Surface Treatment Workshop – Week 7 & 10

This week for the Surface Treatment Workshop we are combining week 7 with week 10 as they both focus on gels and speciality gels respectively, variations of the same thing.

Last week I gathered some textured things for making my own speciality gels with. I gathered some black peppercorns and some sharp sand from my garage . This is what I did with them:

Week 7 & 10 - A Distant Shore - NB
A Distant Shore

In the sample above I used the black peppercorns in the top half, the “sea” part of the image and the sharp sand in the “sand” part of the image. I just laid a thickish layer of matt gel onto my surface and tipped the peppercorns and sand onto the gel. Then I just tipped off any excess. I let the gel dry and then coated the top of the textures surface with more matt gel. When the gel had dried I painted the suface – the sea is painted with indigo and touches of turquoise and the sand is painted with yellow ochre. The sand and peppercorns created some lovely surface texture and the matt gel over the top of them made the surface easy to paint.

Next a completely experimental piece! I had this idea in my head, I had no idea how it would turn out – it was either going to be very good or very bad. How did it turn out? Judge for yourself:

Week 7 & 10 - Turbulent Seas - NB
Turbulent Seas

For this sample I used a polythene label off a 4 pint plastic milk bottle. I stuck it to my surface with matt gel in a scrunched kind of way. I let the gel dry a bit first and then I blasted it with a heat gun till the plastic label crinkled and melted. I let it cool down then I coated the top with more matt gel. When that had dried I coated it with 2 coats of white acrylic paint to blot out the remaining writing and colour from the label. The texture created from the melted plastic is awesome. I used loose washes of watercolour paint in shades of Intense Blue and Emerald, when they mixed they created a lovely shade of turquoise. I finished this sample with a coat of gloss gel, which then served to fix the watercolour in place.

Week 7 & 10 - Ocean Wave - NB
Ocean Wave

Something else I gathered last week to use in these samples was some crushed seashells. Again I stuck them to my painted surface with matt gel. To be honest, they looked so lovely I didn’t have the heart to paint over them – I just couldn’t bring myself to do it! So all I did to them was coat them with gloss gel mixed with a little pearl mica (a shade called Diamond Dust) to give a little extra sparkle. You can see it catching the light in the images above and below…

Week 7 & 10 - Seascape - NB
Seascape

In the above sample you will also notice I also used some netting from a bag of veges! I stuck it down with matt gel. The photos above of the crushed seashell samples don’t really do them justice. The reality of them is so much better…

Week 7 & 10 - Pebbles - NB
Pebbles

For the above sample I used some black and some white organza, stuck it down with matt gel and melted it with a heat gun – it crinkled up lovely. I then covered it with more matt gel. When dry I finished with a coat of gloss gel mixed with pearl mica for the colour.

Click on any of the images to view them larger…

I really like using gels, they are so useful for so many things – too many to explore in this post. Gels will have a permanent home in my little work room. Next week the Surface Treatment Workshop focuses on Fiber Paste – it’s going to be interesting… !

Colour Inspiration

Turquoise Boat - NB

These are the colours that are inspiring me today ~ turquoise, aqua, and cyan ~ colours on a sea worn boat in the harbour….

Indigo,Turquoise & Rust - NB

Above we have some bleached dark indigo denim (dark indigo denim doesn’t bleach white, it goes a dark cream colour that you see above) along with some cotton dyed with cerulean blue acrylic paint and some rusty stuff.

They’re colours that complement each other so well. Underneath the image I used Photoshop to “paint” colour samples with colours extracted from the image. In real painting terms the colours I see in the image are Indigo, Cerulean Blue, Buff Titanium and Burnt Sienna ~ a beautiful inspiring combination….

I may have a play with these colours later this evening….

Gathering Texture

I’ve been busy gathering some textured stuff for this weeks Surface Treatment Workshop

Sharp Sand - NB

I had some sharp sand in the garage left over from a garden project. Above is a macro view – just look at all those lovely colours…  how they complement each other so perfectly…. yellows, browns, beige, cream, grey….

Black Peppercorns - NB

Black Peppercorns - Macro - NB

I got some black peppercorns and crushed them in a pestle and mortar – I think they could create some lovely texture…

Crushed Mussel Shells 1 - NB

I also found out some broken mussel shells I’d collected from the beach. Notice those blue and brown colours creeping in…. I love them! They’re seaside colours… !

Crushed Mussel Shells 2 - NB

Macro views of the broken mussel shells – yellow ochre, burnt sienna and indigo blue colours with touches of grey…

Crushed Mussel Shells 3 - NB

These three things (sand, peppercorns and mussel shells) are going to be incorporated into my Surface Treatment Workshop samples for this week. I love macro photography – it gives you a whole new world to explore….

Indigo & Rust

Denim & Rust - NB

At the weekend I decided to have a little play with some light blue denim and some bleach. I just love the wonderful shades of indigo blue that denim comes in – they’re all very different.

Also a new crop of rusty stuff is “developing” in my garden! The piece of rust above is one of four new pieces recently rusted. I also have a lovely collection of washers and nuts happily gaining a nice thick rusty coat in my garden at the moment….

Rusting Washers - NB

They’re not properly “cooked” yet – these washers will be in my garden for at least another week yet. I’m so looking forward to putting some of these into my erosion bundles and other art work when they’re done!

Surface Treatment Workshop – Week 8

Welcome to week 8 of the Surface Treatment Workshop. This week’s focus is on using gesso. Mostly gesso is just used to prime a surface before adding paint or other media but I decided to make more of a feature of it with my samples for this week…B & W Gesso - NB

In the above collage I painted four squares of gesso onto the paper – clockwise: dark grey, black, light grey and white. Then I simply added strips of vintage paper over the joins. I finished by putting four small squares of my own art work in each box. Very simple to do and a very simple design. I really like the neutral colours.

Neutral Striped Gesso - NB

Next I decided to have a play with some tinted gesso. Using one of my larger paint mixing trays I set about mixing white gesso with acrylic paint. I found you only needed very tiny amounts of paint to turn the white gesso into some lovely  pastel colours. In the sample above I used gesso tinted with sepia, indigo and just plain white gesso. Down the left side is a strip of fabric roses which I painted with indigo gesso.

Gesso Sketchbook 1 - NB

How both samples look in my sketchbook.

One of the prompts in the book was to stick objects items onto the surface and gesso over them. I decided to stick some vintage lace to my acrylic paper and gesso over them:

Vintage Lace & Gesso - NB

On the left side the lace is painted with Sepia gesso and the for the blue side I used Prussian Blue gesso overlaid with some white gesso to tone down the blue a little. For the next samples I decided to add some more colours to my paint tray – to the Sepia, Indigo and Prussian Blue I added Paynes Grey, Yellow Ochre and Turquoise….

Tinted Gesso Mosaic - NB

I used a large brush and a palette knife for the above samples. All the colours work really well together and the palette knife helped to create some lovely textures. This is how these samples look in my sketchbook:

Gesso Sketchbook 2 - NB

More tinted gesso samples:

Tinted Gesso 1 - NBTinted Gesso 2 - NB

The samples with stripes on I used some corrugated cardboard to stamp gesso onto my paper – stamping with gesso was one of the prompts in the book we’re working from. I also stuck some of the corrugated card I used into my sketchbook. This is how both these pages look in my sketchbook:

Gesso Sketchbook 3 - NB

I really enjoyed playing with gesso this week. I found my imagination ran overtime – I have so many other ideas for using gesso than what you see here but I just didn’t have time to explore them all this week. So I will have another play with gesso another time.

Just click on any of the images to view them larger…

Next week we are going to do Week 7 (which we missed out) and Week 10 together as they both focus on using acrylic gels – it’s going to be fun !

Seaside Scenes

Dreamy Harbour View - NB

Seaside scenes ~ things you see at the seaside ~ the harbour, fishing boats, a pier, the lighthouse….

Sea

beautiful clear turquoise waters to dip your toes in….

Seaside Textures 3

lots of lovely colours and textures on the boats in the harbour ~ they all inspire creative thoughts…

Seaside Textures

Seaside Textures 2

beautiful shades of blue and rusty browns…

Boat Pile - NB

Harbour SurfaceTexture - RN

I always find lots of creative inspiration at the sea ~ there’s always a never ending supply of lovely textures and colours that blend and complement each other so beautifully…

… the sound of the waves crashing on the shore, the salty sea air, seaweed scents are all so relaxing and peaceful ~ they help creative thoughts come flooding forth…

Surface Treatment Workshop – Week 6

Week 6 of the Surface Treatment Workshop focuses on using a faux encaustic technique using acrylic  gels. Generally the idea is that you mix different acrylic gels mediums with water to thin them just a little and them mix them with wet paint on your art work surface. When it’s dry you do another layer, making sure each layer is different and adds something. Well, that’s the theory anyway!

Week 6 - Faux Encaustic - Seascape - NB

I tried the technique on the above painting, which is acrylic on paper and measures about 6″ x 6″. I followed the instructions to the letter, or so I thought, but it doesn’t really look how I know encaustic art should look. I guess if you look close enough it vaguely resembles encaustic in places. But anyway, encaustic looking or not, I like my little acrylic seascape. The gel medium has helped to create some lovely surface texture with the aid of a palette knife and brush. Well undeterred, I had another go with the faux encaustic stuff…

Week 6 - Faux Encaustic - Vintage Collage - NB

A vintage collage using papers from my erosion bundles. Now this is more encaustic looking than the last piece. I used a lot more gel and less paint, and I built the collage up in layers…

Week 6 - Faux Encaustic - Collage Seascape - NB

This is my final attempt with the faux encaustic mixture – a mixed media collage. Different items of the collage were embedded in different layers. Again, this sample is slightly more encaustic looking.

On the whole, my humble opinion is that if you want an encaustic look to your art then I think it’s best to make the necessary effort and do the real thing! You can create some lovely effects with acrylic gels but they are no subsitute for a genuine encaustic technique.

Next week we are skipping week 7 temporarily and moving straight on to week 8. We will be returning to week 7 at a later date. Week 8 is focusing on using gesso. I’m looking forward to doing creative things with gesso…

Surface Treatment Workshop – Week 5

Well week 5 of the Surface Treatment Workshop has finally arrived! The focus for this week is crackle paste. I used Golden Crackle Paste and I have to say it is brilliant stuff! Using crackle paste is time consuming but worth the effort and a little patience!

Week 5 - Crackle Paste - Blues & Browns - NB

I did decide to go for some blues and brown colours – couldn’t resist! The above sample is on cardboard and will go in my sketchbook. Next are some closer views of the above sample:

Week 5 - Blues & Browns - detail 1 - NB

Week 5 - Blues & Browns - detail 2 - NB

Week 5 - Blues & Browns - detail 3 - NB

The crackle paste has a lovely texture to it as well as the cracking ability. I also opted for some blue and turquoise colours…

Week 5 - Crackle Paste - Blue & Turquoise - NB

… with a touch of ochre – I do love these colours. Next are some close up views:

Week 5 - Crackle Paste - Blue & Turquoise - detail 1 - NB

Week 5 - Crackle Paste - Blue & Turquoise - detail 2 - NB

Not only does it take time for the crackle paste to work, I also found it takes more time than I realized to paint the crackle paste too! You have to build up the colour in layers, lots of diluted washes of colour, letting each layer dry before adding another…

Week 5 - Crackle Paste - Crazy Paving - NBThe above sample I decided to call “Crazy Paving”. It is also on cardboard and will go in my dedicated Surface Treatment Workshop sketchbook.  Next some close up views:

Week 5 - Crackle Paste - Crazy Paving - detail 1 - NB

Week 5 - Crackle Paste - Crazy Paving - detail 2 - NB

Out of all the crackle paste samples I started with three are complete which I have posted here. Two are in progress but I haven’t decided what to do next with them so I’ll leave those for a while. And one other is not painted at all yet – I will finish it and add it to my sketchbook!

My sister Carolyn will be posting her samples for the Surface Treatment Workshop in a few days, please do pop over and have look! Next week the the Surface Treatment Workshop is focusing on a Faux Encaustic technique – this could be very interesting…

What Colours?

Subtle Red & Yellow - NB
Indian Red & Yellow Ochre

This blog post is directly related to my previous post. I need to give some thought as to what colours I’m going to paint my Crackle Paste samples with. I only get one shot at painting these samples – I don’t have time to redo them. They are getting posted this week regardless… ! So the big question is what colours? Yesterday evening, while spending time round at my mum’s, I spent an hour or so doing some watercolour samples to help me make a decision. One possibility is the sample above – some subtle reds and yellows…

Paint The Rainbow - NB

or I could paint the rainbow…

Blues and Greens - NB
Intense Blue, Sap Green & Dioxazine Violet

maybe some blues and greens with a hint of mauve

Blue & Yellow - NB
Intense Blue, Lemon Yellow & Sap Green

or just blue, green and yellow.

Blues and Brown 1 - NB
Intense Blue (Phthalo Blue) & Burnt Umber

I love the blue and brown combinations above and below… !

Blues and Brown 4 - NB
Intense Blue, Prussian Blue, Indigo & Vandyke Brown
Blues and Brown 3 - NB
Intense Blue & Vandyke Brown
Blues and Brown 5 - NB
Phthalo Turquoise & Burnt Sienna
Blues and Brown 2 - NB
Intense Blue & Burnt Sienna

The colour sample above is my favourite – a vintage pale blue on the outside gently tinted with the rusty orange Burnt Sienna and intense blue in the centre for a little extra impact.

Blues & Grey - NB
Intense Blue & Paynes Grey

The blues and greys are looking lovely too….

Indigo & Grey - NB
Indigo & Paynes Grey

Above we have Indigo on the left and Paynes Grey on the right. The difference between them is very subtle. I love Indigo….

Just Blue - NB
Intense Blue & Chinese White

Or maybe just shades of blue…

These watercolour samples have given me some great ideas to help me decide what colours to paint my Crackle Paste samples. They’ve helped me narrow down what I really love and what I’m not so keen on…

Art & creative photography by Evelyn Flint

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