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.
Here’s another video for you to watch. I may have mentioned David from Matisse Derivan. He now calls himself Derivan Dave. I thought you might like to see his video too. He’s not normally so serious.
Yesterday was my day for demonstrating on the Derivan stand at the Sydney Royal Easter Show. I’ve thought for some time now that we needed to be more interactive and get people involved with what we were doing. The last couple of years we have painted at easels.
This year we decided we would demonstrate printmaking with our Gelli plates. We volunteered for Good Friday which is traditionally a very busy day. Busy! I had to queue for 10 minutes to get in just when the pavilions were opening. It was a hot hot day and though I go every year and it is always busy I have never seen such crowds.
It is the first time I have not seen any of the show at all. We took a lunch break and headed for the Wooloworths Fresh Food Dome. Solid humans with battering rams of pushchairs. We didn’t even enter as we could tell we’d never get out.
Instead, we stayed put on the stand, helping children of all ages make Gelli prints. There was a crowd around several deep, and the children had to queue. This meant waiting some time, as each child on average, made two prints of two layers. The up-side of the wait, was that when it came their turn, they knew how to handle the roller and how to make a print. We just mixed up the colours for them and cleaned off the plate and roller after each change, wiped stencils and tried to keep on top of things. David made himself very useful by getting us a coffee and filling my water bottle. Very much appreciated. Some of the prints were just gorgeous, particularly one that looked like falling now – all misty blues.
A week or so a friend asked me to help him work out a new idea or two for using Liquid Pencil. I got my books about sketching out for some inspiration. You can see all my sketching books on this page on my website. We found quite a number of good ideas, but this one was the most effective and the simplest. It is an adaptation of a drawing in Moira Huntly’s The Artist’s Drawing Book – an older book with some interesting and unusual things in it.
These initial experimentations are postcard size, though I’m looking forward to doing a large one. If you click on one, you will see it actual size. We used permanent liquid pencil – it also comes in a rewettable variety. We started by blobbing on runny liquid pencil (watered down) and blowing it in various directions. We didn’t have any straws to blow through so we just tilted and turned the paper and it worked fine.
Once that was dry (having run up to the shop to buy straws) I put out Matisse Inks in Ultra Blue, Green, Carmine and Yellow. The blue was used alone, and the green was used both alone or ‘olivised’ with some red and yellow. Each colour was allowed to dry before putting on the next colour.
The last step was to paint on some leaves and fronds using white ink tinted with one of the greens I had used. Moira Huntly’s version used watercolour pencils, but I found that didn’t work for me, nor a white charcoal pencil. I painted the leafy shapes with a No 3 (small) sable brush. I plan to try the ink again but with a pen and nib. I think that line would differ more from the blown lines of ink and perhaps be more dynamic.
Every October, there is the Derivan Open Day where a multitude of artists of every discipline you can imagine demonstrate their art work and share their knowledge. There’s a sausage sizzle and a band playing, door prizes and factory tours. Admission is free.
This year its on the 15th October (not long now!) I will be teaching a workshop of decorated papers – “Pushing your Credit Card to the Max”.
The workshop will be free (as are all the Open Day workshops). Everything will be provided except for a few simple tools that you probably already own. There will be lots of gorgeous colours of acrylic paint to play around in and get really messy.
You may have made credit card papers before. If not, there is a video of my workshop/demonstration from 2010 here. We’ll do those again – just as a warm-up.
This workshop will go on from simple credit card papers to some new exciting techniques not offered before. Places are very limited and numbers will be small so I can give students lots of attention.
You will have to get in early to secure a place. Reservations will be on the Derivan website very soon.