Tuesday, May 22, 2018

The Magical and Mystical Cheshire Cat

This painting was created inside a friend's book as part of the Australian Art Journal Swap group. I've always loved everything about Alice in Wonderland, so painting something with this fabulous theme was absolutely awesome. I loved every moment, even when it wasn't going so well (I messed up the background and started again). I've so pleased with how my Cheshire Cat turned out that I'm grinning like he does! lol :) Hope you like him too!

Above : the one, the only, the amazing Cheshire Cat!
Painted by hand with only a few treasures : Dylusions acrylic paint, Jane Davenport Gesso, paint brushes, watercolour pencils for sketching out the cat and coloured pencils for my initial drawings, when choosing a colour scheme. Plus you'll also need a Dylusions Art Journal :)

Background Colour List:
- After Midnight (dark blue)
- Laidback Lilac (pretty purple)
- Vibrant Turquoise
- Black Marble
- White Linen

Tree Colour List:
- Ground Coffee (dark brown)
- Melted Chocolate (medium brown)
- Dirty Martini (earthy olive green)
- Lemon Zest (bright yellow)
- Cut Grass (bright green)

Cheshire Cat Colour List:
- White Gesso
- Laidback Lilac
- Vibrant Turquoise
- Black Marble
- White Linen

For a free template to print, colour or trace click the link - The Magical Cheshire Cat - FREE Template to Colour and Paint :) Have fun!

Scribbling out thoughts, deciding upon design, characters and choosing colours. So many fantastic characters from these books that are fun to portray in art!

The final design is based upon the original sketch of the Cheshire Cat by John Tenneil when he (CC) was telling Alice the best way to go.

I was going to add a quote but forgot all about it after I started the actual painting! lol :)
I remembered after I posted the book so its a journal page without a written message. All is not lost, after 150 years of Alice, I think most of us know a few favourite quotes from the Cheshire Cat so quite possibly think of them whenever the cat is around.
For instance “If you don't know where you want to go, then it doesn't matter which path you take.” or “I am not crazy, my reality is just different from yours.”

Step one... The Background
Round and round and round I went with the paintbrush ... layers of purple, dark blue then turquoise, more dark blue and lightly with the black. I then added white splatters using a Tim Holtz Splatter Brush... dip in the paint and flick towards the page. Creates much less mess than using an old toothbrush!

The spirals are made up of the same colours, swirling around and around with a small round brush until they looked like mini abstract galaxies.

Tip... Wait until the background is completely dry before drawing in watercolour pencil. Dylusions Acrylic Paint is permanent once dry, so if you make a mistake, it can be wiped off easily with water (damp cloth) - without ruining your beautiful background.

Step Two... The Tree
Freestyle with a flat brush using Ground Coffee and embellished with Melted Chocolate swirls... sounds delicious! Coffee and chocolate always go great together!

Quite a nice combo, the two browns. Pre-mixed colours make painting much easier. Not only does it use less paint but it means you don't have to worry about needing to match the colour if you want to use the same colour another day.
That said, I do love mixing colours, even just adding a smooch of white or spot of black to anything makes me smile...

The leaves were painted in layers, one colour at a time. First I painted all the leaves with Melted Chocolate, then half of each leaf with Dirty Martini (yummy earthy green, my fave). Dylusions paint allows the colours underneath show through which helps add depth and extra dimension.

Next I added a line of Lemon Zest (yellow) along one side of each leaf then waited for them to dry before painting over the same side of the leaf with Cut Grass (bright green). To finish the leaves off, I added a line down the centre with brown.

Step Three... the Cheshire Cat Himself
I painted his basic shape in Jane Davenport's smooth and creamy white gesso. I painted his stripes and features a few times to get the shape and stripes looking how I wanted.

Once the white shape was ingrained into my head (don't ask), I put some Laidback Lilac and Vibrant Turquoise on the palette paper and mixed part of each to get a blue-purple mixture. The darker splosh is from adding dark brown (but I didn't use it).

I painted the whole cat in the purple and blue, then where the colours met, blended it with the blue-purple mixture.
I should mention that I don't clean the paint brush inbetween the purple and blue... which why having a palette is so important - it keeps your pots of paint clean :)

Don't forget, if you use pots of acrylic paint like Dylusions (and live in warm dry climates like Australia), to add a spritz / mist of water into each pot of paint after the day's session. This puts back any moisture that evaporated while the lid was off. I didn't do this with my black and it looks like black cottage cheese! lol :)

The colour combination makes it look mystical and magical, almost glowing :) Pretty cool hey!
I swapped between a flat brush and round brush back and forth to paint the stripes and details.

A splash of white, dash of black, smoosh of turquoise and he's a completed cat. Wasn't quite as fast as all that but once his stripes were brushed into place, the face came together wonderfully. I used the dark blue and black for his nose and mouth, white with a hint of black and purple (tiny hint) for the teeth and eyes. Made the whiskers and highlights appear even brighter!

Finally, to tidy up the left hand side edge, I added a strip of Jane Davenport Washi Tape.

Thanks so much for reading this blog post :) Hope my Cheshire Cat inspires you to get arty and crafty! If you need a hand with anything arty, sing out anytime. I'm here to help :)

Happy Creative Day!
:D
Jenny

Friday, April 20, 2018

MultiColour Stamping with Patchwork Butterflies

A quick and easy card to make for Mother's Day using a big beautiful butterfly with different background stamps. A pretty card that can be used to say anything  at all.


For these cards, you only need a few treasures...
Everything (and more) is available at www.shop.artbyjenny.com.au.

Instructions...
Choose two ink pads in similar tones. In the pic above I used Distress Oxide Tattered Rose and Lipstick. Other combinations I used were Antique Linen and Tattered Rose, Antique Linen and Iced Spruce, Antique Linen (its my current fave, could you tell?) and Fossilized Amber.

For stamping multiple colours at the same time, ink up part of the stamp in one colour and the remaining rubber with the other colour. Its not necessary to be precise as its just a background.

Even though some combinations may show a strong contrast between the two colours, where the colours meet isn't really noticeable once the butterfly is stamped.

Some of the backgrounds had borders made of dashed lines (to represent stitches) hand drawn with black pen. You can always use a ruler if you want straight lines.

The Patchwork Butterfly by Darkroom Door was stamped in two colours before printing as well.
First I inked the wings with Distress Oxide Walnut Stain, then used Black Soot for the body and antennae.
To get the black ink only over the centre of the design, hold the inkpad at an angle, tilted so the corner and edges of the inkpad are touching the surface. Again, its not a precise thing, and you can always re-ink the wings with the brown before pressing the butterfly onto the card.

I've also used Wilted Violet with the Black Soot to compliment the pink background shown earlier.
You can use any colours you want for this technique. Choose the colours that make you smile :)

For a guide, keep the warm colours with warms (reds, oranges, golden yellows) and cool colours with cools (greens, blues, lemon yellows). The warms and cools are fine to have other colours (black, brown, purple, white) with them to compliment, enhance, add contrast and interest.

Mother Nature is the perfect example of what colours to put together - trees (green, black, brown), sky (blue, white, red, orange, purple), rainbow (everything). When she puts contrasting colours together, its not usually an equal amount - just a hint of red with green (berries on trees) or hints of orange with blue (sunsets).

Choose colours that make you smile :)

Across the middle of the cards with the Patchwork Background stamps, I used Tim Holtz Washi Tape from the Aristocrat set. I like how it compliments the sewing and patchwork theme.

To make the border strips, I stamped the second larger design from the Tim Holtz Patchwork Backgrounds Stamps in Distress Oxide Iced Spruce onto mixed media card. Once it dried, it was trimmed it into rows of hexagons to add on the edges of the cards.

There are hundreds of greetings that can be used on a card. I've used "hello friend" from the Tim Holtz Stamps, Crazy Talk (stamped in Black Soot).

The cards I made using the DD Tribal Background Stamp had the thinner tape from Dylusions Designer Tape. Use a sharp craft knife, carefully trim around the butterfly wing. Washi tape is semi-transparent, so its easy to see where to cut.

I've added two rows of tape to the Tribal cards. At the moment, these ones have no message on the front... this gives flexibility of who the card is for and what its going to say. But just quietly, one will be saying Happy Mother's Day! Shhh, don't tell her :)

Change the colours and you've made a card that looks exactly the same but different!

The above pic shows the four different cards made using this technique. You can mix and match the background stamps to create an endless array of beautiful butterfly cards.

More Ideas...
1... If you don't want the background to show through the butterfly, it just adds one more step. Stamp the butterfly onto the card and again on a piece of plain paper. Turn the second butterfly into a mask by trimming around its shape. Place this over the image on the card before printing with the background stamp.

2... Colour in the wings with your favourite solvent based markers (as watercolour pens will blur the design unless you spray with a fixative).

3... Stamp the butterfly onto mixed media paper, trim around the design and glue onto the background. Make tiny scraps of card folded in a concertina fashion and glue them under the wings to give them lift. The tiny zigzagging pieces go flat for inside an envelope and then pop up when on display.

There are no limits to cardmaking... get creative and have fun :)

If you need a hand, sing out anytime. I'm here to help as well as sell you awesome arty treasures!

Happy Creative Day!
:)
Jenny
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Wednesday, April 18, 2018

Flying Friends in a Sea of Pink


This has to be the pinkest artwork I've created for many years! Usually I opt for greens but I guess sometimes we need a change. I made it for an art journal swap with the theme "Stuff and Nonsense".

Here's a quick rundown on what products I used. These arty treasures used are all available at www.shop.artbyjenny.com.au ...
- Dylusions Ink Sprays
- Dylusions Paint
- Dylusions Dy Cuts
- Dylusions Stamps (Flight of Fancy, Everything's Rosy, Anatomy of a Page)
- Dylusions Journaling Block
- Archival Ink Pads (Jet Black)
- Ranger Craft Mat
- Jane Davenport Inkredible Pen (for the sketch in the background)
- Jane Davenport Mermaid Markers
- Jane Davenport Glitz-sea Markers
- Tim Holtz Crazy Dog Stamps
- Tim Holtz Layering Stencils
- Tim Holtz Ink Blending Foam Tools
- Sharp scissors
- Strathmore Mixed Media Paper

How I made this artwork...

The first thing I did when planning this artwork was draw out a few ideas with the stamp sets next to me. In the sketch at the back of this photo, you can see I was thinking about the adorable Dyan Reaveley birds with long flamingo legs, Ruby Rainbow with her groovy brolly and the beautiful roses from Everything's Rosy.
With art, you've got to go with the flow as sometimes things just don't go according to plan, especially when you have so many ideas racing around your mind!

To create the hills, I used the scallop border stamp and placed it in a wavy line on the acrylic block. Rubber is flexible so with the thinner stamps like this one, they'll hold still (most of the time) until you've finished. Then it flings back into its straight shape.

Once I finished stamping out the octopus tenticles, flower heads and scallop hills, I got inky with the Dylusions Ink Sprays. I used Calypso Teal, London Blue, Lemon Zest and Dirty Martini.

Remember what I said about art not behaving? Well, I should have used watercolour paper, mixed media paper or applied gesso first because the inks didn't blend, they just soaked into the one spot. Ah well, a few more sprays of London Blue on the hills and base of the page sort of helped. And I wanted a cloudy day anyway! lol :)

After it dried (thank goodness for hot summery days), it didn't improve. I'd made such a mess of it, so I added some Dylusions Paint in White Linen through a few stencils in an attempt to calm it down. Didn't work. To me, this page ended up being a total disaster so I left it, uncovered at first but had to hide it because it was messing with my mojo!

I left the background to dry and got busy stamping and cutting out characters and flowers for the garden. I coloured them with Jane Davenport's Mermaid Markers and Dylusions Ink Sprays (just take off the lid and dip in a brush).

Have you used Dylusions inks with a brush yet? Or tried the Mermaid Markers? The colours are gorgeous... so vibrant and clean - when you mix the colours, they stay vibrant :) Always a great thing. Both make beautiful pastel shades when mixed with white and wonderful dusky darks when a dash of grey, black or brown is added.

While colouring I had a brainwave (it happens sometimes)... and stamped out some tentacles, feathers and flowers, and drew some wings for the dog. These were all fussy cut with scissors before using the Mermaid Markers to ink around the edges to hide the white paper.

The time cutting out the critters refreshed my mind and I took out the Dylusions Ink Sprays again... this time in Bubblegum Pink, Postbox Red, Pure Sunshine (golden yellow) and Pomegranate Seed (which is a beautiful dark red).

Basically, I sprayed the Bubblegum Pink across the top, Postbox Red at the base and where the two met, I sprayed roughly with the yellow. Then a drop more pink and some Pomegranate was added before sending it outside into the summer sun to dry. The paper itself was upright during the spraying process (I turned it around a few times) rather than left flat on the table. This enabled the ink to run down the page, creating the drips and shadows.

While outside, I splashed White Linen Ink Spray about. To do this yourself, take off the lid and either splash about like a vinegar bottle (using your finger as a stopper) or use the straw of the lid to dip and shake off the ink. I did both :)

After this dried I sprayed the whole page with an aerosol fixative (should be available at your local newsagent, contact me if you can't find it).
Dylusions inks remain reactive with water even after they've dried in 40+C sunshine, a splash of water in the wrong spot could mess up my new creation. Being reactive enables the ink to be lifted off to create faux bleach effects or to change sections to other colours (wet with water and blot with dry kitchen or blotting paper to lift off the ink).

The different textures in the background were added using Dylusions Paint (White Linen), Distress Oxide Ink Pads (Fossilized Amber and Tattered Rose) and a foam blending tool with a variety of my stencils by Tim Holtz : Ornate, Flames, Mosaic, Bubbles, Dot Fade, Splatters and Zig Zag.

I drew the snail with a spiral staircase on his shell so he could easily reach his fab row of houses. They were made from the hair or hat of one of Dyan's Dylusions Dy-Cuts (All The Gals).

I gave the fairy dog a glittery collar and sparkly nose using Jane Davenport's Glitz-Sea Pens (they are so pretty!).
The little dragonfly (on the toadstool) was added afterwards along with a few scribbly flowers along the base of the page. The octopus flowers turned out pretty cool with their feather leaves.

The other fairy is from a pack of Dylusions Dy-Cut... she's on a mission flying through the air with her toothbrush and butterfly wings (stamps). She's made up of a couple of paper dolls with a few changes including scallop skirt hem, different legs and some glittery ink added to her sunglasses. I love her curly hair and spotty stockings :)

Thanks for reading my blog post. I hope it makes you smile and inspires you to get messy with paints, inks and other arty treasures!

Have a happy creative week!
:)
Jenny

Sunday, January 7, 2018

Dylusions Challenge for January 2018

An art journal page created for a monthly challenge with The Dylusions Facebook Challenge Group :) 
January 2018 theme is - Red, Orange, Squares.


I've decided I really need to do something with the fabulous journal I started at Dyan Reaveley's workshop last September! Given that most of the pages are covered in paint and ink already, the hard work of choosing colour combos is done. For the challenges, all I'll need to do is choose a page and get crafty! That's the plan anyway :)

This page started a very plain page using orange and black Dylusions Ink Spray. To get the same background effect, choose a colour (Tangerine Dream) and spray it in three large areas of the right hand page. Then pick up the Black Marble and spray in the remaining uninked areas of the page. Close the book to spread the ink to the opposite page. Open the book and use your paper towel for rolling off excess ink. Amazingly, the black ink doesn't take over the whole page! Leave it to dry for a bit.

For this challenge page, everything I've used is from Dyan Reaveley's range of art products:
- Colouring Sheets (I used two sheets from set no.2)
plus :
- small scissors

Everything you need is available at Art by Jenny - www.shop.artbyjenny.com.au :)

The first thing I did to my page was tape down some washi, dividing the large rectangle into smaller squares. 
To finish off the background I used Dylusions Paints in Pomegranate, Lemon Zest and Cherry Pie with an ink blending tool through various stencils (Squares, Blocks, Arrow Border and Stained Glass). I started with the large Squares stencil with the dark red (Pomegranate Seed), then used the same paint with the dotted strip from the Arrow Border set of stencils. After that there wasn't really an order to what I did - just follow your heart and you can't go wrong!

To decide what to add to the page, I flicked through my Dylusions Stamps, die cuts (Dy Cuts) as well as the colouring sheets. I ended up only using two sheets from Colouring Sheets Set 2. The quote (shown above) says "We are all a little broken but broken crayons still colour" and is one that speaks to me on so many levels! lol :) 

I coloured the hair, borders, bird and heart with Dylusions Ink Spray - put a few drops of ink onto a plate or palette and pick up the ink with a brush.

The border of the square behind the face (above) was painted with Pure Sunshine Ink Spray before being stuck down. I then painted the inside of the square with white gesso and then again with the yellow ink.

The heart is made from two doodle curls and painted with both red inks with a splash of yellow towards the centre.

I needed more little squares so drew some in black pen along with one of the doodle curls (the one in the book was facing the wrong way!). No extra paper was used, they're all made from scraps from the two colouring sheets.

I think that's it... oh, I drew some more little black squares here and there. Sometimes its hard to know when to stop and today was one of those days - but I'm leaving it as it is and any more ideas this gives can go towards next month's challenge.

Thanks so much for visiting. I hope this blog post somehow inspires you to have a go and get messy with paper, ink and paint!

Sing out anytime if you need a hand or have questions!

Happy Creative Day!
:)
Jenny



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