Artwork & Blog post by Renee’ Warwick WA

Hi to all our Powertex Addicts! Here we are again with this month’s Inspirational Theme: Music Magic!!! When Ashley gave me my Designer kit my heart was singing and I couldn’t wait to go and start creating an altered violin… Music’s in the air for sure…

​​How did you go with last month’s theme? Did you have as much fun as I did?
​Now you can have some more….

Materials that I used were:

  • Violin Kit – including styrofoam
  • Powertex Bronze and Ivory
  • Powertex Bister original
  • Powertex Rusty Powder
  • Powertex Easy Structure
  • Powertex 3D sand and ball kit
  • Easy coat glossy or matt
  • Serviette (I had a music printed one in my stash) or silk paper from the Powertex range would be great
  • Powercolours – Titanium White, Dark Blue
  • Colourtix – Bronze Gold
  • Powertex paper flowers
  • Small piece of hessian
  • Dusty Attic Chippy’s – Floral Fantasy (didn’t end up using the others in the pic)

Note: All these items are available through Powertex Australia

Tools required:

  • Paint Brushes
  • Pallet knife
  • Small sponge for distressing
  • Spray bottle – with a mix of 50% water & 50% white vinegar
  • Cutting board
  • Scissors, Hot Knife if you don’t have a hot knife you can use Stanley Knife with a long blade, not a carton cutter
  • Gloves / Apron
  • Plastic cup or small plastic dish to put your Powertex into
  • Container to wash brushes in
  • Cloth to dry brush as you go
  • Hairdryer
  • Piece of alfoil (to use as a mixing pallet)
  • Work bench and mat covered in plastic
  • A wash basin with warm soapy water & a towel

Let the fun begin
Firstly, get some music going, remember I’m an 80’s gal so I like to ‘She Bop’ as I go about getting everything prepped to go… don’t forget to chill your refreshment’s or put a brew on… it’s all about enjoying your creative journey. Next prep your area by covering your work surface in some plastic, get all your bits and bobs out and lastly don’t forget your warm soapy water and a jar with water to rinse your paintbrushes, unless of course you would like to add these to your art work (remember Powertex will harden anything when dried) … Could be pretty cool.! Hmmm maybe later I will do a tutorial in this for you.
Shake and stir your Powertex and pour a small amount of Bronze into a plastic cup (cover with plastic wrap till ready to use), then do the same with the Ivory.

Ok now it’s time to carefully push out all your Dusty attic chippy pieces & the violin bits. A little word of advice if you are having trouble getting these pieces out of the framework carefully use the blade of the Stanley knife to loosen some of the joints. Lay the violin pieces down on top of one another with the large piece as your base, then then smaller violin shape on top of that, then the neck of the violin. I always like to then lay all my pieces out and plan the design before I start. Taking a picture at this stage on your phone helps for later.

Take the smaller shapes of the violin and place them on top of your Styrofoam and trace around the outside of the shape. Then cut this out either with your hot knife or the blade of a Stanley knife (if using a knife please ensure that you have a cutting board under your work and keep fingers clear of the blade). This will give you a more 3-Dimensional look to your altered violin, you can leave this stage out if you wish. (keep your off cuts of the Styrofoam for a later stage).

Take the larger violin shape and paint the whole surface with Bronze Powertex then paint the surface of the Styrofoam and place this on top of the large violin shape. Make sure that it is positioned well into the middle & adjust where necessary as the Powertex when dry will adhere these pieces together… paint the top of the Styrofoam and the underside of the smaller of the violin shape with Bronze Powertex and place these together. Then paint the Bronze all around the sides of the altered violin including the Styrofoam if you used it in the middle.

Paint the top of the altered violin with Ivory Powertex taking care not to drip it down the sides, allow this to dry. Also paint the long neck of the violin with Ivory too… While this is drying it’s a great time to check on those tunes and make a coffee or depending on the time of day open something more refreshing… Ah yes wine, it never goes astray…

​Now we’re going to do something very tricky, Decoupaging. If you have serviette that you’d like to use (I used one that my mum had given me for my stash – got to love your mum), please pull apart the layers so that you are left with only the top printed layer of the serviette (generally they have 3 layers). If you don’t have a serviette, Powertex also have a lovely range of silk papers and the vintage postal one would be great for this. If using our silk paper, you will use it as is as there are no extra layers to worry about, ahhh how good is that.  Place the printed paper over the top of the violin (you can see in my pic that it doesn’t cover the length don’t worry tear and add to it as we go), pour a little Easycoat Glossy or Matt onto your alfoil palette and with a flat paint brush, load the brush with the Easycoat and then apply liberally over the surface of the paper starting from the middle and work your way out towards the edges. Pay particular care around the edges and the violin’s cut outs – ensure, in these areas, that you run the brush gently around and it should start dissolving away for you making it easy for you to remove the bits… If you weren’t able to cover the neck of the violin remember I said earlier that we can add this after, well now we go back and use what is left of our paper and do the same. Now allow this to dry. Woo hoo another break but remember to clean as you go and that means your brushes too.

Distressing the edges – You will need a small sponge and dip lightly into the Ivory Powertex and rub around the edges so it starts to look rubbed out. Just lightly don’t over do it
Okay now let’s get our 3rd piece that we have been waiting eagerly to add so that our violin can make music to our eye’s. Thank you for being patient. Now to give it a more 3-Dimensional look, like the body of the violin, we will cut 3 small rectangular pieces from the off cuts of the Styrofoam and using the Ivory Powertex paint these pieces and add them to the underside of the long string MDF piece. Before turning it over and putting it into place ensure that you paint some ivory on these 3 Styrofoam pieces so that it will adhere to the surface of the violin, with a gentle but firm hand put in place. Note- I put these 3 pieces one near the top, one near the middle and the other near the tip.

​Let’s have some fun now with your chosen embellishments for your altered violin. Lay your elements around the top of the violin to see if you’re still happy with your design. This is where you can tweak your design and go as crazy as you like. TIP – I cut apart my DA Floral Fantasy piece into pieces (visible in the picture) and positioned these nicely around so it looks like it’s wrapping around the surface of the violin then positioned my paper flowers

NOTE – I felt my piece needed another element of interest so I added 2 little pieces of Hessian

Paint all the tops of your Dusty Attic pieces, flowers and hessian in Ivory Powertex and leave to dry. The first pieces to lay down will be the hessian so cover the back of this with the Ivory and put some Ivory Powertex on the violin where you would like these pieces to be and lay them in place. Next, paint the backs of the DA Floral Fantasy piece by piece and lay each down while the Powertex is still wet on the back. Finally, and I’m sure you guessed it, do the same with your paper flowers…. I was really excited at this stage, I hope that you are too!

Putting on the Ritz /Glitz… oops sorry the Grunge. Get your alfoil pallet ready put 2 small scoops of easy structure on this. In the first pile of easy structure add a teaspoon of 3D Sand & Small Balls and enough Rusty Powder when mixed with your pallet knife that it looks dark grey. Using your pallet knife scrape portions of this around the neck and top of the violin – refer to pic. While this is still wet add some of your larger 3D Balls pushing them gently into the paste. Now spritz these area’s generously with your vinegar spray. Add your blue after the 1st spray of vinegar is dry. NOTE – You will need to spray your rusty areas about 3-4 times initially as this is what activates the rusty powder to become Rust. I highly recommend watching Ashley’s YouTube video: How to Use Rusty Powder … click here

Now with the 2nd small amount of easy structure add the 3D Sand and 3D Small Balls and Dark Blue Powercolour, mix well. Again, add this around your violin. This does not need to be spritzed with the vinegar but it won’t hurt it if you get it on this surface while spraying your Rusty surface.

Now we can have some fun with your Bister Spray. I used Original Liquid Bister – it’s my go to colour in the range. Now you can go silly with the spray cover all your ivory surfaces and embellishments. To get it to crackle, use your hairdryer on hot and go over all the areas of Bister – not too close or you’ll be decorating your walls with your spray. I was lucky it was super-hot here in WA and when I put it out in the sun to dry it did it’s magic…
Leave overnight before embellishing the edges with your Colourtrix.

​Time to sit back and relax and admire your beautiful piece, tomorrow I assure you it will look amazing… not that it doesn’t already, right?

Hmm mm was I right? Is it amazing? One last thing to do oops sorry I lied 2…

With your Bronze Gold Colourtrix and Easycoat Glossy you need to dry bush around the sides – I LOVED my rust and crackle effects so much that I chose not to go over these areas with any colourtrix. Also don’t forget to paint the back with Bronze Powertex, this is not necessary if you are going to frame it.

How mesmerising is your piece? I’m sure it has the WOW factor!!! I love, love, LOVE mine and I hope that I have inspired and helped you on your creative journey in feeling the same about your piece…

I thank you for taking the time to read my blog for the Powertex Australia Design Team and please don’t forget to post your creation onto our Facebook Group for all of us to see and admire… (click here to join) If you aren’t on Facebook you can email your images to Powertex and we will post them for you (email). All the materials that I design with are readily available through Powertex Australia

I look forward to sharing more hints and tips with you all next month & oooo next month is soooooo exciting I can’t wait to share my design with you.

Until then Cheers to you all…
Your Friendly Neighbourhood Powertex Fanatic
RenWA ( Renee’ Warwick)