Tag Archives: Art

A Rainy Day In Scotland

Rainy Day In Scotland - NB
A RAINY DAY IN SCOTLAND

A wet in wet watercolour sketch on 140 lb hot pressed watercolour paper. The majority of this sketch is done with Paynes Grey, with just very tiny hints of Sepia and Prussian Blue. This took me about 15 minutes.

When it rains in Scotland the mountains very quickly blur into the clouds and mist and they still look beautiful. This sketch, my abstract rendition of rain on the mountains, will be stuck into my watercolour sketchbook…

Scottish Views

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Loch Lomond and Ben Lomond

Above is the very lovely Loch Lomond, Scotland, with the Ben Lomond mountain in the distance

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Vintage post cards of Loch Lomond I found in a nice little shop…

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A simple mountain watercolour sketch…

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I used just 2 colours for my sketch, Paynes Grey and Sepia, and used 140 lb hot pressed watercolour paper. This will go into one of my watercolour sketchbooks…

The Scottish mountain ranges and lochs are stunningly beautiful – I will post more pictures soon…

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:

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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…

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.

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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:

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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….

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…

Paint The Rainbow - NB

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….

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…

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…

Crackle Paste 2 - NB

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.

Crackle Paste 3 - NB

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…

Crackle Paste 4 - NB

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

Crackle Paste 5 - NB

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!

Click on any of the images to view them larger…

A spring erosion bundle is in the planning stage…