Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Modified Leafing Pen Background

We're discussing "gold leafing" on ABC and decided now would be a great time to post this background technique I made back in 2007. This technique was taken from Bernie Berlin's "Artist Trading CardsWorkshop: Create, Collect, Swap." (ISBN-10: 1581808488) As usual, I modified it with supplies I had on hand because I had no liquid watercolors, 140 lb watercolor paper, or canvas.
Supplies from left:
Cardstock (or substrate of your choice such as tags, printer paper, book pages, not shown)
Krylon Silver Leafing Pen
Krylon Gold Leafing Pen
Krylon Copper Leafing Pen
Artist Paint Brush (not foam)
LuminArt Twinkling H20s, at least 2 colors of your choice
Rubber stamps and stamp pad (Optional, not shown and not used)
Freezer paper or something to cover your work surface

Bernie used liquid watercolors
Bernie said watercolor paper 140 lb worked best, but I had no trouble with any weight paper I used
I also used watered down acrylics and mica flakes
Artist's canvas

Add water to Twinkling H20 pots and set aside.
Using Copper, Gold, and/or Silver Leafing Pens, draw swirls and lines in a pleasing pattern onto the cardstock.
Thin lines work best. Be sure to let the pen go off the page. Allow to dry.
Apply first color of Twinkling H20 to the cardstock, beginning with the lightest color. I highly recommend using an artist's paint brush (anything with bristles) over a foam brush. The foam brush will absorb (and waste) the H20s and won't give the desired effect you want from your H20s.
Apply second color. Allow H20s to blend and bleed together, or allow one color to dry before applying the second color. These will give two different effects. If you want the colors to bleed together and diffuse, lightly wet your substrate before adding any watercolor, but after using the leafing pen. If you don't let the H20s activate, they will go on too heavy. If that happens, just drop water from your paint brush onto the H20.

Pick colors that compliment each other and coordinate with your leafing pen. I used cool colors with the silver pen and warm colors with the gold and copper pens. I put the first color in both upper corners and the lower middle. The second color went in the top middle and the lower two corners. The third color filled in the white areas.
When dry, stamp all over the page (this is an optional step).

Although Bernie suggests stamping as the final step, I'm not much of a stamper, so I eliminated that step. I liked the clean look I got in the final product.

These are really addictive. As an alternative, I used watered down acrylics (cheap paint in a bottle) that I added mica powders to. They worked fine as long as they were the consistency of watercolors.

4 thoughtful remarks:

Donna: said...

Very clever using gold leaf as a resist. Like you I will have to use acrylic, water, and dig out the mica (that I never really new what it was for). Excellent technique. Thank you - Donna

Kathy L said...

I love how you made this technique work with what you had on hand. It is good to know that any substrate will work.


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