Tag Archives: Surface Treatment Workshop

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…

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.

week-4-masking-tape-amaze-nb
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…

week-4-squares-nb
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.

week-4-ocean-mist-nb
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 3

week-3-aluminium-foil-shapes-nb

The focus on this weeks edition of the Surface Treatment Workshop is Aluminium Foil.

It sounds very simple but in practice I found aluminium foil is not very easy stuff to work with. The good points are that it’s very easy to create texture and patterns with foil but the downside is that it’s not so easy to paint over. The paint doesn’t stick to the foil very well. Using a layer of clear gesso first helped but it still takes several layers of paint to cover the foil and when it dries the paint scratches off very easily. So I’ve got misgivings about it’s archival quality.

I have only one sample for this weeks workshop – pictured above. The foil I used were the foil wrappers from some stock cubes! Four wrappers were needed. And I simply coloured in the existing shapes and patterns in the foil. I used acrylic paint, oil pastels and stuck on some small rusty bits of paper left over from an erosion bundle.

I like my sample above, I like the textures shapes and colours. I’m not quite sure this sample is completely finished yet – I may work into it some more – but I like it so far!

The conclusion of this weeks workshop is that I don’t think I will be using aluminium foil in mixed media art to any great degree but it may possibly have small uses here and there… ! Next week the focus is on Masking Tape – looking forward to this!

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…

week-2-simple-squares-nb

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

week-2-polka-dot-divide-nb

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:

week-2-sketchbook-nb

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…

week-2-decreasing-circles-nb

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!

week-2-stencil-wavy-lines-nb

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… !

Indigo Circles

indigo-circles-nb

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…

light-indigo-circles-nb

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:

indigo-circles-in-sketchbook-nb

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

Surface Treatment Workshop – Week 1

week-1-stamping-circles-nb

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!

week-1-stamping-blue-fish-nb

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!

week-1-sketchbook-nb

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… !

Surface Treatment Workshop

Starting on Wednesday 1st February 2017 I will be starting a new 52 week project with Carolyn Saxby which we’ve decided to call “Surface Treatment Workshop” (STW). We’re going to work our way through this book:

surface-treatment-workshop

This book is full of great imaginative ideas for creating texture and interest on all kinds of surfaces. Some of the techniques are very simple and basic, others are more involved. We’re going to start at the beginning of the book and work our way through each of the 46 techniques in order. And we’re also going to do the inspirational projects at the end, or at least our own personal interpretations of the inspirational projects.

We will post  our results every Wednesday, starting with the 1st of February 2017. I’ll post my results here on my blog and on Flickr. Also I’m going to stick my weekly results into a dedicated sketchbook I have especially reserved for the project.

I’m really looking forward to this – it’s going to be fun… it’s the kind of project where you’re only limited by your imagination…