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 22

Welcome to week 22 of the Surface Treatment Workshop. This week in  the workshop we were using pours. Pours are created by mixing acrylic paint with different mediums to create a pouring mixture which you then pour onto your art and let it run. Here’s my sample:

Week 22 - Pours - NB

To create pours you can mix the paint with an assortment of different acrylic mediums. I used just a little gloss gel and water with my acrylic paint. The colours I used were: Paynes Grey, Burnt Sienna, Yellow Ochre, Cerulean Blue and White. I started with a collage base and then let my diluted paint run over it. I like how the colours have run and mingled together. I particularly like how they’ve run over the textured paper in the top left corner. Here’s a closer view:

Week 22 - Pours - Macro 1 - NB

I enjoyed using pours this week and this is something I will do again in the future. Next week in the workshop we’re using shaving foam – it’s going to get messy! But I’m still looking forward to it….

By The Sea · Photography · Surface Texture

Mousehole Colours & Textures

Mousehole Colours & Textures - NB

Inspirational colours and textures in Mousehole, Cornwall, UK. Soft blues, greens and greys…

Blue Boat Texture - NB

Weathered blues, soft greens, flaky peeling paint and rust….

Harbour Blues & Rust - NB

These colours inspire me….. they make me want to get mixing watercolours in my paint palette and splash colour on paper….

Art · Surface Treatment Workshop

Surface Treatment Workshop – Week 20

Week 20 of the Surface Treatment Workshop is all about using glazes. I’ve tried to be a little bit inventive with my glazes. I used Windsor & Newton’s Artists’ Acrylic Glazing Medium. Rather than producing lots of separate pieces I decided to do just one and divide it up into sections….

Week 20 - Collage Base - NB

As you can see above I started with a simple collage base, about 6″ x 6″, and you can see that I divided it into 6 roughly equal sections lightly with pencil. My idea then was to try a different glazing technique in each section…..

Week 20 - Glazes - NB

This is what I ended up with! Now let me explain a little about each section…..

Top left: very simple, I just mixed the glaze medium with a tiny amount of sepia acrylic paint to create a vintage looking effect

Top Middle:  I mixed the glazing medium with dried paint scraping from off one of my paint pallets. It created some lovely coloured texture

Top Right:  I created a “dirty” glaze by mixing the glazing medium with rust particles scraped off some of my rust collection. Also on this section I went over the right half with a second coat of glazing medium mixed with a tiny amount of light gold pearl mica. It’s created some lovely grunge/bling texture…

Bottom Left:  I mixed the glazing medium with PVA and heated it with a heat gun to create some texture. I then went over it again with more glazing medium mixed with tiny amounts of acrylic paint

Bottom Middle:  It’s not so easy to see in the photo but for this section I simply mixed the glazing medium with a light gold pearl mica. All the collage is clearly visible but it has a lovely light gold sheen over it

Bottom Right:  For this section I simply layered different coloured glazes over the top of each other to create layers of colour

Please view the larger version of the image by clicking on it and you can hopefully see the details better. I did notice that some of my collage papers absorbed the glaze while with others the glaze just sat on top. This creates different finishes – where the glaze is absorbed the finish is more matte rather than shiny…

I quite enjoyed glazing this week. My glazed collage will go into my dedicated STW Sketchbook. Next week back to some basics again with embedding…..

Art · Surface Treatment Workshop

Surface Treatment Workshop – Week 17

Welcome to week 17 of the Surface Treatment Workshop. This weeks workshop was focusing on using sponges and art foam. I used just sponges. They were just ordinary flat square washing up sponges you buy from the supermarket. I cut them into wavy shapes and stamped them onto painted backgrounds…

Week 17 - Sponges & Art Foam - 1 - NB

Week 17 - Sponges & Art Foam - 2 - NB

Week 17 - Sponges & Art Foam - 3 - NB

Week 17 - Sponges & Art Foam - 4 - NB

I created several layers of colour with my sponge shapes. It’s a very basic technique but it can create some lovely textures and patterns….

Photography · Still Life · Textured

Paynes Grey Brushes

I made time for a little creative photography today….

Paynes Grey Brushes
Paynes Grey Brushes

I photographed some of my paint brushes on my desk in my little studio.

I used my 18 – 55 mm kit lens with my Canon EOS 7D. I processed the image in Photoshop. Very simply explained, I desaturated the image so that it was almost black and white but not quite. Then I added two layers of one of my own textures. Finally I sharpened the image and saved it. Done.

I love how the texture layers have given the brush handles a lovely marbled look….

Art · Surface Treatment Workshop

Surface Treatment Workshop – Week 13

Today sees a return to the Surface Treatment Workshop after a few weeks break for my holiday and time for me to recover from a rather unpleasant injury. Week 13 is about using pastes. I used Galeria Modelling Paste.  Here’s what I did with it…

Week 13 - Pastes - Collage 1 - NB

Pastes are very good for embedding objects into your art work. Above, after applying my paste (not too thinly) I pressed some papers, cardboard and some rusty washers into the paste. The washers were quite chunky and heavy but the paste did a great job of sticking them down. I then simply applied a thin wash of pale blue acrylic paint over the paste.

Week 13 - Pastes - Collage 2 - NB

In the above sample, after applying the paste I embedded some papers and then I used a number of different things to make marks in the paste around the paper. I used a round cardboard tube and some bubble wrap. When the paste was dry I painted over the paste with pale blue and turquoise paint and highlighted some of the marks in the paste with gel pens.

Week 13 - Pastes - Emboss 1 - NB

Pastes are very good for embossing patterns into. Above I applied my paste to some thick paper and then pressed some swirly shapes into the paste. When it had dried I painted the shapes with blue, gold and turquoise acrylic paint.

Below is another similar sample:

Week 13 - Pastes - Emboss 2 - NB

I simply applied a pale turquoise acrylic paint to this one. These shapes turned out quite well.

So then to sum up my findings for this weeks workshop I would say pastes are a very useful commodity to have among my art supplies. I don’t think I will be using huge amounts of it but it will come in handy on occasions and it is very easy to use – does what it says on the tin… ! As always, these samples will be stuck into my dedicated STW sketchbook!

Next weeks Surface Treatment Workshop is about skins – this could turn out quite interesting. Looking forward to it…

Art · Surface Treatment Workshop

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:

Week 12 - Metal Leaf - River of Gold - NB
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…