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That Black Magic technique, updated

I am always surprised when an old post of mine all of a sudden keeps getting views and pinned, and I get questions that I can’t answer cause it’s been SO LONG since I did the original thing. This post is getting hit hugely. I did that back in 2012 so I hope I can be forgiven for being a little fuzzy on the details LOL!

I decided I should go back and do the technique again and try a few other variations.  Luckily (?) the power was out AGAIN today so I had plenty of time to play.

So let’s begin.

I thought I would try

  • the black acrylic paint
  • Archival ink
  • Memento ink
  • Pigment ink

The process is pretty much the same to begin with, then there are some options.

1. ALL – Smudge on your Distress ink to create areas of colour

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2. ALL – let it dry COMPLETELY or blast it with the heat gun.  Distress ink stays wet for a bit and will grab the embossing powder if you rush this step.

3. ALL – stamp with Versamark or other clear embossing ink then sprinkle on clear (ideally DETAIL) embossing powder, depending on your stamp.

4. ALL – Heat emboss and let cool

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5.  ACRYLIC PAINT – using something smooth, like Cut ‘N Dry foam (can’t find mine, used a make-up sponge, and that is NOT as smooth) spread the black paint over the entire area.  You can let it dry and cover it again if any inked areas peep thru.

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6. ACRYLIC PAINT – with a slightly dried out baby wipe, daub off the paint from the embossed areas, revealing the trapped Distress ink under the embossing. DO NOT use a super wet wipe, and DO NOT rub hard.  You will take off too much of the paint.

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This is pretty much exactly as described in the original post.

5A. ARCHIVAL INK – smudge Archival Ink over the entire area.  You will find this easier (I suspect) if your ink pad is new and juicy.  Mine is older so I struggled to get a deep,rich, black cover.

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6A. ARCHIVAL INK – burnish off the Archival ink from the embossing.  Harder than it sounds.  I tried using the clean area of the make-up sponge, It worked OK but not great.

Then I tried a damp baby wipe.  Better,  but still the Distress Ink below the embossing wasn’t bright like with the paint.

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Then I tried a wetter wipe and it took away some of the ink on the background as well.  Here you can see the difference between the Archival Ink and the Paint.

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5M. MEMENTO INK – again, smudge the Memento ink all over the surface.  This was a background stamp so the areas to grab the ink were smaller.

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6M. MEMENTO – I almost didn’t need to bother burnishing off the ink.  Just the rubbing of the ink over the embossed areas with the make-up sponge removed any ink from the embossing.  The Memento is grabbed by the background card only.  So perhaps the EASIEST, but check out the next shot – even with the different sorts of stamps, I hope you can see the Memento isn’t super dark and rich.

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again, it COULD be my slightly tired ink pad.  I would expect Versafine to work in a similar way.

5P. PIGMENT INK – this worked a treat.  Smudged on the ink with a Colorbox teardrop, direct to paper.

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Nice and dark, good cover.  Some hint of the Distress Ink showing thru but a 2nd coat maybe would help.

6P. PIGMENT INK – I just knew that a wet wipe was the wrong way to go with this so I didn’t even try – I used a finger wrapped in dry paper towel to rub off the pigment ink. I did this while it was still slightly damp.  If it were super dry (and pigment ink takes a while to dry!) a very very slightly damp wipe might be OK.

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Really, that doesn’t do it justice.  The pigment ink is deep and dark, and the trapped Distress Ink is brighter than it looks.  Still not as bright as the PAINT version, but better than the Archival and almost as good as the Memento.

7. ARCHIVAL and PIGMENT ink – sandwich the piece between two sheets of paper – I used an old graph paper tablet – and iron off the embossing powder.  It will melt and get sucked into the paper

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and when you remove the paper…

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WOW.  Totally POPs.  Trade off is that the raised embossing from the clear powder is gone, so it looks more like plain old stamping, although you do get a bit of a halo effect on the edges, which is nice.  But colour-wise it’s pretty close to the brightness and intensity of the paint version, even if the black isn’t as nice for the ARCHIVAL version.

Not sure how to rank them, frankly.  The best technique is the one you have all the stuff for already LOL!  But in terms of cost, I suspect the PAINT is the cheapest (paint is dirt-cheap compared to an ink pad.)

In terms of fewest steps to get the best colour. I would say PAINT is the winner – with Memento closely behind if your ink pad is new and dark.

I think Pigment ink is closer to OK than not, stopping after rubbing off the ink, but better than Archival by a mile.

Then with an extra step and a flatter result, Pigment Ink and Archival are both good in terms of COLOUR when you iron off the embossing, but Pigment ink gives a better BLACK coverage.

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As ever, YMMV.  I really do think there are a lot of variables – how dark and juicy your ink pad is, how light, or heavy your hand when doing the wipe-off, how damp/wet your wipe is…. But overall I had forgotten how pretty this can look.

I’ll make a PDF of the post, although it’s the quick-and-dirty Readability version, so it requires me to post it first and then do the process, and come back to add the link.  If THIS BIT is hot (clickable) then it’s there and you can download it.  If not come back and it will be in bit.

And luckily, just before the power went out, I had printed a little spiky guy that I edited to include a bit of art.  DS is a fan of Nujabes (Japanese hip-hop artist, now sadly deceased) so I made him this little desk-top pal. Just for fun.

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I’ve finally worked out the best order to stick the bits to ensure the ears are nicely curved.  I haven’t folded the feet yet and may not, in case DS prefers the feet flat so you can see the sneakers….

 

 

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A Documented Life journal

I thought it was about time I caught you up on this.  Progress is not as fast as I would like and I am slipping behind every day.  My thought was the best way to drop in to this so late in the year was to make the bare bones of all the pages up to the current dat.  It’s fun but time-consuming.  I came up with a few shortcuts, mostly (surprise, surprise!) by creating digital bits to print.  I would imagine that if I carry on doing it I would do more from scratch.  My plan is to begin doing it and create a month of pages just before the first of the month, so I can just get into the habit of updating it daily.

I already talked about my tabs.  I joined the FB group (must be driven, cause you KNOW I think Facebook is evil and not much will drive me there) and saw this post by Carole.  I loved the stripe-y border she used but couldn’t tell if it was cut from paper, stamped, doodled… My method of accomplishing it was to print out a sheet of stripes then slice it into thin strips.

stripes

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That way I can print as many as I like and don’t have to keep finding checkerboard or striped paper.

Then I did a background or two – at this point, in the interest of speed, I am looking to get them done – I’m playing around with a few techniques and this one grew out of my concern that the Inktense blocks are…intense.  To soften them I decided to scribble on the page, but when it came to blending them I used a damp baby wipe that had been dipped in a smidge of gesso.  I liked the effect. Much softer colour and maybe you can see I really used very little of the blocks in the scribbling.

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To get some pattern in there, but again, quite soft, I brushed some gesso onto one of the texture plates I made from the anaglypta wallpaper for using on the Gelli plate.  That gave me a nice enough print (although it probably doesn’t show up in the photo as well as it does IRL.

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You can see that texture pad is caked with acrylic paint, but it didn’t transfer when printing with it.

So then I decided to try rubbing the side of the Inktense block onto it and misting it with water to activate the ink.

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That gave me a much darker impression.  Def. will do THAT again – I have A LOT of these texture pads that I’ve made and lots more (a near endless supply) of options cause I can tear off a “sample” at all of the wallpaper departments of about 5 or 6 different stores i my area.  I only need a few inches, although these are more like A4 size cause I wanted them for the bigger Gelli plate.

I carried on adding the little date and day printouts (cut ‘n paste) and did one page using thin Washi Tape for the divides.

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So far so good.  If I can do a month a day (unlikely) I’ll probably be ready to start properly in a week.  I did do the January prompt (front door) but as this is already long I’ll add that tomorrow, along with a better look at the elements that make my book different.

I am also reading Flash Boys (I adore Michael Lewis, back since Liar’s Poker) and have a little Rainbow Baby doll on the go for a fellow WOYWWers charity project, plus the crochet circles…. just too many things and all of them vying for my time.  {sigh}


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Bet you thought I abandoned that AJ…

…but I didn’t.  The envelopes are working well, I think, and I have the three sets sewn in with room for at least three more.

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Some of the pages have the pockets but I really needed to extend the gesso further in.

The background was done with scribbles of the Inktense. and I used my fave silicone hot pad to stamp the hexagons – I just wiped over it first with a baby wipe then rubbed the Inktense block over it then stamped.

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a couple of my in-process shots didn’t save (had to recharge my camera batteries – DOH!) but I hope you get the idea.  Boy do they come up INTENSELY coloured.

You can see two bits that used gilding flakes.  The little flecks are just a few flakes that I dusted over the still damp acrylic medium. And then I dropped a chunk of drywall tape into the box and scrubbed off the excess.  The flakes stuck great to the adhesive on what os meant to be the BACK and I just stuck it down with other adhesive.

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I took some shots in the afternoon sun and some in the dismal overcast morning, hence the variations…You can see the spine in this shot.

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I also did a title to add, coloured with the blocks as well.

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Hard to see all the layers of colour but there are many….

And it will just fit, if overlapped, to the side of the flap. Considering many alternatives for the closure but I may end up with a bit of ribbon or fabric threaded thru the spine stitching and used as a tie.

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It’s fairly large, about 8.5 x 12, so plenty of room!  It’s big enough that I can actually slip into one of the pockets a few pages from one of my previous attempts at art journaling if I want to house all those pages in one place as that is more or less just a few sheets, folded and sewn into a pamphlet.  I only did maybe two completed pages and a background spread in it so I may disassemble it so I can slip those pages into a pocket, not sure yet.

My room is littered with floating shreds of gilding so it may be time to put that back on the shelf.  And while my room is still extremely tidy, my desk has devolved back into a bit of a mess…

 


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Gilding flakes on Modelling paste

Rather scatterbrained today – our mail server has been down for nearly 2 days and the US ISP isn’t addressing it as quickly as we’d like, so worried I am missing out on some critical mail. But I guess that just leaves me more time to get crafty LOL!

So the shot of my desk yesterday showed an experiment.  I got a set of the Inktense blocks.  Frankly I wasn’t super keen on them until I read you can grate them and mix with water to create inks that are permanent when dry.  Now THAT is something I am very interested in.  My plan had been to have a go at this over some modelling paste, but as I had JUST tidied up (massively) and stuff I hadn’t used in ages was still in my short-term memory, I thought  I wonder…?

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and grabbed my pot of gilding flakes.  My feeling was that the modelling paste, while wet, would grab the flakes.  When it dried, the flakes would not only be stuck, they would be stuck strong. So while the paste was damp (ie maybe 5 mins or so after applying? )  It should still glisten on the surface but if you touch it, it should feel semi-solid

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I scattered on some gilding flakes – this bag is one I got ages ago and the flakes are very large, almost like sheets, 2 or 3 inches square.  I laid them over gently, covering the surface on 1/2 of the modelling paste figure.

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I left the paste to dry totally then whisked away the flakes with a brush.  Personally, I think that scrubbie thing that comes with the flakes dulls the shine so I don’t really use it.

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I think the bare areas might have been down to me not pressing the flakes into the paste or, for the tiny areas, that bit being drier than the rest.  But overall I felt the coverage was good and I was able to whisk pretty briskly and the flakes stayed stuck.

So what I expected to work was to re-lay the stencil then sponge the FlitterGlu over the dried modelling paste then gild as usual.

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I did that on the OTHER half.  And it worked as expected. So far so good.  I left it for a while to make sure the paste and glue was dry.  Then I grated up some of the Inktense block, mixed in a bit of water, and make a spray.  Easy Peasy.

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I sprayed that over the gilded area, and let it dry.

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Nice and watercolour-y – you can vary the vibrancy by adding more (or less) water. Now here is where it gets odd.  What I hoped to do was buff away the ink before it totally dried (’cause I keep hearing it is PERMANENT WHEN DRY) to reveal the gilded areas.

Yeah. Right.

So what I had read, and seen on videos, is that you can layer other wet mediums over he Inktense and it will not smear.  With this in mind I used a slightly damp baby wipe to wipe away the mist from the surface of the gilding flakes.  Two things to note – first, the flakes that were embedded in the modelling paste stayed put nicely.  The ones applied over the FlitterGlu?  Not so much.

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The left is the FlitterGlu.  But I also noted that the Inktense spray DID wipe away, at least partially. Not so water-fast then.

I suspect I need to experiment a little more with this.  But overall, I like the application of the gilding flakes over the modelling paste idea.  It could be quite an interesting technique on an AJ page, certainly for a top layer.  Likewise, I suspect glitter would embed nicely – and if it were a top layer then the FlitterGlu method would work as well, but why add another consumable resource if you don’t need to IYKWIM?  As to the Inktense mists, again, more testing.  Maybe heat setting it for longer rather than just letting it dry might help it remain water-resistant , not sure.  I know it is easy to scribble with the block then blend with a baby wipe and not wipe it away totally so it is at least slightly water-resistant.  And the colour is rich and deep.  But I am glad I had a go at the idea on a piece of paper rather than in my AJ.  I think I’ll enjoy pushing these blocks to their artistic limits, trying out a few ideas I have, to see what works. And I’ll be sure to report back!

 


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AJ page – Storm in my head (stencil shift)

I was thinking about the fact that I so often make stencils Using my Cricut.  Not everyone has one, so I was thinking of stencils I could make with other tools.  I thought about windows, and my Nestabilities.

So I took a filmstrip die – now this die cuts as a rectangle, and I thought that would suit my purposes.

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On a Gessoed page I sponged on dark green paint

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Replacing the stencil but shifting it slightly (I know I saw this someplace – could have been a Stencil Girl video but it’s been a while so I’m not sure) I sponged some lighter lime green paint over it. They key here is that you need good coverage and heavy bodied paint.

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It gives it a bit of a halo effect.  I added some olive-green Pitt pen, smudged along the join of the two paints for a little more depth, but given how much I layers over it, it was perhaps a wasted step!

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I scribbled some purples onto the background

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and blended them with a baby wipe, letting some of the purple skitter over the rough texture of the page

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Then I carried on with the usual – some stencils, some stamps, some punchinella stenciling, some tiny scripty text, and some BIG stamps in black.  That gave me a nice complex background.  Over a particularly busy area, I stencilled a face that I cut (sorry, back to the Cricut, but this time with SCAL tracing the image.

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I masked the lower compass so it (I hope) looks like it’s in front of the face. I stamped the “title” – do you call it a title when it’s and AJ page?  I do, but more as a way to call a particular page to mind,  less as a TITLE, IYKWIM.

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Now off to file paperwork.  And maybe try to finish up the last two cards from the Marathon – although cause I have to photo of the sample and only the barest memory of what the cards actually looked like, that may all come to nothing…..


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The reverse page done – I think it worked….

So I finished the reverse. I think the flipped edges worked pretty well, and I think it’s perfect for a page where you want to totally hide your journaling, as you can do all the writing then fold the edge over it.  Sneaky, humm?

After blending the watercolour crayons to get the background

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I flipped the edges from the book-paper coverage of the reverse back to this side.  I thought about leaving the edges as they were, and that is certainly an option, but instead I used an old curved ruler to mark and trim for a more decorative border

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Then I inked that border – I liked it plain but I liked it better inked.

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I did the lettering and that was here it all went wrong.  I stamped the text but the shading and decorating just didn’t live up to my expectations.  Live and learn – don’t run before you can walk…or letter LOL!

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Any excuse to  use some of my mad old stamps

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and just another shot of the edge…

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Most def. something I will do again.

Now to those who commented or emailed me asking about the WOYWW ATC backs – yes, I will pop another set without the WOYWW info on it for you, probably tomorrow – if not then, on Saturday when I am off at the Card Marathon. Hopefully I won’t be a bad student – I never can seem to follow instructions and sometimes my I wonder if…? process is just not appropriate.

Such  lovely day – too lovely for sitting in awaiting a delivery…

 


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AJ page

Very quick today, no waffle – DD is off school and we have a busy day together planned. Here is the first side of my twofer page – tomorrow I will hope to get the reverse done so I can see if the idea from yesterday has legs, as they say:

AJWander

From a poem by Tolkien.  It seems to reflect my wandering thru different arty playgrounds – I may wander, but I’m not totally lost, just looking around… Hard to see above but there are little graphite pencil squiggles tracing the path thru the mazes…

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and I forgot how much I really like these Rusty Pickle stamps.  SO OLD….

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Enjoy your day!


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AJ technique – a twofer

Perplexed by that title?  Don’t be.  I’ll explain….

Sort of a Buy one, Get one free technique.  I was looking at my last page, at the bits of book paper I used as the base, and wondering about the waste when I trim off the overhang.  Silly, I know, but it came to me that I could intentionally leave MORE overhang, and use it for the next page.

It take a little thought – only in the sense that you need to plan if for a page that has nothing already on the flip side.  what I did was prep a LEFT hand page that was blank on the back and not intended to be part of a two page spread, with Gesso. My thoughts are that with the book paper base on the reverse, I don’t really need to cover BOTH sides with book paper. Nor did I need to coat both sides with Gesso…

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Once that was totally dry I flipped back to the reverse and started layering on the book paper.

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I thought I would leave the white border on the book pages and make sure THAT was the overhang bit, cause I had an idea for THAT too – but I’ll save that for another day…

Once the reverse of the Gessoed page was covered and dry…

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all I did was flip to the reverse and folded the overhang onto the page.

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Rather than stick those flaps down around the edges, I thought it might work better if I complete THAT page and THEN stick them down.  That leaves me the option, if I stop here, of sticking them, and adding gesso over them to incorporate them into the background of the page OR of completing the page then sticking them for a stronger “border” statement, IYKWIM.

Thinking I might find the loose flappy bits annoying I took the extra step to tape them down with artists tape, for easy removal

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and leaving me with a flat page to work on while completing the reverse page.

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I suppose a third option might be to work on the page with the flaps as applied, decorating the whole thing, flaps and all, so you wind up with a decorated border when you eventually DO flip them to the reverse, but then you have to consider if they will “match” the reverse page too, or plan for that page at the same time.  Frankly that takes too much forward thought for a Monday morning…


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WOYWW 252 – art journal page mostly done

Hello WOYWWers! I really should be starting my ATCs but instead I made a page for my art journal.  You may have seen the beginnings of it yesterday, and will have to wait to se it fully finished, but it’s nearly there!  I got to use my needle tip bottle and my too-long ignored Neocolor crayons and am liking it. 1WOYWW252 It still needs a few bits stuck down and some journaling but it’s very close to being done, so that is what is on my workdesk today.

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And the test router came in the mail from the ISP so with luck that will install just fine and I’ll be able to get online and they’ll be able to assess what the problems are by communicating with it.  Fingers crossed!  And Happy Wednesday!


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Art Journal experiment

{sigh}  DS is rolling back to Uni this morning, with a full belly, a backpack full of clean and repaired clothes, and his ears surely ringing from the Ugly Duckling concert last night.  He missed a perfect chance to wear his gift from Aunt and Uncle – we each got one, with a request for a Duck family portrait from Auntie but with time short and DD feeling not very well, we had to give it a miss this time.  Maybe on his next visit home.

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I am sad he had to go, but still carrying the warm glow of a lovely and stress-free visit.  So I waved him off and decided to have a play.  Usual medium and torn book paper start, followed by a scrape of Gesso.

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I wanted to use something I had that I haven;t made much use of – my  Neocolor watercolour crayons. I’ve used them so little I was a bit stumped how to start.  So I just marked around the rough squares of book paper

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and blended with a slightly moist brush tip.

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Liked it, and for another sort of page maybe would have stopped at the soft, barely-there colour.  But instead I went over some of the squares again, picking out colours, adding a few more shades

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and blended again. Now that’s more what I was looking for.

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I added a bit of modelling paste, some spray inks, a bit of stamping…

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but now have to put it aside to dry fully before I move on with it. I have an inkling of where I want to take it, but perhaps letting it brew a bit will clarify my thoughts. I have one thing in mind I need to find, and MAY need to install a new router if it arrives, but with luck I’ll finish it up today.  If not, it may still be on my WOYWW desk…