Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Take a close look around....

... and you might find something inspirational right under your nose!

For my latest Project Runway CJ entry, and also for one of the prompts over at Marit's Summer Camp, my task was to head outside with my camera, and find patterns, textures, structures that I could work with and take inspiration from, but which would otherwise have gone un-noticed.

This gorgeous old planter couldn't have fit the bill better.  It lives right outside the back door to my place of work.  I walk directly past it at least twice every day.  But I have never looked twice at it before.

I can't understand how I've never noticed it - look at that beautiful patina and that wonderful tesselated leaf pattern!

you can click on this for a closer view

For my page, I used that leaf pattern both literally on the leaves being blown from the shrub in the planter, and also in the background.

I really loved how the background turned out actually, I was almost loath to put anything over the top of it!

Here's how it was made:

I sketched the pattern on some heavy paper and cut the leaf shapes out to make a stencil.  Through this I sprayed Krylon Spray Gesso over a background of watercolour paper, torn dictionary pages, and randomly applied Golden Absorbent Ground.

Then it took lots of washes of watered down acrylic paint and pearlescent acrylic ink, to get to the finished look

The un-gessoed strips between the leaves absorb the paint much better than the gessoed areas, giving this lovely, soft pattern.

I am definitely going to play with that spray gesso some more!

To finish the page off -
  • I used Photoshop to make the magnifying glass with the close up of the pattern on the planter
  • The leaves and branches of the shrub were cut freehand from textured card and inked around the edges
  • The journalling was added with a dip pen and India ink (I think I was channelling Dina Wakley at that moment, although I wish my handwriting was as lovely as hers!)
  • Shadows under the planter and magnifying glass were added with Copic pens
  • And a couple of ink blobs pulled it all together nicely
It feels like this page isn't very ME - too pastel coloured maybe?  But I love it all the same.


Dale Anne Potter said...

LOVE this journal spread Sarah!
I love using stencils to add textures to artwork.

Erika Jean said...

beautiful! Your artwork is always so amazing!!

Uniflame said...

Wow, I love this! Very inspirational :)

Marit said...

Your or not your style, I LOVE IT!!! And spray gesso??? OH my... I will have to ask in the art supply shop if they have that too... I want one!

Sue said...

I think it's fabulous!! A very clever idea and I like to see the progression of the idea onto the paper.

Virginia said...

That is absolutely gorgeous I love looking around at all the patterns that usually go unnoticed!

Uhooi said...

Wow,, It works great, beautiful and creative,,

phinner said...

oooh, beautiful!!!

they sell SPRAY GESSO?! I want some of that!!! and what is absorbant ground???

very cool how you repeated the leaf pattern throughout the piece.

fatmonica said...

It's a fabulous spread!I love the colours and how great that you found the inspiration so close to home!I'll be looking out for spray gesso-I NEED that!

forcryeye said...

this is GREAT! I can't come over here, I get to jealous of your art work! :)

Carmen Wing said...

That spray gesso sounds amazing and I echo phinner - what is golden ground?

Gorgeous page, just love the texture and the magnifying glass is just perfect!

Sarah said...

sorry I should have replied on here too - absorbent ground is a white, super-porous substrate which dries to a lovely velvety finish, and it takes wet paints like watercolours, acrylic washes, gorgeously.

as for the spray gesso, I do have one spare can if anyone wants it (as I had to split a box of 6 with a pal to get some, you can't get it retail in the UK only wholesale) - it's pricey though, I'm afraid!

Sarah said...

actually more suedey than velvety - don't know why I wrote velvety :)

Rosie said...

Well done you! I just saw your comment on TJ's blog and wanted to come over and apologise for not replying to your email - dizzy knickers and my memory's gone awol since the bloody fall! Seriously, I forget the most basic things!
LOVE this spread - so creative and beautifully flowing... =)