Wednesday, February 4, 2009

A card a week for a year: Card 4

One card a week for 52 weeks. Each card depicting a single word or phrase to be used in an affirmation deck at the end of the year. Once again; I'm willing to take any word or phrase suggestions that you all may have, leave a comment with your suggestion if you've got one.


• Strathmore ATC card
• Watercolour Pencils
• PearlEx Iridescent & Interference pigments
• Paint brush
• Water
• Winsor Newton Granulating Medium in a spray bottle
• Spray Picture Varnish
• Liquid Watercolour or liquid acrylic ink

The Process:
This week I did a simple card. A sick toddler and preparations for packing up to move played a part in wanting to keep it simple plus I've really been drawn to making snowflakes over the last few months. Or maybe it's the surfeit of snow we were blessed with through December and into January.

I mixed gold iridescent and blue interference pigments with water and brushed the thin mixtures randomly across the surface of the card. I then went in with a newly sharpened watercolour pencil and drew in some snowflakes.

Then I took the granulation medium in a Holbein spray bottle (this particular spray bottle can be used to spray vermouth into a martini glass for a nice dry martini too; not that I've ever tried it myself but a friend divulged this secret to me on the day that I bought two during an art supply spending bonanza during a lunch break) and sprayed the medium over the whole card, softening the drawing and adding a pleasing frost like pattern to the pigments.

Once the card had dried I then sprayed the card with spray varnish to fix the pigment down. PearlEx is a loose pigment that can be mixed into a paint to add colour and light reflecting qualities to the paint. Mixing these pigments with water allows them to be brushed onto a surface like paint but as there is no permanent medium included in this "paint" like Ox Gall and Gum Arabic that once dry help to trap pigments to a painting substrate, the interference and iridescent pigments I spread across the card can be lifted off the substrate it has been painted on, very much like a soft pastel painting. Using a fixative or as I have used a spray varnish on top of the pigment adds a layer of protection to the loose pigments.

To add this cards word I then went back in and wrote the word focus onto the bottom using a number 0 brush and cobalt blue ink.

During our last snowfall (last week) I held out my hand to catch snow flakes to look at the individual flakes. The snow was of the light and fluffy variety and I found myself needing to focus on the jumbled flakes in order to see the patterns. Not an easy task while playing with a busy toddler. Sometimes the most interesting images are taken close up, are heightened details, or the most simple moment in time.


Stacey said...

What a clever idea, I like it very much. How about the word "achoo" or "fresh?" Those just came to mind. As you can see I like your blog very much, I think I just left 3 comments here and there. :)

ArtMind said...

What a great effect! :)

TMCPhoto said...

I used the technique with the holiday cards in PeanutButterPie this year.

Thanks for the word suggestions Stacey. I'll add them to the do pile

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