Sunday, July 27, 2014

Resists ... Revisited

I've been exploring several resist techniques with stencils.  The one I'll show today uses my 6"X6" stencil Palm Fronds Silhouette Small & 4"X4" stencil Palm Fronds Silhouette Mini.

The final results are here -- please pardon the wrinkles that show up below as white streaks...  The wrinkles happened after my final step of coating the image with acrylic gloss medium.

My starting step was to cover a sheet of foreign newspaper with a coat of amber translucent acrylic paint.  After that dried, I added a layer of contrasting color to my substrate, using Pan Pastels --

The next step was to set my two stencils into place ...

... and, while holding them down with one hand, I used an old terry washcloth to rub away Pan Pastel color from the exposed areas within the stencils.

Above:  the substrate after the rubbing and the removal of the stencils.

Above:  a close-up of the right side of the substrate.
The last step was to spread the glossy gel medium across the surface of the substrate, as a fixative to keep the Pan Pastel color intact.  This topcoat of glossy gel medium also darkens and enriches all colors it covers. 

To spread the gel over a substrate, I secure the substrate to the work surface with masking tape.  After adding a long ridge of gel along one side of the substrate, I swipe across it with a 12-inch-wide taping knife from a house-paint supply store.  I'm careful to cover the entire surface with just one swipe

More resist techniques are coming soon ...

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Palm and Mimosa Leaves

This journal-page background started with a solid, dark-blue Gelli Plate print.  After the first paint layer dried, using a brayer to spread Titanium White paint over the Gelli Plate, I placed the stencils Palm Fronds Silhouette Small (6X6") and Palm Fronds Silhouette Mini (4x4")  onto the plate, then lifted them off, leaving their imprints on the Gelli Plate.  Next, I pulled a print using the dark blue paper.   

Another recent time when I've used these stencils with the Gelli Plate, I came away with some prints that I decided to use on a collage --

And once more I used the Gelli Plate, this time to imprint deli paper with the patterns of my 9"X12" stencil Mimosa --

I'm sad to say that Mimosa Wilt -- yes, there is such a disease -- has killed off the beautiful mimosa that once stood outside my front door.  That tree was the inspiration behind the 9"X12" stencil and its smaller 6"X6" version.   Since the mimosa is considered a weed by some, I'm surprised this has happened.  Weeds are usually more hardy than anything else!

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

As Gomer Would Have Said ... Surprise, Surprise, Surprise! Or was it Guber?

My thanks to my friend Mary Ann Russo, who alerted me to this YouTube video by Journal Artista Paula Phillips --

--that updates an old technique, packing tape transfer.  It's done exactly like the original technique, except that a stencil is sandwiched between the paper and the overlapping rows of clear packing tape.

Not just any stencil.  It's important to choose a design that has no loose, unattached lines or designs.  An example of this kind of stencil is my 9"X12" Facets Precious Gems . Clicking on the image below to enlarge it, you can see that all the lines forming the design are attached to other lines.  Also note that the lines themselves are thick, as opposed to the thin lines that are needed in other types of stencils -- for example,  Vintage Script has thick and thin lines (to create the look of calligraphy.)

Above:  The bottom layer is a colorful magazine cover.  The middle layer is my stencil.  The hard-to-see top layer is a row of clear packing tape strips, laid across the stencil and paper with each strip of tape slightly overlapping the next strip.  My next step was to burnish the entire surface with a tool like a bone folder, to insure that the stencil and paper were in full contact with the top layer of clear tape.  Without this step, the overall design details would have been lost.
Having done this kind of transfer many times in the past, I was expecting it to turn out exactly as it had in the video cited above.  I placed the 3-part sandwich into a basin of water and waited, assuming that when I lifted it out again, I would need to manually rub off the paper to leave only the colored inks on the clear tape. 
Imagine my surprise when I came back to the soak basin and saw the paper (formerly a magazine cover) floating by itself -- no longer attached to the rest of the sandwich!  Below is that sheet of paper, which naturally wrinkled during its drying period.

And below is the layer of tape and the imprint of colorful inks now embedded into the sticky side of the tape-sheet--

 They look almost identical here, but the difference between them is that the top one, being paper, is still as opaque as it originally was, and it has no shine.  The lower one is translucent, just like every transfer, and it's shiny because it's made from clear packing tape. 

I haven't yet found a use for the paper, but the transfer has been cut into halves and used on greeting card covers.

Above:  This is a silvery 6"X6" greeting card.  This picture doesn't capture the shimmer of the silvery cardstock; here, it shows up as a faintly gray background.  It has to be seen in person to appreciate the sheen of the background, showing thru the translucent transfer.

Above is the cover of another greeting card, this one 5"X7".  On both cards, I've added embellishments that I made from wooden hearts and scrap papers.
Okay, what caused the surprise? 

I think two factors were involved.  All clear packing tapes are not created equal.  Different brands might very well yield different results.  I used the generic Staples brand of tape.

And, as JournalArtista Paula Phillips mentioned in her video, there is also a wide difference in magazine pages and covers.  I happened to choose one that was probably created with minimal expense, since it was a free hand-out at Whole Foods.

So I advise using free hand-outs for this technique, because it may save you the trouble of all that rubbing to remove the paper!

One last word:  As I mentioned earlier, for this technique, avoid using stencils of a more flimsy type.  If the stencil and tape stick firmly together, as they did in the video, a more fragile stencil could be damaged. 

Friday, July 11, 2014

Vintage Script -- A Special Favorite

Above is a 24"X36" canvas with its background already painted.  Over that dried paint, I've taped some collage papers and my 9"X12" stencil Vintage Script.  My next step will be to mix some gray-beige acrylic paint with light modeling paste and to apply the mix thru the stencil with an artist's spatula.

Above is a close-up of the print after the stencil has been lifted. 

Above:  the completed mixed-media collage, as yet untitled.
Above is another canvas on which I've again used Vintage Script.

Thursday, July 10, 2014

More Gelli Plate Play

Previously, I'd stained a sheet of 140-lb. watercolor paper with blue watercolor; after that dried, I printed it with red acrylic paint using my 9"X12" stencil Twinship.  Today I've used that as a background for still more in my ongoing series of collages created with the use of stained stencils themselves.  The two stencils below were stained beautifully as I continued Gelli Plate printing yesterday.  I can always buy more stencils, and these were just too much to my liking for me to use them any further as tools.  They've come art.  I'll show them separately, then together:

Above:  My 4"X4" stencil Fern Fronds Silhouette.

Above:  My 6"X6" stencil Palm Fronds Silhouette Small -- which also comes in a 4"X4" size labeled Mini.

Above:  The two stencils together.  I like the way the larger stencil opens large on its upper right to frame an "eye" in the print from my Twinship stencil.

Tuesday, July 8, 2014

Gelli Plate Adventures

The Gelli Arts Plate got some more use recently.  I'm slowly discovering the reasons I've had problems getting prints that satisfy me.  One mistake I've made has been to press too hard with the brayer when spreading the acrylic paint across the plate.  Next time I use it, I plan still more changes to try. 

Meanwhile, here are some recent prints:

Above:  2 stencils used at the same time -- 6"X6" Cats was first onto the plate and 9"X12" Twinship was atop it.  I lifted both stencils off the plate, leaving their impressions in the paint, then pulled a print.

Above:  Barely visible on the left is an old print of 9"X12" stencil Queen Anne's Lace ; more visible, especially on the right, is 9"X12" Wrought Iron Gate.

Above:  I used Wrought Iron Gate stencil to make a print on a sheet of foreign newsprint.

Above:  I used 4"x4" Fern Fronds Silhouette like a rubber stamp to make this print, right after lifting the still-wet stencil off the plate.
Above:  2 stencils were used at the same time -- 6"X6" Heron was placed on the plate first, then 9"X12" Twinship was placed over it.  Next, I removed both stencils and pulled the print.

Thursday, July 3, 2014

Gingko and Bamboo Wall from my Asian series of Stencils

It was the gingko tree in my own backyard that inspired my 6"X6" stencil Gingko, and it's Jenn Mason at Cloth Paper Scissors magazine who teaches the inspired technique below.

I started with a page of old sheet-music that had previously been painted red (as a Gelli Plate print.)

Next, I used a sponge to cover the red paper with Pan Pastels (Yellow Ochre and Orange, blended together.)  Below is the pre-painted paper now coated with the pastels.

Having placed my 6"X6" stencil Gingko onto the paper, I held it in place with one hand, while using a pencil eraser to rub out the areas within the openings on the stencil.  Pan Pastel is easily erased this way.  It probably helped that when I had covered the original sheet-music with red acrylic paint, the paint had sealed the paper's surface.

Above:  The stencil -- stained with green and blue acrylics from a previous project, has been placed onto the paper and the eraser is ready to be used.
Above:  The eraser -- in the upper left corner -- has been used, and all the pastel inside the stencil's openings has been erased.
 After lifting off the stencil, I was rewarded with this:

Above:  This is a close-up of the same results.
To "fix" the pastel, so it wouldn't smear when touched, I used a squeegee to spread a thin layer of soft gel across the paper.  I learned this trick from Carolyn Dube, altho she has a slightly different approach and uses a Gelli Plate for getting the protective gel across the surface of paper treated with fragile media like Pan Pastel.

The gel did a great job of fixing the pastel.  And it slightly darkened the hue of the paper.

Once the protective gel had dried, I decided to highlight the ginkgo leaves with glitter pens --

My 6"X6" Gingko stencil is available here:

I decided to try another subtractive/reductive technique taught by Jenn Mason -- and started with a calendar page covered with acrylic paint.

Once the pink paint had dried, I added a fresh layer of contrasting color -- Primary Cyan by Golden.

While the fresh paint was still wet, I placed the my 6"X6" stencil Bamboo Wall into it.  Holding the stencil in place with one hand, I used a baby wipe to clean out the openings in the stencil's design.

After lifting the stencil, I quickly flipped it over and pressed it to the pink paper next to the area I had just used for the reductive technique.  This gave a "ghost print" that will eventually be used as a background in a future project.

Above:  The original print is on the left and the ghost print is on the right.
My 6"X6" stencil Bamboo Wall is one in a series of Asian stencils I've created for

Wednesday, July 2, 2014

Dangling Hearts

My posts of February 12 and 18 (under "Older Posts") showed step-by-step photos (with instructions) for a technique I've developed, using metallic paint and pearlized paint as background, followed by applying alcohol inks thru stencils.  I've done a small update of one of the greeting cards that I had created in this way -- the update was simply to add hearts to the tree created with my 6"X6" stencil Bonsai Tree.  You can see the hearts better by clicking on the image below.  To draw the hearts I used a Montana marker filled with Golden High Flow acrylic.


Tuesday, July 1, 2014

NEW NEW NEW Continues ... Palm Fronds Silhouette stencils in 2 Sizes ... and a Mary Beth Shaw Mini-Video

Today's post starts with the quick, easy technique of spraying paints thru stencils.  Here I'm using my 4"X4" stencil Palm Fronds Silhouette Mini but I could have substituted my 6"X6" Palm Fronds Silhouette Small.

First, the results of my original spray:

The next three photos show the results of a Photoshop experiment, combining the image above with backgrounds other than plain white. 


Using color and special effects Photoshop filters can be addicting, but the yield is a wide range of paper print-outs ready to be added to art journal pages, greeting card covers and collages. 
This post features only 2 of 6 just-released stencils continuing my line of botanical designs.  The other stencils are individually featured -- with other art-making techniques -- in my "NEW NEW NEW" cluster of posts.  To find the other posts in this cluster, click "Older Posts" at the bottom of this webpage. 
Also, please check out this video from Mary Beth Shaw --