Lys Wilcox adds sparkle to a botanical wall art piece by covering it with microbeads and tiny marbles.
Materials and Tools:
water-soluble block printing ink:
- light red
assorted tiny marbles:
- light green
pencil to sketch design
gold and white oil paint makers
black acrylic paint
5" x 7" piece of Coldpress watercolor, heavy weight, acid free paper
2 sheets of 5-1/2" x 8-3/4" double stick paper
unpainted wood frame with a matte to fit a 5" x 7" image
shallow cardboard box
1. Squeeze a 1/4-inch dot of each of the water-soluble block printing ink in the middle of 5" x 7" piece of watercolor paper.
2. Smooth ink across the watercolor paper with a brayer roller until the ink covers the paper (figure A). Add more ink as needed. The selected colors should produce a purplish-brown background for the beaded botanical.
After watercolor paper is covered, sprinkle a few drops of water on the paper to create additional variation to the background (figure B). Let dry.
3. Draw desired design on the printed side of the double stick paper to fit on 5" x 7" painted background (figure C).
4. Cut desired design in pieces. For example, when creating botanicals, cut the blossoms, fruit, leaves, stems, etc. and arrange each item on the painted background in their specific place to reconstruct the design (figure D).
5. Work inside a shallow cardboard box. Starting with the application of the green colored tiny marbles, peel the top layer of each piece of double stick paper in the design that you want green. Then pour the green tiny marbles over the sticky surface (figure E).
Press the marbles with the your fingers (figure F). Pour the excess from the cardboard box back into the container holding the green marbles.
Continue this process with each color (figure G).
6. Once all the tiny marbles are in place and the design is finished, enhance the design with oil paint markers (figure H).
7. Paint an unfinished frame with black acrylic paint. Let dry for an hour or two.
8. Then using double stick tape, create a border detail on the frame using tiny marbles. Add seed beads to each corner for added emphasis (figure I).
9. Insert the artwork along with matting into the frame.