Friday, 1 May 2015

Guest Designer Helen Syngaris

Meet Helen Syngaris....

Hi everyone,so happy to be a part of this fine group of creatives!! I live in Kilmore, Victoria with my 13 yr old son and 11 yr old twin daughters. I've been divorced for the past eleven years so it has been a rough and rocky ride but like for most of us , my creative passion has helped me through all the ups and downs. I work from home creating, painting, and designing for my business The Crafty Palette. My studio is a room in our house and is currently undergoing a much needed sorting through! I've always painted and drawn and my mother fortunately encouraged me my whole life. She was a hairdresser when I was younger and bartered lessons for free hair do's with my first art tutor. I was taught traditional tonal oil painting but have recently discovered mixed media and am in LOVE!!! While oil painting will always be my first love, the mixed media world is entrancing and quick and flexible and.. and.. get it:)) I love painting on wood and canvas, journalling and experimenting with assemblage art. It is all very fascinating and delicious. My mood always inspires my art and have found that inspirational and motivational quotes or thoughts that help me often resonate with others and I receive very positive comments about how it affects others too. It is a challenge juggling motherhood and working creatively but it is this output that keeps me going. Can't wait to start on this journey with you all!!! xxxx

I am so happy to have been chosen as a guest designer for the Crafty Crusaders!
Every month designers showcase different products and how you can use them. Be sure to check them out each month for new ideas, products and techniques.
This is my first entry and hope you have fun with the demonstration. I look forward to hearing and seeing your own results.

  Fearless Warrior Princess 

  Materials needed: 

12" x 12" Pebeo brand 100% linen canvas panel with transparent gesso primer
White gesso
Gel medium / PVA glue
Scrapbook paper / tissue paper
Brushes - Princeton brand
High viscosity studio acrylic paints by Pebeo in:
48 Primary Yellow, 21 Oriental Violet, 11 Titanium White, 26 Mars Black, 45 Vivid Pink, 27 Yellow Ochre, 30 Turquoise Blue, 17 Phthalacyan Blue, 20 Quinacrodone Scarlet, 29 Burnt Umber,   32 Cadmium Orange
Pebeo Colorex ink -37 Vermillion
Coloured pencils
White gel pen
Black sharpie
Various stencils of your own choice
Butterfly cutouts x 3 Letter stickers
Stamping ink and small letter wooden stamps
Template of girl (if desired) and tracing paper

  Let's get started! 

Collect all materials and unwrap your linen canvas panel. Print out your template of face or you can draw your own. It doesn't even have to be a face. You could draw in an animal, flower or building. You can adjust your quote as needed. (The texture of the linen was amazing primed with clear gesso. I hadn't used anything but boards primed with white gesso and this was very refreshing to use. I loved how bits that weren't covered peeped through. Another layer of interest!)



+ Roughly plan out your composition for the canvas. I intentionally left the mid to bottom right hand side clear of any paper for the face. If you change your mind mid way through don't worry. You will be putting enough paint layers over the paper anyway when you paint in the girl's face. ( I've been known to have a face divided into quarters with paper!!) + Tear your paper bits into different shapes and sizes. Roughly decide where they will go before using gel medium or glue to adhere them down. Make sure to add a layer on top of gel medium. Use a heat gun to speed up the drying process or let dry naturally.


 + Take three colours to add interest and cohesion to the background. I've chosen primary yellow, vivid pink and turquoise blue. Start with the yellow. Dab a pea sized blob onto the top right hand corner and using a scraper or your finger, drag the paint down to form a streak. I've done the same with the pink and used my finger to outline some of the paper edges too. The turquoise was used with a letter stencil in the top left corner. Oriental violet was applied through a circle stencil at the mid left and top right points on the canvas. Let dry.


 + Draw your desired image onto tracing paper then transfer the image onto the canvas. Remember you can draw your own image in at this stage. Personalising your own art work feels fabulous- give it a go!!


 + Using yellow ochre, white, black, burnt umber, quinachrodome scarlet paint in the face, eyes, lips and hair. Mix a green for the eyes with a yellow and blue.




 + Keep building up the layers adding colour to the cheeks and shadows and highlights to the face. Paint in the coronet and wings. Play around with the colours. If you want turquoise hair then go for it!! + I've added a bit of fine definition with some coloured pencils once the paint was dry, changed the hair colour and added turquoise around the face where it was empty.


 + Using the vermillion ink, drizzle a small amount on the left hand side. Gently raise the canvas vertically and watch it run down creating more interest. + Once the ink is dry, use your preferred stencils and add some detail to the bottom left corner. I've also used a circular stencil in random places. + Add your word stickers and stamp 'princess' on the coronet. I've also outlined the words in black then white to create a small border. This helps calm down the busyness of colour. + Doodle with paint around the edges of the canvas and add random shapes. Colour in your butterfly cut outs and adhere down the left side to balance the composition. Add anything else you think completes your canvas. I added some white dots around her hairline.



  + I hope you have enjoyed this demonstration.
I look forward to seeing your comments and work.

See you next month!!    

Helen :-)


  1. Absolutely love it Helen! So bright and colourful. Mel W xx

  2. Those Pebeo paints look fab. Love the colours. I'll have to try those. And the Pebeo Colorex ink. Looks great. Thanks Helen. And nice to meet you.