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 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… !

Art · Photography · Sketchbooks · Still Life

Decorated Sketchbook

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This sketchbook caught my eye in a shop in town, I couldn’t resist…

It’s beautifully covered with a neutral linen and lots of shiny beads in shades of cream, silver, gold, copper, bronze and amber…

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Sketchbook bokeh…

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The shiny beads catch the light and sparkle…

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I’m looking forward to filling this book with beautiful things…