Tuesday 28 April 2020

2020 #8 Popping Pink: Candy Stripe Notebook with EKC {by Jenny Marples}

2020 Topic 8: Popping Pink

Its fabulous to mix the vintage elements of Sara's stamps with the hand drawn flowers from Kay. This bright and cheerful piece is full of tips, particularly loved how the dragonfly embellishment was created!
~ Leandra

Hi everyone, it's Jenny (Pushing The Right Buttonswith you today, and I'd like to share with you a few fun techniques using Fresco Finish Acrylic Paints. My finished project is a notebook and it may look complicated at first glance, especially if you're just starting out with using paint, but each of the techniques I'm sharing are easy to replicate and can be used for making your cards, tags, journal pages and more.

Before getting going I will just say that for many of you with lots of crafting expertise under your belts much of what is shared in this post may seem obvious, but for lots of people out there in these strange and challenging times this could be a whole new hobby where every process is new and unfamiliar. Hopefully there's plenty in all of this to keep you all entertained and informed.

One of the things I'm asked most often is "how do you choose your colours?" Good question! My suggestion is that once you know what you're making (and maybe what the theme is) you look at patterned papers, magazines, fabrics and even (if you have a spare few hours) Pinterest to find something you really like that will fit the bill. Pick out the main colours and match them as closely as you can to the paints you have - PaperArtsy make this a lot easier since they have those handy paint swatches on the front of the bottles. For my book the theme set was Popping Pink so I looked at a paper collection that had bright pinks included in it and worked from there. You'll see throughout that I added in a few other shades in keeping with the original selection.

So now you've got your colours sorted let's get started with the first technique, often seen being done with inks but equally applicable with paints. Take a mid-toned colour (in this case Haystack) dilute with half paint/half water, dip your piece of paper or card into it and dry. Do this several times to help mop up all the paint, drying each layer as you go so you get an uneven coverage. Next repeat this process with much less of a whiter colour (I chose Cloud 9) again dipping, drying and repeating until you get a chalky look but can still see the colour underneath. Finally repeat the dip and dry process with the tiniest amount of a darker tone of the base colour (mine choice was Pumpkin Soup). I like to use a brush to move the paint around and create droplets that I can dip the card into. Keep going until you get a lovely mottled look.

That dip and dry technique is great for creating coloured card/paper that you can put your die cuts on, chop up and die cut, or stamp onto as I did. Below you can see I took the smaller of the tall flower stems from Kay Carley's stamp set EKC06 and stamped it onto the painted card using permanent black ink. I also stamped it onto a couple of pieces of watercolour card - the first stamping didn't go as well as I wanted so I used it to practice painting on - it happens! 

Layering stamping and stencilling under your 'focal' main image is a good way to add more detail without detracting attention from it; in this case I stamped the ledger image from Sara Nauman's stamp set ESN36 over the top of the flower stem.

To colour the flower I used paint mixed with lots of water - remember they are stamped on watercolour card which is important as this allows the paint to flow and blend. Start by painting the flowers with the main colour (I used Orchid) and while still wet add tiny drops of your second colour to the centres, allowing the colours to blend as they air dry (my choice was Autumn Fire). It's well worth practising this on a spare piece of card to see how the colours react together as you may want to change your choices for more impact or a more subtle look. Mop up any left over watery paint using the dip, dry process; I added the Orchid paint to a piece of card and applied the Autumn Fire paint to some plain cotton fabric - think about using paint to colour things like fabric because they add texture and interest to your projects.

Once you've coloured your card and fabric you can stamp onto them with your paints. I used the larger flower stem from Kay Carley's EKC06 stamp set and and the equally bright Bubble Gum paint so that it would not stand out too much. For greater contrast choose deeper or much paler shades. I like to put paint onto some foam with a spatula and use the foam in the same way you would and ink pad, dabbing the colour onto the stamp before pressing down onto the surface. Make your card go further by chopping off the corner and layering the larger piece under the main image. I then machine stitched around the yellow card and put the smaller piece aside to use later. With the flowers dry add a little bit of diluted green paint to the stems (in this case Green Patina) then cut around the flower stems. You'll see I gave my flower stem more dimension by cutting around some of the individual flowers on one of them, shaping them and gluing them onto the other.

Did you know you can add your paint to pastes and gels to colour them? I mixed Aquamarine with transparent gloss gel and spread it through the smallest dragonfly on Kay Carley's PS127 stencil. 

The first layer was still bumpy because I was applying the paste over stitching and the two pieces of card - adding a second layer when the first had dried made the finish much smoother. To give the dragonfly a lovely shimmer try painting Pearl Glaze onto it. Different textures on any project, from a card to a journal page, make them more tactile. With this in mind I moved on to adding a little more, starting by painting another piece of card with some Blah Mange paint.

After stamping more Bubble Gum flowers onto the dried card I die cut it with a lacy die and then brushed Metallic Glaze over it. You'll find that when dry the Metallic Glaze makes the colour seem a bit paler as it reflects so you can afford to use strong shades underneath when using it. The fun bit is then piecing all your elements together in a 'pile', adding dimensional foam (or silicone/hot glue) beneath the main flower to give it some height. With the die cut lace added on top of the fabric and that offcut of stamped card layered beneath it you have a bundle that can now be put onto a card, a journal page, a tag or in my case a book. The good thing about making these bundles is that you can test them out on different backgrounds to see what you think fits best for your purpose. I took inspiration for mine from that original piece of paper which helped me choose the paint colours.

Having settled on the candy stripe look background I had to attempt to replicate it and it ended up being easier than expected - in fact the less accurate you are when doing this the better it looks! Start with a blank base painted with Cloud 9 paint. Use a flat ended brush to apply stripes at random intervals and widths, some more patchy than others. Carry on doing this with your other colours, overlapping some of them as you go. I used Pumpkin Soup, Orchid, Blah Mange and Autumn Fire along mine changing to a thinner, smaller brush to add narrower lines. The last ones added using Green Patina were a real contrast to the warmer tones and are all ones used on the 'dragonfly pile' to coordinate well. If your lines are too perfect you can always go back over with a thin brush and dry brush a bit of the same paints on either side of each line - dry brushing involves, as it sounds, a tiny amount of paint that is almost dry on the end of your brush gently stroked over the surface. To give that worn appearance and make the stripes even more patchy finish by rubbing sanding paper or a sanding block along the lines in the same direction to remove some of the colour and reveal the base layer of Cloud 9. I gave every piece created for this project the finishing touch of blending some brown dye ink along the edges to give it a more vintage look. Since dye ink is translucent it means the base colours can still be seen.

When the cover was dry I bound a text block inside and glued the dragonfly 'pile' in place on the front. You'll see I also did a little hand stitching along the dragonfly's body and tail - simple stitching can again add extra detail and texture to a project. Here are some close ups of the finished book so you can see more of the shimmer and shine from the glazes and dimension from the cut out flowers;

And here's the finished book in its entirety again - hopefully you can see how it could work as a card, tag or journal page if you'd prefer.

I hope you've enjoyed this tutorial and if you've not tried the techniques involved feel confident enough to give them a go. You'll find you can get lots of lovely effects and textures by using your paints both on their own and with the addition of other media on many different surfaces. And don't worry about aiming for perfection - the imperfect really does have its own charm and character.


Miriam said...

That's so beautiful Jenny - great project.

Etsuko said...

What a beautiful project Jenny, love the pretty colours. xx

Heartsease79742451.wordpress.com said...

This is stunning Jenny, thank you for sharing your techniques x

A Pink said...

Such a gorgeous notebook , Jenny so wonderfully created to bring us all a lovely welcome dose of 'happy' colour . A terrific step by step full of great hints and tips .
Thanks for sharing

Amanda x

craftytrog said...

So pretty, I love it Jenny!

Helen said...

what a beautiful, bright sunny project Jenny! love it.

Anonymous said...

I really love this technique and the splooshing technique. Unfortunately I am a visual learner and need to see it being done to understand what is being done so I can try it out. Can you direct me to a video of these techniques? I love fresco finish paints and would love to use them differently but I really can’t make sense of what you explained here. Thanks!!!