Art · Surface Treatment Workshop

Surface Treatment Workshop – Week 20

Week 20 of the Surface Treatment Workshop is all about using glazes. I’ve tried to be a little bit inventive with my glazes. I used Windsor & Newton’s Artists’ Acrylic Glazing Medium. Rather than producing lots of separate pieces I decided to do just one and divide it up into sections….

Week 20 - Collage Base - NB

As you can see above I started with a simple collage base, about 6″ x 6″, and you can see that I divided it into 6 roughly equal sections lightly with pencil. My idea then was to try a different glazing technique in each section…..

Week 20 - Glazes - NB

This is what I ended up with! Now let me explain a little about each section…..

Top left: very simple, I just mixed the glaze medium with a tiny amount of sepia acrylic paint to create a vintage looking effect

Top Middle:  I mixed the glazing medium with dried paint scraping from off one of my paint pallets. It created some lovely coloured texture

Top Right:  I created a “dirty” glaze by mixing the glazing medium with rust particles scraped off some of my rust collection. Also on this section I went over the right half with a second coat of glazing medium mixed with a tiny amount of light gold pearl mica. It’s created some lovely grunge/bling texture…

Bottom Left:  I mixed the glazing medium with PVA and heated it with a heat gun to create some texture. I then went over it again with more glazing medium mixed with tiny amounts of acrylic paint

Bottom Middle:  It’s not so easy to see in the photo but for this section I simply mixed the glazing medium with a light gold pearl mica. All the collage is clearly visible but it has a lovely light gold sheen over it

Bottom Right:  For this section I simply layered different coloured glazes over the top of each other to create layers of colour

Please view the larger version of the image by clicking on it and you can hopefully see the details better. I did notice that some of my collage papers absorbed the glaze while with others the glaze just sat on top. This creates different finishes – where the glaze is absorbed the finish is more matte rather than shiny…

I quite enjoyed glazing this week. My glazed collage will go into my dedicated STW Sketchbook. Next week back to some basics again with embedding…..

Art · Surface Treatment Workshop

Surface Treatment Workshop – Weeks 18 & 19

Well I’ve managed to get myself a bit behind with the Surface Treatment Workshop,  so I’m posting 2 weeks together today and still hope to get this weeks workshop done to post later in the week!

Week 18 was about using ventilation tape. Basically it’s a thick self adhesive tin foil and it has a backing you peel off. This is probably something I would never have thought of using for art work…..

Week 18 - Ventilation Tape 3 - NB

This is ventilation tape just screwed up and the backing peeled off and stuck down. I then applied several washes of thinned acrylic paint. The paint sits very nicely in the grooves.

Week 18 - Ventilation Tape 2 - NB

Week 18 - Ventilation Tape 1 - NB

For the above I made marks in the ventilation tape, then peeled the backing off and stuck them down. I made more marks and then applied acrylic paint over the top.

Week 19 of the Surface Treatment Workshop is about embossing. I’ve used molding paste for embossing before and it worked really well, so this time I decided to try something different. I decided to use acrylic Matte Gel Medium and also Fiber Paste.

Week 19 - Embossing 1 - NB

For the above sample I started with a painted background and then applied a thin layer of Matte Gel over the top. I left it to start to dry for about an hour or so. Then I pressed a piece of patterned vintage fabric into it. I carefully peeled it off and left it to dry. The Matte Gel dried transparent so I applied some thin washes of pearl mica over the top to make the pattern stand out more.

Next is the Fiber paste sample…

Week 19 - Embossing 2 - NB

Again I started with a painted background and then applied a layer of Golden Fiber Paste. I left it to start to dry, about an hour or so. Then I pressed a piece of wallpaper onto the left side of the sample, it had a lined pattern on it. It didn’t work quite a well as I hoped but did create some extra texture. On the right hand side I pressed some rubber grip (the stuff you place under mats to stop them slipping) into the Fiber Paste, used some paper to press it into the paste and then peeled it off. This worked  a bit better, you can see the square patterns. I finished with washes of pearl mica to add some extra colour.

So it was an interesting couple of weeks in the workshop, trying different things and covering new ground (well, new ground for me!). The next surface Treatment Workshop is about using glazing mediums – looking forward to this….

 

Art · Surface Treatment Workshop

Surface Treatment Workshop – Week 17

Welcome to week 17 of the Surface Treatment Workshop. This weeks workshop was focusing on using sponges and art foam. I used just sponges. They were just ordinary flat square washing up sponges you buy from the supermarket. I cut them into wavy shapes and stamped them onto painted backgrounds…

Week 17 - Sponges & Art Foam - 1 - NB

Week 17 - Sponges & Art Foam - 2 - NB

Week 17 - Sponges & Art Foam - 3 - NB

Week 17 - Sponges & Art Foam - 4 - NB

I created several layers of colour with my sponge shapes. It’s a very basic technique but it can create some lovely textures and patterns….

Art · Surface Treatment Workshop

Surface Treatment Workshop – Week 16

This week’s Surface Treatment Workshop is about pulled papers. For pulled papers you apply some gel medium (or PVA glue) to a painted surface and then apply some paper with text or an image (text side down!). You leave it on for about a minute or so and then pull the paper off and you get the text left on the surface with minimal paper.

Week 16 - Pulled Paper 1 - NB

In the above sample I’ve probably slightly overdone the pulled papers a bit but it does give you a fairly good idea of how it works. Notice a lot of the text is backwards… ! The background was an old gelli print I had left over.

You can click on the images (twice) to view them larger…

Week 16 - Pulled Paper 2 - NB

The window image in the above sample was from a non glossy gardening magazine that came through the post! Some papers work better than others for this technique – vintage book papers worked very well. Thicker papers like scapbooking papers didn’t work. Carolyn assures me that glossy magazine images don’t work either…!

I like this technique very much – I like how you can add random text and images to art work. But…  (you knew there was a but coming didn’t you!) it is a slightly tricky technique to get right. Let me explain – how much gel or PVA you apply depends on the thickness of the paper, how long you leave the paper before pulling it off depends on the thickness of the gel… so it’s not an exact science. If you leave the paper on too long you cant get it off and if you don’t leave it on long enough you don’t get any text or image on your artwork!

There is a definite knack to this technique and it’s one I’ve not quite mastered yet. I guess I would get better with practice – so that is what I will do. With a bit of experience it would be easier to estimate how much gel to use and how long to leave the paper for before pulling it…

All things considered then, I like this technique and I would use it in future art works. In the meantime I will practice it to hopefully get a higher success rate with it…

Art · Surface Treatment Workshop

Surface Treatment Workshop – Week 14

Welcome to this weeks Surface Treatment Workshop. This week Carolyn and I are experimenting with skins. What are skins? Very simply, skins are created by putting a layer of acrylic medium on to a hard surface (eg. a plastic chopping board, plate etc.), letting it dry and then carefully peeling it off. For this to work the acrylic medium must be one that becomes rubbery and flexible when dry. I used Gloss Gel, Fiber Paste, acrylic paint and masking fluid.

Here are my samples:

Week 14 - Skins - 1 - NB

For the above sample I used Gloss Gel and simply embedded some small pieces of my own art work into it. I left all my skins for about 48 hours to make sure they were properly dry and set. I then glued them to a surface of vintage papers and collage…

Week 14 - Skins - 2 - NB

For this sample I used some watercolour masking fluid as it dries to a rubbery consistency. And notice the lovely yellowy brown colour of it – it adds an extra vintage touch…

Week 14 - Skins - 3 - NB

This skin was made from Golden Fiber Paste. I mixed some Prussian Blue acrylic paint into it before leaving it to dry. Fiber Paste is very flexible when dry and is therefore good for making skins. After glueing it to a collaged background I stuck two small pieces of my own art on top of it.

Week 14 - Skins - 4 - NB

The skin above is made of acrylic paint. I used a vintage pale blue (my own mix), Buff Titanium and white. I did reasonably thick swirls of the different colours and left them to dry. Acrylic paint has a lovely rubbery texture to it when dry…

Week 14 - Skins - 5 - NB

For this skin sample above I used Gloss Gel. I tinted it with some turquoise pearl mica and embedded a dried blue hydrangea flower into the gel….

Week 14 - Skins - 6 - NB

The above skin samples were done by putting a layer of Gloss Gel over a rusty piece of metal. The gel was slightly tricky to peel off – I had to very carefully loosen all the edges with my fingernails and pull it very slowly. I also added a touch of turquoise pearl mica to the gel for a little contrasting colour…

Week 14 - Skins - 7 - NB

Two more rusty skins…

Week 14 - Skins - 8 - NB

For my next skins I used more Fiber Paste:

Week 14 - Skins - 9 - NB

I smoothed a layer of Fiber Paste onto a plastic chopping board, which had a very fine texture to it, and left it to dry. When dry I cut two heart shapes out of the Fiber paste and painted them. When the paint had dried I glued them to vintage papers…

Week 14 - Skins - 10 - NB

So that is all my skin samples for this weeks Surface Treatment Workshop!

In conclusion I have to say that I quite like creating and using skins. They are a good way of adding a little bit of extra interest to a piece of mixed media art. You can create skins in advance and store them ready for future use. It’s also fun to experiment with embedding different things and tinting with with different mediums.

Next weeks Surface Treatment Workshop is about Pulled Papers. It’s a great technique and I’m looking forward to it…

Art · Surface Treatment Workshop

Surface Treatment Workshop – Week 13

Today sees a return to the Surface Treatment Workshop after a few weeks break for my holiday and time for me to recover from a rather unpleasant injury. Week 13 is about using pastes. I used Galeria Modelling Paste.  Here’s what I did with it…

Week 13 - Pastes - Collage 1 - NB

Pastes are very good for embedding objects into your art work. Above, after applying my paste (not too thinly) I pressed some papers, cardboard and some rusty washers into the paste. The washers were quite chunky and heavy but the paste did a great job of sticking them down. I then simply applied a thin wash of pale blue acrylic paint over the paste.

Week 13 - Pastes - Collage 2 - NB

In the above sample, after applying the paste I embedded some papers and then I used a number of different things to make marks in the paste around the paper. I used a round cardboard tube and some bubble wrap. When the paste was dry I painted over the paste with pale blue and turquoise paint and highlighted some of the marks in the paste with gel pens.

Week 13 - Pastes - Emboss 1 - NB

Pastes are very good for embossing patterns into. Above I applied my paste to some thick paper and then pressed some swirly shapes into the paste. When it had dried I painted the shapes with blue, gold and turquoise acrylic paint.

Below is another similar sample:

Week 13 - Pastes - Emboss 2 - NB

I simply applied a pale turquoise acrylic paint to this one. These shapes turned out quite well.

So then to sum up my findings for this weeks workshop I would say pastes are a very useful commodity to have among my art supplies. I don’t think I will be using huge amounts of it but it will come in handy on occasions and it is very easy to use – does what it says on the tin… ! As always, these samples will be stuck into my dedicated STW sketchbook!

Next weeks Surface Treatment Workshop is about skins – this could turn out quite interesting. Looking forward to it…

Art · Surface Treatment Workshop

Surface Treatment Workshop – Week 12

Week 12 of the Surface Treatment Workshop is all about Metal Leaf. This weeks’s major discovery for me is that I DON’T LIKE metal leaf… !! I’ve never used metal leaf before and probably never will again but it’s part of the workshop so I’ve done it and given it my best shot….

You can click the images to view them in more detail…

Week 12 - Metal Leaf - Gold Lace - NB
Gold Lace

Above is my first sample – metal leaf over some lace. This actually worked quite well. I stuck my lace to some thick paper with PVA glue, then applied more glue over the lace and applied my metal leaf over the lace. I carefully pushed the metal leaf into the lace thoroughly to make sure the pattern showed through.

For my next sample I applied glue through a home made stencil and then applied the metal leaf over the stenciled glue:

Week 12 - Metal Leaf - River of Gold - NB
Rivers of Gold

It kind of worked OK, you could see the pattern but the edges weren’t crisp – probably something to with my technique…. ! So I then collaged around the metal leaf with some of my left over art work from previous projects and blended in some oil pastels.

How both samples look in my sketchbook:

Week 11 Sketchbook - NB

Now, why didn’t I like metal leaf?? I’ll tell you:

Firstly, I discovered I had the same issues with metal leaf as I did with the aluminium foil (Week 3) – it’s difficult to apply colour to the shiny surface. Secondly it’s incredibly flimsy, delicate stuff to handle and use – it tears very easily. Thirdly,  it’s very “fly away” – when you rub your excess metal leaf off just breathing too closely makes the stuff fly every where. I’m going to be picking up metal leaf bits for weeks….

In conclusion then my final question is: why should I faff around with gold metal leaf when I can use gold acrylic paint instead? Gold acrylic paint is quicker, easier, and cheaper to use and the end result is the same….. ! Of course, this is just my personal observation and experience of metal leaf. It will not be featuring in my future art works…

Art · Surface Treatment Workshop

Surface Treatment Workshop – Week 11

This weeks Surface Treatment Workshop is about using drawing grounds – ie. clear gesso, absorbent ground or pastel ground. Out of these three I only had clear gesso so that’s what I used. Drawing grounds are used to add tooth to an uneven surface like a collage that’s made up from glossy items and matte items, it kind of “evens” out the surface.

So I started this weeks workshop by collaging two thick pieces of paper. I then covered them with my drawing ground  – the clear gesso. I did actually mix my clear gesso with just a tiny bit of white gesso, just to very slightly tone down my collage a bit. I left it to dry. Then comes the interesting bit – what to put on top. The book gave only three prompts for this – add thin washes of colour, drawing on the surface or a combination of both. I did a combination of both…

Week 11 - Drawing Grounds - Fish - NB
Fish drawn & painted over clear gesso

On my first collage I decided I wanted to draw a fish. I don’t know why, I just did! So I did practice a couple of times on a separate piece of paper first and then drew my very simple fish above. I painted it over with watercolour paint but it looked a bit dull – I think that has to do with the clear gesso. It needed a bit of bling… so out came the pearl mica! I overlaid the watercolour with thin washes of complementary shades of pearl mica. You can click the images to view them larger…

Week 11 - Fish Macro - NB

Above is a macro view of the fish. You can see the shimmer of the pearl mica and also the texture of the clear gesso over my collage. I photographed this image using a 60mm macro lens at f/2.8 and made sure there was backlighting to get that lovely bokeh (the sparkly out of focus bit top and bottom)!

My second collage ended up like this:

Week 11 - Drawing Grounds - Portals - NB
Portals Into Another World

I didn’t have any clear idea of what I wanted to draw on this one but I like circles, so I started by drawing some circles. Then came some lines and then I filled in with some colour, which I overlaid with some washes of pearl mica. It ended up looking a little “other worldly” so I called it Portals Into Another World…

Here’s a couple of macro views:

Week 11 - Portals Macro - NB
“Portals”, a macro view

Above you can see the shimmer of the pearl mica and texture of the clear gesso.  Below is a fun macro shot just because I love bokeh and blur…

Week 11 - Portals Macro 2 - NB
“Portals”, a macro view

Both of my samples for this week measure 13 cm x 10 cm and I have stuck them into my dedicated STW sketchbook. As is often the case, both these samples look better in reality than they do photographed! My sister Carolyn should be posting her samples from last week and this week soon,  so please do pop over and have a look… ! In next week’s workshop we are using Metal Leaf – I’ve never used this before so I’ve no idea what I’m going to do with it but I’m up for the challenge…

Art · Surface Treatment Workshop

Surface Treatment Workshop – Week 9

Welcome to week 9 of the Surface Treatment Workshop. This week my sister Carolyn and I are experimenting with Fiber Paste. We used Golden Fiber Paste – I couldn’t find any alternatives that claimed to have the same properties. I read through the prompts in the book decided I was going to begin with printing on fiber paste.

I used a cheap sheet of A5 copy paper and skimmed a very thin layer of fiber paste over it with a wet palette knife. I let it dry for a couple of hours and prepared 2 photos in Photoshop ready to print onto the fiber paste. Now, my printer has been a bit temperamental of late so I wasn’t too sure how it was going to react to having Fiber Paste put through it – I was fully prepared for a paper jam, print errors and that nasty little flashing red light on the front of the printer. But to my surprise fiber paste went through the printer fairly easily…

Week 9 - Fiber Paste - Mussels - NB
Mussels Print on Fiber Paste

Fiber paste has the feel and texture of hand made paper when it’s dry – it’s lovely! The prints printed out slightly softer and lighter in colour than they would had they been printed on photo paper. If you click the images to view them larger you can see the texture of the fiber paste through the prints.

Week 9 - Fiber Paste - Barnacles - NB
Barnacles Print on Fiber Paste

The fiber paste ended up making the cheap copy paper very strong and flexible once the paste had dried. It is a lovely surface to paint on, draw on or stitch into. I LOVE fiber paste and I’m very pleased with how my fiber paste prints turned out! This is how they appear in my STW Sketchbook:

Week 9 - Fiber Paste - Sketchbook 1 - NB
Fiber Paste Prints in Sketchbook

 Next I simply painted a watercolour wash over some fiber paste:

Week 9 - Fiber Paste - Watercolour 1 - NB

The watercolour paint has highlighted the texture of the fiber paste quite well but here’s a macro view for more detail:

Week 9 - Fiber Paste - Watercolour Macro - NB

You can really see the texture of the fiber paste in this image! Next I did another watercolour wash over fiber paste but this time I overlaid it with some pearl mica once the watercolour had dried:

Week 9 - Fiber Paste - Watercolour 2 - NB

And I also did a macro view too so you can really see the texture of the fiber paste in detail:

Week 9 - Fiber Paste - Watercolour Macro 2 - NB

In conclusion the end result of this weeks Surface Treatment Workshop is that I LOVE Golden Fiber Paste! I especially like printing on fiber paste. Once you’ve printed on fiber paste you can easily incorporate the fiber paste print into mixed media art, paint on it, draw on it, stitch into it – anything really!  I will be doing more fiber paste prints…

Carolyn should be posting all her workshop samples this week so please do pop over and have a look! Next weeks workshop is focusing on drawing grounds, so I need to get my drawing head on….

Art · Macro Magic · Photography · Surface Treatment Workshop

Macro Magic

When I photographed my samples for this weeks Surface Treatment Workshop I also did a few macro shots too which I decided to share…

Indigo & Turquoise Bokeh - NB

the peppercorns and sand…

Indigo Bokeh - NB

Sea Shell Bokeh 1 - NB

the crushed seashells and vegetable netting…

Art Bokeh - NB

I love macro photography ! All of these were taken with a Canon 60 mm macro lens at f/2.8 to achieve the maximum creative blur and bokeh…