Wednesday, 11 September 2013

It's About ...... by Alan Scott


This is the first project that I have done using imagery from an Altered Art Digi Kit. They were built up in Adobe Photoshop CS5 and printed out on a colour laser printer (nowadays there are such great deals with these printers and if you shop in the right place, then the toner refills are nowadays very comparable with ink jet).

The project uses templates, acrylic paints, stamps and ink pads. I have used items that were mostly bought from That's Crafty however, where I have used an alternative I have directed you to an alternative that's in store. Any questions contact and I'm sure she will be glad to help you and point you in the right direction.



2 sheets 12 x 12 inch paper from our ever growing paper mountain (Thats Crafty hold a nice range of 6 inch pads. These can be used instead of a 12 inch sheet, just double up where needed)
Masking Tape
An Artist Pad (the one I have used is A3 and is 300gsm)
Lollipop Stick and Small Container (for mixing the paint and moulding past together)
12 inch Stencil (for this project I opted to use Grandma's Doily ~ Art Is ~ Cell Theory)
Stampers Anonymous Stamp SetsMixed Media ~ Spills and Splatters (there is a smaller version available in a stamp set called Bitty Grunge)
Buffing Wax: German Silver ~ Verdigris (here I have directed you to a wonderful alternative that's just as good as the ones I have in my stash)
Sharp pr. of Scissors and Craft Knife
Print Out from Digital Imagery you have created
Black Alcohol Ink Pen: Spectrum Noir ~ ProMarker
Xyron Creative Center (it's been gathering dust now for months so had to be used!)
Indian Ink and Pen with Wide Nib (here I have used Dr. Ph Martins Red Violet)



Now then, there is a story to this project. I set out with 1 image in mind. However after one aspect of this project, it was turned around on its head and I re-thought what I was going to do. This 'happy accident' was a blessing in disguise, as the original creative path would not have been as interesting. 

Like all of us we have a paper mountain growing in our craft space. It's something that grows and grows. People who are not connected in any way to the wonderful world of crafting will not understand the need to have even more paper. Well we might not have that style or colour... it's a designer producer that we like. So I would like to share with you my Paper Mountain. They are all 12 x 12 inch and the A4's are stored away in another space. Am I being too greedy? Should I get out more?


This is the Paper and Card Mountain. Its been acquired over several years, however I don't think the bottoms seen the light of day now for a few years lol.

Right, back to the project. After selecting two different papers the next step was to rip them up into sections. Armed with a very good collage glue, this is where we can get all creative and start to build up our first layer of texture.
I don't have a very big space to work in, so I have adapted an old off cut of mdf and a pair of those high powered clamps. By adding this extra space, I'm able to gain just that bit extra which allows me to spread out that bit more.

As I'm working with a spiral bound pad, I don't want the colours I'm using to seep under this sheet and then contaminate the sheet below. So a layer of masking tape helps prevent this from happening.
The picture on the left shows the first layer complete. As you can see, the papers have been combined but by leaving designs from each sheet you’re able to make an interesting layer ready for the next step. As the base layer can get quite damp, I use large metal clips to help keep the base layer in a flat as possible way. 

To help with the next step, a layer of white gesso is used. To help remove the gesso from certain parts, a baby wipe is used to dictate what is covered and what is opaque.
Now it’s time to start to play with our colours. What I originally had in mind was going to be an outdoors themed layer. So once again using the paper paint pallet (it was an old one! as it has a wax surface you’re able to reuse it several times).

The picture in the right shows what I arrived at using the blues and greens. If you enlarge the photo you’re able to see where I have scrubbed away some paint to leave a not grunge but aged look.
I wanted next to start to build up from the base to add depth. The best way to get a quick layer is to use a texture paste tinted with a colour. This action can build up interesting shapes. You don’t have to use all the template, just use some. However I have to stress that once you have finished, remove all the paste as quickly as possible as if it dries it can cause issues later when you come to use that stencil again. 
The bottom picture shows the paste when dry. You can aid this process by using a heat gun, however this can cause the paste to crack. So it’s best to let it air dry.
Now to add more colour to the mix. I realised that the base layer wasn't going to work as I wanted it to, so by building up colours and other designs I was hoping to build on this. So I used another stencil from my collection and those bright true coloured dye sprays from Dylusions.  

When I had finished and lifted the stencil off, I was knocked back - it had bleed under the stencil. This happened because I did not make sure that the stencil was flat. The ink had bleed under the stencil and caused a mess. I know it doesn't look too bad photographed but close up, trust me it was a mess! So what could I do next to salvage the project?  

You GUESSED IT! white gesso. As the ink was still quite wet when I started to place the white Gesso down, I used a lollipop stick so I did not contaminate the pot of gesso. By using the white gesso, I was able to move the mixture around the page. It started to cover up the base layer with a very interesting layer of colour. While the mess made by the mistake was not completely covered up, it did make an much softer segment on the page.
To build up the covered dye image, using a contrasting ink pad and blending tool, I started to once again lay down colour in a random manner.
Then using a colour matching pen, I opted to pick out segments and make an impression using the pen to highlight a certain circle.  

The next layer I opted to use a text stencil and another contrasting ink. Sometimes text used as a background can be interesting, to see parts of words or not a complete sentence.
Way back in the day, I bought some washi tape as it was in a job lot. When I got them I just placed them into a container to be used later. This project was later!  

To help protect the washi tape and to keep it secure, I used some collage glue as a barrier.
The next layer was going to be made using a selection of stamps. I only used on stamp with an acrylic block, the others when I used them I just let the stamp take its own path and only stamped where I pressed down on to the stamps foam backing. 
The picture on the right shows the only stamp that I used with a stamping block. Due to the design, I felt it was important to use it all. However I didn't re-ink the stamp every time I made an impression.
The picture on the left shows the stamping layer. I like to keep each layer to its own theme/style, that way I'm not mixing them up. Sometimes a layer needs to be protected by using an protective medium. If you're mixing your styles all the time without planning, your going to effect what you have done before if that layer is not protected (hope that made sense - it did in my head lol).
The original layer that I made using the paint and texture paint had become lost when I corrected the ink and stencil layer, so using cream and buff on the tip of my finger, I just rubbed across the raised sections. Then using a soft cloth, I carefully starting to rub at those places until it became bright - just like polishing your footwear!
Like I mentioned at the start, this project was going to use digitally created imagery made up from components from digi kits that were bought from sites across the web. These are known as Art Dolls – it’s a style that I have not come across before until I started to research into various Mixed Media styles. I printed out 2 sets of lettering – 1 I had to put in the 'Later Projects Folder' and I used the ones that looked as if a label machine had made them. To help with the cutting (we are not always spot on when it comes to sharp scissors or crafting knifes) by using a black pen around the edge, it helps make it stand out from the base layer and it also helps cover up those small errors in cutting.
The picture on the right shows the ones that I had passed over. To help make the labels stand out, I used Tea Dye ink on the edges to make them look aged.
Now then, while I was looking around the craft room for something, not sure what, I saw my old Creative Station. It had been sat there on the top shelf since I last did my major/minor shuffle around. This is one of those machines that we used to look for all the time but as different styles come in some things are pushed to the back. I don't know if they are still being made or if the glue rolls are still available, it's something  I'm going to have to look into. It’s a shame that this machine has been discarded as it’s a wonderful piece of crafting machinery. 
Glued and ready to be used in my project. All I have to do is cut them out (this time I don't have to be careful YIPPIE!) and secure them into place. A layer of collage glue when I have finished will keep them secured.
To give the images a grounding, use the same black pen (you don’t have to use black use what ever colour or colours that you want to use) and go around the image. Then I used a pen with a wide nib and some complementary Indian ink and gave the wording strips a frame.
Now to work on the edges. First I used Aged Mahogany. Red Brick was next, however this time I expanded the depth of the first layer by about 50% in certain areas. This was the maximum extra depth but not all round, just in places. Finally using Black Soot, I inked just the edges - this would be the darkest point of the edging and give it an 'edge'.

Some close ups of areas of the projects showing close up's of the layer I had created.
There you are a project that started as one thing but ended up another. I don't think I will now ever panic when something goes so wrong that I feel it’s just got to head to the bin. Things can be turned around with some thought and planning. 

Any questions, please send me a message and I will get back to you a.s.a.p.

Take care and Happy Crafting


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