Sunday, May 25, 2014

Show Some Skins!

So, Peeps, you know those bits of paint and gesso and goo that dry on your non-stick craft mats? Yeah, those valuable bits that you scrape away and throw out?
 Well, my mats get encrusted as well, so I thought I'd use all of those yummy bits.
"How?", you might ask?
Well, this technique isn't totally new, but I've read rules on making skins. Blah, blah, blah. I really don't like rules, unless they're designed to keep me safe. In that case, I'm all over them.
However, I thought I'd try something "new to me". There's probably a fab Youtube stint about this, but I swear I haven't seen it.
I take any heavy bodied acrylic paint that I have (stay tuned for my side-by-side comparison of an Expensive Name Brand vs. the Little Cheapies That You Get With A Coupon At The Local Craft Store)  and just smear it on my mat. Make sure that it's spread pretty thickly. You can see here that I didn't care that I covered snippets of other paints.

I used my heat tool to dry the paint, taking care to move the tool around so it didn't get bubbly. If it did, I would have called it a New Technique, like every good mixed media artist does.

Then I took any permanent ink that I had...

...and I stamped on top of the paint. Make sure the ink is permanent! You'll see why, later.

Dry your ink after you stamp. You will see later that I was impatient and didn't dry it well enough, thus, a New Technique.

Here's where I got a little weird. I spread some more paint in different shapes. Why not?

Then, I took my permanent markers and doodled just a bit. Again, I made sure the doodles were dry before the next step.

After everything was dry, I put a thick coat of heavy gel gloss on top and extended it beyond the margins.

You can even go thicker than this, but you don't have to.

Here's a nice thick layer on top of the heart.

Keep in mind that when the gel is still wet, you can sprinkle fun things into it, like micro beads, glitter, cookie crumbs (well, not the cookie crumbs).

Here, I followed the steps above, but added another layer of paint smutch.

Here is the above skin, stamped with one of my hand carved stamps
Now for the difficult part. You have to wait, and by wait, I mean, be patient. That is not my forte, but trust me, if you force this part, it won't work. The gel has to be good and dry. I generally wait a few hours, and more if the gel is thicker.
To peel off the skin, you need to get it started. Take a credit card and push one of the edges to make a lip to start pulling it off the mat. 

Pull gently. The thicker you apply your gel, the easier it will be to pull it off.

After you pull it off, you end up with this lovely mixed media stuff. It is way too much fun. 

Here, you can see some of the areas that didn't have paint, so it's transparent in those areas. Here, the skin is covering a copy of the deed to my grandparents' farm. 

Just for fun, I cut off the edges that were curled. Of course, I'll work them into another project somewhere.

Here's the circular one I made. You can see that I didn't wait for my dot stamp to dry before I applied the gel, so the dots smeared a little.

Here's the doodled arrow. The gel was extended out beyond the margins, which picked up the bits that had been on the mat.

And, the little heart with beads.

Don't forget that you can cut the skins into shapes. 

And here, I just cut the piece into a triangle to put on a card panel.

So, have fun making your skins. I'd love to see what you make, and how you make them. 
Fondly, Tami


  1. What great ideas! Thanks for the tutorial.

  2. Love this idea!! Thanks for sharing it!

  3. Oh I love your creative mind. Glad to know someone else has issues with nonessential, creativity stiflingly rules. Now to figure out how to enhance and save all that dries wrapped around my fingers, Finger skins!


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