Page five. Here I left the seed pod theme, and was inspired by some photos I’d taken of some tulips which had dried up in their vase – and become even MORE beautiful than when they were in their prime! I have an iPhone and my absolutely favourite camera app is Hipstamatic, which takes the artyest photos I know, with one click. Here are a few photos of my crispy tulips – look how the app changes the colouring so it just becomes a painting by itself…
Aren’t they exquisite? I take no credit for the beauty – God made the tulips and Hipstamatic did the rest, I just threw them on the table and focused the iphone. So…back to page five. I began by collaging on some old book papers again, but you can’t see much of them because I painted gesso over them – but they give texture. Then I used one of my seedpod stencils and scraped a very thin layer of Molding Paste through it. In fact so thin, I think I just used what was left on the stencil from the last page so as not to waste it, or wash it down the sink (a no-no). Below you can see the fold in the page which I just painted straight over…
Then I painted a very thin watercoloury wash of Golden Paynes Grey, mixed with Raw Umber over the page. I love the way the washruns into a picks out the Molding Paste seed pods even though they are part of the background just adding texture. Before it alldried, I drew the shapes of the tulips and the leaves using my Inktense pencil (Bark) which is wonderful to work on top of thinned wet paint. The pencil runs – especially if you spray it slightly with a spray bottle filled with water. When the pencil and thin wash had dried I then painted some of the tulips and leaves using similar colours to the photos. I used Golden OPEN Nickel Azo Yellow, and I mixed the purple using Golden Heavy Body Permanent Maroon and Paynes Grey, sometimes adding some Titanium White to lighten the purple in certain areas.
More seedpods, this time I found a botanical illustration of Cocoa bean pods. I remember when I was little, in my first year at school, a famous English chocolate factory (Cadbury’s) had an art competition, and my painting won one of the prizes. I can’t remember the painting at all, but I do remember that we had to watch a film (shown on an old film-projector – high tech in 1964) about cocoa plantations and what the pods looked like containing all the beans. Who’d have thought I would grow up to become a chocoholic?
Anyway – I used the illustration to draw my own stencil again…
I also made an alphabet with a set of lino-carving tools, using large erasers (so easy to cut into), and used it to print the word Seed in Golden Fluid acrylic Naples Yellow. I started as usual with the background, this time gluing down tissue paper with Matte Medium, then when it had dried I gave it a coat of Gesso. I used the stencil and scraped Golden Fiber Paste which I mixed with Golden Heavy Body acrylic in Yellow Ochre, through it leaving a raised effect. Fiber Paste is much more matte and more absorbent than Molding Paste and I like the rough surface. To see more about Fiber Paste, check out my two films in earlier blog posts.
When the Fiber Paste had dried, I painted over the whole thing with a thin wash of Golden Fluid acrylic in Permanent Violet Dark. Then using a baby wipe, I wiped off the purple from the surface of the Cocoa pod, Where the Purple and the Yellow Ochre mix round the edges you get a lovely terracotta colour. Finally I added a mixture of Gesso and Golden Fluid Naples Yellow on certain areas to highlight the beans and give them life…
Lastly I painted Yellow Ochre mixed with Permanent Violet Dark onto the bottom left hand side of the page then put my stencil over it and wiped through the holes in the stencil with a baby wipe, removing the yellow mixture and revealing the purple underneath. When I removed the stencil, I was left with the outline of the bean pod, in yellow ochre…
By the way – if you click on the pictures, you can enlarge them to see details ….
As you can see, page three contains a fold. When you make the watercolour paper journal, you use different folds to create the book – it makes it more interesting. Here I found a botanical illustration of some seedpods filled with seeds and sketched it freehand onto a plastic file-divider. Then using a heat-tool (normally used for soldering metal wire) I cut some stencils. The heat-tool is so much easier than using a knife or a scalpel as it melts the plastic and you can easily cut out circles and curves which are trickier with a scalpel. The only thing is the plastic smells a bit as it melts so you have to work in a well ventilated area, or outside.
If you look at the detail below you can see that after collaging some more old book pages onto the background I used the stencil with Golden Molding Paste, which leaves a raised surface. I let the Molding Paste dry overnight then I painted over everything with Golden Fluid acrylic Phthalo Blue (GS). Because the Molding Paste has a slightly shiny surface I could wipe off some of the blue paint from the seedpod shapes. Then I used Golden Fluid Nickel Azo Gold over the top to colour the seedpods. I love using complimentary colours, and the blue and rusty orange are delicious together. Then of course where they mix, they blend together to create a wonderful green tone…
Here’s the next page inside the front cover. I had a photo of some lilies which I thought I would draw, but first I glued down a load of collage material. I used Golden Matte Medium as a glue. It’s not too thick and dries fairly fast and very matte, making it easy to draw onto. Matte Medium leaves a “tooth” (kind of like very, very fine sandpaper) which pencils and crayons love to grab hold of. You don’t get that horrible feeling of your pencils skidding across the surface – they leave their mark. I used Inktense pencils again to draw with, which are water-soluble but dry permanently. If you look at the photo below, you’ll see that I used a gelliprint on the bottom left as part of the background..(If you don’t know what gelliprints are see a previous post from last year with a film on how to do them: http://daysofcreation.jacquelineholmgren.com/?p=45
On this detail below, you can see the old book paper I used as collage material. After gluing down the background I painted over with a mixture of Golden Fluids again, in Green Gold and Nickel Azo Gold. You can also see how my drawn lines in the Inktense pencil have dissolved here and there into the paint – I love that.Again I used gesso to paint in the white lilies. The Inktense pencil (colour: Bark) also mixed with the gesso and created natural shadows on the petals.
It’s a year since I began this blog, and I’ve not been near it for 9 months….
I’ve decided to go through an art journal which I made and filled this spring whilst teaching two evening classes at Gredelin, the art shop where I work in Norrköping. I made the book out of two sheets of watercolour paper, 56cm x 76 cm. By folding and tearing the paper and then sewing it together down the middle, you can create a wonderful book. I can’t take the credit for it – in fact an artist called Teesha Moore has two youtube films on how to do it. She uses inches instead of cm. The 56 x 76 cm paper is actually easier to divide up if you use inches. The 76 cm length of the paper is 30 inches, and the height of the paper is 24 inches. I may do an instruction video in Swedish later if it’s too complicated…:)
My inspiration for the artwork in the journal has been plant life, seedpods, etc. I’ve worked with mixed media throughout the book, trying out stencils, stamps, gelliprints etc.
Here’s the front page:
I started by gluing down pages from old Swedish schoolbooks, geography books with botanical sketches, and music books with old songs and music notes. Then I painted over the pages with a thin layer of gesso, taking care not to cover the text too much. I had taken some photos of amaryllis flowers around Christmas time so I used an Inktense pencil and sketched onto the page. Then, using Golden fluid acrylics – which are very highly pigmented and great to water down, I worked loosely with blues and yellows over the page. I used an amazing red which Golden produce, called Pyrrole Red for the amaryllis flowers, adding Permanent Maroon to the shadows. Finally I filled in the stamens, and the lighter parts with a mixture of Nickel Azo Yellow and gesso.