Monday 1 May 2023

2023 Topic 5 : Tinged Blue {by Renata Peley} with Hot Picks stamps

Hi everyone, Peley Renata with you today and I have prepared something really fun for this blog post. This won’t be the first time (nor probably the last) I tell you that I did something new, out of my usual style or comfort zone. I feel like blogging for PaperArtsy has been a great motivator for me to expand my knowledge and my skills. So, let me share my newfound knowledge with you.

Perhaps this project seems simple enough, but let me show you the ways I have explored the colors and textures of this month’s topic.

For this topic, I felt like my starting point should be some research.

As we are exploring variations of blue color, in particular PaperArtsy Fresco Finish Chalk Acrylic Paint Surf’s Up (FF146), I will talk about the shades of this color. 

I think many of you, same as me have mixed up the terms 'shade', 'tint' and 'tone' so first let’s define what does a shade of a color mean. 
Shade is a hue (pure colour) or mixture of pure colors to which only black is added. 
Shade darkens the color, but the hue remains the same. When mixing a shade, we begin with the color itself then add black one drop at a time.

To better understand what I mean, take a look at the picture below.

Now that we understand what the shades of a color are, let’s start mixing PaperArtsy Surf’s Up. For making shades, I had to add pure black color which is PaperArtsy Fresco Finish Chalk Acrylic Little Black Dress (FF19).

On the image above, you can see the various 'shades' of Surf’s Up that I have achieved. This is a very basic and not too precise palette that I have made as I have eyeballed the amounts of the paint. For instance, I know for sure I could have achieved a few more brighter shades, and I encourage you to try it yourself.

Before I start focusing on my project, I wanted to do some experimenting first. 

This quarters’ topic is ‘textures’ and I think that is a topic on which we all from the PaperArtsy team could write blogs all year long, but let’s start simple.

For creating texture, I chose only a few simple tools: PaperArtsy Grunge Paste (GP190), my chosen acrylic paints, a couple of brushes, paper napkins and a palette knife.

I made six experiments and I will tell you a couple of words about each of them. I have also prepared a video on which you can see my process for each of these backgrounds.

For each project, I used heavy weight (300gsm) smooth paper and some Grunge Paste. But I made sure to apply the paste and the paint in different ways. So, let’s start.

Example #1

Here I applied a thick layer of Grunge Paste in a vertical line and I made some deep marks on the paste with the side of my pallet knife.

I applied the paint with horizontal brush strokes, going from long brush strokes with lighter shades to shorter brush strokes with darker shades. 
When the paint was dry, I added some splatters with the PaperArtsy Fresco Finish Chalk Acrylic Snowflake (FF15) and I have removed a thin layer of paint from my textured area with a sanding block for contrast.

Example #2

In this case I have applied the Grunge Paste while trying to smooth the edges of the paste so that textures wouldn’t be too rough and bumpy. I did this dry, but if you mist water over GP, that is another way to create a very silky smooth surface with this product.

The paint was next applied with a dry brushing technique with a wide, flat brush going from brighter to darker shades. I tried to keep darker shades mostly towards the edges of my paper. When the paint was dry, I once again used sanding block to remove paint from the textured areas.

Example #3

In contrast with the previous experiment, I applied Grunge Paste while making sure that my textures would be as rough and bumpy as possible.

For this and the next experiment, I tried layering the paint a bit differently. I have first applied darker shades and then the brighter shades over them. To accentuate the textures, I have added a bit of white acrylic paint in the end.

Example #4

Once again, I have applied a very thick layer of Grunge Paste and made deep, vertical impressions on it. While drying the Grunge Paste, I have noticed that it doesn’t bubble up under the heat as some other texture pastes might. Some people like this effect while others don’t, so it is just something to be aware of. 

(TIP from Leandra: Grunge Paste is very stable when dried with a heat tool because it is clay-based, not plastic! Generally it is plastic products that will bubble. However, if you want to create cracks and fissures in Grunge Paste,  spritz the GP generously with water while it is wet, then use your heat tool to dry the GP fast. The underlayer will dry first because the water stops the very top section from drying. As you dry you will see cracks appear, and sometimes you might also get bubbles, this just depends on the heat tool intensity that you use, the thickness of the GP, and the amount of water you mist)

As I said, here too I was applying paint going from darker to brighter shades, but this time I used a pallet knife for painting. One fun way to create texture with your paint is to apply it in a thicker layer and lightly tap it with your pallet knife. I think it creates really pretty and fun textures. Since this kind of texture is not too noticeable, I used white acrylic paint to accentuate it.

Example #5

Another cheap way to make interesting textures is to use paper napkins or tissue paper. I have separated the layers of my napkin and used only one layer. It is very thin and delicate. I used matte medium to adhere it while making sure to wrinkle my napkin and make as much texture as possible. 

For applying the paint, I used the pallet knife. I really enjoyed how the paint gets stuck in all those texture nooks and crannies. Once again, I didn’t resist using white paint to accentuate the texture.

Example #6

Now last but not least and perhaps even my favorite one. This time I have combined the texture made by adhering the paper napkin with Grunge Paste that I applied over it. This way I had two types of textures.

In this case, I was going a bit back and forth with adding darker and lighter shades. I also applied some white paint and a bit of white splatters. For applying the paint, I used dry brushing technique.

I came to the realization that I really enjoyed how the various shades of Surf’s Up can look with the dry brushing technique. As far as texture making goes, my favorite technique was the mix of paper napkin and Grunge Paste, so these are the things that I am going to try to replicate for my canvas.

You all know how important the size of your focal image is compared to the substrate. And since I am very bad at eyeballing the sizes, I decided to first make the focal image before choosing my canvas.

The whole inspiration for this project for me came from the PaperArtsy Hot Picks stamp set HP2102. So, the first step was to stamp this image. I decided to give it a more astral look by heat embossing the circle around the girl on a vellum paper with gold embossing powder, then I embossed the girl on simple white paper with black embossing powder. 

Now of course I fussy cut both of the elements and adhered them to each other. This way my focal image was ready to help me with deciding on the canvas size. For this project, I chose to work with 20x25 cm (7.8x9.8 inch), but honestly it doesn’t matter much as you can see what size fits the best for your own imagination.

After choosing the canvas, I started preparing for the fun part – texture making.

As you can see, I prepared two pieces of paper napkins, matte medium and an old brush. When adhering the napkin, I really did my best to make a lot of wrinkles. Also,  I didn’t have fully white napkins at home, just some children cartoon-themed ones so you can see a bit of the color on my canvas at this point (sometimes even the second and third layer of the napkin can have a bit of the color from the print), but that didn’t worry me as I will fix that with some white gesso.

In some other cases I would even leave the canvas as it is, with that napkin coloring and that might have been an effect of its own. But this time I really wanted to focus on achieving those beautiful shades and didn’t want those colors to be corrupted by the napkin print, so I have covered the canvas with white gesso, and on certain, more colored areas even added two or three layers of it as well.

And now let’s not forget about the PaperArtsy Grunge Paste. I have applied it mostly randomly and over areas where I felt that the paper napkin had created a bit too sharp lines. And I don’t know about you, but I am totally in love with how this project looks so far. In my mind, this kind of background gives a perfect opportunity to show all those lovely shades of Surf’s Up.

For applying the paint, I went with the dry brushing techniques as planned. I have placed a big blob of Surf’s up on the craft mat and a smaller one of The Little Black Dress. For the very first layer of paint, I placed pure Surf’s up, but for every next layer, I was adding more of the black color bit by bit. I covered the majority of my canvas with the first layer but with each darker shade, I was moving more towards the edges of the canvas. This way, all the various shades can be found over the surface of my canvas.

Sometimes it can be hard to take photos of every layer of shade, but I do have a full process video on my YouTube channel, where you can get a even more clear image of what I was doing.

When the paint was dry, I grabbed a sanding block and very gently sanded off a small amount of the paint on the more textured areas. It gave an effect of some highlights. I really liked these brighter areas so using a pallet knife, I applied very small amounts of PaperArtsy Fresco Finish Chalk Acrylic Paint Snowflake (FF15) on the textured areas but also in that brighter area on the left. Of course, I felt a couple of white splatters were necessary as well. 😊

To be honest, I was really enjoying my background as it was, but me wouldn’t be me if I didn’t have to add a couple more details.

As you know, before starting to work on my canvas, I made my focal image. There I did heat embossing with gold and black embossing powder. Now was the moment to connect my focal image with my canvas and for that, I needed some gold details on my background as well.

To achieve that, I have used Windsor & Newton Ink in Gold color and PaperArtsy Hot Picks stamp sets HP2102 and HP2103. The idea was to copy that same golden pattern around the girl’s head to the background.

And once again, I had to add those very irresistible splatters, this time in gold.

I really don’t understand why it is that way for me, but very often I feel these kinds of projects incomplete without a word or a sentiment. I could have completed my project before placing the image, but as soon I added the picture, I felt the text become necessary.

And what has to be done, has to be done. For the text, I just chose the word “imagine” which comes from the PaperArtsy Stencil PS100 designed by Sara Naumann. 

Well guys first of all, this was a very long blog post so thanks to all of you who stayed with me until the end. This was such a learning process for me, so I really do hope I managed to pass some of this knowledge to you as well. And to be honest, my head is still spinning. First, if you just look at those shades. The beauty, the richness of color that we achieved… and then we have those gorgeous textures which even more accentuate the colors… I mean, I know it is silly to self-praise but I just love everything about this project. I enjoyed experimenting, playing, learning and I enjoy the end result. The next level for me is to try to replicate something like this on a bigger scale and make a larger canvas (again in blue color as it is one of my favorites, just perhaps experiment with making shades with a different blue color) and see how I deal with texture making there. 

Anyway, I hope you enjoyed my creative process and that I have managed to inspire you to try some experimenting with colors and textures as well. 

Renata 💜

As I have previously mentioned, I have prepared two videos as well. In one of the videos you can see how I am learning and experimenting with colors and textures, while in the other one I am applying my newfound knowledge to make a beautiful canvas using some fun mixed media  techniques combined with beautiful PaperArtsy stamps and stencil.



Facebook: Renata Peley
Pinterest: @peleyrenata

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