Monday 16 April 2018

2018 #7 Kraft Card: Spring Vase with EKC {by Chris Dark}

2018 Topic 7: Kraft Card

A great Spring idea to start off this topic from Chris. I had totally forgotten about using solvent with pencils to blend out, and of course how they pop so wonderfully on kraft card too! A great post Chris! Thanks ~ Leandra

Hi everyone, it's Chris with you today and I'd like to share my project for the wonderful topic of kraft card! Kraft is a classic for me, some of my favourite projects have been a combination of kraft, white ink and blended pencils so this topic was a 'must do'. The technique is one that I love to teach, everyone always gets a lot of satisfaction from using coloured pencils with a artist solvent to blend out, you don't need to be able to colour to get really brilliant results from the outset and it makes me very happy that everyone loves what they've achieved. 

It's very satisfying to have something I've already made as my starting point, a gel print is is what I started with here but it could have just as easily have been some coloured random stamped pieces which can help to spark a colour scheme or an idea for composition. 

I had in mind a vase of flowers and I wanted dimension so I stamped out all the images in EKC15 plus EM25. I love this flower set by Kay for the variety of flower styles perfect for a bouquet. You can see that I used Zest-It as the solvent but there are other brands, Windsor and Newton's Sansodor and Gamsol are the two I see most. I find the Zest-it has a slightly citrus odour that I prefer and of course solvents should always be used carefully and in a well ventilated area.


I apply the pencil in a light layer so that I can blend out to nothing and leave some of the kraft showing through at  the edges. I find a paper stump or tortillon works well, you simply dip the tip into the solvent and blend out from the centre.
The solvent melts the carrier holding the pigment in the pencil (this is wax and oil in my pencil brands). Just keep blending in a circular movement until all the pigment blends out.

Between colours if you have only one paper stump sand away the colour when the stump has dried out a bit which also helps to keep a good point.

Here you can see the images all coloured, in some I added a bit of white at the edges and some colours have been blended together as in the leaves. Have a little practice with solvent to get the feel of how much pencil you need to lay down to get the blended out to nothing effect. Also, don't soak up too much of the solvent, the excess will evaporate and be wasted.

I played with the composition at this point after fussy cutting all the flowers, cutting up the Fresco Finish Chalk Acrylic gel print to make a border mat and a vase shape.

As I mentioned before I always love white ink against kraft card and I used Kay's gorgeous stencil PS076 with a white pigment ink sponged through as a backdrop for the cut out flowers which gives a nice soft effect and extra dimension in the finished card.

Here are all the flowers layered up and fixed over each other with a dot of wet glue so I could curve up the petals. You have to love that little birdie and the sweet bird house too, I really enjoy Kay's flower stamps as they are great to colour and these particularly have a lot of space for blending out making them perfect for the pencil technique. 

I was very pleased with the contrast created between the matte pencil colouring against quite a textural abstract looking gel print [it's the small things :-) ] and that this left over piece cut down sparked the idea for a vase of flowers, initially I was thinking of a wandering garland of flowers over the stencilling. If you have the materials for pencil blending I hope you'll join in the challenge using this technique but there are lots of other wonderful ideas using kraft card coming up which I'm sure will spark your imagination.

Thanks for joining me tonight, have a lovely creative week!



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Helen said...

wow, that's a labour of love cutting all those flowers.. The end result looks beautiful.

Art By Wanda said...

Really Beautiful, Chris!!!!!!!!!!

Clare Lloyd said...

Beautiful project

Connie said...

Oh my goodness . . . You have inspired me. I wish it wasn't bedtime or I would go out to my art barn and give this a try right now.

SewPaperPaint said...

WOW! I love coloring on kraft and your amazing bouquet! Simply brilliant!

Julia said...

Now that is a technique I have not tried for a long time and never on Kraft card. What a lovely result Chris, you are so clever. x

Miriam said...

gorgeous project Chris

Chris said...

Thank yoj ladies, much appreciated! Xx

Anneke said...

A fabulous composition Chris, I have to try this technique.