Tag Archives: tutorial

Square Collage Project

I made this mixed media collage a while back, but never got round to blogging about it, as the photos I took got buried under thousands of other photos in my camera roll.

Until now.

This collage was made using paper ephemera, washi tape and acrylic paints. The whole project, once completed was sealed with several layers of spray varnish. The substrate or base used is a cradled wooden panel that I’d made last year. For instructions how to make cradled wooden panels, read here.

I didn’t take any photos of the collage while creating it, just of the finished result, including some shots of the sides (which are also collaged) and also some close-ups. So, here they are:

image

image

image

image

image

image

image

image

image

image

image

image

In case you’re wondering how a couple of the ephemera elements appear to be “floating” off the background…it’s done very simply with a black watercolour pencil. Neat, huh? :-)

Handmade : Ledger

Here’s my attempt at ledger binding some Juicy Journals. I wanted to try out a different type of binding, and also a different size and shape of journal. I’d used a texture mat (read placemat) that looked like snakeskin, so the idea came to me to create a journal that was longer than it was high.

image
Here are the strips of Gelli printed paper that I’ve torn to size. They’re printed on both sides of the paper.

image
Make 2 holes through all the layers of your stack of papers. Take an 8 inch piece of twine (I used hemp) and, starting from the end edge on the left as in the photo above, thread the twine into the hole and out the top edge. Then continue over the edge and thread back into the same hole. Your twine should end up on the left edge, underneath the stack. Tie both ends of twine together.

Turn the paper stack over and repeat the step above for the other hole.
image
Your stack will look like the photo above.

Now, simply tie the loose ends of the twine together. You may want to use an bead, for added interest. I didn’t have any beads, but I did have some Ranger Tim Holtz thingys (I never know what to call them), so I used them instead.

image
It reminds me of an old Chinese coin. That, and the snakeskin effect Gelli prints and the shimmery ink effect I used, add to the Oriental effect of this project.

image
Here are the completed ledger-bound Juicy Journals. They can be “read” the conventional way, from left to right or horizontally.
image
Or, they can be hung up on a wall vertically, to be enjoyed as wall hangings.

3 Juicy Journals from 2 Sheets of Paper

Ok, make that 2 BIG sheets of paper. 58 x 42 cm each, to be exact. Or 22.5 x 16.5 inches, if you’re Imperial.

For this project, I wanted to create some square Juicy Journals. I decided to lop off 8 x 17 cm from the two 58 x 42 cm sheets of paper that I’d already Gelli printed on both sides. This meant I could then divide the sheets up into strips of 50 x 25 cm. When folded in half, this would give me a booklet 25 x 25 cm square.

From the 2 large sheets, I was able to get 16 strips of 50 x 25 cm, and the leftovers were enough to make another Juicy Journal, not quite a square one though.

image The 8 pieces that I further divided into 2, to get the 16 strips.

image The 16 strips that will be folded in half to create square signatures of 8 pages each. I’m going to bind 2 signatures together, to get 16 pages per Juicy Journal.

image Each signature consists of 4 strips of 50 x 25 cm, folded in half to create 8 pages.

imageI’m using a pamphlet stitch, so I’ll need 3 holes in each booklet.

Basically, this technique is a really simple one, and is an optical illusion. You simply put two 8-page signatures together and sew them using a pamphlet stitch, and then fold the pages back into their respective signatures. The stitches will be hidden within the pages. I could take this a step further and create a hard cover, but I like to show off my Gelli printing, so I’ll leave them naked, so to speak.

imageHere’s how I sewed the Juicy Journal. Stand the 2 signatures you want to join together like in the photo. Open them up and align their holes. Bind all 8 layers together using a pamphlet stitch.

imageSewing the pamphlet stitch.

imageTying the knot to secure all 8 layers together.

imageFold the 2 signatures back to their respective starting points. This technique produces a booklet with a very neat finish at the spine. The stitches are hidden inside the pages.

imageFrom my 2 big sheets of Gelli printed paper, I managed to create 2 square Juicy Journals and 1 not-so-square one (from the leftover paper). That’s the one on the right, with the pamphlet stitch’s final knot showing on the outside.

imageI like the square format and think I might create some more of these. They require a bit more thought in measuring and tearing to size, but the results are very encouraging.

I also like the technique of sewing 2 signatures together, with the stitches hidden on the inside of the booklet. Might make more the same, too.

Hope you enjoyed this tutorial! :-)

4 more Juicy Journals – Pamphlet Stitch

I got such a great response from my latest Art Abandonment exercise, that I was prompted to go make some more of my Juicy Journals Journals. Some members of the Art Abandonment Group on Facebook wanted to buy my Juicy Journals. I haven’t made enough to warrant selling them just yet, but I offered to send one to the first 3 people to Private Message me their address. I got 5 within just a few minutes, so I decided to honour all 5.

So, after doing my Art Abandonment exercise on May 1st, I popped 5 more of my Juicy Journals into envelopes and posted them off to the lucky 5. 2 to USA, 1 to Canada and 2 within Australia.

And now, finding myself low on Juicy Journals, I’ve just made 4 more. This time with a simple pamphlet stitch. Simply put, this stitch works over 3 holes in the spine of the journal. (These have 4 pages, folded in half, so you get 8 pages in all). To make the stitch, I simply passed a length of coloured hemp (great stuff, that), into the spine at the holes on both ends of the journal. Then I poked each end through the hole in the middle. Then I simply made sure each end was on either side of the stitch in the middle of the spine, and tied them together in a shoelace knot.

image

And here are some details of the pages within these Juicy Journals:
image

image

image

image

image

image

image

For my next experiments, I’m going to try using a limited colour palette, for the Gelli Printing. On top of which I will use inks of contrasting colours. This advertisement that I saw recently on T2 (below) will be my guide. Stay tuned!

image

Serendipity Shows The Way

ser·en·dip·i·ty (sĕr′ən-dĭp′ĭ-tē)
n. pl. ser·en·dip·i·ties
1. The faculty of making fortunate discoveries by accident.
2. The fact or occurrence of such discoveries.
3. An instance of making such a discovery.

In my efforts to create “perfect” Gelli Plate prints (no such thing, actually), I’d accumulated many, many duds. Or perhaps I should say they did not turn out quite as expected, but I still kept them for the record, and also because they were actually quite beautiful in their own way.

When I first started out on my Gelli Plate adventures, a couple of months ago, I was meticulous in washing my brayer, brushes, stamps, stencils and the Gelli Plate itself after every change of colour. This meant a lot of time was spent at the sink washing and drying. Handy that my so-called “Studio” is in the kitchen-dining room itself. (My other “Studio” is in the junk spare room, which is currently occupied by a brooding box of baby Japanese Quails).

Nowadays, I don’t clean my tools and implements quite so often. Instead, I employ a technique I’ve seen many Gelli artists use, of “inking off” or “rolling off” i.e the act of removing excess paint from the brayer/dabber/stamp/stencil/Gelli Plate etc by rolling/dabbing/stamping onto another substrate. Some use copy paper or newspaper, which they then throw away. Others use art journal pages, to keep as a record of what colours they’ve used.

I use the same paper as the one I’m printing on. I lay out a sheet to be printed on, onto my work surface, and I also at the same time lay several other sheets of the same quality and size, somewhere close by, to receive the “inking off” or “rolling off”. It keeps the brayer clean by pulling off excess paint, so I can then load up a different colour without getting mud. It cuts down on the time I spend washing things at the kitchen sink, and gives me more time to spend on printing.

After several practice sessions with Gelli Plate printing, it dawned on me that I sometimes liked the results of the “inked off” sheets better than my actual planned prints.

Hmmm…I may be onto something here.

Recently I’ve started to turn my Gelli Plate monoprints into handmade mini Art Journals. You can read about that here. When I found myself short of a page or two, I used one of my “inked off” sheets, and found to my surprise that the results were very, very interesting and exciting.

So, as Serendipity would have it, I now find myself Gelli printing more and more papers, and at the same time having fun “inking off” more papers. I “ink off” both sides of my paper, because I know they’ll be used to make more mini Art Journals, so both sides have to be painted. I’ve also stopped overthinking my designs and I don’t even plan what stencils I’m using next, or where I’m placing them, or even if they’re crooked. I just “go for it”!

I’ve always been fascinated by handmade books, and in the past I’ve dabbled in bookbinding, so making up these mini Art Journals marries my love for 3 things now – Gelli Plate printing, mixed media and bookbinding.

Oh, and add to that Serendipity (I just love happy accidents and randomness) and I’m a very happy bunny! :-)

Here are some of my Serendipity prints:

image

image

image

image

image

image

image

image

image

image

DISCOVER (4 templates, 12 ways)

I’ve been spending much of my time lately experimenting with Gelli Plate monoprinting. It’s a lot of fun, and some techniques I’ve tried have come out with pretty amazing results. Others, not so. Some I really love and could keep doing again and again, others I am not so enamoured with and won’t try again. As with all Art, you just have to keep experimenting until you hit on something that appeals to you.

One monoprinting technique I learnt and liked on YouTube is this one, by Clarity Stamp.

I made 4 prints using this technique and some stamps. I really liked the torn paper effect and how it reminded me of ancient, crumbly walls newly discovered by some archaeologists.

image

image

image

image

I could’ve just gone on and printed more examples using this torn paper technique. But the mobile digital artist in me piped up and said, “Why don’t you try blending photos of those with other photos from your Samsung Galaxy Note 4? You can use the 4 monoprints as templates and generate an entire series of different artworks, with a common theme”.

This was in keeping with one of my main reasons for venturing down the path of real (vs virtual/digital) mixed media – the idea that I could then accumulate enough source material to use as backgrounds for my digital artwork.

And so, using just 2 Apps – Photo Blender and Photo Editor Editor, I followed the suggestion of my inner voice and created these 12 new images, using just the 4 prints that I’d done.

image

image

image

image

image

image

image

image

image

image

image

image

Handmade Stencils & Masks

I wanted to make my own stencils and masks, for more Gelli Plate printing fun, so I had a look in KMart for suitable materials. I didn’t want to be splashing out money on a simple piece of plastic that could be gotten anywhere.

And I’m pleased to report that I’ve discovered a really cheap source of stencil blanks. They’re a pack of 6 plastic files, in dark pink, blue and green, plus clear for their covers. At $3 a pack of 6, you can’t go wrong.

image

For inspiration, I used the seaweed-like motifs on this wrapping paper.
image

I cut out the motifs I liked, then placed them on one of the dark pink files, traced around them with a copper Sharpie (the closest thing to hand), then cut them out.

image

image

image

Et voila! Simple as a pimple. Handmade stencils. Which can also be used as masks…no, not for your face, but to cover over areas you don’t want to paint over.

image
Here’s an example of how I combined the use of my handmade circular Gelli plate with my new Seaweed Stencils/Masks. If you brayer a layer of paint over the Gelli plate, then lay a few of the seaweed stencils over that, and pull a print, the stencils act as masks or resists, leaving you clear unpainted areas.

If you then remove the stencils (using tweezers), and pull another print on a fresh piece of paper, this is what’s called a “ghost” print, and you’ll essentially get the opposite of your first print. Areas that had paint will now be the clear areas, because you pulled that off with your first pull, and where the stencils were will now be paint, which gets stamped onto your fresh paper.

image

image

Here are two examples of a simple, basic “brayer on paint-lay on masks- pull print” technique using a rectangular Gelli Plate. I really like the organic shapes of the masks, they remind me of the botanic-inspired prints of Henri Matisse – see the 2 Matisse examples below:

image

image
Hmmm…I may have subconsciously just tapped into my Muse. This has exciting possibilities!

Workflow : MARIPOSA AZUL

Mariposa is Spanish for Butterfly. Azul is Spanish for Blue. I was on Pinterest the day I created this, gathering images of the Principality of Asturias in Spain where I’d lived from 2005-2007, and I guess my mind must have still been on Spain. I hope some day to be able to go back to visit my beloved Asturias, with her fabulous mountain scenery, historical architecture, culture, music, gaita bagpipes, fabada, cheeses and apple cider, and the friendliest people I’ve ever met. Maybe someday I’ll camp again at that campsite opposite the private zoo in my adopted hometown of Cangas de Onis, just so I can hear the dawn and dusk chorus of the wolves there. Or visit the beautiful basilica of Covadonga, which is postcard perfect and the birthplace of the Spanish Reconquista.

I must write about my Adventures in Asturias soon, but for now here is my workflow describing how I created MARIPOSA AZUL.

I used these 2 photos of scrapbooking papers the basis for the image. Notice that the 1st image contains part of a map with the words “Spanish” on it.

image

image

I used the App “Smoothie” to increase the brightness, saturation, sharpness and contrast of both images. I also changed the hues of both images, and rotated the 2nd image.

image

image

Next, I used the App “PicsArt” to blend the two images together.
image

I then added the blue butterfly wing. (I’d just prepared over 150 new butterfly clipart using photos of taxidermy butterflies from the natural history section of the Museum of Western Australia in Perth). After adding the butterfly, I tweaked the brightness, contrast and saturation of the image some more.

image

Using the App “Repix”, I obliterated the entire image using the Drips, Daubs, Chalk, Hollywood, Vintage and Freshen brushes. And then excavated and revealed it back again using the Undoer brush. I deliberately left some drip marks behind, to impart a painterly feel.
image

I processed the image once more using “Smoothie” to add saturation, bringing out the blues of the butterfly wing more. And here we have it: MARIPOSA AZUL. My tribute to Asturias.

image

Posted from WordPress for Android.

http://www.alyzenmoonshadow.wix.com/alyzenmoonshadow

Workflow: Butterfly Swarm

I was inspired to create this image after seeing a photo online of a huge swarm of Morpho blue butterflies on a tree in Mexico. Almost the entire tree was covered by a sheen of brilliant, iridescent blue.

I had recently been to Perth’s Museum and taken a lot of photos, as usual. I had over 60 images of butterflies from their exhibit, and many of these butterflies I had digitally cut out on my Samsung Galaxy S4 mobile phone, using my favourite cutting App, AThumbCut. This included some blue butterflies.

image

For the background, I chose a stylised  image of plants and leaves. Which I’d photographed last week while in Fremantle. If you really must know, it’s from the walls of the ahem! public toilets on the square. I NEVER pass up a photo opportunity, no matter how incongruous the setting!

image

Using PicsArt, I blended the background with an image of a scrapbooking paper. And also with an image I’d Percolated months earlier.
image

image

Then I ran the resulting image through Smoothie, Photo Editor and PicsArt again, tweaking the hues, saturation, brightness, contrast, until I was satisfied that I’d gotten a good background for my blue butterfly. One of my favourite techniques is to replace colours (using Photo Editor) until I get a scraped-away, grunged, peeled paint, spattered, batik kind of look in some areas.
image

Then it was a simple matter of going back to PicsArt and positioning my butterfly onto the background. To give the clip art image some variety, I played with the opacity, size, orientation and blend mode. So now the butterflies look like they are on different levels, and this gives the image more depth. I normally like to keep my clip art images within the boundaries of my backgrounds, but for this image I wanted to convey a sense of space, that what the viewer was seeing was just a small part of a much larger picture. So that’s why some of the butterflies appear to be coming from outside the image, or heading out of it. To add more realism to essentially what is just one clip art butterfly image, I individually drew in the antennae of each of the 9 butterflies.

I ran the image through Repix next, and basically obliterated it with drips, hatching, paint daubs etc. And then, using the Undoer brush, I simply cleaned up the areas where the butterflies were, to reveal them.

image

I decided to play with the hue and liked this orange and gold version so much that I’ve kept it too.

image

And there you go…Butterfly Swarm Blue, and Butterfly Swarm Orange.

Posted from WordPress for Android.

http://www.alyzenmoonshadow.wix.com/alyzenmoonshadow

More Banner Printing on the Epson Artisan 1430

So, yesterday’s experiment was to see if my Epson Artisan 1430 could do banner or panoramic printing. It could, and did. Albeit I misconstrued the paper size and the photographic print came out smaller than expected.

Today, I decided to give it another whirl. This time, I chose as Paper Size 300 x 900 mm. For the borders, or un-printable sides, I kept everything at 0.

And here are the results.

image

Here it comes! Nice, right?

image

(Note: the dark rectangle behind the printed baking parchment is from my previous first attempt, where I printed directly onto the canvas. I’ve used the same length of canvas as a carrier sheet).

image

As you can see, from the close-up above, The Beast has again presented me with some unexpected inclusions. By this I mean ink blots and streaks. Ah well…shit c’est la vie. Chalk it down to an idiosyncracy of this particular printer. If I had a dollar for every time The Beast produced an inclusion, I’d be filthy rich by now.

Anyhow, here is the print, prepped to be stuck onto my handmade DIY cradled wooden panel of 2×1 feet. There’s bits left over on either side of the panel, but I’ll cover that up with Washi tape. I’ll also Washi tape the top and bottom, to neaten things up.

image

Here I’ve gessoed the panel and brushed gel medium over it, and I’ve stuck on the print while everything was still wet. I smoothed the print out as much as I could, removing any trapped air bubbles. As The Beast had given me serendipitious ink blots on my print, I decided to counter this by placing gold flakes over the print at random but also surreptitiously over the bigger blots.

image

image

I’ve sprayed gloss varnish over the print. When that has dried overnight in the morning I’ll give it the Washi Tape treatment. I’ll also paint the sides of the frame black. A few more layers of gloss varnish et voila! The finished product, ready to hang.

image

Happy Days!

Next, to test out other types of fabric, possibly with a view towards creating my own scarves? Hmmm…interesting idea.

Posted from WordPress for Android.

http://www.alyzenmoonshadow.wix.com/alyzenmoonshadow