Tag Archives: texture

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 3

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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!

Home Made Rust

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These four pieces of rusty tin above I rusted myself. These are some of the rusty pieces I put into my Erosion Bundles.

These pieces of tin I cut out from the sides of a corned beef tin. They have flat sides and are easier to cut! As I cut the tin there was need for caution as the cut edges are razor sharp… ! Then I simply got a disposable aluminium foil tray (or an old plastic ice cream tub) and placed in it a solution of vinegar and bleach. The solution is mixed to a ratio of 2 parts bleach to one part vinegar. I needed enough to make sure the pieces of tin (or other items to be rusted) are completely covered. Then I put the pieces on tin into the solution and left them for about 4 -5 hours.

I wore disposable gloves and I put the tray out into the garden (I picked a dry day) as the solution of vinegar and bleach gives off very strong fumes – I really didn’t want it in the house! I have been known to leave these outside all night. If the items haven’t rusted enough when I check them I simply tip the solution away and cover them with a fresh solution and repeat the process.

Some things rust really well (like corned beef tins) others don’t – so it’s about experimenting. I’m really pleased how my rusty bits of tin above turned out and they have become even more rusty after being in my erosion bundles!

Vintage Blue & Rust

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A collection of vintage blue and rusty coloured treasures from around my work room. Vintage dyed fabrics, a piece of dyed string, a vintage blue pressed hydrangea flower, a rusty coloured dried pressed rose, a rusty ring pull from a can – all on a vintage blue textured background. I painted the background paper with acrylic paints.

All these lovely things I collect inspire me and I will eventually use them in art work when the right project comes along. And I will then replace them with other lovely things… !

Winter Erosion Bundle – Part 1

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Soon after finishing my previous Erosion Bundle I started a new one! You can see the results of my previous one here: Art & Beauty In Decay.

An erosion bundle is simply a pile of paper and/or fabric layered up with stuff that will leave stains, marks, colour and texture etc. I use tea bags, coffee, paint, rusty stuff, household chemicals – literally anything that has the vaguest hope of leaving marks, stains, patterns or some colour! I use lots of different paper types and sizes and different fabrics, Sometimes I finish with a fabric wrapping , sometimes I don’t! Then I tie it up with string and out it goes into the garden to be left to the mercy of the elements for a long as I dare! Usually anything from 6 to 12 weeks, to let nature do it’s thing…

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This erosion bundle I left outside for about 8 weeks. I had planned to leave it longer, but due to the sub-zero icy weather alternating with warm rainy weather, the bundle eroded much quicker than I thought it might. The above two pics are both sides of the same piece of paper – just look at that wonderful rusty, crusty stain on the paper…

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I scanned some scrapbook paper and printed it off – into my erosion bundle it went! More lovely rust stains. But do you see that darkish  grey-blue stain in the bottom right corner above? The stain left by a blueberry!! Next is the other side of the paper…

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… delicious colours and textures…

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Scrapbook paper with rust stains, blueberry stains and paint. But look how beautifully aged and crinkled the paper looks – this paper was white copy paper when it started out! Next is a detailed section of the above pic…

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Next the reverse side of the above paper…

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The two dark marks in the above pic on the left are blueberry remains! Here’s a more detailed look…

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Another detailed view of the same piece of paper…

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Beautiful blueberry stains and rust…

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Lovely turquoise paint stains. Do you see the white mark on the right of the above pic? It’s the remains of an effervescent vitamin C tablet! Nothing is sacred when it comes to an erosion bundle… Next is the reverse side of the paper…

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In the top right corner is another one of those tell tale blueberry stains. But do you notice some tiny bits in the rusty stain in the bottom right corner? When I looked at them closely I realized they were raspberry seeds! The raspberries didn’t leave any colour in my erosion bundle but they did leave their seeds behind for some added texture! Next a close up view of the blueberry stain:

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Well, this is going to conclude Part 1 of my Winter Erosion Bundle results. There will be a Part 2 and a Part 3 in due course! This was a very big erosion bundle and the results were very mixed and varied. I will also post larger more detailed pics in my ART GALLERY as soon as I can.

These papers will get stored very carefully till I decide on the right project to use them on. As a girl in love with colour and texture, I find these erosion bundle results very exciting! A blog friend called this “garden art” – I like that! Nature is very good at creating it’s own art!

What I love most of all about these papers and all the other papers from erosion bundles is that they are all totally UNIQUE, ORIGINAL and ONE OF A KIND! There will never be another one exactly the same ever… !

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:

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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…

Colour & Texture Inspiration

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This the detail on a lobster pot at St. Ives harbour, Cornwall (UK). I love these wonderful seaside colours ~ they work so well together

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This is a piece of hand bleached indigo denim with a rusty key I found, again the colours and textures work so well together. They inspire me…

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Back in St. Ives harbour, more lobster pot details. These wonderful colours make me want to get my paints out… I see Cerulean Blue, Emerald, Yellow Ochre, Burnt Sienna and background colours of Paynes Grey and Raw Umber…

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Fishing nets catching the sun in St. Ives harbour. All the above photos were taken  using a Canon 60 mm macro lens.

These photos inspire me to the point where I can feel an art project developing in my mind…