Tag Archives: color

Experimenting with Encaustic Art

Hi there! How are you? We have been pretty good over here. Enjoying the beautiful Spring blossoms everywhere and the more frequent sun breaks too!

Maybe it’s the Spring energy or the fact that I’ve started the second part to the Brené Brown online class but I’m feeling inspired! I have been wanting to try encaustic art forever but I’ve always been a bit intimidated by all that comes with it.

Well…this week I finally dove right in! I ordered my encaustic medium, a heated palette (mini griddle), hake brushes, encaustic boards and a heat gun. While waiting for it all, I devoured this book and watched every youtube video on encaustic that I could find.  Yesterday, it all arrived on my doorstep and I was like a kid at Christmas! All smiles, clapping my hands and doing a little jig. I was that excited. Dorky but true. My mind was a flurry with all the dreamy creations I was going to make using this magical medium!

That evening, after the girls were down and the kitchen looked decent, I set up my encaustic paint “studio” (in my dining room). I opened windows, plugged in the griddle, melted the wax, warmed the brushes and the board and proceeded to lay down my first coat of wax. This is kinda how it went—->

Eeek! It’s all uneven.

The brush must be too cool.

Wait or is it the board?

Did I get the right brushes?

<insert swear word here>

Okay calm down.

Try another coat. Don’t forget to fuse first!

How long do I fuse for again? <swear word>

Second coat went down. Sigh…more unevenness…brush strokes, pitting.

<more swearing>

Okay, so maybe this isn’t as easy as it looks!

I stopped and took a minute to reassess. What am I doing wrong?

Then it dawned on me…how ridiculous to think that I would get it right on the first go! I told myself to relax and just play. I would learn by my mistakes and I had to trust that with practice, I would figure it out.

With that attitude adjustment, the rest of the evening was a blast! Here is my first attempt.

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The tree was stamped onto the board with acrylic paint. After that was dry, I put my first layer of wax down. The color was added by way of PanPastels and Gelatos that I smeared together into the wax. The pieces of antique paper were simply collaged onto the piece and coated in wax. Lastly, I added the jewels and painted some details with white acrylic. Here are some close ups of the textures created by the layers of encaustic. IMG_8989

You can see in this one where I used a stylus tool to actually carved the wax to bring out the details in the tree.

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It was late so I headed to bed…

Today, I couldn’t wait to get back to it, so as soon as Claire was down for nap I got creating! Here is my second go at it. I kept the color palette and composition similar so I could focus on technique. The process got a tad easier and I got a little braver.  On this piece, I used a stencil to create a raised wax pattern. I also moved my “studio” into the kitchen and worked right on top of our glass cooktop and countertops. Put wax paper down first! They are not kidding about those fumes from the wax, so I put my little griddle right next to the exhaust downdraft fan on my stove and it sucked all the icky fumes right down! I also opened up the kitchen window very wide. Last night, I learned the hard way and went to bed with a headache. So today I wasn’t going to risk breathing that stuff in.

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I also learned that if you add PanPastel, oil pastel or Gelatos to your wax layer and you don’t like them – Yikes! – you can clean it all off using Linseed Oil and a paper towel! Yah!!

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I absolutely love working this way and I’m looking forward to experimenting more with encaustics. I think I’ll do something more abstract next time? Hmmm…

Anyway, let me know if you have any questions. I’m FAR from an expert, obviously, but I’m here to help if I can! :)

Have a beautiful weekend and go try something new!

Much love,

Ivy

 

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Filed under Art, collage, creativity, encaustic, Learning, painting

More Matisse love.

Hi all! Happy Friday.

This week has been rough! I got sick, then Grace got sick…now Chris is sick. Ugh! It’s such a domino effect! My throat is still killing me but I made myself paint yesterday. I couldn’t stand it! Once I got Grace all cozy in her bed with toast and O.J., I armed myself with a strong cup of tea and got to work…

As many of you know I am taking Jeanne Oliver’s course, Studying Under the Masters and one of our assignments was to study one of Matisse’s works. I chose this piece, entitled – “The Idol” 1906.

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The intense colors, patterns and contrast attracted me to this piece, mostly because they are completely out of my comfort zone. I really wanted to push myself. The painterly brush strokes and somewhat unfinished elements to this work also made me nervous BUT I went for it anyway. I had started this work several days ago and was itching to finish it!

Here are some shots of my progress. (I had to keep reminding myself that the goal here was to learn from his techniques and NOT create a perfect replica. I’m not an art forger, after all! lol.)

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Just like Matisse, I executed my first sketch using charcoal and then did an under painting using Raw Umber.  My chosen substrate is a Blick Birch Panel.

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I blocked in the colors and tried not to think too much. Thinking while painting is over rated, in my opinion, too many icky, critical thoughts come up and inhibit the process. Trust me, I had many moments when I almost gave up! image copy 4

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As you can see, my scale was a bit off. So I decided to use a little artistic license, and add a bouquet of flowers in her hands. I’m sure Matisse wouldn’t mind. ;)

This was such a wonderful experience. It really got me using bold colors and much looser brush strokes. I found the freedom of not making everything so refined very inspiring. I felt like I was painting with emotion and not logic.

Doing this piece inspired me to create my own little Matisse portrait. I was able to complete this in one sitting…which is SO not like me. I could go back and add more detail but I’m not sure I will. Leaving it a bit raw and primitive feels good.

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So far this e-course has blown my mind! It’s always a good sign that my creativity is flowing when I start actually composing paintings in my head…(like all the time). It’s a little distracting but it fills my heart with such joy.

They say life begins on the edge of your comfort zone and so far…I think that might completely true.

Have a beautiful weekend. Stay healthy!

xo,

Ivy

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Filed under Art, Art lessons, creativity, Learning, painting

Inspired by Matisse

Hi there! How are you? Hope your week is treating you well.

As for me, well, I’m a little overwhelmed with creative energy. You see, I just started this amazing online course with Jeanne Oliver called “Studying under the Masters“. It’s a nine week course with nine different teachers. Each week, we get a new teacher and a new Master to learn from.

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This first week has been with Jeanne teaching us about Henri Matisse. It has been an absolute delight!

Back in Art School, we covered Matisse and hundreds of other artists but was I really paying attention? Well… not so much. With so many lectures, dead lines, assignments, critiques and social events (keg parties)… let’s just say I didn’t absorb as much as I should have. Often, I took being a student for granted.

Now, learning has become precious to me. It wakes me up and makes me feel alive, connected and passionate. That’s why I’m hooked on Jeanne’s courses.

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Oh Matisse, you wonderful man! I didn’t know I was so fond of your work till now! He was a master of color, pattern and portraits! I love how he captures a scene, flattens it and layers it with brilliant hues and complex patterns! His faces, sometimes refined and others primitive and simplified. However, his intensity is consistent. His pieces almost vibrate with energy and mood. Truly inspiring!

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Studying his work has made me feel free again…to just draw and play and not worry about perfection, perspective, technique. Just create and explore! I can’t seem to stop drawing! Even the white board on our fridge is covered in doodles. :) Here are a few of my own little works that I did in my sketchbook…all inspired by Matisse!

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More projects to come! So…what artist inspires you?

Have a fantastic Friday.

xo,

Ivy

{all Matisse images via here}

8 Comments

Filed under Art, Art lessons, creativity, Learning, painting, Thoughts

An Art Gift

Hello friends! How was your weekend? We actually had a pretty quiet one, which was a welcome treat. I even got to do some collaging with a friend on Sunday afternoon – so much fun!

I’ve been wanting to share this project with you for some time but I made it for a friend as a gift and I couldn’t risk her seeing it on here. :) She received it on Friday so now I can show you!

I love these little 4″ x 4″ canvases because they are super affordable, easy to hang and you can usually finish up the project in a couple of hours depending on how elaborate you get.

I started by collaging vintage papers – covering all sides of the canvas. Then using chalk pastels and scrapbooking paper I added a second layer of color. Followed by a couple of doilies and some white acrylic paint applied with a brayer.

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To get that yummy encaustic look I love so much, I coated the piece with a layer of heavy gel medium, using wet fingers to smooth it all out.

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It hasn’t quite dried yet in this shot…so when it does it will be a little bit more transparent.

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After the gel dried I added these lovely words and a vintage butterfly. My dear friend has been through a lot and has recently found love again (yah!) so I found these words inspiring for her.  They come from a poem by Alfred Tennyson entitled “Summer is Coming“.

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I couldn’t resist adding some details with my fav white gel pen

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For more contrast, I added color to the butterflies’ wings with acrylic paint.

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It was so wonderful to create something special for a good friend. I think I will be making more art as gifts in the future. As always, please let me know if you have any questions about this process. I am happy to help!

Being inspired to create something for someone you love is great motivation to get your ART on! Try it and surprise someone with a one of a kind treasure. :)

Have a lovely week!

xo,

Ivy

18 Comments

Filed under Art, Art lessons, collage, Crafting, creativity, mixed media, painting, vintage

Vintage Silhouette Girl

Hi there! How are you?

Well, 2014 is off to a good start here. Both Grace and I are using our studio and have been busy creating. We even ventured out and enjoyed a local art center where we both got to dive into our creations. So much fun!

The piece I’m about to share with you had been lying around forever. It started as one of those super cheesy Hallmark-like plaques from the 1980′s that I found at the thrift store for 99 cents. It needed some love, so I gessoed it and proceeded to collage it with vintage papers. I added washes of color with my Gellatos and water. Love these little tubes of color! *tip* use pretty paper that you love to figure out your color palette. ;)

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I then continued to layer paint, doilies, washi tape and scrapbook paper. I also ran my brayer through white paint and rolled it over the piece a couple of times. What is hard to see here is the texture…it actually (accidentally) ended up with a faux encaustic look due to the thick layer of Heavy Gel medium I added thinking it would dry just how I wanted. It didn’t. I panicked. I ended up scraping most of it off, cursing and then smoothing the whole layer using wet fingers. I thought I had totally screwed it up. But nope. I ended up loving the effect and discovering a new way to use gel. Yah! I LOVE when a mistake turns into something beautiful. It happens a lot in Art – if you can just push past that immediate panic.

(You can see the texture better in the pictures I took with my Big Girl camera below these iPhone pics.)

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Vintage silhouettes have always appealed to me, so I incorporated one into this piece instead of painting a girl. I found this silhouette here. Considering my art nouveau obsession, I couldn’t just leave her be – she needed a lovely headpiece and flowers too!

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Here are some better shots of the finished work with accurate color too. The doodles and hand lettering came as a bit of a surprise to me – being outside my box – but it just felt right and it was fun to experiment with the boldness of the black ink and contrast of the white gel pen.

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I’m excited to try another silhouette piece and you should too! No drawing necessary! ;) Let me know if you have questions.

Thanks for letting me share my work!

Much love to you all.

xo,

Ivy

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Filed under Art, Art lessons, collage, Crafting, creativity, mixed media, painting, vintage

Art Journals to Adore

Hello there. I’m so excited I can hardly sit still. I just signed up to attend this retreat in May 2014! Eeek! I’m scared and incredibly happy at the same time – which I know is a good sign I’m doing something that I truly want to do. A long weekend, on Bainbridge Island creating art with 10 other women – it’s gonna be total bliss! Plus, I’m going to actually meet one of my favorite online art teachers – Jeanne Oliver! Feeling very blessed.

Anyways, I’ve been working more frequently in my art journal. Picking it up casually and sketching or jotting down a thought. It’s becoming a little addictive. I was on Pinterest gathering jouranling inspiration and I thought I would show you some of my favorites. Just gorgeous…

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So inspiring right? I just got this book to help me get more creative with hand lettering too. Love it.

I’m off to go work in mine.

Have a beautiful Friday and a lovely weekend.

xo,

Ivy

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Filed under Art, creativity, Learning, mixed media, painting