This is an historic moment- the first time I have ever sketched anything onto a painted canvas. I will confess, I was a little terrified. But risks pay off sometimes, and I'm so happy with the way this piece turned out. The vision I had in my head was realized almost exactly.
I started out with some Basic brand acrylic paint, which is not my favorite brand. It doesn't cover as well as I would like and always seems a little oily. But for the background of this piece, I decided to take advantage of that. I painted the 12*12 canvas first with a layer of black, and then with a layer of red. Each layer is uneven, so the dark parts of the black show through the thin parts of the red.
I used a black stick of oil pastel to sketch the heart, then I added different colors of red and orange to highlight the heart and make it stand out a little from the red background. I went over my sketch again, darkening lines and adding veins, at which point I added my polymer clay pieces of armor and stitched between the two largest pieces. It's a little hard to tell, but there are metal spikes protruding from the armor as well.