PEP tangles - my Zentangle Inspired Art blog

Friday, 7 February 2014

Art Journal - Adding Acrylic Colour

As I mentioned in my previous post I have never used acrylics before & working with them has proved very very different to the pencils, inks & watercolours that I am more familiar with. The most difficult aspect for me has been the quick drying & permanent nature of the acrylics medium - once it's down & dry there is absolutely no shifting it!!
acrylics colour chart

I had no idea how matte medium, the pen work & my specific acrylic colours would react to one another on the substrate I was using so I made a colour chart incorporating the different aspects before I even started painting. I knew that some colours were more opaque than others but didnt know how visible my my pen work would be so I included a column to show that as well. The columns are as follows:
  • 1st - one coat acrylic; 
  • 2nd - one coat matte medium followed by one coat acrylic;
  • 3rd - pen work coated by matte medium & then one coat acrylic;
  • 4th - two coats acrylic.

I decided that with the colours I have it would be best to stick to an analogous colour scheme running from the reds through to the greens. However, much of my painting was a matter of trial & error &  I ended up applying many coats of colour in places - either to darken or to obscure a colour. When I had finished my layers of green for example, despite my adding yellow to the blue-green, it just didn't look right. 
outside of journal with green leaves

There was nothing for it but to try adding layers of brown - finally it looked OK. At that stage  I decided  I would have to define my pen work by going over it all (except for the quote) again. I'm actually rather thrilled with the result. I have a few patchy areas where I'd applied insufficient matte medium or the acrylic pooled & dried but now I know to be mindful such things in the future. My attitude to this whole project was that it had to be a learning experience not a work of perfection.  
outside of journal, after applying brown layers & redefining pen work
flap closed
flap open
close-up showing part of shaped edge

Although I had a rough idea of the range of colours I was going to use on the inside I found I was again  making decisions as to what to put where as I went along. At one point my husband, seeing the length of time it took me, suggested I think of the monks who in times gone by would sit for hours creating illuminated books.
inside with flap open 
carpet page
close-up showing detail of carpet page centre

For those interested this is the text that I used

And then, from the way it is built it does not stare with newness; it is not new in any way that is disquieting to the eye; it is neither raw nor callow. On the contrary, it almost gives the impression of a comfortable maturity of something like a couple of hundred years….. But it is designed and built in the thorough and honest spirit of the good work of old days, and the body of it, so fashioned and reared, has, as it were, taken to itself the soul of a more ancient dwelling-place. The house is not in any way a copy of any old building, though it embodies the general characteristics of the older structures of its own district….. the whole house, has that quality – the most valuable to my thinking that a house or any part of it can possess - of conducing to repose and serenity of mind. In some mysterious way it is imbued with an expression of cheerful, kindly welcome, of restfulness to mind and body, of abounding satisfaction to eye and brain…..  
 Gertrude Jekyll writing of the house she commissioned Edwin Lutyens to build for her.


Sally H said...

WOW! These look amazing, Paula! You have chosen great colour combinations!

Sandra said...

Beutiful journaling Paula. Love how you have incorporated Zentangle and the reference to vikings! The colours worked out brilliantly. Sandra

Gill said...

Hi Paula, I never cease to be amazed by the amount of research and preparation you put in before actually starting your projects. The results are amazing as usual. I use a much more 'gung ho' approach where suck it and see seems to be the order of the day, otherwise I would never begin let alone finish any projects. I love your journal!

Alice said...

well, it looks awesome fantastic! i had to go back over all my penlines also, that is one flaw i see in the system. but you get such beautiful results. and your husband is correct in his observation - much the same and the results are just as beautiful, too :)

alexandra s.m. said...

Your work is absolutely amazing Paula!
I know this word tends to be over used but I cannot think of a better one. I am genuinely in AWE!

Thank You~

Elaine said...

It is great to see your journal completed and such an incredible painstking project. Your colouring has taken a lot of work, but it has really paid off. I am especially in awe of the accuracy of your painting on the carpet page and can only assume you worked with a tiny brush to get such a clean finish between each colour. A really beautiful work of art and the quote from Gertrude Jekyll is very apt and one I relate to very strongly myself. You should be proud of your achivement. Elaine xxx

GinaA said...

Beautiful colouring Paula, I too prefer the brown with the pinks, very creative.

Margaret said...

your book is beautiful, great job!