Hi there and welcome back to the blog…my obsession with mixed media and alter art continues, possibly growing stronger after all the appreciation a few experimental projects got from family and friends.
The inspiration for this project came from a request send in by a friend who had bought and extremely pretty clear trunk coffee table – she was looking for decorative altered bottles that could be placed inside the trunk as a show piece. The trunk and bottles kind of spun my mind off into the whole nautical/wash on shore direction. I had recently done a gentleman’s club theme birthday for a friend’s son and had collected all sorts of ephemera as props for the decor – included in the prop stash were old liquor bottles. With my background in marketing ive always loved the detailing that goes into packaging design – the shapes, contours and typographic embossing that add up to designing liquor packaging.
So i started off by picking a bottle from the stash, I knew what i had in mind for the embellishments would be visually heavy so i chose a bottle that has less detailing on it. The bottle was placed under warm, the labels came away pretty easily – what was left behind i scrubbed off using a brush. I started off by applying two heavy coats of Gesso to the bottle – this will help give a nice texture to the background and will make sure that any paint applied to the bottle adheres properly. I love force drying Gesso in places with a heat gun – this lets me create random bubble texture in the background. I let the Gesso dry over night. I started off painting with my favorite palette of colors -greens blues and golds.
I used Marie’s Acrylic colors Yellowish Green (562), Green Pale (503), Cerulean Blue (455), Pathalo blue green (450) . I cut up a sponge to purpose as a dauber. Starting with the the lighter colors, i worked up from the base of the bottle and build on layer after layer of color. The greens went on first, then the lighter blues, followed by the dark blues and finally just a bit of black. I forced dried the paint in places as well to get more of the bubbling effect. The last two layers were gold, which was either dabbed on so it was reminiscent of sand sprayed on the shore or it was blended in and stretched it in stokes towards the neck of the bottle.
Next – the fun part, embellishments! The first to go on were a piece of rope and plastic trim that went all the around the bottle, i tied the rope at one end and let it hang, i thought it looked interesting. Next to go on were an array of shells, buttons, metal findings, coins and beads – i arranged the front to be visually heavier and the back of the bottle only has a small arrangement. Once everything was in place, the heavier pieces were stuck down with hot glue and everything else i adhered using Matt Gel. To get the washed out look i diluted Gesso and covered all the embellishments with it.
Once dry, the arrangement was dry brushed with Marie’s gold acrylic paint. For the neck of the bottle i covered the bottle cap with rope, which i ran Gesso over and then dry bushed with Gold acrylic paint. I added on a small button to the top that reminded me something that goes over a sailor’s uniform. Voila! the completed project 🙂
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