paper dying – new techniques!


I really thought that stash of dyed papers would last a long time, but supplies are getting low, so last night I began another batch, and in so doing I’ve streamlined the process a bit.

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It’s the same ‘lasagna‘ of paper and ink/dye, but instead of leaving it to marinade for ages, once it had a good soaking (1-2 hrs I guess) I spread the bits out on some more ‘scrap paper’. I used a super-cheap watercolor pad – v low quality and rubbish for painting on – but nice and absorbant, so just the job for this! Given a good squash (I stood on it, then danced about a bit) the colors soak through to the watercolor pad the bonus of more dyed paper than I’d bargained for + far quicker drying time. Result!

They’re drying right now – will show you the pics tomorrow. Meanwhile I’m planning another batch in different colors. I’m torn between blues, greens and purples next… What d’you reckon, folks? 🙂

confessions of a color junkie


Can’t help myself, every day gotta get a fix of colors. Colors in combinations that don’t always sit comfortably. Colors in big splashy forms. Speckles n freckles you only see close up….

Frisket stencils, part 1


I do love stencils, and after watching this vid from Julie Pritchard and Chris Cozens I was inspired to follow their technique using my own stencils. (I especially like the way they recycle the colors from the stencils onto tissue paper to reuse later on in collages)

So, I got myself some Frisket Film (if you’re shopping in the UK I can recommend Artifolk.)

Frisket is a low tack film that can be be cut to shape with scissors or craft knife, made especially for airbrush masks. (although I’m not air brushing, I’m using a spray bottle with dye.)

Used on a flat paper it sticks just enough to withstand leaks and dislodging, but on the bumpy lumpy surface of my sketchbook page it doesn’t have enough ‘cling’ to make a completely water-tight seal, but I’m happy with this – where the color oozes under it makes for a deckled edge to the stenciled lines.

Building up the layers is a lot of fun!

Dabbing the puddles of color to soak up excess liquid keeps it (slightly) under control!)

After letting it dry I added a couple more Frisket shapes, re-sprayed and a sprinkling of Brusho powder.

Check back later and I’ll show you how it developed from here!

more experiments with rice


This (Wednesday’s page)





Plus this (salvaged dyed rice + hot water)





Equals this (thickly heaped rice on dry paper – may try wet paper next time – sprayed with a little more ink for good measure)





Plus drying time…………. produced this, gently dappled patterning.


new things old things


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this was Monday’s page, recycling techniques in a new order, mostly acrylic with a bit of ink spray. Very much into stenciling just now. I’ve ordered some Frisket paper (and waiting on delivery as I type) and giddy with anticipation!!

layers on overspill




Sunday 29 April: This page started out with some overspill remnants from previous inky fun – the golden orange magenta dyes.

It’s been a while since I played with watercolors and the blue forms are today’s addition.

I’m messing about with different techniques – this time using a water brush dipped directly into the tube of watercolor paint.

The wonderful rich turquoise is from the Koh-I-Noor dye paint

I love the magic of colors interacting!

Watery puddles take the pigments in their flow. As the water evaporates the trails are left.

the what and the why of ‘a page a day’


When I began this project (a month ago today) I had no idea how long I’d stick with it. Or how easy/difficult, much fun/much of a slog, it would become.
Or for what reason I wanted to do it.

But I did want to.

So I began.

A Page A Day, the project.

Ingredients:

  • New A3 sketchbook
  • All my paints, pens, inks, dyes, brushes, forks and sticks… if it makes a mark, it can join the game
  • This blog. To record and evaluate, to review and assess, keep track in a different medium of unfolding development. Regularly (I thought maybe daily, yeh…)
  • A spare 1/2 hour or so each day to fill that day’s page

That’s it, no rules.

Just one page at a time. One day at a time
(With maybe a little to-ing and fro-ing in between, but with the majority of today’s page being created today.)
Day 1, Page 1

Day 1: 16 March 2012. A Friday.
Home from work with the whole evening set aside to arty things, with the possibility to spill out over the weekend.

And wow did it spill! Everyday is painted, collaged, drawn on, doodled on, written on; dripped, splished and splatted on.

(I’ve posted previous pages if you’re interested here, here, here. And here n here!)

There are days that I’m more pleased with the result than others, but isn’t that a metaphor! If I find something really wanting on a page I’ll go back and add it. Using my sketchbook as a work surface (no drips of color go to waste in my world!) means some ‘new’ pages will begin with splishes and spills of color. S’okay.

Today ‘s page looks a lot like a page with inky paper towels stuck to it.


That’s cool. Cos I’m not so interested in what the page as a whole looks like.


These are the bits I like.

The miniature landscapes,

The inter-mingling of inks and dyes,

The light and the shade cast by wrinkles and dimples.

adventures in color: ingredients


In response to the feed back on my paper dying project, thought I’d share some inspiration and some of my fave ingredients if you’re interested in doing something similar.

Firstly I must introduce you to an artist I find enormously inspirational, Ruth Issett.

Ruth has authored several books of mouth-wateringly delicious adventure in color and frequently runs courses and workshops.

Take a peak at her Glorious Papers: Techniques for Applying Colour to Paper – this is one of my fave books to set ideas flowing.

Dyes

For real vibrant colors, both for fabric and paper, I use Procion dyes. These are available at some art/craft stores, or the trusty shop that sells most everything.
The dye powder needs to mixed with water, and the colors blend beautifully. If you’re using them for paper there’s no need to use any fixative, just treat them like an ink.

Inks

I also love to use Brusho inks. Again these come in powder form to be mixed with water.
If you sprinkle the dry powder (a little goes a long way) on damp paper you can get some fabulous starburst effects and color separation from the individual hues of pigments . Try it and find out!



Then there’s the Ranger Adirondack Color Wash sprays.
These can be used on fabrics too if heat set with an iron.
Ready mixed, these come in spray bottles.



Dr P H Martin’s Bombay ink.

Having picked up a bottle of this at my local art shop, in a fit of extravagance I got myself both full sets of 12 colors and have to say it was a great investment.

They come in dropper bottles, perfect for dripping onto paper!

The colors are vibrant and strong, so again you don’t need to use loads, and a bottle lasts a long time.

Paints

Koh-I-Noor paints are fab for several reasons.

The colors are rich and intense dye-based paints which come as 4 stackable palettes. The middle bit of each palette, along with the lid, can be used for water or mixing shades, and they are perfect if you want to take your colors out and about with you.

NB Koh-I-Noor also make stackable palette sets like this with regular watercolor – this is the one in the illustration. The ones I use are the intense dark dye based ones. Check out the comparison of colors here. Read more about playing with these here



I hope you’ve found this interesting/useful and it may have sparked some ideas for you. Til next time, happy creating, folks! 😀

dyed paper!


Thanks to all who’ve joined me in these last few days of paper dying.

If you’d like to catch up on the story so far, it started here, went here, went off track awhile here, before showing up here.

It’s taken over my weekend, spilling into the weeks either side, and still there’s stuff soaking and hanging out to dry! But, that all comes later. First of all…..

First batches!


I should really photograph these in daylight, and with less wobble, but was too giddy with excitement I didn’t want to wait!

off on a tangent & happy accidents


Using a blank page from my sketchbook to work on for the paper dying episodes has a threefold purpose:

  1. It’s a nice clean white (to begin with, at least) backdrop to photograph and record work in progress. A3 size book, opened up is a good sized working area.
  2. It protects my work surface (for now, an ironing board)
  3. It’s captured some gorgeous incidental art. Every stage of art, is art, right?

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The little wire coils? Yeh, I’ll explain them later. Meanwhile I’ve got drying paper to go check on. BRB 😉