Mixed Media Canvas – Math Art
Mixed Media Canvas – Math Art

hello everyone its Shel C from PaperOcotilloStudio and today I’m sharing with you a mixed-media canvas that I
made as a holiday gift on the ART Joy of Sharing live stream show today which is
Thursday the 20th of December 2018 I do this live stream show with peg Robinson
every Thursday at 10:30 a.m. Central Standard Time over on the art joy of
sharing live stream channel which is a separate channel from this and the link
to that channel is down below if you’d like to go watch the live recording
you know real-time recording of this this is the sped up version so I started
this project on the show and then I finished it so there’s extra footage at
the end I didn’t get it finished in the hour and a half but what I started with
is a 12 by 12 canvas which I painted with the color night which is Adina
Wakeley heavy body acrylic paint and I wanted it the whole story behind this is
that my kid who is applying for some postgraduate work to eventually in like
5 years or something get his doctorate in mathematics told me he wanted two
things for presents this year that would be money and math art and I said what
the heck is math art and he said you’ll figure it out so this is me doing the
process of figuring out what math art is and I was considering this Nautilus as a
perfect example of mathematics in nature and I wanted to use the Nautilus so I
made a couple gel prints and that I didn’t end up using them but I’m showing
you the process because that’s what I did on the stream one of those is pulled
with white and the other one with the night colour paint which I had painted
my 12 by 12 canvas with I also have some other things that I’ve printed off my
computer as well as several other gel prints
that are in bright colors these things that that you see laying around there
those are those are like homework that’s been scanned math homework trigonometry
and you know so like that and I thought it would be interesting to
layer some of that on there since this is math art also I was wanting to use
anything that might have a geometric shape so I was looking through different
prints that I have that might have something like that and I wanted bright
colors he likes bright colors I was trying to go for a contrast between the
bright in the dark but I ended up covering up most of the canvas so me
painting that dark color on there really didn’t have effect but I tore up my
different papers and I am gluing them down using liquitex matte gel formula
medium this is a heavier glue which makes it easier to glue things down to a
canvas because you know the canvas has a little bit of give and it also has some
texture to it you want to make sure that everything is real stuck so what I do is
I take the paper I spritz it a little bit with water to kind of break down the
fibers and make it more pliable and then I apply the matte gel to the back of the
paper as well as the canvas and then that gives it a double stick
stick-to-itiveness there and fills in any of those that textured area that’s
on the canvas and then I use an old gift card to kind of scrape and make sure
that there isn’t any bubbles or bumps or excess medium in between the paper and
they be canvas to make sure that it gets a really good seal so now I have a
little bit of my collaging done and I’m starting with my focal point this this
is a image taken from a stencil that was it’s a stencil girl product designed by
Kat Kerr and the name of the stencil is math man but it was too small for my
project so I just simply stenciled it on to you a piece of white paper with black
paint scanned it in my computer enlarge that you know cleaned it up
enlarged it and then printed it and sealed that printout with some fluid
matte medium and a brayer so I have an inkjet printer and that’s the reason
that I need to seal it because otherwise the ink will run so this is that same
stencil you can see that the math man is quite a lot of lot smaller than the
image that I made but I also have some equations on it and I have this deli
paper that I have stenciled some of the equations on in black
I’m also stenciling him in white I stenciled some on some of the colored
papers that I had and I’m kind of continuing my collage process now that I
have my main focal image down I also know that I want to use that nautilus
shell so I’m gonna end up using it as a stencil instead of using that piece that
I gel printed because it just covered up too much of the canvas and I had all
this interesting pattern and color and design going on in the background I
didn’t want to just slap that big old thing on there and make it take over the
whole canvas so that’s the reason I didn’t end up using the gel print I’ll
use it some in some other way some other time it’s not a problem at all so now
I’ve just I’m just using some smaller pieces and kind of thinking about my
composition a little bit of course when I was doing this I was doing it live and
it’s a little bit hard to focus on what you’re doing in that type of a situation
people are talking peg is talking people are asking questions and the audience
and so I have less focus so I knew that I was going to want to work on this some
more later so that I could really you know lock it down so I have some more
footage coming up in a bit here that will show you how I finished it up so
I’m adding some of these own pieces of stenciled deli paper some of it has
white some of it has black and I really think that it you know it kind of
becomes translucent as you’re gluing it on and I think it makes
some interesting finishing touches I could use the stencil itself like I’m
doing right here but when a kid when you’re trying to stencil a canvas the
canvas is like it has some give to it and so when you’re pushing down the
stencil it pushes away from you and can distort the image so stenciling on to
you deli paper or tissue paper it actually works really well if you’re
gonna do a mixed-media canvas so now remember I told you I wanted to add the
nautilus shell and I’m using that same night colored paint which is similar to
a a Payne’s grey which is really kind of almost like a really dark navy blue but
this is a medium body paint and I don’t have paints gray and medium body so I
didn’t want to go completely black but I wanted it to be dark however I do think
it’s a little bit overwhelming and you will see how I change that when I finish
up so this is where I ended right here which is the backgrounds really bright
and I haven’t really done any detailing the first thing I did was to make a
glaze now when you make a glaze you can do that with water and paint but if you
put too much water in it the glaze will become something that will eventually
peel off so what you want to do when you’re making a glaze which is just a
translucent Trent almost transparent color is to use glazing medium so I’m
using quinacridone gold media fluid paint from deco art which is kind of a
almost already a liquid but then I’m mixing it with satin glazing medium from
golden and it makes this gorgeous I mean I think I think if you’re gonna make a
glaze the best one to make is quinacridone gold it’s really just it
just adds something I don’t even know how to describe it but it’s it adds
warmth it adds a little bit of a I don’t know it’s a warm color so it also kind
of gives that aged look or antique look to something and also it’s it’s doing
the job of unifying everything because I had a lot of different layers
a lot of different pieces and parts there and they were all screaming for
attention and I wanted I wanted the the guy the math man to stand out from the
background and so by putting that glaze and calming everything and unifying
everything in the background then that allows the focal image to stand out then
I started to do a little bit more stenciling over the top with that same
full-strength quinacridone gold so you can see it’s it’s kind of almost a rusty
color an orange color but it’s just indescribable it’s it’s just a cool
color I think if you don’t have it you should get it it’s sometimes called
quinacridone nickel Azzo gold and in the case of the deco art it’s just
straight-up quinacridone gold same color so then I once I did that I was feeling
that the darkness of the stenciled shell was too much it was just too dark and so
I tape it down and also I’m using the tape to kind of mask the area where the
stencil is overlapping because I know I’m gonna make a mess here and want to
get any of the stuff that I’m gonna put on there which is molding paste onto the
math man guy so this is a crafters workshop molding paste and it’s called
antique gold but it’s it’s not gold it’s copper and you know how I feel about
copper copper is my favorite it’s kind of a bronzey Goldy coppery color not not
as orange as copper can be sometimes but definitely an awesome color and I’m
using a kind of pointy palette knife so that I can turn it like at a 45 degree
angle and scrape across the stencil so that I’m not completely covering
everything I want that that dark blue in the background to show through and give
me some shadowy effect but I also want to add this kind of a high
in effect by putting on this gold color and it’s it’s taming and toning down
that really dark shell image while also making it just look cool it’s shiny and
shimmery and just enough metallic without going overboard on metallic so
that you know it’s too blingy for a guy or whatever it’s just too blingy and I
did the same thing up here at the top with a little center of the shell that I
put on there if you didn’t want to use the whole show you could just use a
little section of it and it still looks really cool I put that up there because
of composition I think that things should be you should have three things
and not just two and it just felt like it needed something else after I put the
big shell on I’m like yeah this is not right so then when I put that out a lit
up at the top I was happy with my composition at that point it gives the
eye a way to travel around the canvas kind of in a circle without falling off
and it just it just is better it’s just better it’s all I can say so then I took
some more of that night colored paint and this is a water brush
a water tank brush has water in the handle and I can squeeze that little red
section and let the water come out and I just took like a little drop of that
paint onto my palate and then I watered it down a lot with the water in the
brush and then I’m just using that to shadow everything and this adds a lot of
depth to what you’re doing it’s it it makes this the things that are stuck on
appear as if they are integrated into the project and that they’re part of
everything I’m shadowing around that outside edge I’m also shadowing inside
the image to give it a little bit more dimension and I let some of my paint and
collaging go over that white image so that it wasn’t just like this stuck on
sticker there I need I want it to to feel like it’s part of the composition
also because this is a stenciled image there are a lot of breaks in the lines
because if you didn’t have those little breaks then the as you’re cutting the
stencil it would just fall apart and then this image would fall out because
there’s nothing to attach it so having those breaks keeps the stencil intact
but also it makes it look like a stencil so I took my black pasta pin and I went
around and kind of filled in those holes so that the image appears to be less of
a stencil on more of like an illustration I could have made an
illustration like this but I really liked the image when I saw it when it
first came out it’s denser no products and I thought that’s really cool and
that’s what I need to make math art so there was one little area up here that
was bothering me it didn’t have a symbol in it it didn’t have anything in it and
it just felt empty so I decided to just go ahead and stencil it directly with
this 1/4 and 1/2 symbols this is a a deco art stencil from Andy Skinner as
well as the the other one the nautilus shell is an Andy Skinner designed from
deco art and I used it to just add those little symbols there and then I added a
few other ones the with the many symbols stencil from cat Coeur that goes along
with all the math stencils there’s there’s a 6 by 6 there’s a 4 by 4
there’s a 9 by 12 there’s another 9 by 12 that she designed all at the same
time with this type of symbology so then I wanted to kind of do something with
these numbers I wanted them to stand out a little bit I wanted to give them a
highlight so I’m using a white fine tip pasca pen and going around the numbers
and it’s not dramatic but it’s definitely a detail that makes what
you’re looking at more interesting there’s like a little highlight plus
it’s kind of cleaning up the numbers and making them look a little bit
more I don’t know uniform and refined because I stenciled
them they were kind of I don’t know the paint goes underneath his senses a
little bit on the edges no matter how careful you are and it gives that
stenciled look and this looks more like they were meant to be cleaned up and
refined I guess I don’t know my pasta pan was running out of pasta pin this
it’s got acrylic cake inside it was running out so I ended up having to
switch pins I just got tired of fussing with it so I did end up switching to the
very last new one I have so I’m gonna need to get to order some more off of
the Amazon there by him in a three pack three at a time they come from China or
something it takes them a long time to get here so I need to remember to place
an order because I just cannot live without white pasta pins I think I would
be done for if I didn’t have so of course the numerals also have some
breaks in them or the stencil is and I end up filling those breaks in with the
black pen because they were kind of bothering me I don’t know why but they
were so I’m happy with all the numbers and what else do I do hmm oh yes I
decided to add some highlights at some point and I guess I’m not getting to
that yeah and I’m still doing a little bit of shadows again with the the blue
paint and the water brush having the water brush makes it easy to blend so
that’s the reason that I use it because it’s nice and moist it stays moist you
don’t have to dip it in the water every time so then I’m using some of the white
ink and I end up switching to white paint at some point because there’s
still some titanium white paint left on my palette to kind of go in between the
areas on the stencil and kind of add a white highlight to make the nautilus
shell stand out a little bit more I don’t want it to overpower the main
focal image of the man but I want it to still be something that you see probably
the second thing that you see when your eye is traveling around the canvas so
I’m making sure that it’s it has enough interest that you would want to look at
it this is where I switch to paint and it’s a little bit brighter then the
watered-down ink was so this canvas probably took me two and a half hours
from start to finish till I was happy with it
you know if here if you’re doing something like this you need to just
keep playing with it until it makes you happy and I tell you what quinacridone
gold glaze makes me happy so I like it now I I wasn’t too thrilled with it at
the end of the show but after I messed with it for a while and added some
shadows and some details and that glaze I was much happier so I think it’s cool
and I hope the person that it’s for really enjoys it and thinks it’s as cool
as I do of course you guys can’t see the
shimmering nests of the molding paste either but you will be able to in the
close-ups I think which will be coming at the end so if you’ve enjoyed this
video don’t forgive it forget to give me a thumbs up or leave me a comment or
question below subscribe if you haven’t already and you can share this with your
favorite mathematician who might be interested in it if you want to all
those things help out my channel also the products that I used will be listed
in the description box below if you’d like to purchase some of those if it’s
an Amazon length and I get a few cents to help me get more stuff that I can
show you on the channel so what was my last thing oh yes I did add so then I
thought the white was too white because I had you know put the glaze over
everything so I went and did a little bit more glazing over the top of that
white just to to integrate it back in again while still making it it still
stands out but it’s not as white white as it was then I just signed it and that
was it thanks for watching bye bye

38 thoughts on “Mixed Media Canvas – Math Art”

  1. Susie’s Craft and Planning Cottage says:

    Totally fabulous, totally math man! xxx💕 #poscapenness lol 😝

  2. Gloria Adams says:

    I love this. It's amazing. You are so creative. Congratulations to your son on his achievements in his education. Thanks for sharing

  3. Judy Ptak says:

    Great "math art".

  4. Thilda Hanna says:

    I LOVE Math Man and I'm sure your son will also. I has math but your eye for color as well. Amazing!

  5. Barbara Clark says:

    Came out so good, Shel. He should love it.

  6. Kathryn Parmeter says:

    You have so much talent and your commentary is so real and humble but informative. I’m so happy with your commentary and support. Congratulations to your son.

  7. Cindy Bell says:

    cool number guy.

  8. Laura Thurston says:

    Inspires me to get out my son's chemical engineering books he left at home and make him something with the pages!

  9. Gwen Luttrell says:

    Love love this…

  10. Sue Falls says:

    I love it!!! Math makes the universe go round!!!! I learn so much from you!!! Thank you!!!🥰🥰🥰🥰🥰🥰🥰🥰🥰

  11. Marie Duncan says:

    Math man is amazing, the colors are amazing! I think that it entirely surpassed itself when you added the quin gold glaze. You came up with the perfect "Math art." Your son will love it!! If not, he can send it to me ☺

  12. thehippywoman says:

    That turned out awesome! I kept remembering my high school trig class while watching this. 😁

  13. Keryn O'Keeffe says:

    Awesome gift Shel!

  14. Marilyn Alexieff says:

    I love it! And I think that your son will as well. The quinacridone gold really makes a big difference!

  15. Patty Harrison says:

    Your son will love this because you've definitely have figured it out ❣ Beautiful canvas Shel really quite beautiful ❣❣❣

  16. Peggy R says:

    Hi Shel,very interesting. I think your son will absolutely love it !what a great gift …… 👵🏻🎨❤️- Happy holidays to you and yours!!!

  17. Anne Casillas says:

    That has math yummy goodness galore Shell!😍😍😍 It is so sweet that your boy asks for art but then seeing your stuff online, I can totally see why. Love that Nautilus shell and when you bumped it up with that copper/gold, it was my favorite part. It made look like a 2 color jelly print paper that was cut out with a die and you glued all the pieces down!

  18. artzology says:

    I love it! I think your son will be very happy with your art! You are so talented Shel! Merry Christmas!

  19. Vickie B says:

    What a wonderful gift! Love the math art

  20. Debbie Bonner says:

    I enjoyed the live show very much. I use a large coffee table type book under the middle of the canvas for stability. Maybe that would help with stenciling on canvas. I love the addition of the copper, this is awesome mart art!!! Merry Christmas Shel!

  21. Laura Greggain says:

    It’s a great canvas Shel! I always learn things from watching! Thanks! There’s stuff I can’t liiiiive without too 😂

  22. Carla Marlene says:

    Oh shel! simply gorgeous!

  23. Reny Missos says:

    I knew it would end up in masterpiece! Merry Christmas Shel.

  24. Carlene Jacobsen says:

    Very cool,you are an awesome mom!

  25. Daisy Cochran says:

    Wow! Awesome collage painting, Shel! So colorful and so much to see in the background. Wish I could recall some of the formulas I once knew. It’s been a l-o-n-g time since I had my last math class in college. Adding the shiny, dimensional copper color was a great choice! I’m sure this painting will be a treasured gift! 💕🎂

  26. Bonnie Kittelson says:

    This was really awesome! I’m not sure if your son has seen it yet, but I’m sure he’ll love it!

  27. Laura Murphy says:

    Love your math art canvas. I am sure whomever receives it will enjoy it. TFS

  28. Lettie Caswell says:


  29. bonnie mathieu says:

    Great gift. Well done.

  30. Sandra Cook says:

    What a great job you did with math man. You even included the fibinacci sequence. That is such the ultimate mathmatic sequence. Fibinacci came up with the sequence that he said is the most perfect in nature. It is where numbers multiply by the sum of the the two numbers before them. That is how I remember it 1, 1, 2, 3, 5, 8, etc. What you get is something along the lines of what you are calling the nautaulis shell. Anyway, i am sure that will not be lost on your son and he will sooooo love this. You rock!!!!! Blessings this Season. Merry Christmas.

  31. Elaine sanders says:

    I think you figured out math art in a great way.

  32. karen parisi says:

    TO SOLVE THE GIVE IN THE CANVAS FIND A BOOK OR OTHER THING PRETTY CLOSE TO THE DIMENSIONS OF THE INSIDE AREA OF THE FRAME AND PUT IT UNDER THE CANVAS TO KEEP THE CANVAS FROM SAGGING WHEN YOU PUSH ON IT WHEN YOU WORK YOUR TECHNIQUE ON IT. I enjoy watching your videos they the the first ones watch when I go online each day when I see them listed. I am totally enthralled when watching your paper painting. It looks so real.

  33. Mona L creates says:

    Awesome mixed media piece Shel! Am sure your son will love it!! 🙂 Merry Christmas!!

  34. Shirley Gearman says:

    It looks Amazing Shel 👍I’m sure your son wilmbe proud to hang it in his dorm. Wishing you & yours a very Merry Christmas 🎄☃️❄️

  35. Cynthia Talbott-Nelson says:

    I love watching you create Shel. I learn a lot from watching you add layers to your piece. That comes so naturally to you or it seems to. I don't feel like I know the materials well enough so I'm less likely to experiment. Were you always able to just go with the flow or did that come with more experience?

  36. Jennifer Watson says:

    Really like this a lot. I also like how you explain why you do things – very helpful! Thanks and Happy New Year.

  37. Jackie Keegan says:


  38. Misty Honey says:

    Loved this! I don't know if anyone noticed ? at 12.19 the face in the paints!! (copper colour) So cool. Happy New Year xx

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