Several days ago I created what I hoped would be a successful tutorial on how to create a rust look for your art using paint.
Supplies (from back left clockwise):
Paper to cover your craft space
Acrylic paints of your choice (although I used fluid acrylics, any acrylic ink or paint should work)
Paper-backed fusible web (I used Wonder Under)
Scruffy paint brush (mine is 2 inches wide and has seen better days)
I cut a large piece of Wonder Under, which I purchased at a big box craft store (JoAnn's in the US) . It is sold by the yard, and the lady who cut my piece was going to throw the instructions away, but fortunately, I caught her in time and told her to leave them on the fusible web. Some time ago my friend Kathy gave me something that feels a bit like Wonder Under, but because the instructions weren't included with it, I have no idea what it is. I made sure the lady provided me with the entire length. After all, I had paid for it along with the webbing.
If you are unfamiliar with fusible webbing, it is a man-made product that melts when heat is applied. Most quilters use it for applique and use the kind that has the special paper backing. Patterns can be traced directly on the back side of the paper, then cut to facilitate the applique work.
You can get a cheap version of fusible web that has NO backing, but I prefer to pay a few cents more for the backing. I'm glad I did, too, because I remember reading Rebekah Meier's book called "Fabric Art Collage: 40+ Mixed Media Techniques"
which featured painting using fusible web. This book is fantastic if you like mixed media and collage. Other than Pellon's Wonder Under, other companies make products like "Steam a Seam 2" (sold by The Warm Company) and "Fast2Fuse" (sold by C & T Publishing). I used what I have, but you are welcome to use whatever you have, or find it at your local quilting and sewing stores. I believe these products are sold worldwide.
I began by placing water on the fusible web (Wonder Under). Then I realized the fusible, even with backing, leaked off the page when it rolled back onto itself. You can tell which side is the fusible, because it has a slight texture and the paper side is slick.
That's when I got out a plastic bag to keep the water off my self-healing cutting mat.
Now that the fusible web was saturated, I looked over my fluid acrylics to see which ones most closely looked like colors of rust.
Rust has many complex colors, depending on the stage of the rust cycle it is in. I chose the ones I had that most closely resembled rust in my opinion. If you took my altered book class (see my right sidebar), you might remember in the color theory class I noted that yellow and blue don't always make green, and red and blue don't always make purple. It all depends on whether, say, the red is a warm red or a cool red, etc. For example, a warm red is on the pink side of red, and a cool red is on the orange side of red. So of course, I was looking for darker, richer, cooler colors. Since I have a good camera now, you can read the colors I used, so I don't have to mention their names. Remember, ANY acrylic should work, including dye inks, dye reinkers, acrylic paint, and fluid acrylics. DO NOT USE oil or latex paint.
Be aware that the fusible web is going to curl, and even more so once you get it wet. So be sure you have a way to hold the edges down.
Begin with your background color. I chose Quinacridone / Nickel Azo Gold and spread it freely all over the web with my still wet brush.
Add other colors that look a bit like rust.
Either set the painted fusible aside, or leave in place. Watch as the paper backing begins to crinkle and shrivel a bit. As the fusible dries, this is where the "rust" effect will happen.
Since this is in my basement studio, I allowed it to sit undisturbed for around 24 hours. Once dry,
you can see how the crinkles in the paper caused the paint to pool and create the rust effect.
I've already used some of the fusible web and made a mistake right from the beginning when I thought you were supposed to remove the paper backing before ironing the fusible web in place. I lost all the color and rust effect held in place by the backing when I did this. So, if you are using fusible to imitate rust, be sure to leave the backing on.
When fusing, be sure to cover the webbing with parchment paper or your heat resistant craft mat. Even with the backing paper in place, you should cover it with one of the above options. Also, if you choose to add other webbing elements, be sure to cover the originally heated elements, because it doesn't matter how many times the webbing is heated, it will once again turn sticky.
Be sure you leave the backing paper and/or parchment paper (or craft mat) in place until the webbing is cool. It simply won't come off the backing paper and sticks to your craft mat if you get impatient. I'm sure you can tell I learned this the hard way.
I hope this tutorial was helpful to those of you who want to create a bit of rust, but don't have time to rust real fabric or paper. This tutorial will soon be added to my tutorials page under the title "Faux Rust."
Thanks for joining me for this faux rusting effort. I appreciate your visits and your comments, too.
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