Saturday 29 September 2018

Overexposed! Experimenting with sunprinting

Recently I realized that Colourcraft had pre-treated fabric and paper for sunprinting! This is something that I think is really fun to work with so I decided we could hope for a few days of sunshine to test out a funky technique which works on both the fabric and the paper.

 The technical name for this technique is cyanotype. It's a photo process and one of the first ways that photographic images were made. The center image in the picture above is done in the traditional way which gives a beautiful rich blue color. The outer two images are done using the addition of water and overexposure, which adds the element of the unknown! And some beautiful results.

First to the traditional method.
It helps to have a sunny day, and a couple of sheets of glass (NOT UV protected-I use glass shelves) as well as your sunprinting paper or fabric, and some items to "print" with.
Remember! The chemicals used to treat the paper and fabrics are photo reactive, so you want to keep them in the lightproof bags as long as possible, and set up your print in dim light.
Here I have some seedpods, a fern and some bird shaped paperclips-ready!
I placed my paper on one sheet of glass, arranged my objects and placed the second sheet of glass on top. 
After about 20-40 minutes, I removed the items. You can see that a tiny bit of water got on my fern.
This is what my image looks like after I have rinsed it in cold water and let it dry. Pretty fun! Remember that the items placed on your paper/fabric act as a resist, that is, that part of the paper doesn't get exposed and stays the original color of the fabric/paper. You can use anything really to print with- I've even printed out images onto transparencies for more detailed photo images.(remember that what's black ends up white).
Here you can see a print of one of my cats onto fabric. I printed out the photo as a negative. It's amazing how much detail can be transferred with this technique!

So this is all really cool- but I like pushing the medium a step further which brings me to...
To do this technique, you start off pretty much the same way..but this time, you add a bit of water to the mix. I spray some onto the glass and smoosh it around to create small puddles.
Here I've placed my objects onto the paper.

Now I have added some water between the glass and paper, and added glass on top.
I let the print sit outside for quite a few hours, preferably overnight! 

Here is my print after sitting out overnight. I love how you get a variety of colors and effects!
Here are some that I've done on colored squares of fabric! These give you interesting effects because the base fabric is a color other than white.

I hope you've enjoyed this week's blog and try out the sunprinting or cyanotype products that are available at Colourcraft.  

Until next time! Happy creating!!


Friday 28 September 2018

Castle Ruins in Brusho and Oil pastel By Rebecca Yoxall

Hey there!
I think we can safely say Happy Autumn!

I've a painting today on the blog that is really inspired by autumnal colours and a little spooky too.
The place in the painting is called Mow Cop, it's an iconic Cheshire landmark, full of history and makes a great subject for practicing texture techniques.
I have used oil pastels to capture a wonderful rough surface adding a diverse range of marks and drawing quality using the resist method.
I love combining media to achieve different results and the oil pastel and Brusho really compliment each other.

I began by drawing out the castle ruins with a HB pencil on Watercolour paper.

I then grabbed a selection of oil pastels and scribbled the colours in turn over the paper. keeping in mind to use differing pressures so that some pastel was heavier and completely covered the paper and some pastel marks were lighter and dragged over the surface.

I applied a light peach/cream shade over the castle itself and a blue for the windows. I wanted to capture the ridges and grassy textures of the ground by scribbling in layers of colour and adding lines for grass 

Once I was happy with the amount of oil pastel I used a soft brush to apply water to the sky area and I sprinkled Brusho in Grey and Cobolt across the top of the paper. Using the brush with lots of water I smoothed in the Brusho sprinkles in a diagonal direction. Allowing the water to dilute the colour and tipping the paper for a soft graduated wash.

I dried the sky and mixed a Dark Brown Brusho on a palette with some water and painted it over the castle. I could see straight away the effect of the oil pastel in keeping some nice light areas.

It was then time to inject a splash of colour. I spinkled Brusho directly onto dry paper in and around the oil pastel marks for the hill and grass. I used an array of colours such as Cobolt, Turquoise, Yellow Ochre, Grey, Light Brown Lemon and Brunt Sienna.

I made sure to sprinkle each colour separately onto the paper so that there would not be too much overlap of each colour and therefore avoiding a muddy mix. I could have painted each colour on one  at a time as another option.

The Cobolt and Burnt Sienna blend really nicely here with a pink oil pastel colour showing through in between.

I blended the Brusho shades through the middle and decided to leave the edges with less. Also flicking the Light Brown Brusho with a Brush and painting lines that represent the grass right in the foreground.

Below are two other examples with slightly varying colour schemes that I have demonstrated in my classes recently.
A little more attention was paid to the details in the Castle ruins and the rock and hill as well as a more adventurous sky colour.

This technique is great for capturing the rough surface of the stone/ walls especially of  old buildings such as this, but also for movement and directional lines such as the grass blowing in the breeze.
I hope you like it and may be inspired to have a go at your own old building using oil pastel resist.

It would be great to see what you get up to.


Wednesday 26 September 2018

Ginkgo Leaves Autumn Canvas by Karen

This project grew out of a canvas (25 cm square) that I had collaged with various papers, added a bit of blue paint over the tissue paper, then abandoned. I also wanted to incorporate ginkgo leaves using this dried one as a model.

I started by coating the entire canvas in white paint, spraying it with water, then dabbing off with paper towel so that it all has a unifying layer of white but the layers below are still visible.

At this point, I broke the 'rules' of gelli plate printing! You may read that you shoudn't use water-based paint (or ink) on your gelli plate because it beads: But you can use that to your advantage! For example, here is Colourcraft's Aztec metallic paint brayered on the gelli plate and a print pulled from it. I love the effect it gives!

I decided to use this effect to give interest to my leaves. I brayered some paint as above, then left it about an hour to dry on the gelli plate (water based paints take longer to dry on the gelli plate than acrylic paints). I then added some dots of Magenta and Yellow Acrylic paint and brayered these across the dried metallic paint and immediately pulled the print on some heavy weight paper.

The result has the colours merged to a lovely warm colour along with the dots of metallic paint which has been lifted from the plate in a random pattern and also has texture: It is difficult to see in the photo but the little golden spots stand proud of the colour below. This could be used for so many things!

While the paint had been drying on the gelli plate, I stenciled the canvas with white Soft form relief paste and left that to dry.

Once everything was dry, I mixed the same colours with a touch of blue to make a slightly darker shade and used this to paint the sides and edges of the canvas, pulling the colour in and over the stencilled areas.

I cut out some ginkgo shaped leaves from my gelli plate print and used a wooden skewer to bend the leaves and add texture before gluing them down.

I hope this has given you some ideas for using your paints and the gelli plate in different ways: Have fun experimenting!

Saturday 22 September 2018

Faux Skin Halloween Journal

Hi Everyone,

Sarah here with you on the blog today and I have a cool faux old skin Halloween journal to share with you.

The project uses matt board, tissue paper, cord and knitting fibre and a acrylic paint.

Step 1.
Take a piece of matt board and cover in a layer of matt medium and add scrunched up tissue paper to cover the while surface.. you can use any colour as we are going to paint over it

Step 2

Add twine, fibres and cord on top of the tissue paper and glue this down with matt medium, pva glue would also do the trick. allow to dry naturally

Step 3

Once glue is dry I cut out the journal cover using a journal die and applied a coat of black gesso over the entire journal cover

Step 4

I used brusho opaque fabric paint dabbed on the surface of my worktop and used my finger to swipe gently over the top of the journal cover so that the wrinkles and twine picked up the colour and gave it a highlight against the black base of the journal

The final steps were to assemble the signatures into the journal using shiny green cord.    I have left the journal with no embelishment to let you see the texture of the cover, but you can add bats, ghosts and all sorts of Halloween goodies to this and would make a great journal for kids.

Thank you for joining me here today on the blog and I look forward to returning next month with more fun projects for you

Have a great weekend

Sarah x

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