Thursday 2 February 2023

2023 Topic 02: Tetradic Colours {by Ellie Knol} with France Papillon Stamps

Hi everyone and a good day to all of you! Ellie Knol (PAPER-STAMPS-COLOR) here with you today.

I've been enjoying some creative time lately. This topic, Tetradic Colours had me thinking about playing with colors still in the classic yellow, red and blue combo but diverging from the bright primaries commonly used.

First I chose PaperArtsy Fresco Finish Chalk Acrylic - Blueberry It's a purplish blue which has quite a lot of red in the mix. I also chose Claret, a dark wine colour with a purple undertone. I completed my base with Yellow Submarine which is a warmer yellow then the usual primary one. All are translucent and all 3 colours contain more red than the 'pure' colours of a classic wheel. To be honest, I was not sure how they would work well together and if they would create interesting mixes.
I used these translucent colors to make some grungy prints on the gel plate. It also allowed me to easily incorporate this quarter's ongoing theme of TRACKS - through splatters, mark-making and repeat-stamping in the printed layers. I'm looking forward to sharing with you how I managed to balance all 4 colors within one project.

    And yes: this post has something to do with collage fodder! Read on to find out!

I had to do some reading before creating this particular color wheel. I am not new to color mixing, but still had to question 'what is a Tetradic Colour scheme'? I learned that it's 2 couples of  complementary (opposite) colors, making four colors in total. A 12-segment colour wheel will create 3 types of tetrad: a square, rectangle and slim rectangle, so lots of options to choose from. 

These are the 3 colors I chose to create my 12 segment color-wheel from: PaperArtsy Fresco Finish Chalk Acrylics - Blueberry, Yellow Submarine and Claret.


After mixing the colors, my plan was to have a big gel printing session, and using some of the prints with France Papillon's stamps. So I got out all the supplies like a PaperArtsy brayer, two 8x10 inch gelatine plates, paper, etc. I also covered my work space with a large piece of white sturdy paper.

The first step for this project was to mix my colours. I did it in small jars as I was going to use them in more than one stage and so knew i would need quite a bit of each. I did not want to have to mix and re-mix in small batches. A useful tip: I put some clean tiny stones in the jars to help mix up the paints. 

Filling out the color wheel was fun, but so messy, lol. Once it was complete, I tried several combinations and chose a "skinny" rectangle Tetradic color scheme using the numbers 9, 10 and 3, 4 on the wheel. I stamped the colors onto a separate piece of cardstock and adhered that to the wheel for you to better see my selection. I like the look!

Don't judge .... but when I chose these colors I did not realise they were going to match the colors on the stamps packaging!! What are the chances! I chose France Papillon stamp set 28 (FP028) and stamp set 30 (FP030) for the main images and they are coloured with oranges, blues and greens! It really was pure coincidence, I only realized the match when I took this picture! 

Now the phase of the color scheme is ready; let's dive into the next step and get painty!

One of the tip given to us from PA HQ guidance for this topic was that Tetradic colour schemes can work well when you choose one of the four colours to be dominant, and the other three as contrast and accent colours. This prevents your project from appearing too busy or unbalanced. I therefore chose a prevalent colour for each of my prints, and off I went! I will not share the details of each of my prints as there are quite a few of them and each one is different but will give you a general idea of my process.

I had one big concern of course: while brayering the colors onto the plate I risked mixing them and creating even more colors. As the slim rectangle tetrad contains 2 groups of complementary colours, the potential for mud was high! Did you know that 2 complementary colours mixed into each other will make brown? So I was  careful to let the colours dry completely on the plate before adding the next one.

I do like to build layers on the plate. Starting with my darkest colour, I put green #9 from my tetrad, just around the edges, in a very thin layer. Using France Papillon stamps, for example, the letters from stamp set 28 (FP028) here, I stamped into this layer with the clean rubber to pick up the colour and stamp it off elsewhere on the plate. After carefully leaving this color to dry, I then repeated this process with the blue, color #10 of the wheel. Adding the red-orange (#4), and orange (#3) the same way will create 4 layers. I chose to keep them really thin.  Remember that all my paints are translucent so all the details of each layer can be seen.

Here is another tip: As you can see I used two gel plates at once. That way I can brayer off all excess paint onto the second one, saving a lot of paint and creating two gorgeous prints at the same time! After all these layers are built on the plate and dry, I pulled the print with PaperArtsy Fresco Finish Chalk Acrylic - Snowflake, for a unique and beautiful result each time.

For other prints, Paper Artsy Stencil by France Papillon (PS347) gave me some extra patterns options on the gel plate. I love the row of leaves along the side!

On some of the prints I only used two of the color mixes, eg. green and blue. You can some examples of my tracks in the prints: repeated elements and patterns from the stamps and stencil, deliberate texture and accidental mark making (there was a hair on one of the plates and the mark ended up on the print of course!).

I also brayered the green and blue onto the plate alone to create an 'ink pad' to stamp the birds with onto white cardstock. These images will be easy to use in the project as they coordinate, or can be saved as collage elements for future fun.

This picture contains only 6 of the 30 gel prints I made. It was a difficult to choose ONLY one of these prints for the actual project. In the end I chose a grungy red/orange one that only had a tiny bit of the green/blue in it. It's hard to believe but it was my first pull of one of the 2 gelatine plates! Apparently the rest of the session was just for fun.

I decided to make a pair of booklet covers so I tore the print in half and then to size. Here is my final choice, among its fellow prints.

To contrast, I painted the cover blanks with green #9. I also added a piece of cotton below the print to separate it from the background and make it pop.

Now that my base is ready, it is time to decorate it, with a few changes in direction along the way.

For one, I was convinced I was going to use this bluish print for the project. In the end, I chose another one but it still is my favourite print in this session.

I also planned to use the birds stamped in blue and green Fresco-mixed-colors as focal elements. However these proved tricky to fussy cut and I could not eliminate the white border as much as I wanted. I decided to stamp them directly onto the background.

To make this easy, out comes the stamping platform! I started by stamping the branch  from France Papillon stamp set 29 (FP029) image with a black ink, painted with a white acrylic, stamped again once the paint had dried and heat embossed it in clear. I then followed the same steps for the bird from France Papillon stamp set 30 (FP030)I was careful to mask the branch to make the bird 'sit' on it properly.

There you go! A crispy and light birdie on a branch! 

Do you see the word 'fodder'? These are stamped with a black ink and heat embossed alphabets from France Papillon stamp set 28 (FP028)! Such a versatile set!

As the paints I chose initially are all translucent, I could then come back with my mixes to add some colour depth to the focal images to make them pop off the background.

White acrylic pen lines also add depth and interest! I added some more fussy cut alphabet letters (from Ink and the Dog: Words plate 3 - W3) to create the word 'collage'. White splatters? yes please! Orange splatters: also yes! Best way to animate a background!

Finally, I only had to re-assemble the booklet and close the metal spiral, all done! I LOVE the front! The torn edges of the cotton and papers add to the feel of the project.

The booklet is not actually filled with paper pages but with plastic pouches. I found a pack of 30 in a thrift store for an euro, quite a bargain! I can therefore fill the book with some collage fodder to be used in future projects.

A close up of the words and bird on the front cover.

The back cover is full of tracks: a hair left a white line on the print in the left lower corner, such a happy accident!

Did you notice? I changed the quote from France Papillon stamp set 30 (FP030) to read "winter is for ARTing" as a sentiment on the back cover. I used a piece from a PaperArtsy correspondence card: the word art is all over the place :)

Enjoy some more pictures.


I loved making this collage fodder book. To be truthful, I would never have tried mixing these three colors by myself and I am glad I signed up for this topic as I learned a lot! I was particularly happy with the very deep green it created.... a moody green I will call it.

Would I change any of the process? I don't think so. When come the time to write the looong post I always think I should limit my steps, lol. But it is difficult to achieve for me... I hope you don't mind!

Create and relax with making art, or read a book in winter, as France suggests...



Helen said...

Love these pages!

Helen said...

The colours are wonderful together - lovely journal.

Karen Daley said...

I love this! Thank you for this lovely project and richly informative blog post. It really brings the book to life and highlights the details I wouldn't have noticed if I was just scrolling past in Instagram.

SewPaperPaint said...

Really good tips about letting painty layers dry between contrasting colors. Your finished prints are gorgeous and I just love how you used these stamps to complete your book covers, Ellie! A beautiful creation and enjoyable read. xx

Ellie Knol said...

Thank you so much... blogposts are still very much worth it: on IG and FB there is no space or time to share the details.