PEP tangles - my Zentangle Inspired Art blog

Friday, 14 February 2014

Double Heart Triskele With Favourite Tool(s)

I subscribe to Jason Bellchamber's You Tube Channel where he gives tutorials on how to draw Celtic Knots. What I find particularly interesting about his videos is that he also talks about the history behind a particular pattern & what it might have been used for. Some time ago I saw his Double Heart Triskele videos (One, Two & Three) & decided that I'd try using the pattern for a Valentine's card. This is what evolved as I worked with it.

front of card
angled view to show contrast between metallic pen work,
satin gold cardstock & matt black panel
close-up in lamplight showing shimmer of  metallic
pen work &  fussy cut detail 
inside of card

Sakura Metallic Gelly Roll pens were used in black & gold for drawing the knot which was then carefully cut out & mounted on a piece of satin gold cardstock slightly smaller than the outer border of the knot, this was then mounted on black cardstock before placing on a white card blank. The inside is simply a piece of black cardstock mounted on satin gold cardstock before the card blank.

Whilst I was working on this - particularly the fussy cutting - I was reminded of Brenda's 5th Blogaversary celebration with her challenge to make a project using a favourite tool. My very favourite tool is a pair of scissors, specifically the EK Success Cutter Bee Scissors. I tried many scissors before I found a pair that was both sharp & fine enough to cut intricate detail in awkward places. In fact I really want to get a second pair to have as a spare, but they are not easy to find in the UK. If I were to be allowed an additional item it would be my embossing tool(s), particularly the fine one which I use to smooth down the cut edges. I enable my embossing tools to run smoothly along any edges by dipping them in Perga Soft. 

Congratulations Brenda & thank you for setting such a thought-provoking challenge - I really had to think about the one item that I am not without & that accompanies me wherever I go. 

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.