Roz Stendahl does fabulous drawings in beautiful handmade books. She also does exhaustive experiments and reviews of all kinds of papers and media. One of her recommendations for mediocre paper is to apply a layer of gesso. She will use this even for watercolor, so I thought I would try it. (I'm finding that I'm attracted to a square format book lately, and the only one I have is this 6 x 6 journal made from scrapbook paper.)
I can't say that I'm convinced. It dried OK, but the watercolor was very slippery going on. The background of gelatos was very fun, though - fingerpainting!
It is easy to spend more time looking for just the right reference photo and just the right journal page than it is sketching. I had the right idea here: I pulled a journal off the shelf, flipped it to the first blank page and then pulled a magazine out of the cupboard. I didn't even open the magazine; I just used the photo on the front cover as my reference.
I used a Pentel brush pen for the sketch. After drawing most of the features I covered the red stencil on the face using white acrylic paint and then added back some colour with a gelato.
Although I love to play with art supplies, my time is usually a learning experience as well. Recently I tried out some new (to me) approaches to gelli printing, and learned a few lessons.
I worked on a dozen prints at once with just a few tools, allowing me to work in a my small space with the 8 x 10 gelli plate. I reworked some of my older prints too, so that I didn't end up with another bunch of new prints without an end game in mind.
Mostly I used a brush rather than a brayer to apply the paint, and I didn't mix the colors completely together. This resulted in much more texture. My favorite "stencil" is still sequin waste, and here I also used textured wallpaper. The black dots are just the end of the paint tube.
Often I printed just part of the plate, as you can see here with the black:
I drew in the paint too:
I managed to silence my inner critic, remembering that different prints are good for different things. Here, I lightened up some overly dark prints with some white paint so that I can stamp on them in black:
Some of these will be used for collage, some for handmade books, and some for artist trading cards or greeting cards.
My sister and I have begun a new calendar project. The theme for January is paper. I intended to do mine slowly, day by day, but Dianne tore ahead and covered all of her squares with paper and numbers. I stuck to my plan for three days, but this morning I could resist no more and started gluing things down. I'll add things (including numbers) as the month progresses, and I'm still playing with ideas for the top half of the calendar.
Not all of my crafty experiments are successful. But I'd like my blog to be a place that I can refer back to, so I'm posting these anyway. LOL
One of the January themes in the Vancouver ATC Group is altered playing cards. I wanted the playing cards to be visible, so I collaged a translucent napkin over them. I've tried various combinations of clip art and stamps but I'm not really happy with any of them. I like the Alice in Wonderland clip art but the images are quite pale and don't stand out with the vivid, busy background.
I did learn that I don't need to apply a layer of gel medium over top of the napkin; it stuck quite well just by applying a thin layer to the card and placing the napkin over the top.