This is another of my specially designed tree decorations for today’s workshop in The Studio (candy cane one here if you missed it). The workshop has just finished, so you’ve missed out! Cut out from card and pushed onto a split-pin clothes peg, I’ve decorated with DecoArt Media fluid acrylics, Ranger Stickles and Liquid Pearls.
For my next trip abroad, I wanted to make another travel journal. I have previously handmade a small hardback pocket journal and a fold-out accordion journal. This time I decided to make a handmade journal using a piano hinge. This, for the unfamiliar, uses tabs and cylindrical objects (in this case bamboo skewers) to attach the pages at the spine. The benefit for a travel journal is that every other spread is the depth of the bamboo skewer, which means there is plenty of room for additional items of collage and other ephemera, and pockets to store memorabilia. It’s also possible to easily disassemble the book at the hinge to work on individual pages, or remove and add pages as required.
Constructed from canvas textured acrylic paper, I knocked back the white using an off-white chalky finish acrylic paint. I added a darker shade at the base of each page, using the same paint to stencil the building outlines. Overprinting with various travel oriented stamps using archival ink completed the decoration. It seems that the convention for piano hinge books is that the spine is visible, and the skewers extend from the bottom and the top. I wanted a more traditional book appearance as well as a protective cover, so I constructed cover pages before covering them with lokta paper which resembles old leather. A few coats of soft-touch varnish added to that illusion as well as protecting the paper. Adding this type of cover does restrict the addition of further pages. As I intend to use this on the flight as well, I thought it wise to trim the skewers… Some care needs to be taken to keep the pages vertically aligned, but in practice friction seems to keep the posts in place.
I’ve designed some hanging decorations for December’s workshop that slide onto a wooden split type peg. There are several designs, but this is one of the newer ones, and certainly the most complex to colour in… Using nothing more than five colours of ProMarker and a pencil, this candy cane tree decoration is ready to copy! There are spaces available, but please book in as soon as possible – I have a lot of cutting out to do…
I’ve also been playing with my Foldio360 bluetooth controlled turntable a little more. It’s recently had some new DSLR settings provided meaning that, finally, it remotely controls my proper camera for top notch pics, which I can then edit and stitch in Photoshop. Now to find a decent 360° viewer plug-in for WordPress so that I don’t have to save as a clunky animated GIF.
For the last two days, I’ve been working with my mum to complete her commission for a piece of artwork featuring the skyline of Baku, Azerbaijan. Mum knew what buildings she would like to include, and provided the primed canvas (roughly 90cm wide) and a sketch of the layout. The first step was to tweak the sketch a little to improve the flow around the picture.
That done, we settled on trying a bas relief technique since she had no preconceptions of a finished piece. Thus started a mammoth 5 hour session cutting, pasting and carving paper clay, finishing at 10:30pm at night in an effort to allow drying time overnight. Unfortunately, humidity prevented that and we had a morning’s hiatus as it dried in the sun. Uneven drying left some pieces lifting, so these were promptly glued back down with gesso.
Next was the decision as to whether to leave it white-on-white, or to add colour. Well, we went with the colour option, and much spraying with DecoArt Media Shimmer Misters in white and turquoise, with a tiniest spritz of DecoArt Media Mister in Primary Cyan. Add water to blend and water spot, dab off with kitchen towel and repeat. Drying brushing with gesso restored the contrast between the buildings and the background. Embellishment with Cosmic Shimmer Gilding Flakes, Stardust Stickles and DecoArt Media Gloss Varnish completed the picture. Then I decided a little more shimmer was needed on the sea, so added a wash of Perfect Pearls Perfect Pearl.
As a follow up art piece to my ‘Dream’, I thought I would add another 3D word to my studio – this time, Create. The letters are again paper mâché, all undercoated with two layers of gesso and then decorated. I wanted this assemblage to reflect all the creative pursuits that take place in various forms in The Studio, both by me and my studio guests. Sculpture didn’t quite make it, but then I can always say the whole thing is sculpture 😉
Hi, my name is Harry and I am finishing a week’s work experience at Neil’s Studio. My commission was to design, make and blog 100 wedding favours. The wedding theme was liquorice allsorts. These favours are going to be collected by my client this afternoon and then used at her wedding in the summer. I was told to narrow down 10-15 initial ideas to three and then prototype and present them to my client on Tuesday evening. She chose her preferred favour and then was to return to the Studio in three days time to collect them. During that time, I had to make all hundred and blog about them.
Next month’s art journal session at The Studio (Mon 4th April, 7:30pm) is all about pattern development. We’ll be carving our own stamps from Speedball Speedy-Carve before stamping with paint or ink to create our personal and unique designs on our pages. I’ve taken three of my tangle pattern designs to make my stamps: Curly Braces Too, Flared and Circo. And in the process I discovered a new way of using tangle patterns: layering them. Something to explore further in drawn work I think!