Wednesday 29 April 2020

Revisiting old techniques - Distress layers with stamping

Here's another of my techniques and layer combinations using acrylic paints. I like to turn to these when needing some inspiration and I have been documenting them on media boards as a resource.
You will find them added to my Tutorials and step x steps page found on my sidebar.

This one - distress layers with stamping- I demoed at Stitches in January 2019.

Process Steps

1. Seal substrate with tinting base 
2. Dip, dab and dry each layer.  Layer 1 watery raw umber.. Layer 2 Add cobalt blue to mix. 
Layer 3 Mix cobalt blue and titan buff. 4 Add titanium white to the mix. 

3. Text stamp randomly over the background using hydrangea archival ink.

 4. Blend titanium white through a stencil. 

5.  Add next layer – mix wash of  paynes grey and titanium white – 
paint over and dab off with kitchen towel) 

6. Stamp bold figure with watering can and black archival ink - I used a stamp platform to get a good image.

7. Stamp text/numbers with white paint.

8. Sand and paint/spritz the edges using paynes grey mixed with raw umber.

That's another board in the resource box.


Saturday 25 April 2020

Revisiting old techniques - Distressed Gesso Layer

I've devised a number of techniques and layer combinations using acrylic paints over the years and I am returning to them for inspiration and to document them on media boards as a resource.
You will find them added to my Tutorials and step x steps page found on my sidebar.

This one - Distressed Gesso Layer - I taught at Ministry of Mixology in April 2019.

Process steps
1. Paint the substrate with any colour acrylic or chalk paint and before it is totally dry rub over it with a dry kitchen towel, this dries it quickly so you don't need a heat gun. I used Andy's Grey Haze
2. Take some gesso and a palette knife. Hold the palette knife horizontally flat over the substrate and gently drag the gesso over the surface. Don’t push down too hard. 
3. Repeat several times turning the substrate round in different directions to get an even random coverage and dry. Once dry you could add another layer of on top if you wanted more texture. 

4. Stamp some text over the top using archival ink and make sure it is dry before repeating step 2 again. but only using a very little gesso. This distresses and cuts up the text and pushes it into the background.

5. Dabble some watery prussian blue over the surface spritz with more water to move it about and hold up the substrate to let it drip then lay down again and just give it a little time for the watery colour to settle in the channels and dips before heat drying it,
6. Repeat with a little more watery wash but adding more blue to make it a deeper colour.
7. Finish by adding some splatters using the last of that deeper watery wash.

You can leave the 'clean' look or 'frame' the edges like I have on the Scraped Gesso Layer 
(see tutorials list on sidebar).

I also splattered some silver over the background and onto some grey haze painted stars to finish the board. 

Tuesday 21 April 2020

Rust Technique - Andy Skinner paints

Been playing with just a few of Andy's paint range to create this rust effect.

1. With a palette knife drag some thin areas of white gesso still leaving some of the greyboard exposed.
2. Stencil using Andy's structure paste. Dry.
3. Rub over grey using dry kitchen roll. Dry.
4. Dabble and spritz with rust, let wash move around on the board. Dry.
5. Repeat #4 with mustard seed and also splatter a little. Dry.
6. Repeat #5 with grey.
7. Paint over a layer of quin gold. Dry
8. Repeat #4 with quin gold and rust mixed.
9. Repeat #4 with rust.
10. Repeat #4 with magenta and mustard seed mixed.
11. Repeat #7.


Andy Skinner products
Artist Pigment Paints - Grey, Rust, Quinacridone Gold, Primary Magenta
Matt Chalk Paint - Mustard Seed
Structure Paste

Friday 17 April 2020

Out of limitations comes creativity - Skype session

Last Friday I had another fabulous skype crafty session with lovely friends Nikki Acton and Alison Bomber.  We have these sessions every now and again where we capitalise on having a longish space of time to work cooperatively together. Our previous encounters have seen us choose the 'next steps' in turn but Nikki pushed us to do something completely different this time. We agreed to work on tags and to collect our materials together first and then allow ourselves the freedom to just create with the limited supplies.

Each of us could pick two things to work with. It went like this - Nikki - 4 colours of paint,  Alison - a stamp set  Brenda - a stencil, Nikki - any item purchased/acquired recently, Alison - 4 colours of ink,  Brenda - your choice of die-cuts/punches. 
We gathered our choices together and showed each other what we had chosen and also agreed we could have a wild card to choose one other thing along the way and each of us could you each others' choices as well as our own. These ended up with Nikki choosing a white posca pen,  Alison chose Words  and I chose rub-ons.

Here were my choices -
Andy Skinner stamps and paints
Tim Holtz dies/die-cuts

And so off we went creating our own masterpieces, deciding our own steps as we went along and  even though we were in lockdown, we could still enjoy each others' company.

I took a few photos straight from the desk, so not the best!

The tags were sealed with the white paint, blended with  grey haze and brayered with mustard seed.

Next I used a palette knife to scrape on titanium white and then mixed some of that with leftover grey haze and splattered it all over before again using the brayer and white.
I used my stencil and created patterns on each tag using different colours and used the stamps also with paint to add more interest

I brayered a little more white, sanded the edges and blended in burnt umber drawing ink.

I took the die-cut wildflowers and used all the paints to create washes to colour them up and I also brayered white over a few of the blooms.

The borders were give the same treatment as the flowers and I die-cut the wreaths from coredinations papers.

As we were coming towards the finishing stage I used words as chosen by Alison and some rub-ons that I chose as my wild card.

We all agreed we could add some twine in the tag holes and once finished I found there was only one thing I didn't use and that was the bird die.

Thank you to both Alison and Nikki for their time and contributions to the day and making it fun to create with each other on video calling.
If you would like to see both their finished tags you can find them here



 Please pop over and leave some love.


Tuesday 14 April 2020

Observations Gather Moments - Media Tile

Inspired by Sid Dickens

Another media tile.

Process Steps.
1. Seal the board with tinting bse.
2. Use the black side of some blending foam and add some gesso to a texture stamp, press it hard onto the surface of the tile.
3. Paint some washes of paynes grey, medium grey, transparent red iron oxide (TRIO) and white.
4. Brayer a thin coating of raw umber over the surface until happy with it.
5. Brayer raw umber and TRIO, using only the edge of the brayer, around the edges.
6. Sand the edges and dip in watery raw umber before finger rubbing neat quin gold or TRIO and paynes grey around to match the colours on the front.
7. Use paper covered wire (from floristry departments) and finger paint above colours over it.

8. Take metal word band and alter with paynes grey, TRIO and titan buff.
9. Find a metal insect and also alter like the word band.

10 Assemble adding some transfer/rubon words.

11. Frame it.


Supplies from DecoArt
White Tinting Base
Media Fluid Acrylics - Paynes Grey, Medium Grey, Transparent Red Iron oxide, Titanium White, Raw Umber, Titan Buff.

Friday 10 April 2020

Be open to whatever comes next - media tile

Another media tile but sorry no steps as this is going to be part of a workshop once we know we can all get back to normal life again.

No process steps at the moment as they are being used for a workshop but another media tile in a series where the original ones were inspired by Sid Dickens.

Take care in these scary times.


DecoArt Supplies
Media Fluid Acrylics - Dioxazine Purple, Phthalo Turquoise, Medium Grey v6, Titanium White, Metallic Silver
Mediums - Tinting Base, White Modeling Paste, Soft Touch Varnish

Sunday 5 April 2020

Using scraps - Garden Journal

I have boxes of bits; patterned papers, leftover backgrounds, discarded die-cuts, stamped images, snippets - in fact you name it I've probably got it - so whilst we are locked down in this Covid-19 pandemic I am aiming to use up some of those scraps in any of my numerous journals.

Today it's my garden journal with some rusty and shabby bits. Just a simple collage!

A rusty panel, crackled leftover, textured panel and very old leftover rulers with the beautiful TH dragonfly.

The words came from a pouch of collected bits and just fitted into the current climate.

Suddenly it was life changing times, but amongst it all there is hope for a better future.