Friday, 20 May 2011

Strathmore Journal Workshop 3 - Building Your Visual Journal from the Page Up.

The latest Strathmore Journal workshop suggests starting with a painted background...

This page is page 2 of my Strathmore journal so I wanted it to fit in with the page 3 I had already done for Workshop 1 so I needed to keep to a blue/green/pink pallette.

I used acrylic washes and scrubbed some paint away and then dried the page with a heat gun.

Next I used the suggested spatter technique to get some extra detail; I managed to spatter quite a lot of my work surface but I like the effect (on the page that is)..
Then I tried out some more techniques from Roz Stendahl's workshop.

I liked the idea of tearing masking tape in half and then putting it together again right sides in to get a ragged edge - I did the diagonal stripes bottom left and all the page edges this way. I could not find the recommended artists' masking tape, so just had to use ordinary tape and be sure to move it off the page fast!

I needed to add some yellow to tie the page together with page 3 so I used yellow for the page edges.

I used stencils to make the rectangles on the page, dabbbing into the stencil with stamp pads. Then I used the water colour crayons from Workshop 2 to give each frame a yellow border.

Image transfers have given my Journal a name - DISCOVERY JOURNAL - and the left hand rectangles have my journalled intentions, which are to use this journal to try out lots of different techniques.It now fits in with the ideas on page 1 (previous post) and also with the Inspirations and Discover text on page 3.

I also added an apt quote from Marcel Proust, in the bottom rectangle and then image transferred photocopies of  my romantic ladies I drew for my printing course.  This refers back to  reusing work  I have already done in my journals (Workshop 1).

Although the techniques are completely different I think Page 2 goes well together with Page 3 so I have finally filled in the blanks! And I think pages 1, 2 and 3 now have a theme as well as using lots of new techniques I have been learning from the Workshops.

Wednesday, 18 May 2011

Rescuing an Art Journal Page


Workshop 1 Recycled Journal Pages * 

I tried the Strathmore Workshop 1 - using recycled journal pages - and I was very unhappy with my first attempt.

The colours were dark and depressing so I abandoned the page and continued on into the journal.

However, this page was the first page in the journal and it had been bothering me every time I opened the book - there was gloomy, miserable page 1, and then overleaf (actually page 3) there was a brighter page talking about inspiration.

And I was far too mean to cut the page out!

At the same time, I wanted to work on a journal prompt from my lovely art journalling group on

It was a quote:

"Oh, the places you will go!" from Dr.Seuss.

And suddenly I was inspired! What a great phrase to start my journal with, especially as this is the one I am using to try all the new techniques I have been learning from The Strathmore Workshops and from the journalling group.

So I used acrylic washes to lighten and brighten the page and used some black fine liner pen to emphasise some of the eyes and faces.

Then I used the black pen in a stencil to write the Seuss quote and filled it in with a white pen. I added some vintagey photos with an emphasis on eyes and looking, outlined the eyes with my black pen, then softened the effect with some thin acrylic.

Then I added a great quote I found on the internet about the future and what kind of place it is - which fits in with the Dr. Seuss quote really well - and I now have not only rescued a really horrible page, but I have an inspiring opening page for my whole journal.

Next I am using the ideas from latest Strathmore Workshop 3 to create an interesting background for a journal page 2 which I am hoping  will complement the existing page 3....

Sunday, 8 May 2011

More Dry Point printing and Chine-collé

On Friday  I went to practice dry point and chine-collé  at the Unique Farm Cottage Studios near my home in Lincolnshire UK.

Because the studios have a printing press there all the time they are going to do monthly untutored sessions for £10 a session and the idea is that all the materials - papers  and inks etc -  will be there and the people who are attending help one another.

Luckily there was one attendee in particular who was very experienced, which was just as well as it is amazing how much I had forgottten - another reason for keeping the information correctly in my brain by writing it down in  this blog!

I also prepared plates in advance this time.

    For a total of £20.66 I went to Great Art  and I bought 2 packets of 10 Rhenalon Boards, 0.5mm, 11 x 15 cm  (approx 4" x 6" )  and 4 etching needles.

The Rhenalon Boards are like the clear acetate sheets I used at the tutored  workshop but they are a little thicker. I find I prefer them because there is less likelihood of cross hatching so vigorously that I go through the sheet and have to repair it with masking tape - like I did with my butterfly lady in the previous blog. She spent the day looking like a pirate with an eye patch!

The etching needles are one fine tip, one  bold tip, one oblique oval and one four sided oblique. I cannot claim to have exhausted all the opportunites with these! But I traced some of my mermaids on to the Rhenalon Boards and tried a variety of shading. 

The inks this time were oil based, a bit messier and harder to use, but there is a great advantage in that the prints can be over painted with water based paints. I used wet wipes to clean me and the plates as soap and water did not do much - also I was told that you can use cooking oil to clean up with...

I made a couple of prints with mermaidy green ink - and I shall have a go at adding extra water colour washes to these.
Then I had another try at Chine-collé.

I prepared the plate as usual, this time with black ink.

I had a mixture of green tones of paper and some old books to cut up for text. I also had green tissue paper and some gold paper off an Easter egg (which we had to eat of course - yum!)

Then I used a variety of papers and text right side down with prit-stick glue on the reverse (facing upwards)  -

There has to be a method of placing the glued papers down onto the plate without sticking myself to them with the glue!
I found the thin turquoise tissue paper was by far the worst!

The prepared plate goes on to the printing press. Newsprint is laid down first, then the plate - facing upwards - is added, then dampened printing paper is laid over the print, with more newsprint on top.

This goes through the press and, because of the glue, the collage papers become part of the print and the ink shows through the collaged papers.

The final print uses red ink and I left lots of ink on the plate so there was a lot of colour from the ink

Then I used tissue paper for "waves" - unfortunately some of these lifted during printing leaving lighter areas.

Luckily I really liked the final effect! When I got home I used a layer of matt acrylic medium to make sure all the "waves" were securely fixed to the print.

I love this technique and will try more next time  - probably planning the papers to add beforehand -  although I do enjoy the happy accidents!