Sunday, March 17, 2013


Sometimes I like to work small!  In this case a  6" x 6" gallery canvas.  Something that I can complete in a day or two and and then sit back and admire as it hangs on the wall of my studio.  You see, my studio except for all the art supplies neatly arranged on my drawing table or on shelves, doesn't really look like an art studio at all.  There are no drawings or paintings created by yours truly to identify the artist who lives here.  Well....I decided that had to quickly change and I started painting canvases instead of painting in my journals.  Now, at last, it is beginning to reflect me...the artist...and who I am!

With that said, I purchased a package of four small canvases, thinking that they would look great lined up in a row above the closet doors.  I have always wanted to paint a collage of a village and do it in the four seasons.....trumpet idea was born.

This is a summary of how I painted a village in the four seasons:

Materials used:

6"x6" gallery canvas
acrylic paint (Two colors for the ground and sky, two different colors to accent and distress the buildings and white paint for the snow, clouds and fence.  In addition, each painting except for Winter had painted flowers and tree leaves.)
Bubble wrap
Ephemera: book pages, scrapbook paper, envelope liners, used postage stamps, etc.
Paper dinner napkins for the sunflower sun.
Archival ink or StazOn ink. I used black or brown for the tree.  Black for the fence.
Stamps:  I used a stamp for the tree and fence.
Deli paper
Black Pitt pen, medium.
White paint pen, fine
Mod Podge or Mat Medium for gluing.

First, paint the canvas with a coat of gesso.  This will prime the canvas and help to shrink the canvas if it has any slack to it.  After the gesso is thoroughly dry, paint the bottom 1/4 of the canvas with the the ground color and the remainder of the canvas with a sky color.  Except for the Winter canvas, I chose not to be traditional with the colors but at the same time I chose colors that would evolk the feeling of the season.

Next, I painted the clouds and snow (Winter) with white acrylic paint and bubble wrap.  Then I started gluing the paper napkin sunflowers for the sun (Fall and Summer) and cutting and gluing rectangles from ephemera and scrapbook paper for the buildings.  Note: Paper napkins are usually three layers and must be separated before gluing.  Using only the top layer gives a transparent quality.  The roofs were cut from envelope liners or scrapbook paper and the gingerbread looking roof was made by using a Martha Stewart decorative punch.  I pretty much used what I had in my scrap box.

Now the real fun begins...this is where you start to embellish and add personality to the buildings.  Not that it doesn't start to have personality by the choice of paper and patterns but this is where you decide if the building is going to be single or two story, the location and style of doors and windows...if it is going to have a porch, steps, be whimsical or realistic.  This is where the village starts to come to life!

Don't forget to wrap the village scene around the sides of the canvas.

Before the windows and doors are drawn, distress the buildings and ground by smearing with your finger a contrasting paint color.  Not too much but just a little accent to give the buildings depth.  Now it is time to outline the buildings with a black Pitt pen or fine paint pen and draw the doors, windows, porch, etc.  Next, use a white paint pen to paint the window molding, highlight the roof scallops, tree leaves, etc.



To add the tree and fence, I first stamped directly onto the canvas but that was like stamping on a trampoline so I decided to first stamp on deli paper and then cut, glue and paint the leaves, flowers,  grass, etc.  This worked perfectly and in some instances, the background color showed through well enough that it didn't need to be touched up with paint.

The last step is to paint the leaves, flowers, or snow on the tree and fence and sign your work!

There you have it...the four season village scenes.  Hope that you enjoyed this tutorial!


Until next time!


  1. I have always loved painting of houses and these are just great, thanks for sharing.

  2. These are fabulous. Especially love the sunflowers used as the sun.

    1. Thanks Julie! I have used the sunflower (the big one) a lot in my art. It's my favorite napkin to use because the petals are so transparent.

  3. Oh, I just love these! What a wonderful idea, and with such great tips to follow. Thanks, Julie!

    1. Thanks Julie! These little canvases were fun to make. I think that my next project will be birds using the same techniques.

  4. They are fabulous and I particularly like the Winter one (although we have snow here in London again, which I hope disappears quickly!).
    Thanks for sharing how you created your pieces.

    1. Jackie, Thank you for visiting my blog and your lovely comment! I also like Winter best and we get no snow in Florida....ever!!! lol

  5. These are lovely canvases! Where are you getting deli paper? I'm having a hard time finding it.

    1. Thank you Susan! I found my deli paper at a restaurant supply store. It was only about $4 for 500 sheets. 8"x10"...perfect size for my Gelli Plate. A friend of mine was successful in obtaining a few sheets from a local sub sandwich shop. If you have a Sam's Club or Costco near you...they also have boxes of it but they are more expensive. You want the dry waxed deli paper.

  6. I just discovered your blog. These are wonderful. I can't wait to start Thank you so much