Sunday 23 February 2020

Andy Skinner workshop ATCs

Yesterday I went to Feltham to attend an Andy Skinner workshop with Nikki (Addicted to Art), Cathryn, Suz (Surrey Crafts), Karen and Fiona (My Artful Muse). It was a fabulous day creating and making an ATC box and five ATCs using lots of fabulous pastes, paints, rice papers and transfers in Andy's inimitable style.

I have blogged the photos of the ATCs and links to the products and YouTube videos over on Andy's blog.

Using Structure Paste and paints.
Using Strata Paste

Using Resist Paste and Rice Papers

Using Lava paste and a palette knife

Using Lava Paste and a brayer


Thursday 13 February 2020

Altered blocks for DecoArt

My DecoArt Media Team project for February is a collection of three altered wooden blocks that I made for display purposes around my home.

If you'd like to catch the creative steps for making these please pop over to the DecoArt Media blog for all the details.


Monday 10 February 2020

Gelli Plate Printing - DecoArt Media Team

In July last year I was over on the DecoArt Media Blog with the process steps and outcomes of  trying out some mixed media style gelli printing. I am not a complete newbie to the gelli plate and have played on numerous occasions to get some background prints to use in my journals - on this occasion I thought about the steps I normally take to create mixed media layers for my art work and how I could use the gelli plate to create the distressed and peeled paint looks I so love.

Gather supplies and choose your paint palette. Gelli Art kindly sponsored the plate and brayer for the DecoArt Media Team members and it was great to experiment for my July project. I chose to use parchment paper to pull my prints from the plates.

Please note in working through my process steps - I made sure each layer was dry before adding the next. I also had a second gelli plate I used as a palette and brayered on all the leftover paints as I used them. I stenciled on this plate as well and left it to dry at the same time. It provided a second lot of prints.

Step 1. Roughly brayer some phthalo blue and titan buff paints over the surface and leave to dry, as it does randomly dab off some of the paint with dry kitchen paper.
Used a harlequin stencil and burnt umber to add a random design.

Step 2. Brayer a thin coat of white over the layers and pull a print. Here you can see the print on the right and what was left on the gelli plate on the left. So far so good.

Step 3. Use another stencil and colour, I sponged on a mix of burnt umber and titan buff.. The plate on the left is the one I'm working on to pull the focused steps prints - the plate on the right is the one I am using to roller off the excess paint between layers and colours. It looked good enough to use as well but I will wait to the end before I pull a print from it.

Step 4. Using some very old 'Reflections' text stamps with black archival ink I did some random stamping.

Step 5. Now to see what happens when I brayer over a thin coat of cream and white paint and pull the prints from both of the plates - oooh will it work? Now it's becoming a bit of a competition to see how they both respond!
Yay I'm really happy with these.

Step 6 - Both plates had painty bits left on them so I repeated the thin layer over with just titan buff and still got two more prints that are serviceable. You can even see an area on the plate 2 print where some paint I had left on from another project came off too.

What did I learn or what would I do differently next time?
In Step 1 when I dabbed off some of the thicker paint layer it would be better to dab more off so there are larger random distressed spaces. This is so that more of the following layers will show though.
In Step 4 the stamping needed to be seen through the gaps, therefore it worked much better on plate 1 than plate 2 where there were no distressed spaces.
The results in Step 5 showed me that by not rubbing off some paint in some of the layers on plate 2 there was much less depth and interest in the prints. This seems to be a key feature of achieving the peeled paint and distressed look.
In Step 6 if I had stamped or maybe used a stencil I would probably have achieved more depth and interest again.
I really love the feel of the prints on the parchment paper and when it came to stamping and cutting images it was a boon for small parts like antennae as it doesn't tear easily.

So I certainly learned a lot and have a much better understanding as to how I could recreate similar prints. My next step is to experiment with drippage and splattering in the layers but for now I can still use them as after techniques to add to some of the lovely prints I achieved.


For the project I chose the print that looked very much like a timeworn shabby wallpaper to me, mounted it onto brown paper and ....

.... then I selected all the elements I thought would build a beautiful shabby vintage design.

I took one of the plainer gelli prints and I stamped the Gypsie Queen moth as the key focal element using the stamping platform and a blend of coffee, watering can and cobalt archival inks. I cut one to use and one that I will keep in my bits box. The words are mine created on the PC and printed out.

I found a stamped clock face to add as well.

The transfers provide great background interest for the fame.

Step 8: For the project I chose the print that looked very much like a timeworn shabby wallpaper to me, mounted it onto brown paper and ....
Photo Step 8

Step 9: .. then I selected all the elements I thought would build a beautiful shabby vintage design.
Photo Step 9

Step 10: I took one of the plainer gelli prints I had pulled and I stamped the Gypsie Queen moth as the key focal element using the stamping platform and a blend of coffee, watering can and cobalt archival inks. I cut one to use and one that I will keep in my bits box.
Photo Step 10

Step 11: I found a stamped clock face to add as well. 
Photo Step 11

Step 12: Some new mixed media transfers from Andy Skinner provide great background interest for the fame.
Photo Step 12

Once compete I added it to a journal.


Gelli Arts 5 x 7 gelli plates and a brayer
DecoArt Premium Acrylic Paints - phthalo turquoise, titan buff, burnt umber, titanium white

Parchment paper
Reverse text stamps (an old set from Tim Holtz called Reflections)
Black archival ink

Embellishments to make up the project -
Andy Skinner Mixed Media Transfers French Fancy, Gypsie Queen stamp, 
Tim Holtz shabby frame, wildflowers stems.
Cheesecloth, stamped clock face, natural foliage, american style seam binding, pin, 

Thursday 6 February 2020

Beauty and Personality journal panel for Andy Skinner

I am sharing this project over on Andy Skinner's blog as his Creative Team sample for February.
It will go into my 'Creative Panels' journal.

Creative steps
Using Andy's chalk paints Ocean Breeze, Mustard Seed and Olive Grove with DecoArt Americana Timeless and Lace chalky finish paint, brayer a random background.

I dipped and dried in white watery gesso and then dipped and dried in Ocean Breeze and Prussian Blue pigment paint.

Next I stamped Distressed Mandala in coffee and cobalt archival ink before scraping some white gesso and left it to dry overnight.

I did a couple of more washes using the ocean breeze mixed with a little prussian blue and the olive grove this brought it all back together again. Roughening the edges and dipping them in watery chestnut frames the panel nicely.

To finish I stamped Andy's new eye stamp with both coffee and black archival inks to give some variation, 

I printed the quote and painted three hearts with chestnut chalk paint, stamped with lace and washed with burnt sienna and titan buff. 

February is the month of love so I hope you find it in abundance.


Monday 3 February 2020

A Misty Morning Notebok - DecoArt Media Team

A Misty Morning Journal/Notebook - mixed media style

This is a project I made for the DecoArt Media blog last autumn.

The process steps of this project were an experiment in creating that overcast look of the early autumnal mornings that have that blurred and more nebulous feel to them. 

1. Cut two pieces of greyboard 11 x 22½  cms and seal with a coat of gesso on both sides.

2. Use a medium size brush and wet the surface all over with water and let it pool in places. With the wet brush pick up a small amount of raw umber and dabble it in a couple of places around the edges. Whilst still wet repeat that step with medium grey, quinacridone gold and titan buff keeping it lighter and more watery in the middle. Dry with a heat gun after each layer. Repeat this a couple of times more to get some nice layering effects of the watery colours. Finish with some light splattering of the same colours used and lightly distress the edges with a sanding block and brown distress ink.

3. Mix some white modeling paste with a little tinting base and apply through a stencil with a palette knife. Leave to dry.

4. Start creating a misty background effect. Spray over and around the stencilled flowers with water and use a paint brush to blend in some medium grey media acrylic paint. Spritz with more water, let it drip and flow around the flowers and dry. Repeat process with another layer of the medium grey mixed with dioxazine purple, a third layer using dark grey and then a fourth using titanium white. Splatter some of the medium and dark grey as a watery wash.

5.  Choose a small, fine paintbrush and using sap green, burnt umber, quinacridone burnt orange and titan buff, mix colours and water to paint in a background colour to the stencilled wildflowers.

6. Add in some of the dioxazine purple and dark grey to add more detail to the flowers and leaves and also some levels of lower background foliage.

7. Having given the flowers some depth we're now going to knock them back a bit by wiping some white antiquing cream down the flowers, drying it with a heat gun and then using the fine brush and clean water to pull back random parts of the flowers as if they are peeking through the mist.

8. Finally I used my stabilo black water pencil to create some dark shadows and more murkiness and also added a little wash of the quinacridone burnt orange to bring back some faint colour. I loved the use of the watercolour pencil so much I added some shiraz red to the flowers too. I hope I've not overdone it!!!

To finish the booklet I re-sanded the edges and inked them and added a computer generated title and ......

.... I made holes to add rings to hold it together and filled it with some papers.


DecoArt Media Fluid Acrylic Paints - raw umber, dark grey value 3, quinacridone gold, titan buff,  medium grey value 6, dioxazine purple, titanium white, sap green, burnt umber, quinacridone burnt orange and titan buff. 
DecoArt Mediums - modeling paste, tinting base,titanium white antiquing cream

Saturday 1 February 2020

Another red photo block

Two photos on this block again, Ken and me on opposite sides.

Process steps
Paint the whole block with desired colour - I mixed pyrrole red with burnt umber.
Mix a new colour and lightly brayer randomly over four squares. I mixed pyrrole red, hansa yellow medium with titan buff and a tiny amount of burnt umber. I left two opposite sides blank to take the photos.
Create another new colour and use a piece of card to dab into the paint and then onto the squares - this creates another random distressed layer. I added some black and white to what was left on my palate.
Randomly stamp some text with a lighter mixed colour - I added more burnt umber and titan buff to what was left on my palette.
Stamp a little texture with black archival.
Dab some neat pyrrole red over very lightly using the piece of card again.
Adhere the photos to the two blank squares and leave them to fully dry.
When dry sand the edges back to the wood, blend brown distress ink over and seal with a coat of soft touch varnish.