Wednesday, 26 July 2017

2017 #10 Dark to Light: Color Diffusion {by Dounia Large}

2017 Topic 10: Dark to Light: Contrasts & Layers - Color Diffusion

Have you ever tried to paint over the top of something only to have the colour bleed through? Did you get mad? Well Dounia doesn't get mad, she gets even! How cool to explore that effect deliberately to see how she can encourage colour-bleed! I love this idea!

Bonsoir everyone, Dounia from France with you tonight, playing with the diffusive properties of water reactive inks. I turned my playing session into a few simple cards to show you the possibilities of this technique.

You've probably already encountered this phenomenon of white ink or paint taking the color of a previous layer. When it is accidental, sometimes you enjoy the new nuances and sometimes you despair of obtaining a true white. Here I'm doing it on purpose. I find it a rather quick and easy way to make backgrounds or elements with soft tones yet with high visual impact.

Bringing back white over dark layers can be quite the quest, the result looking weak or necessitating numerous applications. The idea here is to purposely tint the white, which makes everything actually easier. The first step is to create an under layer with water reactive inks (so no acrylic inks!). Here I used watercolor ink, distress inks and infusions. I like brighter colors but it works with any deep color (the yellows here actually are a bit light and did not work so well).

Then you take a fortifying breath and you completely cover you design with a layer of opaque dark paint. Black brings the most contrast obviously but dark blues, greens, purples or browns can yield very nice effects too. For example I did a series using Chocolate Pudding Fresco Acrylic paint (it is a semi opaque so I needed three coats instead of the usual two for total coverage - I need to learn to read labels!). Once the base is ready, it is time for the light layer. Any water based white product potentially works for that, meaning you can stamp, stencil, write, free hand, anything you like

I advise experimenting with the different products you may have to see how they react. In this sampler, all developed a tint (even the paint) but both the underlying and top inks influenced the final color.

The depth of color mainly depends on the water content of the white product, as it needs to reactivate the colors beneath. Therefore when stamping, after inking, it always helps to spray water once or twice on the stamp, or more for a watery effect.

This georgeous sprig is from Lin Brown's ELB29, I used pretty much all the stamps in this set! Most of her designs work really well with this technique as they are quite solid.

Bold designs also make good focus elements. You can easily make a coordinated background by using the same inks as in the underlayer.

Texture stamps make for great and easy backgrounds. Here I stencilled the flower duo from PS024...

... also by Lin Brown, with Grunge Paste. It is not really visible on the picture but the Grunge Paste also became slightly tinted, harmonising with the backgroung while still providing contrast (these subtle shades are quite difficult to photograph, sorry).

Another interesting way to create dramatic visual impact is to bring in some true white, which will emphasize the colors. One sure way to have a white that stays white is embossing powder. Just a little makes everything pop!

Bold is not the only way to go. Delicate and busy stamps, like the fauna and flora of ELB07, also give great results.

You can play with the contrast between tinted and pure white:

Or you can add other shade by using two white products with different reactivity (here ink and paint):

Stencil & stamp combos, like ELB20 and PS014, also give great results with this technique.

You can play with the varying shades of white or bring back some black for a night scene...

VoilĂ ! These are just a few possibilities, you can have hours of fun playing with the colors, layers and contrasts, it is pretty much always striking. I must warn you that the infusions are a bit unpredictable as an underlayer in this technique. They work but the powder/water ratio needed is a bit fiddly, so maybe do not make it your first attempt! Also, you don't have to limit yourself to cards, this technique works for masterboards, jourmal pages, etc... I hope this inspires you to try creating in not so black and white.

Stay curious! Dounia x.
Blog: Doudoulina

Oh me oh my! I have never deliberately pulled tints to the surface in this way! I love how you have created so many variations on the theme, and its awesome to see how it works with different non-permanent dye products too! What a fantastic theme to explore! Thanks you for sharing your ideas Dounia! ~  Leandra

We always hope that you  learn something interesting from our blog

Our creative team love to read your comments so much, so please take time to let them know you've been inspired!  

Why not join our 2-weekly challenge by blogging your create response to the current topic and link it here?

The current topic link Topic 10 (Dark to Light) will close 17:00 (London Time) Sunday, August 5th 2017, and the winner will be announced 2 hours later at 19:00.

All links go in the draw to win a £50 voucher to spend on products of your choice from the PaperArtsy online store.

Monday, 24 July 2017

2017 #10 Dark to Light: Contrasts & Layers {by Helen Chilton}

2017 Topic 10: Dark to Light: Contrasts & Layers

Well they may be particularly hard to get your hands on these days, but Ranger's new Oxide Inks are probably the most exciting product our industry has seen in many a year. They are super-easy to work with as they are a hybrid ink with properties of both dye and pigment inks: thick, creamy and opaque, but like all distress products, reactive with water. We have recently received our delivery of the newest colours, so take a look at Helen's take with them, and we will be back with more hybrid ink magic in an upcoming blog topic soon!

Hi everyone, it's Helen with you today, and I'd like to share with you a project using Distress Oxide inkpads and reinkers. I thought the Oxides would be great for this topic as you can build them up one over the other from dark to light - that's one of their fun properties!

I've used Hot Picks stamps HP1506 ...

...and HP1202 

I ended up making two tags...

...not what I intended at the start, but by the end I wanted to show one stamped in white (the ultimate light colour) and one stamped in black (ie. going back to dark colours).

They started life as a stencilled piece of kraft card using stencils PS023 and PS040 - I love working on this brown base. Iced Spruce Oxide, Walnut Stain Oxide, Faded Jeans Oxide

Then came the splattering technique as per Tim Holtz. I could sit there and do this all day - just look at the colours! I forgot that of course the stencilling underneath would run and react with the water as well, but I kind of like it - you get the stripes and shapes popping up every now and again.

It was at this point I got out the Distress Oxide Reinkers - the colour in them is very intense and great for painting with: Broken China reinker and Spiced Marmalade reinkers - drip and spread with a brush. The lighthouse is stamped directly onto the background and painted so you can see how easy it is to build up the colour.

Tip: don't forget to give them a really good shake, there is a ball bearing in the bottle to assist with the product mixing up well in the bottle.

They're also great for adding a final layer of splatters. Cracked Pistachio reinker, Wilted Violet reinker, Fossilized Amber reinker and all the rest plus all the new Distress Oxide inks are all available online at PaperArtsy here.

This technique will work on any colour card - just give it a go and see what happens. How heavy handed you are with your dipping will affect the size of the splatters - although I liked the finished result, the card I used ( 8" x 8") was quite large for dipping delicately - smaller pieces are easier. Personally I just love seeing the build up of colour on colour and how they all intermingle. You could get some fantastic die cuts out of the splattered card too!

Blog: A Splash of Colour

Teaching at The Craft Barn
Inky Fingers: Wednesday 16 August, Wednesday 20 September
Kit 'n' kaboodle: Saturday 26 August, Saturday 23 September

Starting on a dark card surface, be it painted or direct-to-card, is exactly what this topic is all about! It's a great challenge for those of us who are generally used to starting with a light surface. I think the choice of Oxide Inks is genius, as one of the properties you least expect from them is high opacity. Because they are fully opaque, as you layer you get defined spots, then add water and it's a whole new world! I love how you used the re-inkers to add further colourful layers too! Excellent! ~ Leandra

We always hope that you  learn something interesting from our blog

Our creative team love to read your comments so much, so please take time to let them know you've been inspired!  

Why not join our 2-weekly challenge by blogging your create response to the current topic and link it here?

The current topic link Topic 10 (Dark to Light) will close 17:00 (London Time) Sunday, August 5th 2017, and the winner will be announced 2 hours later at 19:00.

All links go in the draw to win a £50 voucher to spend on products of your choice from the PaperArtsy online store.

Sunday, 23 July 2017

2017 Topic 10: Dark to Light and Contrasts {Introduction and Challenge}

 2017 Topic 10: Dark to Light, Contrasts

Well hello everyone, Darcy here, bringing you a new topic. This time we are exploring colours; how they layer and how they contrast. We would like you to contemplate building your artwork up on a dark background for a change, also layering dark and light colours, and perhaps using colours that contrast highly against each other. 

Before we start, let's see who won the Topic 9: AquaChallenge...

The winner of  the Aqua challenge is: Lucy from True Colours.  Lucy visited what sounds like an amazing art- supplies recycling place and used some found items to create her piece for the Aqua challenge with Tracy Scott stamps as a stunning contrast. Go check out the post here to read about it.

Email Darcy to claim your prize.

So for this topic we have various areas for you to look at, all utilising colours in different ways. To start with let's see how you can work from dark to light. This could mean working on a dark substrate, or a darkly painted background, perhaps dark fabric, or shading through to highlights.

What about this wow! piece to kick us off, how stunning are these vibrant pinks against the dark grey background. You could recreate this on a journal cover, Make use of the great selection of Fresco pinks over Slate or London Night. 

Jimmie Martin
Here we have a layered card, utilising black and kraft coloured backgrounds, this combination draws your eye forward. 

Carolyn King
Dark does not have to be black, grey or brown.. how about blue, this card starts with a lovely mid blue and works forward with lighter shades on the focal feathers. 

Nancy Hill
A really interesting dark to light here with these decorated chairs, the colourful stripes really pop against that dark wood background. 

This piece has  a complex background, look carefully, there are lots of shades of black and brown, possibly dark blues, drips and drops. A background does not have to be a solid colour, think about building your background in subtle layers. working in similar colours will support your focal image and not detract from it. 

Charlie Bowater
Speaking of layers, something else we want you to try is alternating your layers from dark to light and back again. Seth Apter is an expert at this technique, using light and dark in contrasting layers to great effect. 

Seth Apter 
Here is another set from Seth, look carefully, peer beneath the top layers, see how many light and dark layers you can spot. This clever alternating colour choice results in a natural blend between layers, resulting in backgrounds that resemble landscapes. 

Seth Apter
This journal spread is a great example of this technique, the background layers alternate beautifully culminating with the lightest layer of script. 

Ruth Beeley
When layering contrasting colours it is important to allow the paint to dry between layers to avoid mud, of course Fresco paints dry super quickly so you do not need to wait long. 

This technique of alternating light and dark works especially well on a gelli plate, here is a great video from Barbara Gray showing how these layers work. 

Another way of layering this time using collage items in dark and light , see how the layers are distinct but still compliment each other. 

Lynne Moncrieff
Another collage piece, this time using various colours rather than monochrome, but again we see the contrast of dark and light. This piece was done with newspaper and magazine pages, each piece carefully chosen to show the contrasts. 

Kim Thittichai
Layering dark and light does not mean using very dark or bright white, you can alternate any colours that have different values. This bright happy piece uses bold colours, but they still alternate and contrast. 

Kate Crane
This one is more autumnal colours but still makes great use of layers and contrasts. 

This piece has stunning jewel like colours, chosen to perfectly contrast and compliment. Light drips over dark backgrounds, with dark showing through the crackles, and lots of yummy texture too. See how they merge and blend towards the bottom, although blended the colours can still clearly be seen, no mud in sight. 

Maria Fondler-Grossbaum
Remember that colours have opposites that provide the best contrast, blues contrast with oranges, reds with greens and purples with yellows. This zingy page shows reds and greens working perfectly together, be careful to dry between layers though. Dry red and green are wonderful but wet red and green an make mud. 

Sandra Kaye
Here you can see how blue and orange are great companions, this time on fabric. 

Jenny Rolfe
A great way to contrast is to go big and bold, and what could be more bold than blocks of colour, especially when one block is metallic. This abstract piece is gorgeous with the slate blue and gold, what colours would you choose?

Rachel Furlough
Have you heard of 'OmbrĂ©' this is a French word meaning shadow or shaded, and means to gradually blend from one hue to another. While this is more of a gradual effect and not a contrast i thought it would be fun to show you how to get from the darkest hue to the lightest. 

Finally one more piece from Seth Apter, just look at the contrasts here, back and forth between light and dark. the colours on each layer are contrasting and then the layered die cuts themselves contrast from the ones below and above. 

I hope that has encouraged you to think more about the contrasts in the colours that you choose, whether you are going for dark to light changes or for contrasting hues. Use your colour wheels to check which colours are opposites. 

Play and layer and build up those contrasts. 

Don't forget to follow Darcy and Leandra's Pinterest boards if this topic pushes your buttons, you will see plenty more examples to whet your appetite there! I am really looking forward to seeing what you create over the next 2 weeks!

~ Darcy

We hope that you  learn something interesting from our blog. Our bloggers deeply appreciate your comments so much, so please take time to let them know you've been inspired! Why not join our challenge by blogging your interpretation of the current topic and link it here?

The current topic link will close 17:00 (London Time) Sunday, August 6th 2017, and the winner will be announced 2 hours later at 19:00.

All links go in the draw to win a £50 voucher to spend on products of your choice from the PaperArtsy online store.

Challenge Guidelines

  • The challenge is a for you to show how you are inspired by the current blog topic. We encourage you to play with us and explore your personal creative style.
  • Please mention which PA blog post inspired you and and why (link directly to that post). Please don't link to the home page of your blog because then no-one can track back to easily find the original post.
  • We prefer your challenge blog post is created exclusive to our challenge, but if our topic fits perfectly with another challenge, then you may link to both if appropriate.
  • You are most welcome to use stamps/ products/ substrates you have to hand from a variety of companies, we do not expect you to exclusively use PA products - it's lovely when you do though!
  • You can enter as many times as you like. We don't want to restrict your creativity! 
NB. Link closes at 17:00 Sunday August 6th (London Time)

Prize: The winner will receive a £50 credit voucher to be redeemed on the PaperArtsy Website. The credit voucher includes VAT and postage. We request that one of your purchases is an A5 rubber stamp. You can add any other items to your basket, but the final total should not exceed £50. It's your responsibility to claim your prize coupon from Darcy. 

NEW Challenge/ winner: Each fortnight on Sunday, the winner will be announced at 19:00 (London time). In the same post, the link for the next fortnight will be posted. 

Good Luck! If you have any questions, don't hesitate to ask!

Saturday, 22 July 2017

2017 #9 Aqua: ATC Trio {by Claire Snowdon}

2017 Topic 9: Aqua

This gorgeous blue arrangement is simple to construct, very striking yet full of plenty of small details - like a splash gold flecks. Perfect for gift tags, and I think this idea would work really well for wintry Christmas cards too - anyone doing those yet?? LOL

Hi everyone, it's Claire Snowdon with you today, and I'd like to share with you my trio of aqua artist trading cards (aka ATC's) created using stamps and stencils by Kim Dellow.

I enjoy making smaller pieces of art as they are quicker to make but create a great opportunity for trying out a variety of techniques, using different products or just practicing the basics.

I enjoyed creating the backgrounds for my three ATC's and used a smooshing type technique with Fresco Chalk Paint and a little water, then used negative stenciling on top.


I liked creating the backgrounds in this way as it gives and almost marbled watercolour effect.

I made the focal topper using Kim Dellow's stamps on each ATC a darker shade of aqua to give some contrast with the background - and just couldn't resist a little splatter of gold on them too :-)

I like to frame my ATC's using some doodling, distressing the edges and then mounting them on black card so they really pop.

Why not create some mini works of aqua artwork to try out those new products or a new technique you haven't used before?  Kim's stamps are ideal for mini art as there are loads of smaller elements that you can play with! 

Thanks for joining me tonight on the Paperartsy blog - be sure to come and visit me on my own blog or on Instagram.....Claire Xx

Blog: Claire's Crafty Makes
Twitter: Claires10
Pinterest: Mrs Sno

Claire these are so effective! You have used the same tone throughout, yet managed to get contrast so effectively with those lovely gelli-printed backgrounds! Fabulous ~ Leandra

We always hope that you  learn something interesting from our blog

Our creative team love to read your comments so much, so please take time to let them know you've been inspired!  

Why not join our 2-weekly challenge by blogging your create response to the current topic and link it here?

The current topic link Topic 9 (Aqua) will close 17:00 (London Time) Sunday, July 22nd 2017, and the winner will be announced 2 hours later at 19:00.

All links go in the draw to win a £50 voucher to spend on products of your choice from the PaperArtsy online store.

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A View from PaperArtsy HQ

About This Blog

Even though we've been blogging for quite some time only just figured out the followers button, so please follow us to hear about all that is new in the land of PaperArtsy. We'd love to share our ideas with you! Leandra

A View from PaperArtsy HQ

A View from PaperArtsy HQ