Saturday 9 October 2021

2021 Topic 12 : Sustainable Crafting with EEV {by Leandra Franich}

  2021 Topic 12: Sustainable Crafting

Today, Leandra, that's me ;) is back on the blog sharing a distressed cardboard surface turned into a canvas. You could also put this kind of thing in a journal spread too, however, we have lots of walls that desperately need art, so I think more of these are required. Perhaps I need to put a bit of thought into the colour combinations! As luck would have it this square size (25cm)cardboard comes from the ends of our rubber boxes, so there are always plenty of those available here for recycling...I wonder if I could make them at the rate we press rubber....I could have a whole gallery wall done in a month! There's a challenge!

Since I last blogged I am a step closer to having a craft space. The excitement is wahoooo level of YAY! We have created a temporary office in a 'spare' room - it was a water-damaged space that we closed the door on for the best part of a year, and in Spring we got cracking to make some of it a bit more functional. It is by no means finished or perfect, as the long term solution for this space is not clear yet, but for now it is office-functional, warm and has pretty good light too. 

I now have my Ikea office cupboards (that still look OK after 20 years and 3 house moves), and a few Vintage finds that were left behind in the barn. This means finally a space to put a few crafty things within easy reach. I am still working with a restricted number of supplies, and that is what ties in so perfectly with this topic. Like it or not, I am totally on board with the idea that you can do a lot with a little if you put your mind to it! Oh and I found my Stabilo ALL pencil that I have been searching for in random boxes for months, so all is well, what more do you need!

I love de laminating cardboard to create an interesting surface. Lin and I would often demo at shows on cardboard, and we did a huge ArtsyCrafts project one year too. It's super satisfying nibbling away at the card then building your layers. I started with these 4 colours, but as you can probably imagine, more oomph was added with Zucchini, Coral, Mermaid and Pumpkin Soup.

The background is no drama. Smooch a bunch of colours with a flat brush until the paint is gone, then switch colour. If you just put a dot of paint directly on the end of a flat paintbrush then you don't end up wasting paint, and there is nothing to clean up. Win-win.

I added 2 stamps by Ellen Vargo, a chunky and a fine detail, EEV02 & EEV03
For this project I really wanted to focus on drawing a sketchy, quirky face. I did a Suzi-blu class oodles of years ago, and she would always say that sketchy or cartoony quirky style faces allow you to get away with wonky proportions and remove that barrier of right/wrong. Wide or long faces, oversized eyes or mouth...the less realistic the face is, then the less you feel you need to make a face that looks like a face! Anything goes. So in this post I wanted to try show some detail about how this character evolved. LIke all things, the more your practise the better you get. And I still have a long way to go but I am feeling more comfortable with what I draw than I used to!
While making the background above, I also cleaned off the brush onto a piece of book paper. I then sketched out with pencil the eyes, eyebrows, nose and mouth. Then I jumped in with a charcoal pencil, and literally scribbled all those features over the pencil 'plan'. I didn't add the face, just 2 vague jaw lines to the left and right. For the next girl in the series I will do this with my non-dominant hand, to get that jagged imperfect effect instantly!

I added some more paint and colour to the face. I like using random colours on faces, especially blues and greens, I couldn't figure out hair so I decided to use handwriting for that instead. I knew i would be coming back to the face to 'edit' features as I figured out what form she would take. When you step away and come back you often see what you could do next more easily. So this evolved over a few days. A nice relaxing evolution that also works well in a journal - you can have a few of these on the go at once.

She was gifted a dress, the same colours but using the corals, yellows and some Inktense pencils too. I decided the background was too samey to the character, so I decided to knock that back with a whitewash first, and then adjust it from there.
Whitewashing is kind of fun, it looks like you have obliterated everything, but as the water evaporates off, the colour always pops back through, so don't panic when it is wet!

Another way to make the background fade is to journal or write in white paint pen (I love the Sharpie fine point paint pen - sometimes hard to find) It has a much finer point than Posca pens. They last for ever, and they don't dry up. I also use the Uniball white gel pen too, again, a wonderful white ink and it doesn't stop until you are out of ink! 

This is where illegible handwriting can have its uses! I always get told off for my unreadable writing - and it is perfect for this kind of background. If you are a neat and tidy writer, just try to be messy OR you could try your non dominant hand to do scribbles and such! They always look more interesting and organic.

I decided that I would bring a bit of colour back over the writing, so back out with the stamp and some structured bold lines were  stamped over the top, I could have also done this in white for a softer effect too.
I added some Inktense lines for a bit of structure. Still not sure about them, they may get knocked back some more again, or perhaps some tissue paper could be glued over the top. The thing I love about the Fresco-Inktense combo is you can test, then edit so easily. A damp cloth could knock back the Inktense colour, or even remove it. A bit of white paint could soften the intensity of colour. That ability to push and pull at whim I absolutely love! This means that you can keep experimenting without fear! While I had out the inktense colours, I added lines around the edge of her face with my non-dominant hand and cheek circles, outlined the words and so on

She was looking thoughtful, sad, angry...and then suddenly  I just felt like her head was just too big and her body too small, so this is where I started editing things a bit more dramtically. The downside was I lost the sketchy style of the original face. But it's all part of experimenting and playing. Also can we talk about that nose! It was bugging me more by the minute. Initially I thought it didn't matter, but then it was all I could see, and that really started bugging me .... so I just had to change that. Voila, new nose, big hair, wider dress.
I added deeper paint colours to her left side, I really love adding bold colour.

  I think she is ready to have a friend or two join her now. After all, her words demand it!

I hope this gives you the confidence to have a go drawing a wonky face, or a perfect face, or just do some abstract stuff on corrugated card. There are lots of ways that you can develop this kind of idea to suit you. Let's start using up some of those collage scraps you have got in your stash and making something with them and other found substrates!
Thank you for joining me today,


Helen said...

what a gorgeous project Leandra!

Tracey Springer said...

Really love this Leandra! The colors are stunning

A Pink said...

Absolutely LOVE everything about your distressed cardboard canvas, Leandra and thoroughly enjoyed reading and seeing how it evolved. Fabulous detail, texture, colour , layers , character and charm - it has it all !!
Thanks so much for sharing your creative talent and knowledge .

Hazel Agnew said...

Great to see that you are managing some playtime and have started to create some space too. Loving the build up of colours and layers and textures.
Great that you tweaked and built upon it and produced such a pleasing piece. If only it was so simple in real life…..smaller nose anybody?? 😜

Words and Pictures said...

I love seeing the colours and layers building up - especially with all the text and words hovering within the layers. I think my removal men thought I was slightly barmy bringing a load of old cardboard over here with me... but it's a vital crafting tool! Fantastic to see you have somewhere to play creatively, even if it's temporary. Looking forward to seeing a wallful of these beauties!
Alison x

Corrie said...

It’s fabulous!

Corrie said...

It’s fabulous!

Corrie said...

It’s fabulous!

Kathi said...

a) Corrie REALLY thinks it's fabulous.

b) She's right. I love what you've created, the colors you've used, and your explanation.

c) I need to get out my Inktense pencils and have them play with my Frescos.

d) I love your writing. I can't read it, but it does look legible.

e) I can't imagine doing anything with my non-dominant hand. I'll have to try that too, but I fear that I'm too much of a Virgo.

f) Congrats on getting your craft room situated and finding your Stabilo pencil.

Ellie Knol said...

Joining in with the others: it's so good to see your style, and read about your process.... so after the move you are still looking for certain craft supplies... :)