Sunday, November 29, 2015

I'm in the Funkie Junkie Christmas Tag challenge!

I am so delighted that this year I can actually play along with Linda Coughlin's inspiration Christmas tag challenge!  The challenge is sponsored by Linda's wonderful Funky Junkie Boutique, one of my favorite stores because of her wonderful service and quick turn-around (not to mention the great products!)

Here is Tag #1, inspired by Linda's use of poinsettias, one of my favorite flowers -  I never have them in the house, though, as my mischievous cat likes to chew greenery and this is poisonous - so I am making do with some paper versions of my favorite white poinsettias on this tag.

I started with a #10 tag from Linda's shop, and covered it with foil tape.  Then I used one of the very large Teresa Collins embossing folders in my Big Shot Plus.  Although regular-sized folders do not quite cover the length of the tag, with a pattern like this, it would be easy to line it up again to get the tag fully embossed.

Next, I generously applied Ranger Alcohol Inks, in Red Pepper and Lettuce, letting them drip here and there, and adding more as needed to make that happen.  The dark areas are the brown blend that results from blending red and green....but I liked the grunge look so let it happen.

I lightly sanded the raised bits to further expose the silver, and then added diluted Picket Fence stain and let it noodle around.....  I like the red, white and green combo.... but it ended up covering a lot of the nice patina from the inks,  so I wiped most of it off.

 I cut several sets of flowers from the Tim Holtz Tattered Poinsettia steel rule die, and them smooshed them around in a mix of Picket Fence and Antique Linen Distress Paints.

 While they were still a bit damp, I scrunched them up to give some texture.

And once dry, I applied a very light wash here and there with Silk Acrylic Glaze in Pretty Peridot and Lime Green.  I also sprayed one large petal set with Mowed Lawn and Twisted Citron Distress Sprays, to make the leaves.

Once all the petal sets were dry, I layered them up, twisting them to create dimension, and added purchased stamens, gluing all the layers together with matte medium.   Then I glued the finished flowers down to the tag, using a clear liquid glue.

On the final tag, you can see just the littlest  bit of white here and there from the Picket Fence Spray.....

 Next, I added a small bow made of green and red ribbons from my stash.... you could also color plain seam binding with ink to get a similar effect.

I wanted a sentiment, and this bit took me quite a while to figure out.  I had not staged everything to figure it out ahead of time (mistake!)..... so the "Noel" I thought I would use from this set (657470) turned out to be too large - had I reversed the larger and small flowers, it likely would have worked.

Meanwhile, back to the drawing board....

Maybe these would work.  The black alone got lost on the tag, so I thought to emboss it with Lindy's Stamp Gang Caesar's Gold, and then add a bit of Stampendous Vintage Olive in the Tinsel EP line.

 However, these die-cut words are quite slender, and once I applied the gold, I didn't see a need to add the green, as it would very likely not show up.  Even the gold lettering got lost, so I ended up cutting another set of words from plain black cardstock, offsetting them a tad from the top words to create a shadow.  They still do not show up as much as I would like, but better than any other idea I had!

The shadowing is hard to see here, and again, by not thinking ahead I caused myself a lot of extra work - I should have cut the top words by making them as a "sticker" (using double-sided tape or Ken Oliver's Stick It ) and then embossing them.  Once done, I could have readily applied them to the "shadow" lettering.  As it was, I ended up using little dots of matte medium - worked but a lot messier!

 Thank you so much for stopping by, and please do leave a comment - I love hearing your thoughts!

I am placing this into Tag One of the Funky Junkie Twelve Tags of Christmas, and the The Emerald Creek Dares Bits of Cheer challenge

xxx Lynn

Tuesday, November 17, 2015

Abstracted Light and Texture

As soon as I read through Leandra's post for the current PaperArtsy abstract art challenge, I knew that I wanted to take a stab at using gold leaf..... even though I am no painter!  After my usual noodle around the internet, I came across a  free video from Nancy Reyner, author of the wonderful book Acrylic Illuminations.  She demonstrates a great technique to apply the leaf square with waxed paper, and also takes you through various types of leaf, both real and composite.

As I had some leaf, and an 8 x 8 clayboard, I just needed to obtain some leaf sizing (adhesive).  Luckily, we have a fabulous, local art supply store (thanks to having a vigorous fine art program at Yale University!) and I was further lucky that they are open rather late on Sunday evening, when I read the post!  So off I went, and sure enough, they had a nice small jar of size.  Soon, I was at home happily readying my board.  Warning - this is very photo heavy as there are many distinct steps I want to capture for my own records....feel free to skip through!

As Nancy explains, gold leaf really looks best on top of a color other than white, since there are bound to be happy imperfections, but the white makes things look poorly done rather than artistic.  Having color, though, yields the same visual satisfaction of crackling.  Since this was my first time out, I decided to follow her color scheme, with a deep red mixed with gesso.....

and decided to build up some yummy texture.  Can't pass up that opportunity, lol!  This will dry much darker, as you see above.

Once this was thoroughly dry, I applied my leaf - sorry for the dark lighting - winter and a crowded work area make lighting a bit challenging.  As you can see, the red peeks through the little cracks here and there.  Time for glazing!

I found another free Nancy Reyner video, again following her suggestion to use both red and green glazing.  I initially made my glaze on deli paper - not a good idea, as it seeps through!  Better to use a palette, or palette paper (which I cannot locate in my mess at the moment!)

Following Nancy's guidance still, I applied rather liberally and wiped off.

I also worked some plain glazing medium over the color, which also helps remove surface color while leaving color in the textured fissures and ledges.  I did the same with the green.

 And here is the result....very subtle, but a wonderful depth.

Then I applied some bead gel with a palette knife....

this will dry clear, leaving behind the wonderful glimmer of many micro beads.

 Here you can see the dried bead gel - it looks rather gray in this light.

This picture gives you a better idea of what it really looks like.

By this time, I decided to use the bead gel as the foreground.... maybe water, maybe not.  Nancy's paintings are wonderfully abstract, leaving much to the imagination of the viewer - so I wasn't too worried about what it "represented".

Next up - the color wash.  For this, I purchased Nancy's downloadable video lesson - and in respect of her efforts for this one hour class, I will not be giving very detailed information about how to work with the gel, or the surface.  But I highly recommend this video - she is a great teacher, and the price is quite modest.

I applied some light blue, then some indigo, and finally some white - all high flow or fluid acrylics, with lots of water added.  I tilted the board here and there, just as I would with a journal page with lots of spray...

I made sure to draw some of the color onto the leaf itself, beyond the glass beads.

I futtzed around with the blues and whites quite a bit.  I was afraid to let it dry like this, for fear of covering too much of the leaf.... but once I wiped off, I wanted the effect back - so back and forth I went!  Next time, I will make a smaller demo piece with some different applications, so I can see what happens.

 This, I did let dry - because I could already see the leaf, and the texture....

and I like how it turned out.
 I did decide to add a bit more heavily diluted white acrylic, and let it dry.

 You can see the effect below.

Now, on to the sky..... created with matte medium and high flow or liquid acrylics.  You could also use regular, but would need to use very, very little.

You can see that I am pulling the color downward, and getting it more translucent....following one of Nancy's techniques.

I decided to add some gold mica paste that I happened to have from this make... and mixed the flake with some transparent texture paste, to get that additional texture while preserving the see-through effect.

Here you can see the dried flake after I applied some dilute umber acrylic.....

and without the paint.

 Next, I turned to matte texture paste to add some texture and some white color.... I also know this will be receptive to further color washes..... I applied with a knife, and patted off with a baby wipe -

 knocking it back quite a bit in the end.

 Here is the piece so far in its entirety.

 I wanted to a apply a patina, again from Nancy Reyner.  This is Iridescent Bronze acrylic paint dilutes with a good amount of water (at least 50%).  Diluting this paint creates the deep turquoise green.

 I applied this to my texture paste, making sure to let it puddle in all the texture from the paste....

and applying over the plain leaf and the mica flakes and bead gel.

And here, at long last, is the final piece!  This entire process took me three days, which would be much quicker if I were working over the weekend when I have more time to put to it.... most of the time goes to letting various layers dry.  I also hastened this by using my heat tool....

I like this piece - the photos really do not do it justice....and it changes so much in different lighting.  Just some detail of various bits....  You can see that the final piece actually has very little plain leaf showing...even in the bright sky, you can see the glazing predominates.  But as you look around, plenty of the leaf peeks through....

Thank you so much for stopping by, and if you've read through - congratulations!  I had a blast making this, and look forward to trying it again - using other medium and gels, and trying this without texture.

If you've time, please do leave a comment - I always love hearing from you!!

xxx Lynn

PS - I am entering this into the PaperArtsy Abstract Art challenge!