Sunday 8 February 2015

2015 Topic 3: Paint {Challenge}

Topic 3: Paint

So before we go into the next topic in depth .... let's see who the winner of the last challenge was. Plenty of you tapped into your inner magpie with great gusto! Fantastic ideas from you all, thanks for joining in.

Hi everyone, Darcy here. 
Wow! The Shiny Stuff challenge really got you going, so many utterly fabulous entries. Do you get excited seeing each other's projects? I hope so because we get really excited by them. New techniques, old ones, new twists and unusual combinations. Such a wealth of information and inspiration. Well done to each and every one of you, and thankyou for sharing your projects.
And the winning name from Topic 2......goes to.....Joanie from Craftie Times.

 To claim your £50 voucher, please email me, Darcy with your details to and I'll explain how you claim your prize. 

Ok, so it's Leandra back, and with another great topic. Paint. I'm pretty passionate about paint. Can probably ramble on for hours about it. I have tried loads of different paints over the yeasr. For me, it's the most fun in a bottle, or tube... EVER.

Paint has always been a staple part of my crafty diet. No idea why, I have no training, previous skills or specific knowledge of what I'm supposed to do. No one taught me anything about how to use paint, where to use it or why. So I guess for me, it's been a suck it and see adventure.

I remember back in the day when a scrap-booking company released paint. I was so excited, I got the (set of) books that was available with them....those books are in the regular go-to pile on my bedside table all these years later. 

To my surprise, the paint line pretty much flopped for that company. One release, then it was gone. This was in a booming period for our industry too. I guess, on the whole, as crafty peeps we probably weren't ready. Everything was about paper, clean tidy, crisp, flat. Yes back then there was a massive group of people who were really anti lumps, bumps and embellishments.

Direct to paper with an inkpad was a pretty 'out there' idea, people would look on when I demoed with Versamagic in horror as I applied the ink direct to white card and built up a background..."Won't you will ruin the ink pad?", was a common question. It's quite funny thinking back how far we have come as a sector. Those were the days before Distress Inks. I think Distress Inks were a massive turning point for most crafters, and certainly saw us all get a tad more experimental.

When we all began the days of Distress Ink experimentation, this adventure naturally led us to feel more comfortable experimenting with paints. But it really has taken several years of craft paint for people to become as comfortable with paint as they were with ink pads. I think we have reached that point now. I guess the industry has matured, and its only natural that our experience and development as crafters has developed considerably too.

Where once we had a massive range of ink pads on our desks, I'd hazard a guess that now those ink-pads have been swapped for a selection of various paint brands. So look at us  all now, and how far we have all come!!!

We launched our paints exactly this time of year in 2011. When demoing paint (bear in mind I have demoed other paint brands for some years before we had our Frescos), people would always say "I really can't do that". Now when we demo, it's unusual if the customer doesn't have paint at home already. The main thing about paint, is that you can do everything you can do with an ink pad, and more. And if you don't like it you can fix it. Ink doesn't give you that luxury. So, I think that paint is easier to use and offers a lot more freedom.

Mixed media is clearly where it is at these days, it's been our go-to genre since we started in business 11 years ago. Now its the big buzz, everyone wants to use paint, texture, gels, pastes, inclusions to make their own backgrounds, gelli prints, decorate frames or wooden items, add and flick layers, spots, splats and drops. You've got to conclude that the average crafter seems to be a lot less frightened of it as a medium to work with than they were, even 2 or 3 years ago. 

If you are still unsure about paint, this topic is your chance to start experimenting. Our goal with Frescos was to make a user-friendly, go anywhere paint that you wouldn't be precious about. The price for the volume is excellent. 50ml for £3.95 (incl tax). Most paints are 30ml for £5. So Frescos are not going to break the bank. Fresco colours are on trend, and in shades that all co-ordinate no matter which you pick. No need to study colour theory, or worry how you pronounce the long fine-art word on the bottle. We are not trying to be fine art, we are trying to make a user friendly, slap-it-on-any-surface product in colours you totally love. There is no knowledge required, the high coverage and opacity means you really can't go wrong.

If you have never tried paint, the I think its a good idea to step away from fine art tools, and step towards everyday tools you are less intimidated by. Put down the brush, pick up the plastic credit card. This also removes your preconceived expectation of what 'success' is supposed to beApplying paint with a credit card (who remembers our splodgers from years and years ago??) instead of a brush....anyone can do that! A brayer is easy to apply paint with too. All these things remove the 'fine art' barrier or the memories of that art teacher who said 'you're not doing it right'. There is no right or wrong. It's all about what you like to do. If you like it, then it's PERFECT!

So this topic is about paint. Lets explore how much it offers.

Back to the days of ArtsyCrafts. This project was one of those bonkers ones. We painted metal stuck onto wood to make this birdhouse. It's huge (see the video). 

Certain paints stick better to metal than others. As our Fresco paint has lots of chalk in it, the chalk is like mega-toothy! It grips, which is why it sticks like...well there is a particular kiwi phrase that I want to say buy can''s a bit rude...but it sticks to and metal is no problemo.

Here is a close up of metal, see the diagonal grooves in the metal below? The paint sticks in those no worries too. You don;t have to use black on metal, any colour or layers of colours works. Paint it, take a paper towel, wipe away the excess, voila.

You can do this same patina idea with paint over texture paste or embossed card too. Water it down if you like to make it runnier, then apply, and wipe away the excess. The paint remains in the dips. 

How about using paint to tint Grunge Paste? Here I tinted 2 puddles of GP with Bora Bora blue and Taupe. Put it on the tag through a stencil. washed over the top with French Roast, and then sanded back to show the 2-toned GP. Very fast, lots of fun. The 2 tones add a level of sophistication that pleases me. A lot. And, because Grunge Paste is like plaster (as opposed to plastic/ gel type composition of most texture pastes) you can sand it back as far as you like, so the background below can be smooth as a baby's botttom so you get the pattern, and can journal or stamp on top! Magic!

Paint is a permanent patina, you can repeat layers over metal or texture with several shades of paint until you get the patina effect you's how onto a charm...

You don't have to use paint straight from the bottle, you can also spray it. Mix one or more colours in a small spritzer with water and squirt it. With Fresco's you can make an opaque spray with an opaque paint, even with 80% water! That is exactly what we did for this ArtsyCrafts project because painting all the niches would have taken ages, squirt it and it's done in minutes, and looks cool too. 

Cream painted glass bottle in the niche

Speckled paint in the niches...

Here's am Ikea mirror by Jo Firth-Young. A minimalist paint/ stencil job makes it look fabulous! Perhaps you have some great stencil ideas you want to try out with paint over the next 2 weeks

When Lynne Perrella came over to teach at ArtsyCrafts in October 2011, she taught us stencil bumping. The background of this huge triptych was created with numerous layers of stencils bumped in negative and positive patches of different designs blending into one another. It was mind-blowing. I quickly worked out I preferred dark underneath a lighter colour for bumping, but to blend areas, I used a light paint on top of fine flourish stencils. Negative and positive stencils all played their part.

Have you tried paints onto fabric? Perhaps to colour an image like below? Search this blog for ideas The key to success is adding a little water to make the paint flow, also if you stamp in an oil ink onto fine weave fabric like curtain lining (eg archival ink) we have found the oil acts as a barrier to stop the paint flowing beyond the stamped lines.

While we are on fabric, last year I brayered a LOT of fabric for our version scrap booth. I spritzed the fabric first to dampen slightly, then followed the brayering technique, it was fab! Cut it all up once dry, no fraying! 

I used to stamp fabric for journal covers and t-shirts a lot with lumiere paints back in the day too. It was really good fun. Often on black fabrics too for high impact. That would be fab with opaque paints like Frescos.

Paint can give soft subtle this niche by Lin B. Ohhhhh, I do like a white frame for a touch of elegance!

Here is another fabric book sample. Using a machine to secure your painted layers is addictive!! We found this so much more fun that working with paper !!!

So, what will you do? What have you been too nervous to try? Will you jump in the deep end and have a go? Are you a painty-pro and have stumbled across cool tricks that always work well for you? Show and tell! We need to see!!

It doesn't matter what paint you use, just have some fun and try some ideas out!! 

I think I am going to crack on with some journalling style stuff. I have had ideas buzzing about but as HQ has been rather flat out the last 3 weeks, stamp production has been all my life has entailed! It's time to get the creative juices, and your paints flowing!


We would love you to join in with challenge #3: Paint. If you are inspired by any of our guests who blog with us over the fortnight, then please join in and link up your creativity to this page.

All links go in the draw to win a voucher to spend on products of your choice from the PaperArtsy online store. This link will close 17:00 (London Time) Sunday, Feb 22nd 2015, winner will be announced 2 hours later at 19:00.

Challenge Guidelines:

1. The challenge is a chance for you to show how you have been inspired by a particular technique of the fortnight. Your entry should contain:
- a mention of which post inspired you and why, and 
- a link in your blog post to that original post on the PA blog
The whole concept of this challenge is 'play along with us'. You are encouraged to put your own twist on ideas you see on our blog, don't feel obliged to copy an idea exactly, but if you prefer to replicate, of course that is fine too. We love to see how you are inspired!

2. The link you put on our linky page must lead directly to the specific post on your blog where you have explored the technique/ idea mentioned in point 1 above. Don't link to the home page of your blog, or we will be unable to find the post to leave you comments.

3. Spam links will be deleted.

4. We prefer your challenge post is created exclusive to our challenge. Multiple challenge links in one blog post often creates a conflict of interest between the different challenge hosts.

5. 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 - but of course it's lovely when you do!

6. You can enter as many times as you like in the fortnight. We don't want to restrict your creativity or participation! Link closes at 17:00 Sunday Feb 22nd

7. The winner of the random draw will receive a £50 credit to be redeemed on the PaperArtsy Website, the credit 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

8. Each Sunday fortnight the winner will be announced at 19:00, also, in the same post, the link for the next fortnight will be posted. It's your responsibility to claim your prize coupon from Darcy: email her

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


Helen said...

what a fab subject for this latest challenge! Can't wait to get started! Well done Joanie on your win.

Julie Lee said...

Great theme! I'm sure there will be some amazing entries with the new colours. Personally, I can't wait to try new colurs and stamps on fabric! xx

CastleKelly Crafts said...

Congrats Joanie, oooow paints, yummy! X

Kirsten said...

Congrats to the winner, it was great to see so many great entries, I'm sure this new challenge will see just as many, if not more.
Terrific video & post too, lovely to see lots of gorgeous samples.

Hazel Agnew said...

Well done Joanie, loved your project! Have enjoyed revisiting ideas in this presentation Leandra! Love your paints! Might have a play! Haha try stopping me!

Sarah B said...

Well done Joanie . Love this theme Leandra - can't wait to join in xx

Unknown said...

Congrats x Frescos were my 1st paint, I bought 2 bottles at Donny and thought I would never really do much, how wrong I was. Look forward to the challenge xx

Lucy Edmondson said...

Wonderful post but you had me from hello! Couldnt join in last time but can't wait to get my hands on some of the new colours and join in this time,

Lucy x

ionabunny said...

Congrats to Joanie. Ooh, looking forward to getting messy. Hugz

Etsuko said...

Congrats Joanie. Wonderful theme 'paint'. I want join in and can't wait to arrive some new colours and stamps. xx

pearshapedcrafting said...

Great theme-hope I can join in this time! (with some new paints I hope!)Congrats to Joanie! Chris:-)

finnella03 said...

Congratulations Joanie. A great new topic too. I think you have been a little too modest and underplayed the massive role PaperArtsy has played in bringing paint to many crafters, you were way ahead of many other companies and your product is so much easier to use and affordable. Thank you PaperArtsy, and for all your great ideas, and guest designers.

Jane said...

This is such an inspiring post. I bought my first Fresco paints last year and I added to them at Christmas. I have also just ordered a couple more. They are fabulous to work with. I am a newbie to your challenge and entered the shiny things as my first. I have just read all your guidelines. ..would I be excluded if I do add my painted work to a couple of other challenges? My crafting time is very limited and I love entering challenges and as I only blog once or twice a week I try to combine the fun of a few. Thanks for all your inspiration here...fabulous! X

craftytrog said...

Ooh...paints! My favourite! Congratulations to Joanie!

Anni - My Creative Life and Mixed Media Books said...

What a fantastic theme, couldn't be better, because today I have just received the fresco paints and stencils I ordered from PaperArtsy, quick delivery (I live in Denmark), I'm so happy.

PaperArtsy said...

Hi to Jane, in reply to your question, 'would you be excluded if you enter other challenge too'? Of course not. Out hope is that our challenge specifically inspires you to action, if you can cover a couple of challenges in one post then OK, we get it, but we don't get it when people have a long list of challenges, because then, it doesn't really look like our specific post inspired you to action at all. Get my drift?? We hope our challenge is enough motivation for you ;)
xxx ...we are not mega hung up on rules in these parts.... It's absolutely lovely to have you join in. {Leandra}

Unknown said...

Congratulations Joanie, I had a feeling about the number 34 believe it or not!

Can't wait to get messy with the frescos in this challenge! Xxx.

laury55 said...

wonderful projects, the green niches are stunning

Anonymous said...

A fabulous new theme which I have no doubt will be immensely popular and another wonderful presentation.

Karen Petitt said...

I have enjoyed looking at your gorgeous inspirations for years and only now have the courage to start playing with paints and creating mucky projects too - thank you for the tutorials showing how to add paint, texture and all the rest. I will try to play along again in the future too. Karen x

Sherry said...

I'm really enjoying your challenges - thanks for all the wonderful inspiration :)