Thursday, July 15, 2010

I Dream In Colors

Click on the picture for a larger view.

These 2 pages are for one of the I Dream In Color Journals that I am currently a part of. It is a circle journal group and these pages are for Lillian Mederak's book. Her colors choices were aqua/turquoise and rose. She stated in her intro letter that she wished she had tested the colors before finalizing her choice because it turns out that she was not happy with the rose color. She would have preferred using a rust color and I have to agree that it looked better. I used the rose color with the aqua but I also used the rust and a few hints of butter yellow as many of the other artists did also. I have to say that this was the hardest one for me and I ended up redoing both pages more then once because I was not happy with the results. (It is the first time I have redone a page for one of these journals.) So with out any more comments from me here are all the details.

1. The backgrounds are both done on watercolor paper with the first page having some asian book pages glued down on them first. Page one was supposed to have the image of the Geisha on it and after botching the first attempt at an image transfer I gessoed over the Geisha and tried again. I then painted over it with some metallic watercolors and then sprayed some of the Faux glimmer mist mix on it and let it run down the pages. Afterwards I was sorry I had used gesso over the transfer image because the watercolors and faux glimmer mist did not really look the same as on the regular paper. I then took some stencils from Tattered Angels and misted it with a copper faux glimmer mist and used it as a stamp on both pages. Again the gesso resisted the mist and I was unhappy with it. I had to paint the mist over the gessoed area several times to try and get it as dark as the other page.

2. The image of the Geisha is done using an image transfer technique. (I did her first then sprayed the faux glimmer mist after with a mask over her.) I have tried many and most of them I have had little luck with until I tried this spacial paper called Sheer Heaven. It is a paper that is not really a paper but instead a type of plastic with a very fine tooth to it. It is hard to tear and is like heavy vellum in the feel and weight of it. The easy thing is that you print the image you want with a regular ink jet printer. (No having to go to the copy shop and get toner or laser prints.) You then spray the paper with a light coating of alcohol and turn it over and burnish it down. The image transfers quickly and almost completely depending on how well the image was covered with alcohol. Its says that it is also great for other things but I have yet to try those since the paper is a little pricey. I do highly recommend the stuff though so click on the link above to take a look at it.

3. I then set about using many rubberstamps with different inks and paints to add the various images. The lanterns along the top of page one were done with black embossing powder and I was unhappy with how much they stood out so I decoupaged some white tissue paper over them to soften the color and shine. The stamp of the pear and asian calligraphy was colored over with pencils and some more white paint to make the calligraphy stand out. There was also a dragonfly in the stamp image but I chose to make it 3D by adding wings and some beads. The wings are made from packaging plastic with some iridescent ribbon Xyroned to the back. The front is stamped with black Staz-On ink and cut out.

4. I then added a lot of beading in some nice swirl patterns to add more of the rose color. I figured this was the best and most subtle way to add that color so I set to work. I think it took me a total of about 8 hours to add all those beads. They are all sewn on by hand 2 at a time through holes that are punched in the paper.

5. The flowers I hand colored with more of the faux glimmer mist and then I stamped and embossed the aqua flower of each one. The centers are rose colored micro beads to add more of that color. I added a piece of an old asian book page to the opening of the stencil and then added a saying by Confucius.

6. The last detail is a nice tassel of fibers that I added to the bottom flower of the first page. You can't really see the whole thing because the pages are about the size of my scanner bed so I couldn't get it all in the scan.

Hope you like it Lillian. Sorry it took me so long to finish it.


Lori said...

These are beautiful pages, Val! The colors are gorgeous together, all the layering really gives them a great look!

Electra said...

This is beautiful and what a wonderful description you've given of your process. Love the dragonfly wings and both backgrounds are lovely, in spite of all the work it took to get them the way you wanted them. I too did an unsuccessful transfer last night and had to gesso and paint over it, so thanks for the tip on the paper!

Netty said...

These are really gorgeous, love them. Annette x

Lean said...

wauw this is lovely work,the colours are so beautiful.


Your creations are beautiful. I enjoyed reading the creative process...very clever! Love the idea of that new transfer "paper"! Thank you for sharing. ~ Angela