coats of the Speedball glow-in-the-dark acrylic ink, then highlighted with another mix of close-as-I-could-come-to “mauve”. LOL.
 
The mound behind the cross glowed but was a little toooo bright (and seemed a bit messy), so I toned it down with some color from the background.

 

Here’s the rather lengthy slideshow with extra pics:

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