Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Tuesday Tips and Techniques: Acrylic Glazes

Part One

Using acrylic glazes gives depth to your work.  Each translucent layer of paint shines through the next.  I used acrylic glazes in the bird journal spread that I completed last week.  I began with a glaze of yellow, followed by 2 greens.  I used both darker and lighter green glazes to apply the leaf stencil.  That is how I achieved such depth in the background.

I have been using two different glazing mediums.  I've had both of them for years, so I'm not sure of the availability of either product in today's market.  The first is Windsor & Newton Acrylic Gloss Medium.  I'm relatively sure you can still buy that even though the packaging may have changed.  The second is a product made by Plaid, Neutral Wall Glaze (For Decorative and Faux Finish Effects)  I bought it at Michaels craft store probably ten years ago.  I used  that to transform our white kitchen cabinets to wood grain.  (That's another blog post!)  Once again, this product may still be available, but I can't say for sure.  It has a nice consistency and is a bit more liquid than the gloss medium. With either product, a little goes a long, long way!

Today, I began with a rich yellow artist acrylic and mixed it 50/50 with the wall glaze.  I left some areas of the page white. 

While the yellow was still wet, I mixed a 50/50 solution of the wall glaze with orange artist acrylic.  I applied this glaze in heavy, impasto style with a brush over some of the yellow and some of the white paper.

I took a wad of used, dried paper towel and daubed, sponged and lifted some of the orange glaze.  I took my brush and sprinkled drops of water over the glaze and let water sit for a few minutes.  Then I blotted off the water with the same paper towel.

Using the same 50/50 mix, I made a glaze from Brilliant Red artist acrylic and applied it to the page in the same way as the orange.

Here, you can see the nice effects created by lifting the paint and spraying or dropping water into the glaze.  It makes the background very textural and detailed with barely any effort.

I used a Pilot VBall XFine pen to add a design on the left side of the spread.  I reused my leaf stencil from the bird pages and some of the orange glaze randomly applied leaves across both pages.  Then, I added some curvy lines across both pages and filled them in with orange glaze.

I'm not sure where these pages are headed - I really don't have anything in mind for them.  We'll have to see which of my creative muses takes over and where she heads.  Come back next week for Part 2. Right now, I'm feeling a party!

Try working with some acrylic glazes in your journal.  Your pages will be rich in color and full of depth.  Wherever your muse directs you, remember: "Celebrate, LOVE, and Create!"

Monday, February 21, 2011

A Little Art, A Lot of Play

Hello, dear friends! There was art last week, but there was even more play.  This winter has  been particularly rough as the past few winters have been on the mild side.  The weather finally broke and we were treated to 3 consecutive days of 50 degree plus days and sunshine.  You know I had to make my pilgrimage to the beach!

It felt so good to be out of the house and walking the beach in sand instead of snow.  I even found a few pieces of beach glass!  It was still chilly, but there were no winds and the warmth of the sun was enough to keep me from getting cold.

I mostly worked in my journal at night, and since the lighting in my house is pretty low and I had new pens to play with, I decided to work on a zendoodle hand mandala.  It took me a couple nights to complete.

I didn't make it to the beach on Thursday, but my son and I went on Friday afternoon.  The road I live on runs along the river, and we had quite the surprise on our return trip home.  It got warm enough for the ice to start melting and break apart and begin floating.  It jammed right down the road from where I live so I parked and Mike got some great pics of the jam and resulting flooding.

Photo by Mike Thompson

Photo by Mike Thompson

It was pretty amazing to see so much ice jammed  on the Grand River.  I haven't been back to take a look, but they were supposed to bring one of the ice cutters to the area on Saturday.  It turned bitter cold again yesterday, and we've got a fresh coast of 4 or 5 inches of snow again.  I knew we'd get more, I just wasn't expecting it so soon.

I did find some time to play in my journal on Friday morning before we went to the beach.  I played with acrylic glazes, collage and oil pastels.  It was extremely windy on Friday and our beloved terracotta thermometer was blown off the house and shattered into bits.  Being the type to make lemonade out of lemons, I brought the pieces in and immediately did rubbings of the numbers and floral design.  The numbers you see on the right side are those rubbings.  I've written "We are at the mercy of nature. We are at the mercy of time."

Yesterday, I was in a quiet, reflective mood watching the movie "Dragonfly" with Kevin Costner.  I wrote down all the things I was thinking about and covered the writing with acrylic glazes.  I painted in the flowers and Queen Anne's Lace with artist acrylic.  I drew the dragonflies from magazine print and glued them to the page with a glue stick. 

It's cold and snowy again, but I saw my iris beginning to peek through the ground last week.  I saw glimpses of water on Lake Erie, and I heard the birds singing as they prepare their nests for spring.  I know that soon the snow will be gone for good, but while I wait, I'll remember to "Celebrate, LOVE and Create!"

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Tuesday Tips and Techniques: Rubbings

I was enjoying the great outdoors yesterday morning when I suddenly remembered doing pencil rubbings as a child.  I remembered thinking that it seemed magical at the time.  Do you remember your first rubbing of a penny?  I remember doing it over and over again, each time amazed at the detail I could see.

Thus began the great hunt around my house for things that I thought might make a good rubbing.  I searched through my jewelery drawer and found earrings and a pin.  I found a tin planter in the dining room, and I found medallions on the medicine cabinet and sink in the bathroom.  I gathered a couple African artifacts with interestingly carved designs.

I used copy paper for my rubbings, and I used various colors of Prismacolor colored pencils, holding the pencil sideways.  Using a medium pressure, a rubbed my items in the same direction (mostly) and got some pretty good prints. 

By far, my favorite object to rub  was the tin planter.  The pattern transferred easily using black and sienna colored pencil.

This is a lion medallion on the bathroom sink.  It was a little awkward to get to but I wasn't too concerned about getting minute details.

The partial rubbing on the left was done with a harder pressure than the rubbing on the right.  I used the same colored pencil (black), but you can see the difference in color just by adjusting the pressure.  After I had completed a few sheets, I opened my journal to see where I could use them.

I had been watching a movie (Honeydripper), and one of the characters said, "small minds are never in shortage".  Being fond of quotes, I had to write that down!  Later in the evening, Keith and I watched "Angels and Demons".  I was happy to have my journal open as I was rather bored by the movie.  I began sketching a Rome styled building with the quote, "Let angels guide thee on thy lofty quest."  Is art a lofty quest?  I'm beginning to think so!

The images begged to have some rubbings incorporated into them, so I tore a medallion from one of the tin rubbings, the lion medallion and a Fleur De Lis (from fake stained glass on a door in my living room), and Mod Podged them to the pages.  I applied three glazes to the page: warm yellow, orange, and red.  Then I took a dark umber glaze and applied it over everything, wiping off most of it.  I darkened the edges and splattered some of the same glaze over both pages.

Here's a close-up of the lion medallion on the left side of the spread, and the medallion from the tin rubbing formed the angel's hair.  The Fleur De Lis is almost totally hidden on the right side beneath the angel's hair.

I added detail to the angel's wing and medallion with yellow colored pencil.  I may add more detail to this spread, especially on the left side. 

Moving on, I wanted to use my rubbings in a way that highlighted them, so as I was looking at the rubbings of the tin, I thought they would make a great birdhouse.  I cut one whole tin rubbing and the corner rubbing I had made from the tin.  I cut the medallion out of the center on the whole tin for an opening to my birdhouse.  I had applied a dark glaze (left over from the previous day's journaling) to the bottom of the pages. I made a yellow glaze and applied that to both pages, then I applied 2 different green and 1 blue glaze over that after the yellow glaze had dried.  I dabbed and blended the green and blue glazes so some of the yellow would show through.

I painted in black craft acrylic tree limbs and branches, and I cut a leaf stencil from a heavyweight cardstock advertisement from the mail.  I applied the "birdhouse" with Mod Podge.

I painted in the birds with black craft acrylic and the opening of the birdhouse and little bird also.  I colored details of the birdhouse and birds with colored pencils.  At the bottom of the birdhouse I wrote, "The promise of spring is heard in the songs of birds."

That's your Tuesday Tips and Techniques for today.  I hope you'll go on a search around your house and give rubbings a try.  Whatever your preference for art journaling, remember: "Celebrate, LOVE, and Create!"

Monday, February 14, 2011

Drawing II

So I had my 2nd drawing class last Wednesday, and I have to say it's starting to grow on me.  I decided that I would only work on my drawing in class, but in the meantime, I started playing with a new drawing at home. 

The first week, I applied lemon yellow, peach and blush pink layers (Prismacolors).  This week, I began shading her face with sienna brown.  This is referred to as "mottling" the face.  The next layer of color will be pink.  Then mineral orange, cherry black or black raspberryI also added her 2nd eye.  She's alive! (at least a little bit).

I wanted to apply what I'm learning to another drawing, so I found another picture in my picture file (torn from a magazine).  Her skin is a lot lighter, so there aren't that many layers of color.  I began with yellow and used peach and sienna.  The shadowed area is olive green and indigo blue.  I made the mistake of using black, but the color was "dead".  (I should have known better.) My fax pas was easily corrected with a kneaded eraser. 

It's still very textured, but when I finish applying all of the color there will be a final burnishing layer of what is now a mystery color.
Over the weekend, I watched the movie, "Coco before Chanel".  It's a french, subtitled movie staring Audrey Tautou as Coco that I have on DVR.  The cinematography is beautiful, and I was so inspired by some of the close ups of Audrey's face that I did some charcoal sketches with the help of the "pause" button.

I had applied a glaze of aquamarine blue to my next set of journal pages.  (I always put left over paint in my journal pages.  I really can't stand wasting paint!)  I started sketching some of the stills with charcoal and added a wash of sienna brown when I finished sketching.

I really loved the way the right side of the page turned out.  I added some white artist acrylic to cover some of the blue and added a phrase in French.  Although I don't speak French, it seemed fitting for the page.  Gotta love Google Translator!

I'm enjoying drawing again.  It's been years since I've really drawn anything, and after looking at all of my wild, fauvism styled art, people seemed shocked that I even know how to draw.  That makes me smile in amusement every time.

Whatever your endeavors, remember to explore different creative styles and mediums, and as always, "Celebrate, LOVE, and Create!"

Friday, February 11, 2011

Potato Prints

I've had a lot of fun in my journal this week!  I've done some art exploring via Milliande's Journal January prompts, and art journaling books from my personal library. 

One of Milliande's prompts was to create a journal page using stamps:  hand carved stamps from rubber, linoleum, erasers or potatoes.  I decided to make some stamps using a potato and I had so much fun!  I made three different stamps using one potato and a small paring knife.

I had so much fun with them, that I decorated some copy paper that I had stuck in the back of my journal.  I'll use them as collage items later on in another journal spread.

Here are my finished journal pages.  For the background, I used my zebra inspired stamps to resemble African mud cloth, and I put a border around the page using my triangle stamp.

I applied a light wash of gold craft acrylic to the background, and I blended black and gold craft acrylic to paint in the mask.  The mask still "reads" as black, but by lightening the black with gold, I was able to add black accents to the finished mask.

I added details with red, black, ochre yellow and white Prismacolor colored pencils.  This was a great project to do on a cold, dreary afternoon.  It wouldn't surprise me if you see more potato prints in the future.  The potato was easily carved using a paring knife, but if you have linoleum cutting tools (which I was too lazy to dig out!) or other sculpting tools, those would be helpful too.  Whatever your material of choice, I hope you'll try carving your own stamps.  Remember:  "Celebrate, LOVE, and Create!"

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Thursday's Child: Less Herger

This week's Thursday's Child is

Less Herger
Comfortable Shoes Studio

 I belong to Less's Ning group, Art Journaling, and had the honor of being with her in the 21 Secrets workshop.  She's an awesome art journaler who proclaims, "it's all good!", and I'm sure you'll enjoy her instructional videos and tutorials.

Less completed an awesome interview at Crafty Moria last week, so go check it out!  You'll find more links to Less on the Internet in her interview.  Remember: "Celebrate, LOVE, and Create!"

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Wednesday's Word: Explore!

"Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn't do than by the ones you did do.  So throw off the bowlines.  Sail away from the safe harbor.  Catch the trade winds in your sails.  Explore. Dream. Discover."  ~Mark Twain

Have you lost your sense of adventure?  Have you become complacent in your life never seeking out new things?  Are you creating in the same way, eating the same meals, following the same routine day to day?   Maybe you should reintroduce the word "EXPLORE" into your life!  Now, more than ever, we have the power to explore easily from the comfort of our own home. 

Whether it's people, places or things, the opportunity to explore something new is here on the Internet.  With a simple google search, you can visit any region of the world or find a tutorial on making fried rice, or research where bumblebees go in the winter.  Anything you want to know can be found with a simple search, and lucky for we creative types, that includes all forms of creating great art.

Step outside your comfort and explore all the wonderful possibilities that creativity has to offer.  Take a class, go to the art museum and study the masters, or search YouTube or Google to explore what others are doing.  You owe to yourself to expand your horizons.  You might just discover something exciting and new!  Wherever you decide to explore, remember: "Celebrate, LOVE and Create!"

"After all these years, I am still involved in the process of self-discovery.  It's better to explore life and make mistakes than to play it safe.  Mistakes are part of the dues one pays for a full life."  ~Sophia Loren

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Tuesday Tips and Techniques: Mask It!

Leaving areas of your paper white when applying your background color is as easy as using pieces of torn or cut paper!  I had scraps of white copy paper left over from cutting out my zendoodles, so I decided to tear some of them into random shapes to use as masks before painting my background with water color.

I moved them around on the pages until I had a pleasing arrangement, and I decided to use a wash of watercolor in blues and purple.  I held the torn paper down by using my index finger in the middle of each piece.

Using this method, I found it best to apply the paint from the center of the torn paper to the outside of the pages.  This was to reduce any bleeding of the paint beneath the masks.

I removed the masks and was left with three white images that reminded me of a kneeling figure and two angels.  I let the pages dry and added another wash to blend the stark, white images into the page. 

Then I took a wet brush and lifted the paint to make "wings" on the angels.  I  also added a horizon and tree line.

I continued working on my pages by adding background trees in a medium blue, working darker and darker until I was using black for the foreground trees.  I also added black to the kneeling figure.  I used about a 50/50 solution of artist acrylic and water to highlight the angels making sure that the trees and branches would show through the angels so they would appear to be transparent.

I finished the pages by adding some directional strokes on the angels and wings, highlights on the kneeling figure, and little star shapes and swirls.  I also added some highlights to the tree trunks in the foreground.

Masking with paper is a quick way to give your pages some added dimension.  Try applying paint, then masks, then more paint.  The possibilities are endless!

And don't forget to save those pieces of paper that you've used for masking.  They'll be great collaged as additional texture on those next journal pages.  Whatever you do, remember, "Celebrate, LOVE, and Create!"

Related Posts with Thumbnails