These are the papers I use to collage my sketchbook pages. I buy them from Artwise the Amazing Paper Shop. You can click on any of these images to get a better look!
I lay them on the sketchbook (in this case, a Stillman & Birn Delta series……nice and robust for this sort of work….pages don’t curl) and work out which pieces I will use. I always tear the papers rather than cut them.
I use Matisse Gel Medium, though other mediums would also be fine. Then I glue them against the pages of one of our local papers, the Inner West Courier, which has glossy paper so the newsprint doesn’t come off. One by one, I paint the medium onto the kozo paper, out past the edges, so any loose fibres will stick down. Then I place them on the sketchbook page and press them down.
I could go right ahead and put watercolour paint on now, but unless I am pressed for time I put waxed paper between the pages and let it dry overnight. In the morning I slosh on some watercolour paint. Sometimes I just use what is on my palette but if I think I am going to be painting sandstone I use some yellow ochre or raw sienna.
This page was used for the Sydney University archway sketch, and the one on the left in the picture of the sketchbook was for the tower and roof.
Though I haven’t been sketching much lately, I have been making cards with my Gelli prints. Many of the ones I’ve made previously have been on top of recycled etchings or other types of fine art prints. I made quite a number framed by white and cream (the eco dyed ones for example) so I decided I needed more brights. As it happens, the ones I chose to photograph this time are Gelli printed only.
The first one has been printed with a capsicum (green pepper) and some sewing cotton. It has some glorious colours in there, and of course I don’t have a clue what colours I used. Perhaps some Matisse Primary Red which is quite a blue-red.
The second one is with a commercially available stencil and another layer with some sewing cotton. There is a layer of yellow, some red, then some blue. I’ve noticed that I often use the three primary colours for Gelli printing. This one has some yellow, a warmer red, and some blue. I often use Matisse Southern Ocean Blue. I love that colour.
The third card uses the same colours, but could it be more different? It’s a combination of fruit and vegetable bags from the greengrocer.
Number four with the purple border is just gorgeous ‘in the flesh’. There’s some orange there, some magenta, and a colour that could be Australian Yellow Green. (All these colours are Matisse Flow, used about 50/50 with Matisse Open Medium.) This one is capsicum again, with I think lemons in a pale colour underneath. There are some filmy capsicums in iridescent on top.
The final one is a yellow first layer with sewing cotton, then lemons with green, followed by a stamp with a capsicum in Southern Ocean Blue.
They all have colour coordinated envelopes in brights that contrast with the main colour of the card.
A couple of weekends ago, Diana invited me to her house to try a bit of eco-dyeing on paper. She’s recently become very keen on it, and I’d popped over one other day to look at and be impressed by her results.
All I had to take with me was the paper, as Diana had collected and experimented with many kinds of plant matter. I took Strathmore Aquarius watercolour paper and some mixed media paper from Melbourne Etching supplies.
We made little parcels of our paper and plant matter and boiled them up. You are supposed to leave them to steep in the water overnight, but we couldn’t wait.
When I tell you about the results, you have to realise that the scans are not accurate. I’ll explain. The backing paper is a very deep cream, almost yellowish. In the top and bottom image, the greetings cards are cream, while in the middle one they are white. Fiddled in Photoshop but can’t get it accurate.
It is amazing the difference the paper makes to the results. Diana was using Arches 300gsm paper and that was by far the most colourful. The Strathmore was less colourful, but with distinct patterns transferred nevertheless. That paper is the one that doesn’t buckle when wet, so I’m assuming there is a different process when it is made. The Strathmore cards are the first and last images.
The centre image, on the white cards, is the mixed media paper. They are actually quite a bit paler than it shows in the scan. I wouldn’t use it again for this process as other papers have so much better results.
And the last image shows my new little rubber stamp that I got from Jemac Rubber Stamps to complete my greetings cards. Very reasonable, ordered Monday, arrived in the post friday and gives the cards a more professional finish.
Finally I got to photograph the book that Julia won, as runner-up. It is made with pages of BFK Rives printmaking paper. The structure is Australian Reverse Piano hinge. That means you can remove pages and replace them if you want to. The pages are held together by a long (yellow) concertina strip of paper that goes through slots between the pages.
The cover paper is, again, my own paste paper. The end papers are my own credit card paper. The colours I used for the paste paper are Matisse Indigo, Cadmium Yellow and Cadmium Orange. Once I had made the paste paper, I made a few different pieces of credit card paper, using the same colours in different ways. I decided to use the bright one without the indigo because the cover is fairly dark. You’ll see that I also used one of the other ones as part of the little collage I made to indicate which is the front.
The book has six signatures of two folios each, and is six inches high by about eight inches wide. Julia is coming to get it tomorrow and we’re going to Hoochie Mamma’s for lunch.
When I made the giveaway book for the 500th post, I was also making a sketchbook with toned paper for myself.
I decided to cover mine with itajime paper as I hadn’t done that before. I’ve used itajime on boxes, and you can see some on the first box I ever made, here. That box has been sealed with shellac whereas these have been sealed with matt varnish.
The Japanese paper I used to make this itajime is very robust, but still needs a sealant. I had hoped to use varnish and keep the white white, however somehow the grey board underneath showed through. As you see, it didn’t really show on the boxes and I’m not sure why. Maybe it was just more obvious because of the larger area. So if I wanted to make another one and keep the whites, I would cover the grey boards with white paper first. I used shellac to seal the covers and that gives it all a golden glow and gets rid of the grey.
The top photo is the right way up – how I plan to use the book, whereas the second photo the book is upside down. I decided before I cut the paper for the covers that I liked the way the design tailed away to a dot, and that would be the front. The solid stripes will be the back of the book, and that way I will always know the front.
I am doing a demo at The Art Scene from 12- 2 on 14th June. It is about decorative papers made with inks. I’ll be making the itajime paper, pictured, and some bubble paper and one or two others if there is time. There’s not much room there, and its supposed to be only a demo, but I’m happy if people want to have a try.
One week later at Leichhardt Library from 2-4pm, I’ll be teaching a hands-on workshop in the same skills. Hope to see you at one of these free events.
Now that June is here we can look back at the huge success of Every Day in May. This year it resulted in the spontaneous creation of Every Day in June groups in both Facebook and Flickr, and so it goes on. I wonder if it will also continue in July. If you want to take part, so the sidebar off to the right there.
I’ve decided to take part in the Wild Weird Wonderful art swap. Starting today. You have to make six pages and get them to your nearest coordinator before 1st July. I’m planning to base mine on the weird wonderful plants in the tropical centre in the Royal Botanic Gardens. Today I might prepare my pages and Gelli print the back, then I’ll have a number of pages to work on with the back already done and no risk of messing up the artwork on the front (apart from the usual way).
Another thing going on in June is 30 days of Creativity. It’s a little bit different, being on Twitter and Pinterest as well as Flickr. I very much like their calendar. It is clever as it can be used for any form of creativity, including sketching. I plan to pop in there to use it for prompts for sketching.