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Posts Tagged ‘Acrylic Painting’

Welcome Back

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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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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Welcome Back

In today’s post I will be reviewing;

'Sheena's brushes' aka Royal Langnickel: Crafters's Choice.

‘Sheena’s brushes’ aka Royal Langnickel: Crafters’s Choice.

Product Details

  • Manufacturer/Brand; Royal Langnickel; Crafters Choice. Otherwise know as Sheena’s Paint Fusion brushes
  • Item number:
  • RRP at time of writing: £10
  • Set contains: 5 x White Nylon Brushes:
  • Crafters Choice White Nylon Wash – 3/4″
  • Crafters Choice White Nylon Wash – 1/2″
  • Crafters Choice White Nylon Shader Size 8
  • Crafters Choice White Nylon Round Size 6
  • Crafters Choice White Nylon Round Size 3

Reason For Buying

These were demo’ed by Sheena Douglass on Create & Craft, for use with Sheena’s Paint Fusion (one stroke) painting stamps. My best friend gave me a set of these last birthday, I had bought several of Sheena’s stamp sheets and just started with acrylic paint for the first time. I have limited dexterity and these appealed to me for the cushion grip area on the handle.

Pros/Cons

Pros

  • Superb quality
  • Grippy sections on the handles. Great if you hands don’t work so well
  • Easy to clean
  • Great set of sizes
  • Perfect for acrylic paints
  • Springy without being scratchy, soft without being too delicate
  • Very comfortable to use
  • Match with Sheena’s one stroke stamp sheets if you are getting into that.

Cons

  • Haven’t got any. It would be nice to see a long-handled version of these too.

Build Quality

Excellent

Value for Money

Excellent

Would I buy it Again?

Yes, I use these a lot and they work really well

Summing up

At first glance and with the name ‘Crafter’s Choice’ I can see some artists walking past these as being cheap and cheerful brushes. It would be their loss. These brushes are superb quality for all round crafting and painting and have performed really well. The balance outperforms Daler Rowney System 3 brushes by a mile!

The sizes in the set are ideal for most projects, don’t be an art snob and miss out. Check these out, if you are bewildered by what brushes to buy and get these. Add any extras you need to AFTER you try them, unless you are painting REALLY big, these cover most projects.

Links

Available from

A great set of brushes, try them, you won’t regret it, they are fab.

Best wishes and thanks for reading, see you soon

Billie :)

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Welcome Back

Today I’d like to share a couple of very different photos with you. On friday I shared a tutorial with you for how to create this first one.

Embossed stone book

Embossed stone book

I liked the effect so much I decided to make a tied cover for my loose sketches. I bound some mat board, embossed some cardstock and made the error of trying to copy what I’d done before. For my mixed media art, it tends to be much more organic, more a case of throw things on the paper and see if I like the results. I’m still very new to acrylic paints, so although I’m used to creating texture and aged effects with ink, it’s all very new with paint. So far I’ve been replicating the techniques I use with inks with paint, following my nose you might say. It’s all very experimental, which is fun but often unpredictable.

It doesn’t always go to plan though, when I have a plan, an agenda I have a tendency to ‘try’ rather than just letting things happen. On this new piece, I put too much texture paste on, and lost some of the embossing detail, then over did some of the colours and didn’t have the skills to hide or alter it. Refusing to give up and having recently learnt the power of a unifying wash (see my dark wood book & video) I decided to put a wash of colour over the whole piece and ‘save it’. It was going fine, until I tried adding some gold to try to lift the colour a bit, then didn’t like it and ‘tried’ to scrub it off BUT the blue wash wasn’t totally dry and I lost the last of the white background and it looks dark again :(

The card was saying ‘Just let me be, stop ‘helping’! so I did and this is what I have

Grunged version of embossed stone

Grunged version of embossed stone

I didn’t love it, but I didn’t hate it either. Sometimes when you are working on the edge of your comfort zone and things go a bit off plan, you have to just put them away for a few days, and look at them again. Or just leave them on your desk and see how they look in different lights. I couldn’t decide if I had made mud or a master piece. OK a master piece is a bit optimistic, but it was a new level of layers and grunge and it was kinda good but new!

I let the piece dry, then had it sitting on the desk next to me. In the morning sun the blues really shine, later in the lower light of the afternoon the colour changes and the browns come out. I think I like it, I like things that you find new things each time you look at it. I have toyed with adding more metallic or white areas to lift the piece, but I think its time to let it be :) I can make another, another day and change the colours and patterns and I’ll get a totally new piece. I like art that takes you on a bit of a journey, when a piece shows you more the more time you spend with it, rather than a bright brash piece that is in your face. Personal taste and all that.

Mud or Masterpiece?

How about you, what do you do when you get a Mud or Masterpiece moment? Do you battle on and keep ‘bothering’ it till it looks the way you hoped? Or accept whats there and start a new piece with what the first one taught you.

Each book I bind teaches me something, that I need to cut more thread next time, how to join extra thread so I can finish a project, how to measure how much thread a book took to make so I’ll know next time. Instead of seeing things that go ‘off route’ as failures I try to see them as the projects teaching me things, that will help me for next time. Its only failed if you give up and never create again.

Would love to hear what you do when faced with a mud or master piece moment, do leave me a comment and let me know. I still prefer the clean design at the top as the texture is easier to see, but I love the depth and tone with the second one. What do you think?

Best wishes and thanks for reading, see you soon

Billie :)

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In today’s post, as part of the Adventurs in Acrylics workshop, I’d like to share a book I recently made. I decorated the cover using a painting technique that I’ll show you how to create, in a video tutorial on friday. This book features Coptic stitch binding, one of my favorites as the book lies flat when its open, handy for taking notes.  I can’t believe its been so long since I made a book. Between crocked back and whiplash, it seems to have been forever!

Coptic stitched handmade book, with dark wood effect covers

Coptic stitched handmade book, with dark wood effect covers

Hope you like the book, I’m pleased with how it turned out. There’s a bookbinding tab at the top of the blog, if you want to learn more about bookbinding or find out where to get bookbinding supplies from. Check out the tutorials tab, or the grab button in the sidebar for more information about the online workshop series, Adventures in Acrylics.

The closure on the book features Billie’s Book ties that I shared a video for recently. I added bead spacers in place of actual beads, as they were such a nice brass colour, they went well will the books colouring. If you would like to see how to make the ties, check out the video Billie’s Book Ties.

Its been  very tricky to get a photo of this book, in real life there are so many beautiful tones of colour in it, but the weather has been so dark, getting them to show up on camera, hasn’t been easy. Check out the video tutorial on friday, as that was recorded on a brighter day ;)

Best wishes and thanks for reading, see you soon

Billie :)

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Welcome Back

Today I’d like to share a few tips for making quick and easy pallets for acrylic painting. I wanted easy pallet options for acrylic paints, something re-usable or something already destined for the waste bin, so I didn’t create extra waste.

Quick n easy pallets for acrylic paint

Quick n easy pallets for acrylic paint

You Will Need

  • Plastic Lids from Milk cartons
  • Non Stick craft sheet/oven liner (see options at end of page)
  • Tin plate-white

Method

Tin Plate

The most reusable and best for colour mixing was the white tin plate. I got mine from a shop selling camping supplies. The white base makes it easy to see your mixed colours. Simply squeeze out your paint then mix. To clean; leave the paint to dry on the plate, then leave  the plate in water for a short time and using a dedicated scrubbing/washing up brush, brush off the paint. Most of it will peel off, what won’t peel will scratch off using the back of the brush.

Ranger Craft sheet/ Non Stick oven liner

I have used the ‘proper’ Ranger one, then found the same thing in Lakelands and this is where I now buy mine. Details at the end of the article. This surface makes a great pallet just to put small amounts paint onto and for one stroke painting type techniques where you are blending paint on the brush. It is also ideal to have under your painting projects as like before its easy to clean. The only down side is the dark colour means it’s not easy to tell the true colour of mixed paints, so it’s not ideal for colour mixing.

Plastic Lids

We get those plastic milk bottles from the supermarkets. Having been brought up in the 1970s when there was always a Blue Peter appeal for collecting the metal lids from milk bottles of the day, it gave me the idea to try to reuse the plastic bottle tops.

These lids are quite shallow but other lids will give you different proportions. These are fine to put small amounts of your new paint out onto, but since they are strongly coloured they aren’t much good for mixing colours into. You can do it, but make sure you test your mixed colour before you use it on your project ;) Cleaning; difficult to clean, so they tend to be a one use item.

Options/Added Extras

Try any non porous surface to  mix onto. Remember NOT to return to the kitchen any item that you have used in your painting as the paints contain pigments and chemicals that are not safe to ingest!

I use old jam jars as water pots, this is handy as you can see when your water gets too grotty and you need to change it. I also use them for storing brushes in. Especially useful for brush storage are the taller jars, like the ones you get coffee in.

Links

How about you, have you any tips for reusing household items for pallets/storage? I’d love to hear about them, do leave me a comment.

Best wishes and thanks for reading see you soon

Billie :)

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Welcome Back

If you have decided to try acrylic paint for the first time, gone to the art store to purchase some paint, brushes etc and been bewildered by the choice, this book is for you. If you were too embarrassed to ask for help in the store, this book is for you. I started an art journal in May 2009, and soon discovered that layering water colour paint, or water soluble wax crayons, didn’t really work. I had seen people using Liquid acrylics and had some of my fathers Cryla paint to try, but all the gels and mediums were a mystery. I wanted a book that would explain the different kinds of acrylic paint, what the differences were and what I could paint on. This book did just that. Today I will be reviewing the following book

The New Acrylics;

Complete Guide to the New Generation for  Acrylic Paints

by Rheni Tauchid

 

Rheni Tauchid's Excellent book

Published by Watson-Guuptill Publications

ISBN 0-8230-3159-4

 

Chapter 1; The language of Acrylics

Here you are introduced to just what acrylic paint is. The differences between the very fluid acrylics through to the heavy body (thick) acrylic paint. There is an explanation of the difference between student and artist grade paint.

 

Chapter 2; Materials and Equipment

The most comprehensive description of the different surfaces you can paint on to and how to prepare them. The different kinds of implement that you could use to paint with.

 

Chapter 3; About Colour

Here you will find descriptions about colours and the differences between various pigments, both natural and synthetic. This is a  kind of Features and Benefits description of different colour groups. If the descriptions on the labeling of paint tube, jars bewilders you, there is an excellent description of what the various terms mean. Metallic, iridescent and other unique colours are also described.

Chapter 4; Acrylic Mediums

 This is one of my favorite chapters in the book. As a total novice to acrylics, mediums were a mystery, they look the same in pots, they sound similar in their names. Before this book I had written off experiment with mediums, as too costly. This chapter starts with a review of the main groups of mediums and uses pictures to compare different mediums, to various food stuffs; honey, icing, cream. Things that most people can relate too…inspired! After this there are dedicated sections on each of the mediums, showing applications for which each medium is suited. A perfect glossary to refer to, for future projects. No more blind date buying of mediums, just to see what they do.

Chapter 5; Basic Applications

This chapter has a description of techniques -  not a step by step but enough information for you to understand techniques; under painting, glazing etc and their effects on colours. How you apply them to your own creativity, is still wide open. This is a very clever book, at no point does the author attempting to ‘push’ the reader into any particular style. It is so refreshing to read this style of work, plenty of inspiration, without feeling forced into a particular style of working.

Chapter 6; Alternative Approaches

Techniques a plenty! Here is where there are some excellent step by step tutorials. Interestingly, even here the tutorials are just for a specific technique – still not trying to ‘tell’ the reader where these ‘should’ be used. You might expect me to want to be told where to apply these techniques, since I’m a total beginner but everyone has their own opinion about what art is to them, so this is actually perfect. I had so many ideas while reading this book, about how I could use the paints/mediums and techniques. Maybe if the book had tried to ‘tell’ me where I should be using them, I  might not try my own ideas and either think my way was wrong or just follow a particular project and not experiment.

 

There is a generous section on using acrylics for printing. Some great ideas to try, 3D work and mixed media are also covered.

Chapter 7; Decorative Objects

 A selection of step by step projects, using the techniques described in the earlier sections of the book.

 

Summing Up

What I love about this book, is that it gives you a comprehensive description of the different paints and what they do, without pushing you toward any particular style of painting. Other art books want to teach me how to use acrylics to look like watercolours or to paint in the oil painting style. This book could have been called ‘The Dictionary of Acrylics’ or ‘All the things you’ve always wanted to ask about acrylic paint, but were afraid to ask.’ If you are passionate about colour you will love this book, the author is clearly passionate about the subject and her style of writing is inspiring and engaging as well as informative.

 

This book is a perfect reference guide for the new painter, and for more established artists who want to try some new mediums or techniques. There is some superb artwork in the book and each new page, just makes you go WOW. I defy anyone to look through this book and not be desperate to get to their paint after reading it.

 

I started reading this book knowing NOTHING about acrylics. Intimidated by the choices of paint available and not knowing what kinds of products to purchase. I did have a clear idea of how I wanted a finished piece to look but needed advice on what products would be suitable to achieve this. This is the most inspiring book on art I’ve ever bought. I have learnt which paint to buy to get the effects I’m looking for, which mediums would be suitable and how to use them. I am now very excited about all the amazing things that acrylic paint can do. I now can’t wait to get some paint and start experimenting.  My fear of painting has, at least in part, been replaced by excitement about all the possibilities of what can be achieved with acrylics.

 

This is a fantastic book, thank you Rheni for the wealth of information packed into this book and for allowing your reader space, to use the materials and technique’s in their own way. This is a MUST have book for anyone interested in acrylics, a fantastic reference  and research book for all your acrylic questions. Would I buy it again? Definitely and I’ve recommended it to all my friends too.

 

Links

Here is a link to the book on Amazon

This is Rheni Tauchid’s Blog

 

Best wishes and thanks for reading, see you soon

Billie :)

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