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Archive for the ‘Experiments with Paper and Media’ Category

Last night I experimented with heavy crayon over alcohol ink. I thought it might be possible to scratch out a pattern through the crayon, but the result looked meager. I threw the card away.

This morning I thought I’d apply gesso over the discarded work and do something on the new surface, using the “what’s on my desk?” technique. This card is what I made, from an acrylic skin (defined below if you need a definition), a magazine clipping, and some yellow paint, which wasn’t on my desktop but had been, recently.

An acrylic skin is a dried-out patch of acrylic paint — typically many layers — that can be peeled up from your palette more or less intact. Being acrylic, skins are more than willing to be pasted down with acrylic medium. With any luck, they are a little grungy, with ragged edges and oddly mixed colors, as in this instance.

This still-damp card has been scanned through a piece of plastic wrap to protect the scanner surface. Light reflects erratically off the plastic and adds little white flecks to the image, a digital bonus.

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Index cards are a frustrating weight: too light for water-based media and too heavy for certain other things. But wait.

I made a rubbing using a piece of ordinary paper as my rubbing plate. It had been given a shaped edge when I cut a variety of small shapes out of it yesterday.

With a soft-ish Art Stix crayon, I got a very nice impression, moving the “plate” three times in total. It looks like tree bark to me.

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I’ve made some postcards for a swap that calls for citrus colors: orange, yellow and lime green. I didn’t especially want to draw or paint fruit, so I tried other ideas using those colors. An old watercolor made a great background, and I was happy to use it because it hasn’t been hung for years.

On my card, the postage stamps are vivid lime green and neon yellow, but the scanner doesn’t see them the way I do.

Coloring the postage stamps with green and yellow highlighters was satisfying. You can see the designs very clearly through the color. I expect I’ll use my  postage stash more often now.

I played around with color adjustment tools in PaintShop Pro and created some interesting accidental effects, but the two “beige” stamps never did turn yellow. A mystery.

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I made this index-card-sized background with oil pastels and an ink marker. I set it aside until I should come across something fun to add to it.

And what should appear during my afternoon “nap” but these little earrings from the pages of Outrageous High Fashion magazine. I liked ’em, so I drew ’em and pasted ’em.

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I tried the art strategy where you paint a background and look for an image in it to bring forward. In this case it was a kneeling woman. Later the same day, I received a mail-art postcard with a very interesting head, so I added it to my drawing.

I was very pleased that I could isolate a proto-image to work with.The line defining her shoulder is an unfortunate one that I may collage over and address later. It makes my eyes hurt.

Craft acrylics, several brands of markers, charcoal pencil and pastels. Several blasts of workable fixative to prevent unplanned smearing.

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It’s the big question in mixed media art. I was done before I stenciled the neutral-color feather in the lower right. I was not done the previous ten times I thought I was done. The goal was to make as many layers as I could, so I achieved that.

The base layer is water color, an inexpensive pan set I bought more than 20 years ago in a toy shop. Then I used most of the other dry media I have, plus a little acrylic paint.

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I’d wear this! I copied a dress image from a promotional postcard, using water-soluble crayons and a few ticks of water color pencil and alcohol marker. The crayons do not create a fine line, but I am trying to learn to work with them because they are so vivid and require less elbow room and caution than a palette of liquid paints.

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