Wednesday, November 27, 2013

An interesting experiment with ink

I was reading a watercolor book called Watercolor without boundaries by Karlyn Holman. There was an article in there about an artist called Cindy Markowski and she shared one of her techniques using real leaves. She puts leaves onto wet watercolor paper and then drizzles on food colors and places a piece of plexiglass on top. After letting it sit overnight she removes the leaves and uses negative painting of the background to make the leaves stand out.

I decided to try the technique with some inks that I had picked up at my local art store. I probably would dilute the inks a bit if I do it again because the leaves came out quite vivid and it meant I was limited with my background color choice. I had to choose a dark color for the leaves to stand out.

This first image is after I left the leaves on the paper overnight.I had trouble seeing the leaf shapes so I outlined them with a pastel pencil that could easily be rubbed off later. I then started to paint in the background making a few more leaf shapes as I went along.  I have not done anything more to the leaves.

The finished journal page. I have added some veins to the leaves and shaded them with colored pencil. I tried to use the ink for shading but it wouldn't work so that is why I used the pencils. I have added shadows to create depth.  If I did this again I would not do it in a journal because some of the ink went through to the other page.  It is a fun thing to do and I will try it with food color sometime. 

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Getting caught up with UFOs

No, not the alien type of UFOs. The crafty UnFinished Objects type.  As most of my online classes are finished now I have been finishing off various items around the house. One thing was to prepare our garden for summer with a lot of mulch. That is done now.  

I have re-upholstered 6 dining chairs for my daughter. They took a bit longer than I thought because the original manufacturer had used about 10 thousand staples that had to be removed to put the new fabric on. She is happy with the way they look now and I am happy that I won't have to do any more.

 I was looking for something on my desk and I found these Santa cutouts that I had started last year and I thought to myself 'I should finish these someday'. Then I had a second thought 'Well, why not finish them today?' So that is what I did. Another unfinished object done. The original pattern for these was in the magazine called Quick and Easy painting, Winter 2009.  It is a design by Monika Brint. They are painted on wood shapes that my hubby cut out for me.

 The next project was to replace the doorstops that I made may years ago. I use them to hold the door open when it is windy. I saw a pattern in the Aussie Handmade magazine that I liked so now we have a trio of owls holding the doors for us.

 The other big project I am finishing is a large painting that my son started and soon lost interest in. The canvas is about 2 yards (metres) long by 1.5 yards high. It may take a while....

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Life Book pages.

I haven't shared very many of my Life Book lessons lately so I am going to fix that right now.

I used paper napkins as part of the collage papers for the background of this page. I liked the way they looked on the shoulders so I let them show through the painting. This is acrylics with a little coloured pencil.

A lesson with Effy Wild.  This page is more graphic in style than I usually do.  Tissue paper background with acrylics. I used gold pen for the border and outlines.

 The tree is printed onto watercolour paper with my Epson printer.  The ink is permanent so I could then paint right over it. The giraffe is from an online how to draw a giraffe page. I just googled it.

This is a acrylic transfer from images I printed on my computer. I layered them in Photoshop and printed them out before transferring the collage to my painting.  The rest is acrylic and pencil. I coated the finished piece with was for a different look.

 A lesson with Kelly Hoernig.  We did ink blots on deli paper then cut them out and made the page.

A lesson with Rachelle Panagarry. We used mulberry paper as the base for this page. I used brown (it was all I had) so the fibres are visible. I used Rachelle's technique for the hair. This is probably my favourite page so far.

A short lesson with Monica Zunica. We used watercolours and pens for this page. My first time shading a face with only watercolour and I am happy with the way it turned out.

 A lesson with Tam of Willowing.  I got some of my photos out of the Rainbow Honeyeaters and used them to do this page.  The drawing is done with graphite and the back ground is put in later with watercolour. It is a great effect and one I will do again.  Initially I had blue, green and yellow in the background but it looked too busy with all those branches so I went over it with the blue again to mute the colour a little.

I am happy with the work I have done for this course and would recommend it if you like mixed media.  It doesn't matter if you are a beginner because you will learn a lot from the many teachers there and it is such great value for a year long course. I am not doing it next year because I want to try so many other things. I don't want to commit to a year long course but I may return the following year.

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

A fun journal page

I have not really done a lot of art over the last week or so. I have cleaned my studio, sorted my pile of books and magazines and bookmarked a lot of ideas in my Somerset magazines to try out.

 My page is inspired by this article in Somerset Apprentice Spring 2013 edition.  The original is done on wood and is quite large. I chose to do a journal page instead. I didn't follow the instructions very much. This is how I did it but if you like the original you can get the magazine from Somerset.

 I started by using matte medium to glue tissue paper (yellow), printed tissue (bird cage) and a brown napkin to the page. I put it on fairly smooth but didn't worry about any wrinkles that were there.

Next I used a rubber brayer (you could use a brush here instead) to roll on some white, yellow and pale brown acrylic paint. I applied the colors randomly and let some of the tissue layer show through. It turned out more yellow than I liked so I sprayed on a little brown Starburst spray. It looks a little spotty in this photo because it was still wet. You can see some of the tissue that wasn't stuck down well has wrinkled. I think it adds more dimension so I let it dry like that.

I drew the shapes I wanted onto the back of some scrapbook papers and tore them out. I didn't want white edges so I tore with the back of the paper facing me. I glued the shapes to the page with white glue. I wanted a bit more lightness so I put a little white paint on a brush and lightly touched it to the raised areas of the sun's rays and some of the flowers.  You can see it in the next photo.

 I used a neocolor water soluble crayon to roughly outline the flowers. I then used a wet paintbrush to soften the lines. In this photo I have softened everything except the two flowers on the right. You can see the line is harsher on those flowers.

I thought it needed more color so I used some of the paint from the flowers around the border of the page. I also stamped some squares and circles on for interest. I printed the quote on my computer then cut it out and colored it with spray.  I glued it to the page and added a little brown outline. It was a fun technique to try.

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Something a little different.

If you have read my blog for a while you will know I like to do many different arts and crafts.  My hubby and I recently repainted several rooms in our home. That has led to a few pieces of furniture needing a bit of attention too.

There was a small cupboard that used to have a painted stained glass style picture on the glass doors. The paint had faded a lot and I decided to scrape off the old picture and do something new.

First I used painters tape to mask off the edge of the glass and make a border on the inside of the door.  I do it on the inside of the door so the outside is still smooth and can be washed.
Next I used gel medium (it doesn't matter what type or brand) with a little white acrylic paint added to it. I laid a stencil onto the glass and used a stiff paint brush to dab the gel mixture onto the glass. When I filled in the whole stencil I carefully lifted it off and let the gel dry. The stencil wasn't big enough to fill the inner area so when it was completely dry I put the stencil down again and used the same mixture to finish off the pattern. Don't do two areas with the stencil at the same time or the first section will smudge. You don't have to use a stencil. I have done it with tape only and made a grid pattern like a paned window.

That is all there is to it. Why don't you try it yourself?

It doesn't matter if the stencilling is not perfect because you don't really notice it when the whole thing is finished. If I get tired of this I can just spray it with water  and use a glass scraper to remove the gel medium.

I have done this technique with plain gel medium on a window to make it look like frosted glass. I used a sponge to apply the gel all over the glass. I tried to take a photo but it doesn't show up well. The reason I added paint this time was so I could partly hide the things in the cupboard.

This cupboard was done in a similar manner. I tore paper to use as a mask so I could get the wavy edge and applied the gel medium with white paint mixture using a sponge.

I then tore strips of textured paper and applied them with wallpaper paste that dries clear. You could also use a watered down acrylic glue (like Elmers or PVA) to apply the paper.

If you stick with acrylic products or glues you can always wet them and scrape them off the glass in the future.

One time I used gift wrap paper to line glass doors in my studio but that has now been changed. The possibilities are endless.