Hi everyone, it's Peley Renata with you today, and I'm here to share a project with you which is a bit different than those you might have seen from me before. This time my skills were challenged a bit more, and my mixed media-oriented mind was put to the test. Also, you will see how some ideas fail terribly even for me and how I deal with that. And how sometimes even when you have a set idea in your mind, you have to change the whole approach to achieve what you originally intended. Anyway, if you are in the mood to see a very crazy creative session, do keep reading. J
Whenever I took a look at Seth Apter stamps, I always thought how amazing they were for making really interesting backgrounds. But hey, why only backgrounds?! This time I will use these stamps as key elements, points of interest, exciting textures and building blocks of my quirky architectural design.
There is a challenge and excitement in drawing with ink, making the whole thing permanent and learning to embrace your mistakes and make them to be those loveable elements of your drawing. But this time, for the start of my project I decided to take the safe route and start with a pencil and an eraser.
So, at the beginning, my idea was to stamp some images on a parchment paper, glue them on my building sketch, then color them. I thought this way I will have some more room for mistakes and that I can plan out the placement of my elements better.
I guess you are thinking now: ok and what was the problem? Well let me tell you, since there were several problems with that plan. J First of all, I stamped my images with Archival ink, since I thought it is a dye ink, it should be permanent, and it should dry fast. But no, it just wasn’t drying on it. The mistake wasn’t the ink, it was the paper. I should have either left it to dry more, be more careful or use a different paper. So, what happened is that I started accidentally transferring and smudging ink all over with my fingers and the sides of my palms. And it all got worse when I started adhering the images with matte medium. Then of course, the stamped images got more pale and smudgy, since now I wasn’t removing ink just with my fingers but with my brush as well. This way the whole project looked a bit too messy for my taste. Now I realize that you might not see on the image below how messy this page became, but trust me it was there.
If you can believe it, the whole project got even worse when I started coloring my buildings. That was the moment when I realized I have to put the whole thing aside and start all over the next day, with a fresh mind and a new approach.
The following day I changed my strategy altogether. I redraw my sketch and used this opportunity to alter some tiny details as well. On a separate piece of paper (regular mixed media paper this time) I measured, drew and cut out my building sections. I stamped and heat embossed each of these sections with a different Seth Apter stamp. I chose to heat emboss my elements because this time I planned to have some more texture. And for that same reason, I decided to raise the level of the building floor separators. I refer to those long thin stripes between floors. For each separator I used 3 thin stripes of paper and glued them together. That way it truly stood out against the other elements.
As you can see, I used that rectangles stamp from the ESA26 set as windows, EM41 and EM68 as textures, EM53 as the big gate or passage, EM71 as antennae etc. How you see and choose to use these stamps all depends on your imagination.
At this point, I wanted to position the elements that would stick out of my buildings, such as antennae, fences and cables. I used Archival Ink in black color. I also used two small pieces of paper to mask the areas that I didn’t want to stamp on by accident. As you might notice, at that moment I wasn’t thinking properly and I stamped some images on the places that I would cover later, but I guess that just happens. At least I had them planned out. J
The next step was to color my elements. For the buildings, I chose to use PaperArtsy Fresco Finish Acrylic paints: Toffee and Chocolate Pudding, Yellow Submarine and Tango paints for my tree. Why is my tree yellow and orange? Well, I just like how it looks and how it stands out against other elements. I wanted the windows and background to be subtle so I used just a light wash of blue watercolor for that. Oh and of course I didn’t forget to add some splatters.
A tiny, but important detail is that I like to frame my cutout pieces. That serves two purposes: first, if you cut out your elements a bit unevenly, it can cover that to a certain degree and second, it gives it a bit of that desired feeling of shadow and dimension. For this, I used an archival ink brush pen in black color.
My elements were mostly done, but I just couldn’t resist adding some more depth. To achieve that effect, I used india ink brush pens. Now, since I used acrylics for coloring, that made my surface non-porous and I could apply this technique, since it’s so fast and simple. But you can always go with watercolors or even colored pencils for this purpose.
So, how I tend to do this is just use a few shades darker brush pen than the base color and smudge it with my fingers. You have to do this somewhat fast, because india ink dries rather quickly.
Now the time came to assemble my project. For this, I used simple paper glue that dries transparently, just in case it overflows. I had enough mishaps on this project as it was and didn’t want to risk some more.
With my building done, I went on to draw some doodles. I think doodling is kind of a very personal thing. What tools you like to use, what style, etc. I like this architectural kind of vibe, so I added some geometrical shapes, lines, numbers and scribbles, but you can always go for some whimsical or quirky designs, or even floral. Just do whatever makes you happy. I also didn’t skip using a white gel-pen for emphasizing some details and adding highlights.
We all have that bad day, days, or even a week when you really want to do something good with your time or you want to be creative but it is just not working out. At that point, it is the easiest just to let it go and watch some tv series or eat a bowl (or a tiny cup J) of ice cream. But one thing that I can promise you is if you manage to push through just a bit, you will manage to make something that you will like and the feeling of a “bad day” will just go away. This project started unlucky for me, but at the end I am pleased with how it turned out and I got that feeling of success. Even though I can still imagine some tweaks that I would do. J