I completed another page in my art journal a few days ago; not the one that inspired a recent card, that one is still to come. This one I started, stopped and restarted again.
You can see there are some shadowy flowers in the background. They are the first flowers I stamped and painted straight on the journal page. The journal isn’t watercolour paper so diluting and painting with ink didn’t work well. I tried to fix it by drawing black outlines and then white gel pen highlights but that didn’t look good either. I like to think of the art journal as a place I can try techniques but sometimes those experiments don’t end up looking pretty.
When I’ve wanted to paint on other pages I have prepped the pages with absorbent ground first; it makes the surface more conducive to ink and water blending. Adding one layer of absorbent ground covered the surface but not the images underneath. When it dried though, I liked the misty images in the background and decided not to do another layer. Instead I proceeded to stamp again with the same inks (listed below) and this time blending the inks with water was more successful. To stamp on the uneven book pages I used acrylic blocks and the Wendy Vecchi ‘perfect stamp positioner’.
Once I finished stamping and painting the PB floral stamps ‘unfolding’ and ‘dainty whispers’ I stamped the delicate ‘a little secret’ stamp repeatedly in old paper distress ink to fill in some grass. I blended broken china ink directly onto the pages to fill the sky area and splattered water over it to break up the flat blue expanse.
Finally I chose the quote from a favourite author, C.S. Lewis and used the C&9 ‘simple serif’ alphabet stamps and some tiny stamps I bought long ago at Hanji gifts in Toronto. I’ve since found out C.S. Lewis did not say this; I guess I should have done a fact check before stamping it all in my journal.
I do like the effect of coloured images under a layer of white. I might do it on purpose next time!
I sense a bit of a theme in this week’s cards; do you think maybe I’m thinking about spring? I am surrounded by gorgeous floral stamps in my workroom but by six foot snow banks outside. So today’s card started out as just a pretty pink magnolia but ended up caught in some flurries.
My plan was to build up colour step by step, keep it controlled and neat (not loose and watery). I stamped the whole stamp in worn lipstick ink then coloured the darker areas of the petals with a festive berries marker, the sepals in forest moss marker and the twigs in gathered twigs marker. I then blended the colour with water on a small brush so it was still fairly neat.
I wanted some extra foliage in the background and that’s when things started to go a little freestyle. I masked the flowers with a post it and stamped the ‘a little secret’ stamp a couple of times in stormy sky ink. The two stamps did not really look like they belonged together so I left behind my ‘neat’ plan and started spritzing the water around. The background softened but not quite enough so I painted some stormy sky into the background also. As I painted stormy sky right up to the edge of the branch the brown bled into the blue, things got loose and watery and, in my opinion, more appealing. I added some aged mahogany ink to the the centres of the flowers and some gold gel pen highlights. Then I wanted some snow as well so I splattered white gesso over the petals. I found a co-ordinating blue to frame the panel and kept it without a sentiment for now.
Stamps: effulgent, a little secret
Distress inks and markers: worn lipstick, festive berries, forest moss, gathered twigs, stormy sky, aged mahogany
Paper: hot pressed watercolour paper,
Paint: white gesso
Also: gold gel pen
I’m playing with layers in today’s card, both layers of stamping and layers of painting. I used a couple of colours of distress stain to create the background on hot pressed watercolour paper. I painted with both chipped sapphire and stormy sky, keeping the colour dark on the left and pale on the right. After I had done one layer I dried it then painted another layer. While the second layer was still wet I stamped the ‘a little secret’ stamp in chipped sapphire ink, taking care as I inked it to leave the birds uninked. I let that dry and stamped again in chipped sapphire to get an image which didn’t soften and bleed. With the panel dry I dropped some water droplets onto the painted background then after a minute or so dried them with paper towel. The watermark left behind looks like light or a moon in the distance. To finish I stamped the full stamp in versafine onyx black ink.
You can see the deckled edge in the close up above. I buy quite a bit of hot pressed watercolour paper in large sheets and each sheet has two deckled edges which occasionally I incorporate into my projects. I mounted the panel on a white card base and left it without a sentiment.
Thanks for dropping by.
Stamps: a little secret (PB)
Inks: chipped sapphire, stormy sky distress stains and inks(Ranger), versafine onyx black (Tsukineko)
Paper: Fabriano hot pressed watercolour paper