Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Gel medium, watercolor background

This background was part fun, part frustration. I learned a lot, and hope to make more of these backgrounds again, this time using what I learned from this experiment. I show this background technique to document the process and to help those who want to recreate it to not make the mistakes I made. And no, I'm not ashamed to admit when I have a failure. Those just lead to other possibilities and add to my knowledge base.

I'd like to begin by pointing out that I made the "hand" stamps out of potatoes and a cookie cutter. I know they won't last, but I'm hoping they'll be around a few days. I have some fun things I want to do with them. After I made them, I dried them using a paper towel, then allowed them to sit for about an hour before using and dabbed them again.

Supplies clockwise from upper left:
Cheap acrylic paint, including some metallic
Plastic cups for mixing
Gel medium (I used gloss)
Pearl Ex
Hand stamps made from potatoes
Substrate (I used pages from a book)
Foam brushes and/or cosmetic sponge

Place a small amount of gel medium in a mixing cup.

Add a small amount of Pearl Ex. For this one, I used Blue Russet.

Stir well.

Using a foam brush, cover the stamp.

Stamp. You can barely see the stamped images. I had trouble with these stamps sliding. I'm not sure if it was because of the gel medium or if it was because the potatoes needed to dry a bit more.

I watered down acrylic paint to make a watercolor wash. This is the completed piece. As you can see, the "hands" look more like blobs than hands.

The hands didn't even show on this one. I think I didn't get enough gel medium on the stamp, or it was diluted by the potato, which may have been a bit wet. Whichever, the resist effect didn't work. If you click on the photo, you just might see a hand outline or two.

The hand stamps started working better with time. For this page, I used green Pearl Ex and metallic lavender acrylic paint diluted with water.

Changes I will make the next time:
1. Make sure stamp is dry.
2. Use more Pearl Ex, so it shows up better
3. Use more gel medium.

6 thoughtful remarks:

Anonymous said...

I love your idea of using the potato! you are probably right about the potato needing to by dryer... the resist idea is interesting...I usually do a color wash on the page and then stamp over it...thanks for the info, and let us know how new experiments go!

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