Today, an unfinished experiment into ‘tranzending’ layers.
I dug out a piece of natural mixed media paper that had been coloured with some Distress Inks. My aim was to see if the white under pattern would work with such a piece of paper.
It did. You can see the underlying pattern coming through the more darkly coloured areas. Also, the Zig clean colour real brush pens (what a mouthful of a name!) worked beautifully on the background. I was careful to choose colours that would work sympathetically with the Distress Ink background. Distress Inks are water-reactive so any wet media will reactivate them
I haven’t finished colour this one; it was just an experiment. The final part of the experiment was to add a layer of Distress Micro-glaze. This seals in the art, making it waterproof and just about impossible to work on again. Why did I do this? Well, the micro glaze is a bit like a gloss varnish and it enhances the colours, making them more vibrant and more transparent too. I wanted to see if the glaze would move the black ink and/or the posca pen. It didn’t. Sure, there was some black pigment on the paper towel I used to polish the surface, but not much.
The microglaze is likely to be handy should I choose to decorate envelopes in the future. It may be useful in other ways.
There’s a constant spiralling round of techniques and media with me. And I usually end up returning to digital art in one way or another. What is interesting to me, though, is how these experiments give me ideas for things to try out digitally. My mind is ticking over those ideas at the moment and I’m likely to go and them out in a short while.
It involves drawing a background pattern with a white pen – I used a white Posca pen. Next, the black design is drawn over it. At the moment I’m enjoying using Uniball Eye pens – they’re waterproof when fully dry and their nibs last a lot longer on rough paper like the mixed media paper I used for this sample. I used the natural version of the ClaireFontaine Paint-On mixed media paper as the white would show up well.
Finally, I used applied colour using zig clean colour real brush pens where I wanted the darkest part of each section. Then, I used a damp brush to create a colour gradient. I prefer a traditional paintbrush to do this as I can control how damp it is. I find the waterbrushes that have a reservoir filled with water are a lot more difficult to control how damp the brush is.
Adding shadow around the whole design was the next step and I thought I’d messed it up. However, I like the uneven, grungy look that has resulted. I’m going to learn to embrace the unexpected!
Finally, I added some white dots with the Posca pen.
The background pattern subtly shows through the colours, adding a layer of interest and an intriguing one at that. It was fascinating to watch it happen.
I did try this technique on white paper and it doesn’t work anywhere near as well, so it’s something I’ll reserve for toned papers.
An unexpected surprise for me was how much I like the way the Zig brush pens work on the toned paper, and how easy it was for me to create gradations in colour to get the shadow and highlight.
So, an interesting time with art, and explorations I’ll continue with for sure. It is really fascinating!