Sunday, 27 January 2013

DECO ART: Ink Effect Paints

So I had my paints from the lovely people at Deco Art and their blogger scheme and I had a mission to complete.
My chosen subject was Finches.
I set myself up with picture reference and sketched out on paper my drawing.
This is a Chaffinch
I had already decided I wanted to try and mix the colours, and so I splodge some out on a lid.
As I began I remembered, from the tutorial, that the colour reference to look at is not the paint but the colour spot on the lid, hmmm I thought, but that doesn't work with mixing.
So in my usual experimental way, I was painting 'blind' with the colours and taking an element of risk and surprise in the outcome. I set them down to dry for at least half an hour.

I had been flummoxed on what fabric to use. On the instructions it says you need to use mainly synthetic fabric with a maximum of 40% cotton.
I dug around in my fabric-suitcase-stash and realised all of my fabric was cotton.
The tiny scrap I had found to experiment with had failed miserably barely picking up the colour.
So I decided to trek to the charity shop.
The charity shop also lacked the ideal fabric, but I managed to find a polyester net curtain and a pink duvet cover.
I do like the challenge of making something out of what you can find.
I think if I was doing a piece of work to make multiples of for bags or clothing, I would go to a fabric shop and be more specific. But with this round I was experimenting and having fun.

So I returned armed with my strange fabrics, an iron, some tunes and a cup of tea.
And this is when the magic really happened.

I have to be honest after the first two trip ups, I had lost heart...I had also forgot to follow the instructions properly (iron should be on full heat with NO STEAM)

As I ironed down on the back of my paper as hard as I could, I hoped it would work.
I peeled back the drawing and it was a miracle.
My brown blodgy painting was this gorgeous colourful ink effected painting on fabric. I was super chuffed.

I printed a load of copies, though there was a certain amount of hit and miss of the quality (I will wash fabric before printing when I do it again)

It continues to be transferable especially if your original was painted on thickly. (protect ironing board covers with an  old teatowel otherwise you may get a bit of colour on there)

In the next part of this project I am going to cut them out and put them on other fabric and embroider into them.

I do like a good crafty experiment.

I was thoroughly pleased with the soft ink effect these paints produce, they would inspire me to use in a way one would use watercolour. I think my next piece with them will be a garden scene with flowers, the colours would blend beautifully.

I did one extra self portrait for fun.

Friday, 18 January 2013

A Crafty Bloggers Dream Come True!

I do this blog for fun, just like I craft for fun and relaxation. I am always pleased when someone tells me they enjoyed a blog post or something I've made.

So when I got an email out of the blue offering me free crafting equipment in exchange for testing it and reviewing it I was super chuffed. That only happens to the other craft blogs I read!

Late last year, DecoArt, a large American based craft equipment suppliers, offered me any craft equipment I would like to try, in exchange for a blogpost, talk about a kid in a sweet shop! 
It's all part of their blogger outreach program, they have an excellent scheme set up in supporting and promoting artists called the Helping Artist Program it's the perfect relationship and makes total sense.

So I had been approached offered anything I would like, and was grinning with glee, ready to craft!
Then my brain froze, I went completely blank, what do I make, what should I make, what would I like to make.
As a crafter of pleasure and relaxation I do tend to follow my whims, for instance I am well into crocheting right now, and have developed a thing for origami cranes (they are so lovely). 
But I wanted an idea I would be driven by and wanted to explore as I created it.

Over the past few years I concluded that I am mainly driven by textile based work, stitching and sewing and painting on fabrics. So I was drawn to DecoArt's fabric paints selection.

Firstly I went for the SoSoft fabric paints, as in my experience of fabric paints they can be stiff or plasticy, so I wanted to try something that had SoSoft in the title. I also saw they had T-shirt paints and I thought it would be fun to make some T-shirts.

The product that really caught my eye was the Ink Effects range, I watched their video and it was truly intriguing. You could paint on paper and then do multiple prints by ironing onto the fabric.
I liked the idea of not struggling with the fabric but using the canvas of paper to comfortably paint in your image.

Now I needed a concept.
Over the year I have been hyped up into a birding frenzy by my neighbour at work and joined the RSPB. There's a couple of 'Birders' at work, who've got me looking at birds more closely. 
Then my father and I, with some binoculars next to the French windows and bird feeders, did the Big Garden Birdwatch in the summer and I counted 5 greenfinch in the tree. 
Now I have developed a particular fondness for the finches, I decided I would make them a subject for a textile project

Join me in the next instalment to see my experiments with Ink Effects, textiles and Finches.