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Archive for the ‘Mixed Media’ Category

Welcome Back

In today’s post I will be reviewing;

Faber-Castell Polychromos Pencils

Faber-Castell Polychromos Pencils

Product Details

  • Manufacturer/Brand; Faber-Castell/ Polychromos
  • Item number: FC110012
  • RRP at time of writing: £20.75 for set of 12

Reason For Buying

The one’s in the picture were a gift from my friend but I have since bought the larger 36 pencil set. I wanted to use these for looser drawings like doodles and perhaps some colouring images

Pros/Cons

Pros

  • Comfortable diameter in the hand
  • Smooth feel of colour, feels a bit like a wax crayon as colour goes down

Cons

  • High wax content means they can be tricky to blend
  • Results vary considerably from surface to surface

Build Quality

Faber-castell have always been excellent quality and these pencils are no exception. The tins are well designed and hold closed well, yet are still easy to open.

Value for Money

Good, these pencils aren’t cheap but they are pigment rich and fine art quality so worth the investment

Would I buy it Again?

After getting used to the 12 set, I went for the 36 set to increase the choice of colours. I am considering adding a few individual pencils for certain colours but I’m not looking to invest in the 72 set.

Summing up

Faber-Castell Polychromos Pencils; open tin of 12

Faber-Castell Polychromos Pencils

These pencils are an acquired taste, they are smooth like crayons, but the high wax content have made them tricky to get used to. If you are interested in them but not sure weather they will be for you, I’d highly recommend buying few individual pencils and try them on the surfaces you most use to see if they work well for you.

Have a look around the web, there are a lot of talented artists that achieve fantastic results with these pencils so I feel it is my lack of skill rather than any fault of the product that I found them a bit of a struggle to use. My dexterity let me down with these as I think the trick to them is layering and burnishing, which I couldn’t manage.

Links

Best wishes and thanks for reading, see you soon

Billie :)

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Welcome Back

Today I’d like to share another marbled project. This tag was made from Centrua Pearl Card and marbled with the Marbling 4 Fun kit that I’ve been using all month.

Pearlised Marbled tag.

Pearlised Marbled tag.

The paint dried perfectly on the pearl cardstock and the pearl adds a nice reflective sheen the background of the paint. I can see this kit being used a lot more over the coming months. If I can stay off the Gelli plate long enough that is!

Best wishes and thanks for reading, see you soon

Billie :)

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After sharing a picture of my first marbled print. I wondered if you would like to see how the print was created? For this tutorial I used the Marbling 4 Fun kit that I reviewed in an earlier post.

My first marbled pages

My first marbled pages

Here is the Marbling 4 Fun video tutorial, for mixing up the floater powder. You need to do this 24 hours before you want to marble, for the mix to set. This is the fluid that the paints float upon.

Because I only had a small bowl to mix in and a small bottle to store it in, I used the guide found on the Marbling 4 Fun website that states : 5 grams of floater powder to 1 litre of water. I made up 1 litre of water to the 5 grams of floater powder and it was enough to fill the small tray that the kit comes with. So you don’t need so much storage space if you are only doing small items.

To store my floater mixture; I used a clean and empty 2 litre plastic milk bottle, which has a screw top lid. Write on the bottle what it will contain BEFORE you fill it, to ensure there are no accidents with people trying to drink it! You need to leave the mixture at room temperature overnight before you use it. After this stage, if stored in the screw top bottle in the fridge, it can last up to three months.

Set up you area to marble in.

This is a messy process, I won’t lie, but its also very much worth it. The floater mixture, leaves a coating of what feels like thinned out hair gel, on the surface of the paper/project and it takes a fair while to dry. So you need to plan for where you will put them. Here’s how I set up the area I marbled in.

Preparing your workspace to marble in.

Preparing your workspace to marble in.

First I put a layer of plastic over the whole area, these are just bin bags cut along the sides so they lie flat. On the right, you can see a few layers of blank newsprint, this is not expensive and I got mine from a house moving company. This paper is to lie wet pages onto, while they dry. In the end I also added a try under the white box so I had somewhere to put wet tools.

You need to mix the paint in the kit with soft water 1:1. As suggested by the company, I used old camera film pots for the mixed paint and secured them to the sides of the lid of the box, with masking tape. Its worth sticking them down as by the time you put the pipettes in, they fall over without support! (Ask me how I know!)

Its a good idea to work on a hard floor in case of drips n spills and expect to leave the wet papers overnight if you are working in cold conditions. This was done in February in the UK and they took around 12-24 hours to dry depending on the size of the card/paper, in the unheated studio. Have a bucket to hand to dump the wet waste paper into.

Making marbled patterns

Stage 1: Applying the paint to the tray.

Here are the paints on the water, before I pulled the print.

My first marbling page. Paints on the water.

My first marbling page. Paints on the water.

To create this pattern I used;

  • One drip of Violet paint in each corner of the box
  • One drip of black paint into the centre of the purple shapes
  • White paint acts like a resist, I put white paint in the centre of the black circles
  • Another drip of purple into the centre of each of the shapes.

Using the star flower technique, I used a pin to drag ‘petals’ in to the centre of each shape; the flowers with the points, I created by pulling the paint back out toward the edges from each of the purple ‘petals’. I’ll add the star flower video tutorial at the end of the article.

Stage 2: Creating the print

Using 80 gsm printer paper, I placed a sheet on top of the pattern in the try, allowed it to sit there a few moments, then carefully peeled it back off to reveal the print. The first generation of print will be bright, the later ones more pastel.

Here are the newly printed pages, still wet with the floater mix.

First generation marbled paint print on the left and the second generation on the right.

First generation marbled paint print on the left and the second generation on the right.

Stage 3: The Finished prints

Here’s how the pages turned out after drying.

My first marbled pages

My first marbled pages

My second marbled page. Second generation of paint.

My second marbled page. Second generation of paint.

Links

Here is Craig Joubert’s video for how the flower pattern is created. I’ll try to make my own videos with marbling, once the light levels improve in the UK. Craig is the maker of the kit and the man behind Marbling 4 Fun.

Have you ever tried marbling? How did you get on? Would you like to see more marbling videos at a later date? Let me know in the comments below.

Best wishes and thanks for reading, see you soon

Billie :)

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Welcome Back

In today’s post I will be reviewing; Stabilo Point 88 pens.

Stabilo Point 88 Pens

Stabilo Point 88 Pens

Product Details

  • Manufacturer/Brand; Stabilo
  • Item number: 8825-1
  • RRP at time of writing: RRP £30.60 but £16 on Amazon

Reason For Buying

Having decided to give doodling a go, I wanted a set of quality fine nibbed colored pens, these looked a good set of colours to allow

Pros/Cons

Pros

  • Excellent fine nib 0.4 mm (see graphic on case)
  • Smooth to draw or write with
  • Good selection of colours, suitable for a range of subjects
  • Case is lightweight but plastic so will last a while if you like your pens lined up by colour
  • These pens are water-soluble so if you want to bleed out the colour for projects you can
  • Pens are also available singly from Art supply stores if you wish to replace colours over time

Cons

  • The only colour ID is on the pen cap and base, not the barrel of the pen. So you’ll want to clip caps to base while in use or risk getting colours in a muddle
  • With my dexterity issues I found the narrow barrels and caps a little awkward to get hold of. Not a problem if you hands work tho ;)
  • Given the high rrp, the case quality is a bit of a let down. It works well but looks like it would rip quite easily, not that sturdy

Build Quality

The pen itself is excellent, the material of the nib gives a smooth writing or drawing surface on different papers/card. The caps fit well, the only quality issue is the case they come in. Not a deal breaker if you are intending to store them in other containers.

Value for Money

TBH I’m not sure I would have paid full rrp, but I got mine from Amazon for around £13 delivered and for that I am very satisfied. They are excellent and if you like to use fine liners in your art, these are excellent quality.

Would I buy it Again?

Yes

Summing up

I’ve used these pens on cheap paper as well as good quality cartridge paper, they perform well and give excellent results. The colour range is good and the glide of the nib on the paper is a joy.

Personally, I would have liked a coloured barrel to help ID the colours and due to difficulties with fine motor skills, I struggle with the small caps and fine barrels. The barrels are approximately the same diameter as Bic biros for reference.

Be aware of the water-soluble nature of these pens when choosing a project to use them on. So if you are using them with mixed media and use anything waterbased over the top, bear in mind the colours will reactivate and move. If you want a water colour look from the pens, scribble some colour onto an acrylic block or non porous surface and use a waterbrush to pick up the colour. This does make for a versatile pen that will have many uses. Single pens and smaller sets are available if you want to try them out before investing in a bigger set.

The other use for these pens, they are great for pattern drafting (dressmaking) due to their fine line. Careful of where you store your patterns though due to the water-soluble ink!

These pens have become a favorite for me for doodle art. Do try them out, the colours and ink flow are a joy.

Links

Here are some places where you can find Stablio pens. They are also available in larger sets with a thicker nib known as Stabilo 68. If you want something more compact to take out and about there were also some pocket-size pens in Staples.

Whats your favorite pen for doodling? Would love to see projects you have created with these pens, do leave me a comment with your thoughts.

Best wishes and thanks for reading, see you soon

Billie :)

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They often say that art imitates life don’t they? Well unintentionally the exact thing happened when I painted this.

Art Journal Page; Hope

Art Journal Page; Hope

PIC

It started out as a play with texture paste, and my favorite colours of blues and paynes grey which is a lovely grey with blue tones in it. I added layers of paste, and colours and the finished piece was definitely an experimental journey rather than a planned trip! The last 4 years have been tough and this year I’ve been feeling pretty low thanks to having a lot of pain and little use of my hands to take my mind off things. This piece was  one of the early pieces I created, when I finally had enough use of my hands for my first afternoon in the studio this year.

I liked the look the texture pasted gave and just added some quinacridone Nickel azo gold to highlight it. With the ‘layer love’ style of layers of paint and drips, the finished piece reminded me of a phrase, ‘The light at the end of the tunnel.’ I’ve put a second picture in as its so hard to get the real colours of the piece to show in photographs.

Art Journal Page; Hope

Art Journal Page; Hope

Who knows how much use of my hands I’ll get back, will I ever be pain free? Its not looking likely any time soon but when the going gets tough I can look at this piece and remind myself that there are better days too, sometimes I get to play, if only for a short time.

Best wishes and thanks for reading, see you soon

Billie :)

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Welcome Back

Today I’d like to share another mixed media project with you. This is one of those happy accident turned favorite pieces. Lots of texture and layers went into this piece.

Mixed Media art: 'Autumn Days'

Mixed Media art: ‘Autumn Days’

After a layer of gesso had dried I used thick acrylic paint to add more texture. Layered over that are two shades of brown applied with the brayer. Love the texturing the brayer creates, it’s a speedball brayer of the soft rubber, smell like school plimsolls but works oh so well.

The white is gesso or texture paste, both were around and not sure  which I used now as you can probably guess that was added using bubble wrap. Great texture from the plastic in the bubbles :)

This is another one that I like too much to add more too right now. It has joined others in the pile which may later be used as a base for further development with text or images but I’m enjoying it as it is right now.

Have you tried brayer meets acrylic paint yet? I highly recommend it, lots of messy fun play.

Best wishes and thanks for reading, see you soon

Billie :)

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Do you ever start a creative experiment, just trowing things on the page to see what happens? Then find a result you like so much you just have to stop as you like it too much to add more? Here is the piece where that happened to me. This piece reminds me of a documentary I saw where they showed a diver swimming though kelp, lots of long strands of kelp with the sunlight twinkling though the half-light beneath the water.

Mixed Media art: 'Under the sea'

Mixed Media art: ‘Under the sea’

I had applied gesso to  the base board, then applied heavy body acrylic thickly with a sponge, then I heated it. (Best done in a well ventilated room as O. M days did it whiff!) The result looked a bit like crackled wood. Loving it too much to continue I left it aside for a few weeks. I do this as I frequently seem to make things I love too much to cover. I do this too with stuff I think doesn’t work as with a few weeks wait, you come back to a project with new eyes.

So I came back to the crackly paint, and applied a layer of green paint with the brayer (my new but now covered with acrylic paint so it gives good textures brayer).  This gave an even better look, once dry I have added more layers of washes and sponged on more texture.

This piece is likely to evolve further in the future so it will get perhaps text or imagery, but for right now, I love it just as it is.

How about you, what do you do if you get a piece you don’t like? Do you hide it in a box for a while and come back to it later? Maybe you gesso over it and hide all the evidence it ever existed? Do you feel the need to add lettering, images to every piece or are you happy to have a beautiful piece that you may once have thought of as a background, a place to start but now love just for its own right? Would love to hear your thoughts?

Best wishes and thanks for reading, see you soon

Billie :)

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