Darkroom Door EyesPosted: April 14, 2023 Filed under: Art Journal, Darkroom Door, eyes, Flower garden, French Script, gel press, Handmade book, made for you, spanish tiles, starry night, Stencils, you are everything | Tags: Art Journal, Darkroom Door stamps, Darkroom Door stencils, gel press, gel printing 4 Comments
Are you surprised to see a face on one of my projects? This journal page spread was definitely outside my comfort zone but I am very happy I persevered and brought it to completion. The page began with the new ‘Eyes’ stamp set from Darkroom Door and a pile of gel prints. There are eight pairs of eyes in the set in a couple of different sizes. I chose to stamp the eyes on a pale gel print done with oxide inks and the DD background stamp ‘flower garden’. To help me draw the rest of the face around the eyes I found a magazine face with similar size eyes and that gave me the right scale and placement as I completed the head and features.
Although I like the idea of adding hair I decided to do that on a future project and used some textured wrapping from a bunch of flowers instead. The bright pink helped me choose other gel prints to complete the background collage. You might not see them all but DD background stamps and stencils are featured on most of the torn collage pieces.
I embossed the Spanish tiles background stamp on a bright pink gel print, tore it up for collage and attached a strip to cardstock so I could cut earrings. I also used gold embossing when adding the words. I alternated phrases from the DD ‘you are everything’ set with the new DD ‘made for you’ set.
I worked in my new handmade journal which is 7″x7″. Once I had the facial features pencilled in I went over them with marker then added shading with coloured pencils. I also stenciled some stars over the collage and embossed in gold to give the whole spread more unity. The pink turban was a bit of a challenge which ended up looking a bit more like a swim cap than a turban but you get the general idea don’t you?
I will be using the eyes again both to practice drawing faces and as elements in future journal pages. I hope you are enjoying seeing the new stamps from Darkroom Door; they are always full of the artistic magic and clever ideas of Rachel Greig.
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Time Art Journal pagePosted: March 6, 2023 Filed under: 6"x 6" journal, Art Journal, Darkroom Door, diamonds, gel press, ransom alphabet, starry night, Stencils | Tags: Art Journal, Darkroom Door stamps, Darkroom Door stencils, gel press, gel printing 4 Comments
This journal page is unlike many of my other pages but contains some of my favourite papers and techniques. What you can’t see is the design I started underneath about a year ago. It had the look of a watercolour sunset but everytime I flipped to that page I didn’t know what to do with it; eventually I covered it up completely.
This is the same as the 6″x6″ watercolour paper journal I use in my Art Journal Adventure workshops. The clock and the starry sky background are gel prints. I did them quite a while ago but because of their size I didn’t know how to use them. The clock was 7″ across before I cut it. It’s an image transfer from a Tiffany’s catalog which arrived at my house for no reason. I don’t have anything from Tiffany’s but I can tell you the images in that catalog are perfect for gel print image transfers! The starry sky was also a large print made with large stencils from Darkroom Door. I could have cut up the panel for cards but I wanted to keep it together if possible. I did end up tearing it into two pieces before gluing it to the page. The galaxy type strip from left to right covers the area where the two pieces meet.
The theme of time is not meant to bully me into being busy, more to remind me that time is precious and why not use it wisely. I printed the letters for the phrase on the rice paper leftovers from the cut out clock using the Darkroom Door ransom alphabet set. That little definition in the corner is from a little palm sized dictionary bought second hand for collage.
The splatter on the black gesso strip is finetec pearlescent paints which tie in with the gold metallic printing on the star gel print. Considering the double page was uninspiring for so long, I’m quite happy with how it turned out.
(Compensated affiliate links from Foiled Fox, Scrap n Stamp)
Butterfly art journal pagePosted: September 15, 2021 Filed under: Art Journal, Butterflies, Darkroom Door, diamonds, French Script, gel press, Mixed Media, starry night, Stencils, Wildflowers Vol 1 | Tags: Art Journal, Darkroom Door stamps, Darkroom Door stencils, gel press, gel printing, Mixed Media 4 Comments
My art journal is a place where I experiment with new techniques and mediums. It’s also a place for taking ideas further after making a card or creating a gel print. For this butterfly themed page I experimented with layering. I don’t find layering easy so it is a good technique to be playing with in my journal. You can’t see all the layers clearly on this page but there are layers of rice paper under gesso as well as on top of it.
Another technique which I am just beginning to play with is sewing on cards and mixed media pieces. Rachel Greig from Darkroom Door is a master at it and provided loads of inspiration during her recent Artful August challenge. I have tried sewing on paper with my precious Pfaff sewing machine but it didn’t like it so a few weeks ago I bought a second hand machine especially for sewing heavy and unusual materials. The machine is an old one but it is very sturdy and hums along beautifully.
I began by tearing up a large gel print done on rice paper. It featured diamonds on one side and stars on the other, both patterns made with large Darkroom Door stencils. The colour scheme was blues, reds and gold. I glued the torn pieces around the edges with gel medium then painted over them with diluted gesso. After the gesso dried I stamped a few butterflies then added more gesso over the top.
I spritzed over the pages with a faded jeans and broken china distress sprays, only enough to add a bit of speckle here and there, not so much as to cover the colour and pattern underneath. I stamped more butterflies from the DD butterflies set in colours similar to those in my gel print patches.
Once the stamping was done I sewed borders around two pieces of gel printed rice paper then glued them on the pages. I stamped, cut out and glued down sentiments from the DD wildflowers vol 1 stamp set.
Oh, and I stamped the DD French script stamp a couple of times on each page in gold to co-ordinate with the gold on the gel prints. Not a ton of layering or sewing but I am learning how to paint over background layers just enough to make them fade but not so much that they disappear. I realise looking at these photos that the gel print on the left looks like a pocket… it’s not but that’s an idea for another page.
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See you soonPosted: January 5, 2021 Filed under: Darkroom Door, gel press, My Favorite Things, Pink Fresh studio, starry night, Stencils | Tags: Darkroom Door stencils, gel press, gel printing, Pink Fresh studio 11 Comments
Just popping in with a couple of cards carrying a couple of messages for you. I hope your new year is off to a good start; I am still enjoying the beauty of an array of Christmas cards sent from around the world, thank you my creative friends for brightening up the midwinter days.
I made today’s cards from a gel printed panel done several months ago. I can’t remember the paints but you can see there was definitely orange, aqua and black. The panel I cut up is shown below, most of it included distinct or faint stars made with the Darkroom Door small starry night stencil. Along one edge there were two very distinct feather prints made with real feathers.
I ended up cutting a square which included one feather, leaving me one for another project. I also cut a rectangle covered in colour and texture which became the base for die cut letters and stars. I chose gold cardstock and gold embossing powder to add some brightness and shimmer on top of the dark background featuring a ‘scripted bold sentiments’ stamp from Pinkfresh Studio, alphabet dies from MFT and nesting star dies from We R Memory Keepers. I popped up the letters and the stars on black foam which kind of makes them appear to be floating.
I wanted to let you know I am taking a short blogging break so I can devote some time to planning and prep. I will be working on projects to share with you over the coming months. Ideally I would have done this before I stopped for Christmas but that didn’t happen so I’m doing it over the next week or so. I have lovely ideas and projects floating round in my head, I have a little stash of stencils and stamps that haven’t been out of their packets and some new release products from Penny Black on the way.
It has been a while since I devoted time to gel printing, alcohol inks, stenciling and lettering so that’s on the list along with some more hand painting. I will be making some videos to share here on my blog and youtube channel. I have a new online class in the works also. So you see while it’s quiet on the blog it will be busy behind the scenes.
As always I am happy to answer questions and I’m open to requests or suggestions for new projects and videos. If you feel like diving into one of my online classes just click on COLOUR CLUES or WINTER WONDER to learn more. (Here is a discount code for COLOUR CLUES which will take 20% of the price until January 15, 2021 HTNY21 )
So take care everyone, I’m looking forward to sharing techniques and experiments, cards, journal pages, paintings and more here on the blog during 2021. See you soon…
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Ink and doodle journal pagePosted: August 25, 2020 Filed under: Art Journal, Correspondence, Darkroom Door, Feathers, mesh, starry night 12 Comments
I’ve had oxide inks out on my desk the last few days so I put them to use on a journal page.
I taped the edges of the pages with painter’s tape which gave me a border and held the pages flattish while I worked and painted the page area inside the tape with absorbent ground so I could add water to the inks and move them around a little.
Because the journal pages do not lie flat any more I was only able to pick up sections of ink from my glass mat. To get more coverage I squished ink on a piece of acetate, spritzed it and dragged it across the pages spreading ink as I went.
I added visual texture with two stencils from Darkroom Door then stamped feathers from the DD ‘feathers’ stamp set in black and then in the oxide inks. When it came to doodling on the page I used black and gold gel pens and wrote the verse with the same pens. I finished it off with gold and black splatters then removed the tapes to reveal an uneven but quite artistic border.
This was an unplanned experimental page as many of my pages are. I was inspired mainly by what was on my desk and a desire to doodle some of the design and not just stamp.
I am rather frustrated by the paper in this journal. It is good paper but not made to handle wet media so I am limited in creating the kind of blends and wet into wet designs I love to do. The question is do I persevere and learn some new techniques that don’t rely so much on watercolour (gasp) or do I buy a good watercolour journal?
Classic carPosted: March 25, 2020 Filed under: classic cars vol 1, Darkroom Door, diamonds, gelli plate, number medley, starry night, Stencils | Tags: Darkroom Door stamps, Darkroom Door stencils, gel printing 7 Comments
I have some mixed media goodness for you today. I know it’s pretty flat and doesn’t involve any fibres or other funky textured things but it is mixed media and currently my favourite mixed media option – gel printing. I spent a day with a friend a few weeks ago, and we printed up a storm on our gel presses. This is one of my backgrounds patterned with Darkroom Door stencils then stamped with DD stamps.
The textures in the background were made with the DD small stars stencil, diamond stencil and some corrugated cardboard. This background was cut from a bigger panel and I chose a section that had a pop of yellow in the corner; it’s only a small thing but it provides some contrast and leads the eye from left to right.
Once I’d trimmed my panel I stamped one of the cars from ‘classic cars vol 1’ in versamark ink and embossed in white. The background is so busy I needed to do something to make the car stand out a bit more so I coloured it with a white pencil which softened the area inside the stamped car just enough to make a difference. I added numbers from the new ‘number medley’ set in black so they would subtle but noticeable. The sentiment also from ‘classic cars’ set is embossed on a strip of the gel print then matted in white and popped up on some foam tape.