Saturday 1 August 2015

2015 #14 Inspired By Russia {by Liz Borer}

2015 Topic 14: Flowers20
2015 Topic 14: Flowers
2015 Topic 14: Flowers
2015 Topic 14: Flowers
 2015 Topic 14: Flowers
Hello there, Elizabeth here again to show you  a project within the topic of flowers. I suspect that by now you will have realised that I love flowers and using floral designs within my projects. This time I am going to show you something different based on a decorative painting technique I learned some years ago. I was inspired to do this because I have just been on holiday with my Father and we visited St Petersburg in Russia. The painting technique is from a province in Russia called Nizhni Novgorod and is called Khokhloma. The traditional colours are red, gold and black although other colours such as green and white are used as well. The effect is to imitate gilded metal and is painted onto wooden objects to make them look metallic and heavy. If you google Khokhloma you will find lots of pictures and information about this type of decoration.

When I was taught this style of painting we started with a gold background. The design was then painted in using black paint and then all the areas around the design were painted in black leaving the gold showing in the centers of the design. The advantage of doing it this way round is that the lines of the designs are crisp and neat. It seemed to me that this method of adding colour is very suited to stamping because the design is an outline   stamped onto the background in Black Ink.

To paint this letter holder I sanded the wood well and then used two coats of opaque yellow paint to create a base for the gold paint. Try to get as smooth a surface as possible, if necessary sand the paint again before applying the gold paint. Another version of this technique starts with a red background. Paint one or two smooth coats of a bright gold acrylic paint over the whole area that is to be decorated. When dry start stamping the floral images using Archival Black Ink .

The first stamp I used was the large flower from ELB23. I also stamped this onto some paper and cut the image out to make masks to use as I added more floral stamped designs.


I used the large flower and the floral spray from JOFY32 and the tulip from ELB22. I kept stamping more flowers to create the design, using masks as needed to protect the stamped images.


When I had finished stamping the surface looked like this. It’s rather muddled at this point but the black background makes things clearer.

The advantage of painting in the background after stamping means that errors can be hidden! On the left corner of this part there are two ‘spikes‘ close to each other. This is because I decided that one of them was in the wrong place and as I knew I would be able to paint over it I just stamped it where I wanted it.

Make sure the ink is dry and then start filling in the background with Little Black Dress. I find that thickening the black areas around the stamped images first makes it easier to fill in larger areas without getting paint where it is not wanted.

Once all the background is black the design shows up beautifully in gold.

This is the corner with two spikes – now there is only one. Hurray for the black paint.

Traditionally the other main colour is red which is added now on top of the gold and the black. This is where I went off playing with other colours in a very non traditional way!  I mixed the transparent colours from the Fresco range with Satin Glaze to make them even more transparent and washed them over part of the gold flowers so that the gold became the highlight colour. The plum flowers were painted with a mix of Plum and Eggplant and then a little Blueberry was added to the mix to make it deeper. The Blue flowers were washed with a mix of Blue Glass and Blueberry.

The central red flowers were mixed with a mix of Blood Orange and Eggplant. I also washed a little of this onto the plum coloured flowers. The tulips were coloured with a mix of Bougainvillea and Beach Hut and I then washed this colour onto the red flowers in shaded areas and also onto the blue flowers. The centers of the red flowers were painted using Limelight and then a mix of BeachHut and Hey Pesto. I also used this colour on the stems of the flowers.

If this were painted traditionally little swirls and leaves would be painted over the black background. This is a stamped project so I decided that a little embossing would be the way to add the little extras. I embossed the spray from ELB23 using Cosmic Shimmer Embossing Powder Viola Rose Aurora around the edges of the design. On black the embossing looked solid but on the painted areas in was translucen. I then embossed in gold the spray from ELB22 around the edges of the design. This is a picture of one of the sides of the box with just the purple embossing on it.

Here is a picture of the purple and the gold embossing around the design. When stamping the sprays I used the masks again to avoid the painted flowers. I finished the edges of the box with gold Treasure Gold which I rubbed on with my finger.

Here is a picture of the finished project. The finish on the Khokhloma pieces is a high shine and so, although I don’t normally varnish work painted with PaperArtsy paint (it doesn’t need it), I sprayed this piece with a high gloss varnish. This is rather nice because it makes the colours glow.

Various views of the box.

Thank you for joining me tonight.


A beautifully executed technique Liz, the depth of colour achieved by layering the translucents/opaques is stunning and your custom blend colours are also exquisite. Great to see you experiment with embossing powder rather than opting for the tradional effect. Thank you for sharing your creative inspiration with us.

We would love you to join in with challenge #14: Flowers.

If you are inspired by any of our guests who blog with us over the fortnight (July 26 - Aug 9th), or perhaps you want to just do your own thing with flowers...then please join in and link up your creativity HERE

All links go in the draw to win a voucher to spend on products of your choice from the PaperArtsy online store. The Flowers link will close 17:00 (London Time) Sunday, Aug 9th winner will be announced 2 hours later at 19:00.


Helen said...

WOW!!! Liz, this is simply stunning. I've not heard of this technique before, but if your version is anything to go by, it is absolutely beautiful.

Hazel Agnew said...

This is such a WOW Liz! Thankyou for sharing this amazing piece of art! Love the layering of the flowers and the way that they take shape with colours! It's just wonderful! X

Claire said...

An amazing project - so beautiful! X

PaperArtsy said...

This is gorgeous Liz! Black and gold is always a winner combo and how cool to create your twist on this method. Beautiful!

craftimamma said...

This is quite simply breathtaking Elizabeth! Very skilful adaptation if this traditional technique which I'd not heard of and with totally beautiful results.

Lesley Xx

JoFY said...

just beautiful! Jo

Lauren Hatwell said...

Wowser! It's absolutely stunning Liz. Just gorgeous! Lx

Carmen said...

WHOA! Just... WHOA!

Kirsten said...

Good grief, that is stunning!!!

rachel said...

this is absolutely stunning - and your step by step is inspirational x

By Neymes said...

Lindo de Viver,parabéns.Valéria.

Julie Lee said...

What a wonderful way to decorate a letter rack! This is such an interesting post too. How lovely to be introduced to a technique like this and what an original way to use Lin's beautiful new stamps! x

Shoshi said...

What a beautiful project! - and an interesting modern take on a traditional technique. I would love to try this.


maria's knutselplezier said...

Fantistic, I really loe this project, great colour combination, gorgious design!! Wonderful box!!!


Living to work - working to live said...

This is really stunning and a fascinating technique ( and one to try I think! ) so many possibilities, so little time!

Linda said...

WOW!!!! This is amazing .... I love all the detail. must give this technique a try. Linda xx

Sarah B said...

sorry but another WOW - this is just so stunning. I wish my painting was so neat. Your projects are slways so detailed xx

Art By Wanda said...


Lucy Edmondson said...

Absolutely glorious! Your work knocks me out, Liz! Sorry to be late commenting,

Lucy x