Tag Archives: Art

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…

What Colours?

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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…

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or I could paint the rainbow…

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Intense Blue, Sap Green & Dioxazine Violet

maybe some blues and greens with a hint of mauve

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Intense Blue, Lemon Yellow & Sap Green

or just blue, green and yellow.

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Intense Blue (Phthalo Blue) & Burnt Umber

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

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Intense Blue, Prussian Blue, Indigo & Vandyke Brown
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Intense Blue & Vandyke Brown
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Phthalo Turquoise & Burnt Sienna
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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.

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Intense Blue & Paynes Grey

The blues and greys are looking lovely too….

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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….

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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…

Crackin’ Up – A Work In Progress

We have decided to defer the final results of Week 5 of the Surface Treatment Workshop – (Crackle Paste) till next week due to the pressures of other commitments and the fact that Crackle Paste actually takes a little bit longer to do than most of the other mixed media projects in the workshop. But I thought I would briefly share with you my progress and observations so far…

My very first observation of crackle paste was the smell when I opened the pot – it had quite a pungent smell. I used Golden Crackle Paste.

Crackle Paste 1 - NB

The images above an below are some crackle paste applied to a canvas board. The top image is of the top half of the board and the image below is the bottom of the board. The canvas board measures 8″ x 6″, which is slightly larger than would liked to have used but it was all I had available…

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The cracks developed quite well on the canvas board. It took about 48 hours for the cracks to develop. This is my second key observation about crackle paste – crackle paste takes time to dry out and crack. It’s recommended that you don’t try to hurry the process and allow 2 – 3 days for the cracks to develop.

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The above sample is crackle past on some fairly rigid cardboard. This brings me to my 3rd observation about crackle paste – you do need to apply it to a rigid surface. Flexible surfaces (like paper) can cause the paste to flake off when it dries…

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A thin layer of crackle paste creates finer cracks, whereas a thicker layer like in the above sample creates larger, wider cracks…

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Above is crackle paste applied to some pieces of corrugated cardboard. To generally sum up my first impressions of crackle paste I would say that it a very useful substance to use in your art but it takes time and patience to work. And you do need to follow the instructions on the pot – “when all else fails read the instructions…” those words often ring in my ears when I’m not sure about something….

So in all I have about 6 crackle paste samples to work with. What I need to do now is to get cracking (pun intended!) and get these samples painted… !! I will post the end results next week.

Surface Treatment Workshop – Week 4

Welcome to week 4 of the Surface Treatment Workshop. The focus this week is on using masking tape in mixed media art.

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Amaze

For the above sample I put masking tape over a collage base and then painted over it. When almost dry I carefully pulled the masking tape off exposing collage patterns underneath the paint…

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Squares

This sample was a print left from week 1 that I wasn’t totally happy with so I decided it would be great to use with some masking tape instead! I put squares of masking tape over the painted base and then painted the squares white. When dry I glued small squares of my own art work over the white squares. I finished with a layer of clear acrylic glaze to ensure the squares of masking tape don’t peel off. The gum on the masking tape will degrade over time, so if you intend to leave making tape on some art work then it needs to be properly fixed down with some gel or glaze medium.

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Ocean Mist

For this print I started with a stenciled background and then put masking tape over the top. I then sponged  paint over the tape and then carefully peeled the tape off. I let the paint dry and then repeated this process with different colours.

I’m quite pleased with how this weeks samples turned out. Masking tape is a useful item to keep stashed away with your art supplies, just in case… ! Next week the focus is on using crackle paste. I’m really, really looking forward to this one – as a girl in love with texture this is right up my street!

Surface Treatment Workshop – Week 2

Welcome to Week 2 of the Surface Treatment Workshop. The focus for week 2 is stencils. In preparing my samples for this week I made a discovery… a personal discovery… ! I’ve discovered that I don’t actually like frilly, flowery, fussy, swirly stencil patterns. I can appreciate them in other peoples work, other people can make them look lovely, but I don’t like them in my own work…

Having discovered this I now had to completely rethink what I’m going to produce for this weeks workshop. What I’ve also discovered is that I do like  simple shapes, lines and patterns and that unique, individual home made stencils are the way forward…

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For the above sample I used cut out paper shapes as stencils to create simple lines and squares…

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For this image I used a Large Polka Dot stencil. Here we have several different versions of the same stencil layered over each other. Next, how both these images appear in my sketchbook:

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Next another polka dot design – just simple circles. In the centre is a small photo of a piece of my own art work – it has a circle theme which complemented the polka dots…

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For the next sample I made a homemade paper stencil. I used thick glossy paper, cut my stencil out and used it several times to create the design below. When I finished with the stencil I cut it up and stuck it over my design to add more wavy lines and colour. I finished by outlining some of the pattern with gold acrylic paint. The photograph below doesn’t really do the art work justice, the reality is much better – however, this was one of the best photos I got!

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What I’ve taken away from this exercise is that I’m now determined to be a lot more picky about what commercially available stencils I buy. And I’m going to do a lot more home made stencils. OK, paper stencils are “use once-throw away” stencils but you do get a unique, original design that nobody else in the world has – that’s something that appeals to me. I have already made some home made stencils from acetate sheet – they are reusable and totally original!

For week 3 of the Surface Treatment Workshop the focus is on aluminium foil. I’ve personally never used aluminium foil in art before, so this will be a little voyage of discovery for me… !

Winter Erosion Bundle – Part 3

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Welcome to part 3 of my Winter Erosion Bundle – the final part! Part 3 is very different to Part 1 and Part 2 – is has no rust and no blueberries! I used just dots of watercolour paint and sprinkles of pearl mica.

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These papers were on the very outside of the erosion bundle. The watercolour paint gave the papers beautiful soft pastel tones…

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The pearl mica gave a lovely sheen to the papers that catches the light…

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Above is a close up view of the previous image.

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I used tissue paper, deli paper and notebook paper, all of which absorbed colour very readily…

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The lovely pastel tones blend and compliment each other beautifully…

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Shimmering gold pearl mica with touches of vintage pink…

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Blues, greens and turquoise – lagoon colours…

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All the colours of the rainbow…

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These papers have been carefully stored. I will use them in mixed media art as and when the right project comes along. These erosion bundles take time to produce, so it’s a good idea to build up a good supply of eroded, corroded, vintage papers well in advance!

Larger more detailed versions of these images can be viewed in my ART GALLERY

A spring erosion bundle is in the planning stage…

Sea Shell Sketches

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Seashell sketches ~ drawn with a HB pencil and painted with watercolours. I drew rough pencil outlines and filled in with watercolours.

These are the very first sketches I’ve done since I was in Secondary School, which was the better part of 40 years ago – I’m VERY out of practice! For my first attempts, I’m reasonably pleased with them.

My goal this year is to draw and sketch more and paint them with watercolours. At school I used to be reasonably good at drawing – but sadly the teaching and motivation I got from the art (and needlework) teacher was virtually nonexistent…!

I was inspired to do these by Anna Warren – her sketches in her blog posts Sketching in Tasmania and Freycinet – from the sketchbook are just lovely. Do have a look…

(NB – week 2 of the Surface Treatment Workshop will be next Wednesday instead of today – life got in the way…. as it does… !)

Winter Erosion Bundle – Part 2

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Welcome to part 2 of my winter erosion bundle! You can view Part 1 HERE if you missed it. Above is a piece of scrapbook paper which I scanned and printed out onto some copy paper. Into my erosion bundle it went. Stuck on the paper you can see blueberry remains, the white powdery remains of an effervescent Vitamin c tablet, some raspberry remains and some rust. All of them create wonderful vintage colours and textures. Next, the reverse side of the paper…

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Much more subtle colours and stains on this side…

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Above is some more subtly stained scanned scrapbook paper – the yellow stains are from some turmeric I sprinkled onto the paper. The reverse side looks like this:

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Above a piece of beautifully vintage sheet music, stained with rust and blueberries. It turned out that those blueberries would have a huge impact on this erosion bundle – although I had no idea when I put them in – it was purely experimental…winter-eb-15-nb

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The paper directly above is a piece of paper from an old book, beautifully stained…

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Above is an envelope – I like to use an assortment of paper in my erosion bundles! Again it’s beautifully aged and vintage looking. The reverse side:

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Also into my erosion bundle went some paper doilies:

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The doilies were very fragile when they came out of the bundle, hence why they’ve torn a little. For my final image of this post a picture of my erosion bundle in the garden:

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This my erosion bundle all tied up and hanging on my garden fence! As you can see it’s covered in frost, it was about -5 Celsius  when I photographed this. My bundle measured about 10″ x 8″ and on this morning it was frozen solid – it was like a giant house brick! You can’t miss the brown splodge on the front of it – that is…  erm…. bird pooh! I’m not entirely sure what that bird had been eating, however, when you put an art project out into the garden you have to expect these things… !

These papers will be carefully stored and will get used in my art work, in due course. They are all totally unique and individual and each of them have their own beauty. I love them! This concludes part 2 of my winter erosion bundle, part 3 (the final part) will follow sometime in the not too distant future…

Indigo Circles

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A second selection of stamping samples for week 1 of the Surface Treatment Workshop…

This time I used a stencil as a stamp, which was suggested in the book. I used indigo paint with a touch of white mixed in with it…

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The prints are very simple, but I like the contrast between the indigo paint and the white paper underneath…

How the prints appear in my sketchbook:

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This will be all for week 1 now and for week 2 the focus is on stencils…

Surface Treatment Workshop – Week 1

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This is week 1 of the Surface Treatment Workshop! Week 1 starts off very basically with stamping. For the sample above I covered a 6″ x 6″ piece of paper with collage and then simply stamped circles over the top in different sizes and colours. I rummaged round the house and found lots of things I could use for stamping circles – above I used a cardboard tube, a jam jar, a little bit of bubble wrap and… the best bit… an empty Belgian Bun packet! The larger dark blue circles were from the bottom of a plastic Belgian Bun packet – this has just got to be the best excuse ever for buying Belgian Buns!

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For the above sample I started with a 6″ x 6″ piece of paper and covered it with white gesso. Then I stamped a gold and turquoise pattern on the base of the sample using acrylic paints. To create the square pattern I used some of that rubbery stuff you put under mats and rugs to stop them slipping… ! For the small dark circles I used bubble wrap and then simply stamped the fish on. Very simple!

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Both samples have been stuck into a dedicated 8″ x 8″ sketchbook set aside especially for the project. I’m trying not to be overly fussy or fiddly with the samples for this project, after all, it is meant to be an experimental learning curve. I think I’m reasonably happy with how week 1 has turned out – now looking forward to week 2… !