Category Archives: mixed media techniques

More Inktense

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Inktense blocks, graphite pencil, watercolor crayons, white charcoal pencil, colored pencils, gel pens

 

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Work with Inktense blocks

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Here's something I made with the same techniques I've been using on 5×7 watercolor paper only using Derwent's Inktense Blocks instead of watercolor crayons. My intent is to place a quote on here, eventually, but I've been more inspired to do the art and leave the quote for later. I've got quite a collection of 5×7 pieces waiting for quotes. Maybe I'll finish some up for gifts. Maybe…

 

 

Spring is here

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It seemed like it would never make it, but ready or not, spring has appeared. I know, by Memorial Day, most people are looking at summer, but this is the Northeast, and other than a couple of weird hot days, winter hung around forever. My yard is it's own ecosystem, too, and it seems as if it's the last place In the county for the snow to melt. We've had a patch of wet weather, so I've spent much of the weekend planting, weeding, and mulching like a fiend as if I can cram the entire season into a weekend. The daffodils are just starting to fade, the lilacs are blooming, and the hummingbirds are dogfighting all around the porch where I'm sitting.the studio is usually quiet this time of year while I'm outside, but I've done a few small watercolor pieces while watching the Giro d'Italia and waiting for the rain to stop.

The pictured piece started as a pencil doodle. I added watercolor crayon with a waterbrush, then I used colored pencils and graphite pencils to add highlights and shading. I realized that if I rotated it, I could add a quote quite easily. Brilliant! 🙂 I penciled in the quote, then wrote over with a gel pen. Easy, fun. I'm thinking I may put the watercolor pieces together in an art journal, but not unless it starts raining again!

 

 

Winter part 2

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We've reached the end of March without much sign of spring here in VT except a few disappointed red-wing blackbirds who hung around the feeders out back for a couple of days. I suspect they've retreated south again; I heard a distinct “WTF?” In the usual red-wing calls. We're nursing another sick cat, and when I can't entice him to sleep on my lap, I've been working on this journal spread.

Acrylic, graphite, watercolor crayon, charcoal pencil, marker

 

Some future season

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I had a long weekend in the studio and spent most of it working on two pieces that evolved fairly quickly (unlike the series I seem to have been working on all winter). They both started with a background of yellows and tan:

I started this as a horizon but it didn't stay that way:

 

This one is called Spring.

I managed to get more photos of the stages of this one:

 

 

 

This one is Summer.

Neither Spring nor Summer seem anywhere nearby as we just had 20-some inches of snow this week. But we can dream…

 

Lesson 2-Text and image

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Okay, Lesson 2 at last. My Golden gel and matte mediums always seem too dry and stiff for image transfer so I tried using Utrecht matte medium and I like it better; the transfers are a bit thinner and stretchier than with Golden but they're smoother and less likely to crack.

Here's my first piece. This is an image from a Dover royalty-free CD. I call her 'The Frenchwoman' because she reminds me of a figure from a Seurat painting, so I went with an impressionist feel. The background text is all in French. I found the headline on the right in a Montreal newspaper; it translates as “How does one manage artists?”, which gave me a chuckle.

The one below is me at about 3 or 4. All the background text is from a 1968 Jack and Jill magazine–but don't let me date myself…I was trying to go with a kind of childlike painting technique. Not sure I like it but the colors are good.

 

More collage journeys

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I started blogging about the Collage Journeys workshop with Jane Davies on Monday.

The workshop itself was about using opposites in collage. We started with monochrome…

…then moved on to complementary colors.

Notice the 'subliminal' chicken…chickens were a theme of the week…

I even did a couple of purple and yellow pieces, my least favorite pair.

 

The one major accomplishment for me of the week was to 'just keep working' on pieces. I was excited to see the pieces evolve.

 

 

 

 

I think the only one I'm absolutely done with is the monochrome piece. Im still buzzing from this workshop. It's such a joy to spend days at a time immersed in art; learning about it, watching it done, and doing it. And I want to thank the gang of Sherri, Janet, Cathy, Pam, and Gwen again for making the hours we weren't making art so much fun!

 

More backbone

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I love this quote. I decided to use it on the second plastered (joint compound) spread, this one in my Strathmore journal. I did the same thing in this that I did in the Moleskine but I probably could have skipped the tissue as it doesn't really show through; I was much more liberal with the joint compound and sealed it before painting this time so it didn't wear off. I also used a watered down charcoal gray acrylic over all to bring out the texture and a few India and acrylic ink splots for contrast.
 

Tim Holtz Bigz alpha die letters. Love this die and was definitely worth buying (on sale!) but had to shim it ever so slightly in the center–literally, a piece of cardstock taped to the back center did it–or some of the letters wouldn't cut cleanly. Shaded the letters with charcoal–it's the details!

 

Plastered

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Not much going on down in the studio these days. Too hot! I did manage to work on this spread in stages, based on one of Donna Downey's recent Inspiration Wednesday videos. I started off exactly like she did, with Tim Holtz tissue paper and joint compound (not plaster), with acrylic paint over. Then I decided to use some batik flowers I cut ages ago with the Alterations Tattered Floral die (I think) and buttons. I used a Stabilo All pencil for the stems but it bled onto some of the flowers. In the words of Dina Wakely, oops, oh well. I like how they look otherwise. I colored in the leaves a bit with Neocolor crayons and glued buttons down as centers. Some Donna Downey stamps and Neocolor crayon around the edge to finish. Be sure to seal the joint compound when it dries or it rubs off quite easily and loses all the interesting texture. Kind of a ho-hum design but I was done looking at the background and wanted to move on. And get out of the heat. Rather than be bold, I just did what made me happy at the time. <snark>

 

I've started another spread in a bigger journal using the same technique but I had to come up for air. And I have no idea where it's going, either.

 

While watching TV

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I saw this cool idea on Pinterest and ran down the tutorial. Fun! I start the paper with watercolor and dye sprays and do the doodling while watching rugby or cycle racing (while it isn't football season). Here are my first two papers.

The pad underneath this is the paper I used, Canson XL. It's lightweight and should make a good background paper.
I enjoy making something out of the color shapes. This one turned into 'Strange Fruit'