Sunday, December 20, 2015

Relaxing with doodles

Adult coloring books are the latest craze at the moment. People find it relaxing to sit a color. I remember the coloring doodle books that were big when I was a teenager. They were the same thing and I loved filling them in. These days I would prefer to do my own form of doodling and that is what I am sharing today. It is  a technique that I started with CathyB during 21 secrets and I have adapted it to suit my own creative style.
I started by collecting a big bunch of papers from my collection. I had a lot of prints from my gelli plate and printing class. I used some computer printouts of my own work that didn't print properly and a few pieces of paper that had been under my work to catch excess paint. There is even a piece of scrapbook paper there. You could also use magazine pages that have a lot of color on or catalogue pages. I tore them into smaller pieces but you could cut them if you want to.

For my journal I am using a small magazine insert, about 6 by 8 inches but it could be any size you like. I had read it and didn't want to keep it so I am giving it a new life as my doodle journal. You could use any book or journal you want to. The collage adds thickness and strength to the pages so it doesn't have to be thick paper.

I used acrylics to paint each page. It doesn't matter what you use because most of it will be covered over anyway but the paint adds a bit of strength to the page before the papers are glued in and seals the paper. I painted every second page one day then let it dry a day before painting all the other pages. You need to let the pages dry like this or they may tear.

When the paint was dry I decided that I wanted to do backgrounds of either warm or cool colors. This page is mostly cool colors but there are some little spots of warm here and there. I just lay out the pieces and move them around until I get an arrangement I like. It usually only takes a couple of minutes to do this.

I glued all the pieces of paper down with Liquitex matte medium. I don't worry if the edges are straight or if all the background is covered. The paint on this page was the purple color you can still see in places. I let the papers hang over the edge of the pages and later trim them to size when dry.

I did all the pages like this doing cool and warm backgrounds. The glue was drying quick enough so I could go onto the next page but I did put a piece of wax paper between the pages just in case they wanted to stick together. Then I left the whole book to dry again, standing it up so the pages would not stick together and the air could get in there.

The final step before the doodling begins is to glue in images I have cut from magazines. I used flowers on these pages but I also chose birds and other images. I just choose images that I really like and want to save before I throw a magazine away.

I usually put the warm images on the cool backgrounds and vice versa. It makes the flowers stand out more. I did that to the whole journal so now when I feel like making some art  and don't have a big project to work on, I have a book of half done pages to get me started. 

This page is done on the cool purple background that I showed above. I add washi tape (because I have a lot of it) over the edge of the papers to make a grid for doodling. I also added a few deli paper hearts that were left over from some other project and a few small stickers (circles, hearts, stars and words). Finally I get out a bunch of acrylic paint pens and gel pens and doodle all over everything. I added leaves to the flowers with the paint pens. Some of the washi tape is colored in, some of it is left plain. I outline almost everything with black pen and add a lot of white highlights. Sometimes I use markers to change the color of something. You can have a lot of fun with this technique. You can do a formal grid or let items overlap each section like I have.

I hope you enjoy being creative over the holidays and have a great time with friends and families. I will return in the new year with some more art. Have fun.

Tuesday, December 8, 2015

Experimenting with Kunin felt

 I am sharing some textile work today. I took part in a challenge for my textile group ATASDA to use Kunin felt in a textile piece. It is an acrylic felt so that means it will burn and distort with heat, unlike wool felt that won't change. I used some felt that had a pattern embossed on it by the manufacturer. I think the altered felt here would look great as a journal cover. Either sew a loose cover or glue it straight onto a hardbound journal/book.

 I put it flat on a baking tray that was protected with alfoil and baking paper. I sprinkled on silver embossing powder all over the felt.

 I used a very soft, large, clean paint brush to gently sweep across the felt so the embossing powder would fall into the embossed areas and I could see the blue felt again in the raised areas.  

 I put the tray in the oven at a low temperature (about 150C) and left it for 10 minutes. It was still a little unmelted so I left it a further 5 minutes to melt completely. I took it out of the oven and let it cool before using it in my piece. I was really pleased that my experiment seemed to work and only the embossed areas were silver.  

 In a different experiment I tried to spread paint over the embossed areas with a palette knife but it didn't work too well. I wrapped paper towel around a wooden block and used that to spread the paint around.

 It is a far more patchy look than with the embossing powder which may suit some projects but not the one I had in mind.  

This piece of felt was cut out with a wood burning heat tool.  I used a stencil for the design and enlarged the pattern using my computer. 

 This is the final picture for the challenge. I layered the different felts over a piece of sari cloth. It is very sparkly in real life.

Wednesday, December 2, 2015

Art journal pages for DLP

 My intention to blog weekly went a little astray last week. Our main computer died suddenly even though it is a SSD drive that is supposed to be extremely reliable. The computer guy who built it said it was the first time he had seen a broken one in 20 years of working. We were just unlucky I guess. Fortunately I have the backup set up to run weekly so we only lost a few documents and none of our photos. It did take a long time to download all our programs again and set them up the way I like. If you haven't done a back up recently I urge you to do one soon.

 Now that I am back I will share some more journal pages. These are more of the Documented Life Project pages.

The challenge for this page was silhouettes and the prompt was "no shadow without the light". I used a credit card to scrape paint across the page for the background then used a stencil to do the flowers silhouette. I used a marker to fill in the lines of the stencil so it was a solid shape.

The art challenge here was to use deli paper. It is a very thin tissue paper with a waxy feel on one side. The waxy side is actually a thin coat of plastic. You can paint on either side but sometimes the paint comes off the waxy side. I used some monoprints I had done previously and just added the quote. It was a very quick page.

The challenge for this one was to use vellum and the prompt was "Sheer genius". I drew the big butterfly on vellum with a permanent marker then all the little ones too. I colored it in on the back using water-based markers so the colors are a little muted. I stitched the vellum butterfly onto white paper, I cut it out and glued it to the page. The page looked a little bare so I added the border as  finishing touch.

Sometimes I surprise myself with the ideas that pop into my head when I find a quote like this one. I would never have dreamed I could do this sort of page a few years ago.

I will probably share a some of the textiles I have been playing with next week so I hope to connect with you then.