Mixed Media Citra Collage Tutorial


Last year about this time I did two posts on the beautiful Autumn that we had… you can see the posts HERE and HERE.  Well, that was last year.  This year is a different story.  I have no pictures because the colors are dull this year.  The summer was so hot for so long, the trees just got too stressed and couldn’t generate enough chlorophyl.   I guess that’s like us really isn’t it.. sometimes?  Dontchya think?   Let’s hope that next year it comes back in full force with beautiful backgrounds.

Speaking of backgrounds… I wanted to show you a very cool technique that’s been shown here and there using CitraSolv.  It’s a degreaser used for household cleaning.. well, check it out HERE.  Then check out the CitraArt HERE.  Pretty darn cool if you ask me.. go ahead ask me… .. It’s funny you should ask… Yes, I thinks it’s so cool that I made a mixed media canvas collage with it.

Let’s start from the very beginning.. …(wait do you hear Julie Andrews?)  Sorry.

I looked all over for a bottle of Citra Solv.. nothing in the local stores even though the CS website listed the retail store locations.  So, I finally found a bottle at Vitacost.com.   Citra Solv works well with the National Geographic magazine pages the best, as it is contains a clay coating used for the crisp images the magazine is known for.

Moving on….

Here are the steps I took to make my Citra Backgrounds.  Start with your bottle of Citra Solv and a Nat Geo magazine. Now, you may want to work with a window open or go outside.. it’s not a terrible smell.. just a very STRONG orangey odor.  I got sick of it after a while.

I put my CS in a small plastic spray bottle instead of using a brush.  I thought it would be easier to spray.  I started to use a small plastic “solo” bathroom cup and a brush to spread it on and this is what happened…

Ummm.. apparently the plastic in the cup did not agree with the CS.  However, this plastic spray bottle is fine…

Let’s begin… can you stand it????

Open the magazine to some colorful pages and begin to spray.  Spray, turn to next colorful page.. spray,  next and so on…  now don’t be stingy with the liquid.. if it’s drippy that’s ok…

See how it begins to “melt”.. oh so fun.

Spray all the pages you want and close the book and let it sit for a while.. at least 15 minutes.. if you don’t see a change when you open the page.. spray some more and close the mag… some pages are better than others…. BUT oh look and see some of my results…

Do you see where I have the pencil pointing above?… I saw a face in that blotch and I started to enhance it further.  Look for images and play.

Above, I started to rubber stamp and play with the face.

So, there you have the way to make the Citra Backgrounds.  Now, let me show you how I applied it to a new mixed media canvas piece.

I started with a blank canvas, put down some fluid acrylics, letting each layer dry.  Then on the far right I put a large strip of heavy acrylic paint.

I let it dry then put my heat gun to it really close.  This will make the paint react with the intense heat and start to bubble… I got this technique from Gary Reef.  You’ve heard me mention him before.. such a love; you can see the video HERE.

Look at that beautiful texture.  I’m excited now.  When you are happy in bubble town, let it cool down (that rhymes, by the way).

I painted the white with gold acrylic paint and heated it again causing more bubbles… and then another layer of gold…

Once the paint was dry and cooled, I put random ripped masking tape over the gold.

Then painted it red then pulled the masking tape off revealing the gold underneath.

I DIDN’T LIKE IT…I needed to tone down the red.. just wasn’t working for me.

So, I painted the gold over it…..

Close up below.. love the texture…

OK… let’s get on with using the Citra Backgrounds….

So, here you can see the citra pages on the left and going up and on the top… Did a little rubber stamping on them and “antiqued” with some brown shoe polish around the edges..  On the bottom is a ripped resin music page.  It’s coming along, but still needs some lovin.

Ah Huh…. one of my favorite techniques.. pushing molding paste through stencil… Here, I tinted molding paste with black acrylic paint.. and mixed to make a black paste.

A little boo boo on the top left of the fleur-de-lis.  I’ll need to let it dry and redo that section.

Below is a picture after the fleur-de-lis was done and I added some gold trim along the red strip, hand made polymer clay embellishments, ribbon and gold paste that I rubbed over the molding paste design.  People, I’m just in love with Inka Gold waxy paste by Viva Decor.  I can’t get enough of it.

Here is the last picture I took.  At this point I’ve added, black tissue paper, black stenciling, fabric, lace paper and I blinged up a boring metal pendant.  However, I have to admit.. I know it’s not done.. it still needs a final image above the music paper.  It’s look very royal.. maybe a queen?  Beeswax?    What do you think?

I had so much fun creating this piece.  Hope you enjoyed the post and tutorial as much I as enjoyed creating it for you.   I’ll show my final canvas in my next blog post.

Thanks for stopping by.

Judy  ❤


11 responses »

  1. Excellent tutorial, Judy. Your piece is gorgeous! Love how the texture came out on the right side. Can’t wait to see it finished…even though I think it looks fabulous as it is.

  2. OMG this is the coolest thing since sliced bread. HOLY CROW WOMAN we are going tohave so much fun when you come to visit. I’m so trying this tutorial techniques. I love all of the textures and the spraying on the book pages…Oh MY I’m going to be in heaven. This would look so cool to add to my mixed media paintings. I LOVE IT. Great tutorial, awesome photos. YOU SO ROCK GIRL and I LOVE YOU!!! WOOOOHOOOO Have a ROCKING WEEKEND MY FRIEND.

  3. I love the bubbly texture in this piece, Judy. Bubbles, circles…these are a few of my favorite things. (Hey, you started the singing….)

    Your writing of this post also made me smile. Just a great, jovial way of writing. Your passion for mixed media comes through.



  4. Thanks, Raine, Michelle and Amy…for your compliments… I’m so glad my passion shows in my art.. it means a lot to me. Mish.. let’s start planning… I’m there.. my room ready?

  5. A very good place to start…do, re. mi! Judy, all I can say is WOW!!!! Once again you are batting 1000, my friend, and have come up with another gorgeous piece of art with another WAY COOL technique! I love, love, love the bubbled texture. heat it up! And the gold over the red – beautiful! You asked what else can be added to this piece. Perhaps a royal lady by building up the area on the left, using the polymer face shard as the starting point? I almost feel like the area underneath that face could be built up as her gown. Do you see that? Thanks for another wonderful tutorial! Luv ya, Karen

  6. ooh…love the bubbles and all the textures, Judy. I agree with Karen about the face shard. I am itching to see her expand. What do you think?

    My son used Citrasolve in a textile class in college. It was used as a medium to transfer a lazer print to fabric.

    Whole Foods carries Cirtasolve both in spray and bottled. The bottle of 16 oz. is $9.99. I think the spray is the same price.

    Joshua had a lot left over from class, and I must tell you it makes a great toilet cleaner!!! In addition to smelling delicious.(hehehe) It is so concentrated and lasts a long time. Great natural cleaner for lots of things.

    Looking forward to see how you finish the piece.
    Big Hugs,

  7. Hi Judy. I love this piece and definitely want to try your citra technique (among others). I am starting a page on my creativity blog showing tutorials that I want to try and was hoping you would let me include yours in the list. It will be a photo from your post here with the link and mention of your blog and name, again with the link. Would that be okay with you? http://writecreateconnect.blogspot.com


  8. Wow! What great techniques and a fab tutorial! I am really new to anything craft and have recently unleashed my inner artist. I can’t wait to use some of the techniques you’ve shown to create my own works of art.

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