Last two of the six Distress Oxide coloured 14 x 10 cm sheets of paper.
Last two of the six Distress Oxide coloured 14 x 10 cm sheets of paper.
I’ve had a busy couple of days with this and that and the other.
Yesterday and today it’s been learning about vector files, images, graphics and how to get my artwork done as that kind of file and to a maker so she can use them to laser etch her products – more about this when I have photos of the projects!
Lots of head scratching, googling, and finally settling on downloading a program that works in vector graphics. So, a lot of learning to do with that, but it’s easy, intuitive and makes a lot more sense than Adobe Illustrator; I chose Serif’s Affinity Designer. I don’t know if it is as sophisticated as Illustrator, but I can’t see me wanting to get to that kind of level – I love Autodesk Sketchbook Pro way too much for that!
Certainly a different skill set is needed, but I’ll get there as I usually do.
After all the time on the ‘puter, I had the need to return to traditional media, and the photo above is what I’ve spent my evening doing.
First, the paper (approx. 14cm x 21cm), along with a few other sheets, was coloured with distress oxide inks. Then I drew on it using a mixture of pens.
It was really nice to do, the colours of all the sheets are rather autumnal, and I’m looking forward to drawing on the others over the coming days.
I’ve been quiet around ‘tinternet for a couple of weeks – problems with my mood, instead of starting many new things I’ve been spending time organising a reference collection of my favourite patterns and designs of things like fungi and buildings and creatures and so on and its very much a work in progress! The process of going through the familiar and organising them is comforting to me …
I have done some new drawings for the Eerie project for Dover – not many left to do for the book, then the hard work is deciding which two I would like to colour in the most, always a problem.
Plans are afoot for a change in my online presence too … more as that happens!
The above images show one artwork I started last night and finished this morning. Most probably about 8 or 10 hours of work. Distress Oxides, Cosmic Shimmer watercolours and a Sakura Glaze pen were used. When light strikes the artwork at just the right angle, the metallics and iridescents bring the artwork to life; it’s like it lights up all by itself. A joyful feeling for sure as I look at it.
It was nice to work with colour and the more traditional media rather than digital art, though, yet again, I noticed how drawing with the Surface Pen on my Microsoft Surface Book are having an effect on my work on paper.
One thing I did enjoy was adding the sparkle and shimmer to the artwork, something I’ve not found out how to do digitally (or even if you can!).
So, I now have satisfied a need in me to work with colour and pen and I can turn my attention back to the illustrations for the Eerie book, and on to other things after that is done.
For today, I head off soon for counselling/EMDR, and to have my acrylic nails removed once again as they really do get in the way of me typing, art-ing, using my phone…and no doubt I’ll do some drawing while I have a late lunch between nail removing and counselling.
Two index cards worked on over the last day or two. The focal points are shells I drew, first on paper, then the image was worked on on my Surface book with Autodesk Sketchbook Pro and my Surface Pen,
I had to use scissors to cut out the shells (not my favourite task as I’m not good with scissors) after I’d coloured them using the Chameleon Color Tones and Color Tops marker pens. I’m really pleased with the colouring.
Lots of different techniques/media were used on the index cards – stamping, stenciling, inktense pencils, distress inks and distress oxide inks, pebeo dyna paints, perfect pearls sprays, gesso, clear holographic embossing powder from WOW!
I’m happy with them, though I’m not sure they’re quite finished, especially the little one.
I’m beginning to build up a library of my own digital drawings – fungi, flowers, shells at the moment, oh and one angler fish skeleton that I’ve not used yet (but that’s an idea for later or tomorrow maybe).
I have to decide if I put these images together as packs of ‘digi-stamps’ for sale…I’m really pleased with my shells here, but the fungi have worked out fine too. With my limited scissor skills, I’m keeping it in mind I need to keep the outlines relatively simple, but the inside of the design can be rather detailed, which is fun.
Two more index card done!
I drew the fungi then coloured them with the Chameleon Color Tones and Color Tops pens. Cogs have appeared in the background once again – gotta have a lil bit of steampunkishness!
I’ve used 3D Crystal Lacquer on the fungi caps and on the stars in the background.
I’m liking the slightly bigger format of the index cards compared to ATCs.
I started these 5″x 6″ cards yesterday and finished them (I think) this morning.
The focal images I drew myself on watercolour card. I used Caran D’Ache Supracolour watercolour pencils and a damp brush to colour them. I was quite happy with the colouring; I do find pencils a lot easier to use than traditional watercolours.
Nex, I cut three of them out around their edges and used a black marker to colour the white edges (and disguise my poor cutting out skills). I had to use a craft knife in a couple of places. The other two I cut out as small panels.
The drawings are a little bare of detail, mabye, but I can go back and add detail once I’ve decided what I’d like to do.
I’m not all that happy about the torn paper behind the focal images; you try things out and learn, maybe. The torn paper is Gelli printed tracing paper made using PaperArtsy Fresco paints. I then ran them through my Sizzix Big Shot in various embossing folders, and on some the embossed images have had some metallic waxes gently brushed over them. I also added some Inktense to the papers to darken the edges and add shadows.
What I am really happy with are the index cards themselves.
I started by covering them with gesso. Then, I used some foliage stamps from IndigoBlu with grey Archival Ink by Ranger to add patterns. I really liked this, as the patterns were softer and already ‘ghostly’ in the background, a much better choice than black Archival.
My next step was to add colour using ink blending sponges and Distress Oxide inks, followed by a spray of Gold perfect pearls mixed with water.
This is where there was an unexpected effect – the wet Distress Oxides were repelled from the Archival ink. I loved the result, as well as the way the colours mixed as they pooled around the stamped patterns.
Here’s a close up where you can see how the Archival Ink has repelled the Distress Oxide inks:
Then, I used Versamark Ink to stamp more foliage on some of the cards, and mini-mandala type patterns on others. I then sprinked WOW Embossing powder (clear holographic) over the ink then melted it with a heat tool. This added an extra layer of interest – a subtle layer as it can only be seen from certain angles.
I framed the cards using black Archival ink and a foam blending tool to give a distressed looking edge.
Then, it was just assembly of the focal points and so on, before sticking the index cards to some really thick card to get them nice and flat; the cards are so thin that they curl a lot when working on them, even with the layer of gesso to seal the card in. Cosmic Shimmer’s Specialist Acrylic Glue worked beautifully for this.
I had intended to make more ACEO cards, but I drew the focal images a tad too big for that format, so thought I’d try out an index card instead. I quite enjoyed working on the slightly larger scale.
Back to playing with mixed media today, and this is the result…
It’s around 8″ x 6″ in size and 300lb Smooth watercolour paper by Daler-Rowney is the substrate.
First, I coloured the paper using Distress Oxide inks, with a light spray of gold mica mixture.
Once that had dried, I added the diamond motif and text to the background using texture paste through stencils. Once the paste had dried, I used a rich gold System 3 acrylic paint from Daler-Rowney to paint the texture paste.
Yesterday, I had used embossing folders with my Big Shot from Sizzix to emboss coloured card which I then added metallic and iridescent colours to. The dark red-brown layer of cogs is part of one of these papers. Behind it, there’s a piece of patterned paper. Both have had their edges roughed up (distressed) and then inked using black Archival Ink from Ranger.
I next chose an ACEO or ATC card from my stash to act as a focal point. I also firtled through my stash of steampunk diecuts to find some cogs and a clock dial to add to the background.
The diecuts were all made from kraft card and I used Distress inks to add the base colours of a rich blue, an intense blue-green and a red-brown before dry brushing metallic and iridescent acrylic paints from Liquitex over them to give the appearance of old metal.
Finally, I assembled everything together in an arrangement that pleased me. I used a Payne’s Grey Inktense pencil and a water brush to add shadows, and finally a few sparkly gems (I can’t resist the use of sparkle!).
I thought I’d finished, however, the postman brought me a box that contained some Foamiran sheets I’d ordered a couple of days ago, and I just had to have a go at making some flowers. You can see one of the flowers on the mixed media piece.
The flowers are quite easy to make. I die cut flower shapes from the Foamiran. I then used a couple of Faber-Castell Gelatos and a damp baby wipe to apply colour the the front and back of the flowers.
Next, I used my heat tool to warm the foam so it curled up a little and then shaped the petals before using hot glue to stick the layers together to make fluffy flowers. Finally, I used an alcohol marker to colour some clear gems in so they complemented the flowers and attached to their centres.
I think I’m going to be making more of the flowers, they are easy to make, if a little fiddly given the current manicure I’m sporting. Next time my nails are done, I’ll make sure they are kept fairly short!
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