Saturday, July 30, 2011

Using a collographic plate with Shiva/Markel Paint Stik

Because it is so hot, I decided the first tutorial using a collographic plate will be using the Shiva or Markel Paint Stik, a wonderful oil paint in a stick. For this technique, I won't have any clean-up to worry about, since I won't be spreading any paint on the plate. In fact, if I had been thinking clearly, I could have done this technique inside.

Supplies (from left):
Paint Stiks (various colors-Rose used in this tutorial)
Cotton fabric, hand washed and dried
Low tack masking tape
Paper towel
Collographic plate, handmade


1. Using a low tack tape, affix the fabric to a surface. For this project, I taped it directly to the metal table.

2. Grab an Artist's Paint Stik. These are made by Markel and came from the internet. They are exactly the same as Shiva brand, but sold under the Markel brand name, which is better known in Europe than America.

To make them "usable," you must remove the skin that covers the exterior of the oil stick. There are several ways you can remove the skin, one of which is to peel the skin back using an exacto knife. Those who know me, realize this is more dangerous than walking across a 12 lane Los Angeles freeway. So that option will always be my last. Instead, I will be using a paper towel and rubbing away at the oil stick.

Maybe I should have used the exacto knife after all, because I made a terrible mess getting the skin off. It looks SO SIMPLE when you see it being shown on TV, but in reality it is quite difficult. And the mess I made took up way longer than I thought it would and wasted way more oil stick than I anticipated. But now I was ready to go, at least.

3. Insert the collographic plate under your fabric. Check that the fabric is still tacked in place.

4. Run the oil stick over the fabric in one direction, picking up the places where the keys are. This is like making a gravestone rubbing without the gravestone. In fact, you may have done this same technique as a child using crayons.

5. Continue until you have covered the complete area.

6. Hang the fabric by the tape or on your design wall, or lay it flat where it won't be disturbed for three to five days. The longer you allow this paint to dry, the more vivid it will be.

7. After three to five days, heat set the paint into the fabric using your iron and a pressing sheet.

I used way too much oil stick in the beginning, and you can see it's a bit of a mess on the left side where I began. Hopefully, I'll be able to either make it work or remove that part of the fabric.

I got better toward the end, even though I used more oil paint than I should have. It was a fun experiment and I loved using the collographic plate because there was no clean-up involved.

I suggest using dark or metallic Paint Stiks when working with light fabric and light Paint Stiks when working with dark fabric.

18 thoughtful remarks:

Unknown said...

VERY cool technique- can't wait to see what you do with it!

shazsilverwolf said...

I really enjoy coming to your blog, I always learn so much. There is a Versatile Blogger award on my blog for you Shaz xx

Dianne said...

this is way cool! I haven't seen this before. As an additional technique to add, once the oil stick paint has cured and been fixed, I bet you could apply a thinned water-based paint over the designs, and the oil sticks would 'resist' the paint. Just a thought, if you want to add more colors...thanks for this tutorial!

Becca said...

I haven't tried the paint sticks yet, looks like a cool technique!

Darla said...

Very interesting. You are always trying something new and interesting. I haven't tried the paint sticks yet myself. I laughed at your aversion to exacto knives. Me too!


Halle said...

I've never used oil paint sticks...have seem ads for them in CPS and similar publications. Looks like fun...reminds me of crayon rubbings that one does in elementary school. Another great..yet forgotten technique.

Jo Murray said...

Love this... thanks.. I won some oilsticks in a raffle and didn't have any idea what I'd do with them. Now I know.

Marlynn said...

Fascinating - I have like never ever used a paint stick. Great tutorial and I can't wait to see how this turns out! Hugs,

voodoo vixen said...

Had to laugh at the aversion to your exacto knife... mine is always in my hand, I use it for almost anything and even have one in my kitchen drawer for opening the dreaded bubble packed things that everything we purchase seems to arrive in!! Love what you are doing with the material and your keys... can't wait to see the finished project!!

elle said...

Elizabeth, thanks. We can count on you to not assume that 'everybody' knows what to do with these various art supplies. ;^)

Gaby Bee said...

I've been on holiday and have loved seeing all your art now that I'm back.

This technique is really cool. Thanks for the tutorial,Elizabeth. I can hardly wait to see how this turns out!

Have a wonderful weekend!
Gaby xo

Marit said...

I love how this looks, and although I remember the technique (with paper and crayons - when I was a kid) I completely forgotten about it. Thanks for reminding me!

Marilyn J. Rock said...

Very cool! I use those oil sticks a lot - when I don't feel like a lot of clean up. But; they also are wonderful in their own right. Thanks for sharing the process here! xxoo

Unknown said...

very cool thank you for the experience via my computer to see this fun creative way to make art

Dianne said...

I've been wanting to try the oil paint sticks... This is a very cool way to use them.

Diane said...

Great technique--I have Shiva sticks too...never touched--I need to try them--I really like the results herre.

Unknown said...

Oh my gosh that is so cool! I thought your were going to stamp with your plate .... I didn't realize it was for rubbings! I wonder if oil pastels would work ... Probably if you use paper instead of fabric.

How funny about x-acto knives. You wouldn't like it at my house - no pencil sharpener to be found - so I always use my x- acto knife and whittle at my pencil like my dad used to :)

Liverpool Lou (Anne) said...

Hi elizabeth, I must have a go at making a collagraph; love the results of what you did :-) I had to laught at the remark about the 12 lane highway, hahaha. Even if the results of the collagraph above with the paint were a bit messy in some cases it's still good fun to play and as I've said before, because you're honest about what you've done it gives valuable advice to the rest of us.
Anne xx