Saturday 5 August 2017

2017 #10 Dark to Light: Colour Blooms {by Chris Cresswell}

2017 Topic 10: Dark to Light: Contrasts & Layers

If you are at a loose end tomorrow, then maybe having a play with painterly layers tomorrow, just like Chris shares with us in this post,is,  I am sure you will find, a very enjoyable way to while away a few hours on a Sunday afternoon!! Stunning contrasts with Kim Dellow's beautiful images and stencils!

Hi everyone, it's Chris Cresswell from with you today, and I'd like to share with you my art journal spread on the current theme of 'Dark to Light'.

This is an appropriate theme for my preferred style of art journaling, especially with wet media, as most of my art involves 'contrast'. I love working with bright, complementary colours, but this theme spoke to me differently. I felt it was more about exploring the different hues and tones of analogous colours; at least that is how I have interpreted it. I chose to use different variants of blues and greens, and colours alongside these on the spectrum, that would play around with this idea of moving between dark and light colours. I hope you feel I achieved it .  

As soon as I had the idea of wanting to create a large journal spread, I knew that I wanted to use Kim Dellow's gorgeous stamp set: EKD06.

I love this set and I love the fact it has a complementary stencil PS048 that works so well alongside.

I used all the stamps and stencils in these sets on this spread. They are such fun, contemporary designs, great to colour in and not too difficult to cut out! However, I did not intend to colour these as I wanted to use my gelli plate to produce the dark and light contrasts: much easier to achieve on a gelli plate. 

If you haven't used a gelli plate before, I urge you to have a go. I'm very influenced by Birgit Koopsen who is the Gelli plate queen. Have a look at her You Tube videos and you will soon be an addict! Fresco chalk acrylics work really well on the gelli plate. I never feel I need to use an extender despite them being pretty fast drying. There are so many colours which worked well for this project. I selected a combination of yellow-greens, teals and turquoises. I always use a lot of colours, too many to list here but I have listed them on my blog! I used a variety of papers for these monoprints, including deli paper and PaperArtsy Tissue stock, as well as a variety of stencils from my stash.

Once I had a variety of monoprints I chose the ones that I felt would best reflect the theme and add contrast to the much darker background I intended to place them on. I had used some pearlescent papers which gave a lovely shine to some of the resulting images. Now it was just a matter of stamping and cutting. Plenty of coffee needed at this stage! 

An easy way to blend colours across a journal spread, and a technique I like using because it builds up the first layer very quickly, is to use a baby wipe dipped into the various paint colours and smoothed across different areas of the page. I also tend to overlap and blend with my fingers to avoid a patchwork result. Here you can see how the much lighter Captain Peacock contrasts against the much darker Blueberry and Eggplant Fresco Chalks. I used various stencils on top of the blended colours, including Emma Godfrey's little flower stencils: PM002 and PM008.

After several more layers of stenciling, overlaying more colour to accentuate dark and light areas, stamping and mark making, I was pretty much ready to add the stamped monoprint images. I wanted to create a cascade of colour diagonally across both pages that would contrast with this darker background. I tried to create both dark and light areas on both the background and within the stamped images themselves. You have probably spotted another favourite PA stamp set on the background: ELB29. I love that spotty circle!


One of my final steps on this background was to introduce just a glimpse here and there of one of the colours predominantly used in the stamped images. I did this by turning the leaf stencil from PS048 into a stamp using the Distress Oxide: Cracked Pistachio; smearing the colour from the pad onto a heat resistant mat then spraying with water, dipping the leaf stencil into this and 'stamping' randomly across the page. I was pleased with the result.    

Although I used paint pens to add some final touches to the flowers and stamped images, together with a white gel pen, I realised that I needed to raise some of the images in order to create some depth. I like the addition of washi tape around the edges of the page and the text is taken from Emma Godfrey's stamp set: EEG17. I hope that if you haven't yet had a go yourself with this theme, you have been inspired and tempted to do so during the past fortnight. There have certainly been some rich, exciting and varied ideas posted. 

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I love how you explain how you bring all the layers to life so seamlessly Chris! The colours are divine and that touch of oxide inks using the stencil as a stamp is fantastic too!! A beautiful weekend treat for us all ! ~ Leandra

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Miriam said...

These are gorgeous Chris.... I love the colours....and I now want to get my Gelli plate out!

geezercrafter said...

Smashing project Chris. I was really taken with the stenciling, I often overlook these so I will have another look and see how I can incorporate these into my creations. Love the colours you have used, very effective.

Clare said...

This is absolutely out of this world. I love the colours and contrasts... Beautiful x x x

Sue said...

This is wonderful Chris, I really must get to grips with my gelli plate and give this a try xx

Craftyfield said...

Oh these gorgeous layers of stencilling and stamping... the Gelli plate is addictive!

Hazel Agnew said...

Majestic background and fantastic overlay. Great masterclass! Xx

Claire said...

Fantastic pages Chris - really beautiful, love the background especially Xx

Lauren Hatwell said...

Another amazing journal spread Chris. Love it. Lx

Dortesjs said...

Gorgeous layers love this pages

Artmadnana said...

Thankyou so much for your lovely comments everyone xxx

Lucy Edmondson said...

Brilliant, Chris, i just love your gelli print pulls and the use of the leaf stencil,

Lucy x

Corrie Herriman said...

Gorgeous !
Corrie x

Anonymous said...

wow.... Great topic - and such amazing inspiration. I love those books - I need to watch the tutorials.


craftimamma said...

I was right to wait till I got home from my few days away to see these beautiful pages on a bigger screen Chris. You have definitely demonstrated the theme perfectly and the end result is stunning. I love the colours/shades you chose to illustrate the theme and the layering of the images creates the perfect effect. Well done on a fab result!

Lesley Xx