Thursday, 29 May 2014

New art journal

I finally decided on a “project” for this year. (about time, right?) This new art journal is going to be a continuation of my Alpha Journal.  When looking up quotes for my alphabet-themed journal, I discovered some “number“ quotes I liked. I first meant to have my alphabet and number pages in one journal but it got too bulky so I decided on a separate journal. This decision was made many months ago, but I guess I just needed some impulse to get going. (and it finally came this week)

This is the first page:

I was inspired by Darcy's journal page in her Journalling Month series over at PaperArtsy blog. She started her page with a collage of various scrap papers that she'd stamped on. I had a pile of experimental gelli plate prints on deli paper and I didn't know what to do with them. 

I also liked Darcy's colour combination. I first applied some Distress Paints in various shades of purple and green.

Then I collaged my scrap pieces.

Finally, I added more paint, a bit of drippage and a quote.

So, this is the title page in my "numbers" art journal. I think I like it. Very much!

Tuesday, 27 May 2014

Gelli tapes

Making gelli tapes is my favourite Gelli Plate technique. It was actually the reason why I bought the plate.

These are some of my tapes – washi tape addict’s dream!

Unlike the “regular” techniques, this one works backwards. Normally, the first layer you put on the plate ends up being the top layer on the paper. Here, what you see is what you get – so you can add layers upon layers till you’re satisfied with the result.

The only rule is to WAIT. You need to wait till one layer dries on the plate (no, don’t panic, it won't hurt your plate!). If you don’t wait, you will lift the paint from the plate.

You can use stencils, masks, you can even stamp on your plate, paint with a brush, pretty much anything - but always remember, the surface you are working on has to be completely DRY. 
[and... this is important - don’t use your heat gun!!! just wait patiently]

Here is one example of the process:
And here is another:

Once you’re satisfied with the result, take a regular adhesive tape and start sticking it to the plate, one strip next to another. Use your bone folder or a brayer to remove any bubbles and smooth the tape properly.

[note on tapes: the tapes come in various widths, or even in big sheets]

Then, start peeling the tape off. If some of the paint remains on the plate, just stick the tape back on, brayer it, and then continue removing it.
[this is also a nice trick to remove paint from your dirty gelli plate]

The back of the tape may remain a bit tacky so you can stick it on something right away. Or you can apply a bit of Perfect Pearls or some glitter – it will then shine through at the front. I usually store my tapes for future use so I prefer to go over it with some medium to stop it from sticking.  

So, now you have your drawer full of tapes and you are thinking what to do with them. I like to use them with my regular washi tapes to create backgrounds. 

If you have wider tapes or if you made the whole sheet, you can run it through your die-cutting machine. Here, I die-cut some leaves. 

Or, you can make your own Project Life cards. 

Sunday, 18 May 2014

I'm a Mad Cutter...

This stencil addiction of mine is getting slightly out of hand. I design more stencils than my Silhouette machine (aka Bobby) can cut. Just kidding... But I keep Bobby busy...

some of my stencils

On a more serious note, life with Bobby isn't always easy. It doesn't cut the material I used to use for my stencils back in those hand-cutting days so I had to find thinner acetate sheets. Even with a double cut, I still have to poke most of the cut pieces out, one by one - which sometimes leads to small accidents (no bloodshed, only torn acetate). And the Silhouette software sucks. I used to do computer graphics for living, I know most of the top vector programmes, but this one is simply user-unfriendly. I'm considering upgrading to Designer Edition, but I still have to justify the purchase to myself. I only need it to open the SVG files. Now, I work with the DXF files, which, for no reason whatsoever, get distorted by the Silhouette software.

But... have I mentioned I'm sooooo glad I don't have to cut my stencils with a craft knife?? All the back/shoulder/finger aches that were avoided...

Krabička / Altered box

Zde je můj příspěvek do soutěže na blogu ForArt.
This is my entry for the ForArt blog challenge:

Zadání: Vytvořit jakýkoliv projekt a využít v něm libovolné 3 výřezy vyřezané na plotru Silhouette.
The task was to make any project using at least 3 shapes cut on a Silhouette machine.

Toto jsou moje výřezy – zatím nevím, kolik jich použiji, ale vím, že budu zdobit krabičku.
Here are my cuts. I didn’t know how many I would use but I knew I would be altering a box.

Na víko krabičky jsem nejprve nanesla vrstvu akrylátového šepsu. Pak jsem na něj nalepila první výřez.
First, I gessoed the lid of the box. Then, I glued down the first shape. 

Dále jsem aplikovala strukturovací pastu přes šablonu, kterou jsem si také vyřezala na Bobánkovi (tak říkám svému Silhouette Potrait). Nevím, jestli se šablony také počítají, tak raději tento výřez nepočítám.
Next, I added more texture using structure paste and one of my stencils which was cut on my Bobby (that’s what I call my Silhouette Portrait). I'm not sure if a stencil counts as one of the three die-cuts, so I’m not counting it.

V další fázi jsem víko nabarvila barvami Distress Paint.
Next, I used Distress Paints to add a little bit of colour to the lid. 

Tak vypadá víko po uschnutí.
This is how it looked after drying.

Distress barvami jsem nabarvila i květiny a ostatní výřezy k dozdobení víka.
I used Distress Paints on the flowers and other embellisments as well. 

A tohle je výsledek.
Finally, I put it all together.

Thursday, 8 May 2014

3D-effect painting tutorial

I still get requests for a tutorial of “my” 3D technique which I “discovered” by accident when I was trying to recreate a look I'd seen somewhere else. [I avoid saying “invented” because someone else out there might be the original “creator”.] After several failures, I found suitable supplies and improved the whole process. It is now something I'm comfortable with, something I know very well, something that works for me, something I rarely fail at.

I tried to explain it several times but now I decided to make a video. (see it here)

I usually start sketching the outlines on a piece of cardstock/chipboard/canvas. I recommend using a thicker background that won’t curl. 
Then I apply something that will stay dimensional after drying. I usually work with "Potch 3D Effect" or "3D Lack" varnishes (see the note on supplies below). But you can experiment with paints and mediums and find a paint/medium/glue/structure paste/whatever that works best for you. I don’t usually use my paints/mediums on surfaces they are primarily intended for...

When the 3D pattern is dry, I paint over it with acrylic paints. [I sometimes gesso the surface first.] Crackle paints look nice when I have a more intricate pattern with lots of small spaces. 
I start with a coat of background colours - just a simple background layer, nothing fancy.
Then I start adding more paints on top. I use kitchen sponge to dab the paints on because it helps me to blend the paints better. Sometimes, I shade it around the raised areas with a brush pen (Faber-Castell PITT pens are ideal for this).
When I'm happy with the result, I highlight the raised outlines with a white contour paint. 
To seal it, I usually apply some medium on top of the finished piece - regular gloss or matte acrylic multi mediums, Glossy Accents or anything that dries transparent. Here, I used the same product I used for the raised areas (only a different brand - see the note on supplies below).

Note on supplies: 
  • Most of the paints and art supplies we get here are from Germany. I'm sure there are similar products on your market. 
  • 3D varnish: The two I use (Potch 3D Effect by C.KREUL, 3D Lack by Nerchau) are intended for “découpage” (napkin technique). Both are opaque when wet, transparent when dry. So they can be used to create a “glaze” effect (similar to Glossy Accents) on a finished piece. 
  • Outlines: The ones I use (Glas-konturen Paste (Outlining Glass Paste) by C.KREUL, Relief Paste by Marabu, Cerne Relief Paint by Pebeo) are intended for glass art - to create an outline on glass or porcelain which you then colour in with paints. But because they are water based, I use them in my art. I tried Enamel Accents but the consistency is too thin for a detailed outline. Stickles might work too... The key is in the thin applicator and thick consistency of the paint.
Here are some other examples (more on my Flickr):

altered painter's palette 

a canvas

I call them doodle-tiles, I'm not sure what they are 
good for but I had fun making them ;-)

Thank you.