Monday, 1 July 2019

Day and Night in the Enchanted Forest - reversible box canvas by Julie Ann

Welcome to Calico Craft Parts Blog on the first day of July! I hope you're enjoying a great summer, if it is summer in your part of the world. Today I have a miniature box canvas to share with you. And - because I like to get the most out of my art supplies - it's a reversed canvas that tells a story whichever way you look at it ...

Night or Day!

Because my canvas is deep and chunky, you can stand it on a shelf and turn it whichever way you choose to  tell a different story about the enchanted wood, where wood-cutters' cottages wander on their own 2 feet day or night.

To create the Night-time surface of my canvas, I applied a thick layer of Gesso with a piece of old credit card. I lay the card flat in places, lifting it  quickly to create the impression of branch shapes in the Gesso. When this was completely dry, I painted with a combination of Paynes Grey, Cadmium Yellow, Titan Buff, Pthalo Blue and Burnt Sienna Acrylic paints and  spattered some diluted paint onto the surface with a tooth-brush.

A touch of gilding wax accentuated the branches and roots and helped to create an impression of moonlight.

Now it was time for a sprinkle of imagination in the form of Calico Craft Parts. I constructed 2 of the little cube house kits and gave them a coat of Gesso.

In the past, I have collaged my own printed out artwork onto Craft Parts and enhanced the image once it's glued into place; but for this project I painted characters straight onto the houses. If you preferred, you could create characters with stamped images. Whatever you choose to do, don't worry about mistakes. You can always collage or Gesso over what you do and make a new start.

I Gesso'd over the reverse side of the canvas and the tiny aperture within, before using the top layer of a napkin to create a day-time background.

Leaving the roofs open meant that all manner of wild life could leap or flutter out to explore in the woods.

In this enchanted forest the Woodland Sprites take the form of homes that can walk, run or fly among the trees, 

scattering flora and fauna in their wake.

These tiny feet with their leafy slippers are created from paper-clay. By fixing the rabbits to the inside of the house on tiny MDF scraps, they appear to leap from within.

I think there is interest from every angle!

It's fun to create the miniature portraits too! I used Acrylic Paints and Acrylic Inks, adding finishing touches with water-colour pencils.

Thank you so much for stopping by today and joining me in the Enchanted Forest!

Calico Craft Parts used in this Project
Block Style Cube House Kit (Mini)
MDF Angel Wings - Style 4
Standard Jointed Art Doll Kit - Style 1
Mini Owls Wood Bird Shapes
Sheet of Mini Hares
Word Elements Blank


  1. What a wonderful idea to have the reverse canvas doing double duty... I'm not sure I'd venture into the woods by night, but a daytime stroll with that jolly character would be fun. Lovely decoupaged butterflies too.
    Alison x

  2. Thank you so much, Alison. x

  3. This is absolutely adorable, Julie Ann! Xx

    1. Thank you so very much for stopping by, Lucy and for your lovely comment. xx

  4. OMGosh! This canvas is just too much fun! I LOVE that it is reversible and I just love those characters!So much whimsy! Great idea leaving the roofs open for come and go guests and those rabbits...I just love them!
    This one goes on my list of favorites Julie! xo

    1. Thank you so much for stopping by and leaving a comment, Jackie. I am so happy you enjoyed this little project. xx