Art · Surface Treatment Workshop · Watercolour

Surface Treatment Workshop – Week 24

Welcome to week 24 of the Surface Treatment Workshop (STW). The workshop this week is about creating textures using rubbing alcohol. This is a really fun thing to do and so easy. All you need to remember is not to have your paint too thick – it needs to be a fairly runny wash – otherwise the alcohol wont break the surface of the paint. Here’s what I created….

Week 24 - Rubbing Alcohol 1 - NB

I used watercolour paints for my samples this week. I started with a wash of a light colour and then went straight over the top with a darker colour. Then while the paint is still wet I dropped in the alcohol. The alcohol breaks the surface of the paint and creates lovely patterns and textures….

Week 24 - Rubbing Alcohol 2 - NB

You can click on the images to view them larger if you wish. I used an assortment of different colours – Lemon Yellow, Yellow Ochre, Prussian Blue, Raw Sienna, Burnt Sienna, Cerulean Blue, Ultramarine Blue, Cadmium Red and Alizarin Crimson….

Week 24 - Rubbing Alcohol 3 - NB

The rubbing alcohol created some lovely textures and patterns in my watercolour paint. This is a great way to add some extra interest to an abstract watercolour painting. In conclusion I think rubbing alcohol is an interesting and useful item to have among my art supplies. It’s not something I would use every day but to occasionally to add some extra drama to some art – it’s great!

Larger images of my work can be viewed in my Art Gallery. The next STW is about using a bleach pen in art work…. fun times ahead!

Art · Surface Treatment Workshop

Surface Treatment Workshop – Week 23

This week’s workshop is all about using shaving foam in mixed media art. This is something I would have never considered using in art before reading the Surface Treatment Workshop book. The basic technique is to apply shaving foam to the back of a disposable plate (or other flat surface), then drop paint into it, swirl it round a bit and then transfer it you your art surface. Here’s my first sample….

Week 23 - Shaving Foam 1 - NB

I applied my shaving foam really thickly to the back of a disposable plate I added yellow ochre, turquoise, indigo and gold acrylic paint, mixed it in the foam a bit and transferred it to my paper. I swirled the foam round the paper with the plate and then lifted it off. At this stage I had a choice – I could either scrape the foam off straight away or leave in on to disintegrate. I decided to leave it on to disintegrate by itself. I left it for 24 hours and returned to find the foam had disappeared leaving some amazing painted textures on my paper.

Now shaving foam is obviously not archival, so to preserve my lovely textured surface I carefully applied a layer of acrylic glazing medium. When dry I applied a second coat of glazing medium mixed with some pearl mica in complementary colours.

While the above shaving foam sample was disintegrating I started some more samples….

Week 23 - Shaving Foam 2 - NB

For the above samples I followed exactly the same process but using slightly different colours – Indigo, Prussian blue, Yellow Ochre and Gold. I left the foam on to disintegrate.

Week 23 - Shaving Foam 3 - NB

For the above I used Indigo, Prussian Blue, Pale Power Blue and Silver. When the foam had disintegrated to virtually nothing I was left with lovely lace kind of pattern. All my samples were finished with acrylic glazing medium to preserve the textures and patterns.

Shaving foam is interesting stuff to use in art but it is MESSY !! If you don’t make a mess applying it, you will make a mess scraping off any unwanted residue! It’s sticky and gets everywhere. I highly recommend giving yourself plenty of space for this technique and move/cover anything you don’t want to get shaving foam on! All that said, I’m quite pleased with how my samples turned out and it was fun to do….

Next week’s workshop is about using Rubbing Alcohol. It’s going to be interesting…

Art · Surface Treatment Workshop

Surface Treatment Workshop – Week 21

Week 21 of the Surface treatment workshop is about embedding items into a work surface. Embedding helps to create interesting textures that seem to be custom made to a piece of art work.

I did just one sample for this week and kept it very simple…,

Week 21 - Embedding - NB

I attached a piece of lace fabric to some sketchbook paper with modelling paste and then blended the edges of the fabric into the surface with a bit more modelling paste. I left it to dry and painted stripes of colour over it. The fabric has blended into the paper quite well. Here’s a closer view…

Week 21 - Embedding - Macro - NB

The edge of the fabric blended quite seamlessly into the work surface….

The touch of sparkle is a touch of pearl mica in a shade called Diamond Dust – it’s one of my favourites….

This sample will be added to my growing pile of samples ready for gluing into my STW Sketchbook…..

 

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 · Erosion Bundles

Spring Erosion Bundle 2017 – Fabrics

Here are the fabric results from my spring erosion bundle. I posted the paper results about 2 weeks ago – you can see them HERE. I’m quite pleased with how the fabrics turned out….

EB Fabric 9 - NB

A piece of lacy fabric has been given a vintage make over in my erosion bundle with the aid of some rusty items and pale blue paint…

EB Fabric 9 - close up - NB

Here’s a slightly closer view of the rusty section, looking beautifully vintage….

EB Fabric 8 - NB

Above is part of an armchair arm cover. I has some lovely rust stains on it, plus paint and paper for added texture. Here’s a closer view…

EB Fabric 8 - close up - NB

You can see the paint and paper stuck to the fabric – they are completely fused together…

EB Fabric 10 - NB

Above we have some more very vintage looking lace pieces, stained by rust and teabags….

EB Fabric 1 - NB

Paint and tea stained cotton….

EB Fabric 2 - NB

Gentle rust and dark blue paint stains on some silk…

EB Fabric 3 - NB

More lovely rust stains from some washers and other items…..

Next we have a series of bleach washed denim. I soaked the denim in bleach, rinsed and dried it prior to putting it into my erosion bundle

EB Fabric 7 - NB

EB Fabric 6 - reverse - NB

EB Fabric 6 - NB

EB Fabric 5 - reverse - NB

EB Fabric 4 - NB

My fabrics will be carefully stored till I am ready to use them in  my art work. In the meantime I’m deciding what to put into my summer erosion bundle. I’m going for a different colour scheme and using other things I’ve never tried before. I’m hoping to get it into the garden before the end of the month….

Art · Watercolour

Creative Seascapes

Today I spent a couple of hours redesigning my blog. I’ve been fiddling with different blog designs on and off for months now but I finally found one I liked. A simple clean light design that I can easily customize if I feel the need for a change. I hope you like the changes here….

Here are four post card size creative seascapes. Just loose washes of watercolour in some bright and some pastel seaside colours and they are best viewed large (click on the images)….

Seascape 4 - NBPhthalo Blue, Emerald, Raw Sienna….Seascape 1 - NBA touch of permanent Rose for a slightly evening, dusk touch…Seascape 3 - NBand a little Prussian Blue ~ one of my favourite blues….Seascape 2 - NBThese will all assume their rightful places in my watercolour sketchbook….

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 · Erosion Bundles

Spring Erosion Bundle 2017 – Papers

Way back in early March I put an erosion bundle into the garden. What is an erosion bundle? Very simply, it’s a pile of papers and fabrics assembled in layers with lots if interesting things in between the layers that will leave marks or stains. You can use natural or man made things to create the stains or marks – the key is to experiment! The bundle is then tied with string and placed outside and left at the mercy of the elements till it’s suitably decayed, about 2 -3 months, but times can vary considerably.

So without any more waffle, here’s my results:

EB Paper 1 - NBEB Paper 2 - NBEB Paper 3 - NB

I worked on a blue and rust theme with this bundle. Sometimes the papers break up when trying to separate them but I keep all the fragments – everything will get used…

EB Paper 5 - NB

EB Paper 4 - NB

Above we have several layers of paper, paint, fabric and foil all completely fused together – there’s no way of separating them! But we have some lovely colours and textures…

EB Paper 6 - NBEB Paper 7 - NBEB Paper 11 - NB

I like putting paper doilies in my bundles but they are very delicate and rarely stay in one piece. On the one above you can see marks left from rusty washers…

EB Paper 8 - NB

Above we have several layers of paper, fabric and paint fused together by the elements. I think there’s a teabag in the layers somewhere – I can feel it but there’s no way of getting it out, it will have to stay there! Notice the lovely pastel colours and gentle rust and tea stains….

EB Paper 9 - NBEB Paper 10 - NB

In the piece above there are rusty washers stuck to the paper – I can’t get them off! The background paper was a piece of “test paper” I used for testing colours on before they go on my art work…

EB Paper 12 - NB

Beautiful shades of blue and hints of rust…

EB Paper 13 - NB

EB Paper 14 - NB

A question I’m frequently asked about my erosion bundles is “what are you going to do with these papers and fabrics?”. The answer: they will get used in mixed media art work and collage. But more specifically, my sister Carolyn and I are going to begin a new art project early next year and my erosion bundle papers and fabrics are going to be enormously useful for that. I will give more information about this new project later in the year – it’s exciting… !

I hope you enjoyed looking at my distressed papers. There will be a second post about my spring erosion bundle which will focus on the fabrics that came out of my spring erosion bundle – they are just lovely and inspiring….

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…

Acrylic Paintings · Art

Ocean Wave

Ocean Wave - NB
OCEAN WAVE ~ mini acrylic on canvas

I have just finished my samples for the Surface Treatment Workshop for this week (which I’m hoping to post tomorrow) and had some acrylic paint left in my palette. So, not wanting to waste the paint, I decided to do a quick mini acrylic seascape on canvas. It’s veering slightly towards the abstract side….

My painting measures 7 cm x 7 cm. So the photo is actually quite a bit bigger than the original painting but that does mean that you can see the detail, especially if you click on the image twice. Acrylic colours used were: Prussian Blue, Indigo, Pale Power Blue, Turquoise, Cerulean Blue, Pale Olive and White. So for a small painting that is actually quite a lot of colours but I do like to do lots of layers of colour with acrylic paints….