Sunday, 17 May 2015

Canvas Crossword

This evening I am over on the PaperArtsy blog with a wordy project. If you have been following us this year you will know we have a theme every fortnight.. and this time it is Words!

I love words, text and especially alphabet stamps, may be slightly addicted to those!

Here are a couple of snippets of my project.. 

Please do pop over to the PaperArtsy blog and see how i created this canvas. There are lots of instructions and photos. 

Darcy x

Monday, 11 May 2015

Shakespeare in Colour

So I have had this chunky book of the works of Shakespeare for a while now, it was only 20p at a car boot sale. the cover is shiny and plasticky and not appealing at all…

but the insides… oh swoon, be still my beating heart. The pages are super thin, beautifully delicate and not too ‘new’ looking , though this book is only about 30yrs old. There are illustrations on a lot of the pages, which just made me a bit giddy. I am amazed the lady didn’t spot my excitement and charge me a whole lot more.


Apart from the cover, it would have been a nice edition just to keep as is… but that wouldn’t be me. I do already have a much older complete works, that is special to me and I would never consider altering.
but this one was just asking to be coloured in.

For some time now I have been seeing people do ‘bible art’. I believe it is called Bible Journalling and you can see lots of examples online, HERE are a few on Pinterest.  This involves creating art in the margins of a treasured bible. I had no idea that some bibles come with very large margins specifically for taking notes I guess, but these areas work just as well for doing artwork. The ones I have seen have all been inspired by the verses on that page.

Anyhoo, back to Shakespeare. I loved the idea of creating art in a treasured book, while still being able to read the book and not completely cover up the text. not being religious, when I spotted this book I knew it would be perfect.

So before I even started I deconstructed the book, taking off the cover. That will become an entirely separate project. I am thinking of making a linen cover and embroidering it with some stumpwork. This would fit in nicely with the whole Elizabethan era…. but I digress..

As the book is so chunky, to use the pages on the left I found they needed to be propped up. So I popped a stack of books under this side. This gives me a stable surface on which to work.


The first play is The Tempest, and begins with a scene set on a ship on a stormy sea. Now I did at first think I would like to decorate the pages with images that directly relate to the text, but came to the conclusion that was putting too many restrictions upon myself. So I plan to make some kind of art that is inspired by the text, it could be realistic or abstract, whatever I feel like at the time. 

So I found myself searching for inspirational images of waves, and as often happens, one image leads to another, that leads to youtube, that leads to pinterest, and so on… eventually I wasn’t looking at real waves at all, and I ended up on THIS PAGE A very eyecatching pattern you will agree. I loved the simplicity of the illusion and in a way it still did look like the clashing of waves.

So, not wanting to copy exactly, I read the instructions once and began in my book. These pages are super thin, and I knew any kind of pen ,in or marker would bleed through. So I added a very thin coat of gel medium first.
Adding some wavy lines with a pencil.

I then went over these with a black fineliner, and added the cross lines to each column.

Next I added a water wash of colour to each column, using Fresco paints in China, Blueberry, Lavender, Eggplant, Glass Blue and Smurf.

I then went over the paint, adding shading with Faber-Castell Pitt pens .

My next layer of colour was with Derwent Coloursoft pencils.

Once all the colouring was done I added further highlights with a white Posca pen.

On the site where I found the pattern, the artist used more coloured shading to achieve his optical illusion. This wasn’t really what I was after, so I only went back in with more black. I wanted the columns to be much stronger , and almost fighting against each other. I used a Mitsubishi uniball eye pen.

This is how the page has ended up, and I quite like it. It does have the feeling of tempestuous colums of water, churning and turning in a storm.

Here it is next to the page of text. i do not plan to work my way through the book, rather I am going to dip in and out, creating on pages as I feel like it. I don’t think every page will have colour… but who knows. On the pages that already have illustrations perhaps I will just colour those in.


Next year sees the 400th anniversary of ShaKespeare's death, there are going to be celebrations all over the world. See some of the details HERE. 

Also next year, as part of the celebrations there will be a full sized 'pop up' replica of the globe theatre built in New Zealand. Once built it will then go on a world tour. See the details HERE. 

Darcy x

Thursday, 7 May 2015

Colouring in...

Dede style...

Do you know Dede Willingham? she is a very talented and lovely lady who gives her time and experience freely online. She host a regular live show on Ustream, and uploads the recordings to Youtube. Last week she invited people to colour in alongside her. 

On her blog she offered this sketch of 'Amelia', which the viewers were advised to print out onto tan coloured paper.  {print this sketch}

Then over the course of 3 days, and 3 live shows, Dede showed how she would colour in a portrait... and the viewers coloured along with her. 

If you love faces, or colouring in or you are a beginner looking for tips then I urge you to print out the sketch and follow along. 

It has been ages since I did a face, there has just been so much other stuff to do. I have definitely missed it, so thought I would play along. it isn't my preferred style, but it is always a good thing,I think, to try new styles.. and to see how other people work. You can always pick up lots of handy tips to use in your own work. 

So for a bit of fun, and just to generally join in, I decided to print out the sketch and follow along. 

This is the sketch, remember I did not draw this, it is a print out of Dede's sketch. 

Dede also gives a list of colours to use, I have a mix of Prismas and Derwent Coloursoft. 

To get Dede's list of colours and numbers go HERE{from 5 mins onward}

These are the colours that I had. 

White, Black, Dk Grey, Mid Grey, Blue Grey
Dk Brown, Burnt ochre, Terracotta, Rose
Purple, China Blue,Caribbean Sea Blue, Sky
Indigo, Yellow Ochre,Peach,Lt.Peach
Ginger Root, Peach Beige

Make them nice and sharp. 

Doing the eyes first, then adding white highlights. 

You will also need acrylic paint as an undercoat for the dress and bow. This is where we got to at the end of video 1. 

Doing the hair and a little shading on the face. 

Love,love those eyes. 

This is where we got to at the end of Video 2. 

and here is the finished portrait, it really was fun to play along. Thankyou Dede. 

Next week, Dede is doing another colour-along class, and this time she is drawing me!

Come and play along. HERE is Dede's Ustream channel. 

Darcy x

Monday, 4 May 2015

Tulip Cards

I needed a birthday card for a friend, it turned out really lovely so thought I would show you. 

I began with a card blank and added a small square of kraft card to the centre. 

I then coloured some more card using Brusho pigments. Find out about them HERE. This was added over the kraft card, leaving a small border. 

I had been having a tidy up in my chaotic art room, and came across some collage sheets that i had made ages ago. They were heavily textured, with bits stuck on them and layers of paint, stenciling and stamping. but I was stuck as to what I could do with them. Literally to get them out of the way I die cut them all up into birds,flowers,leaves and hearts. All dies from paperArtsy. 

I also cut some skinny strips from the edges of the papers. 

and began to build up the flowers. 

adding a leaf at the bottom. 

I had enough to make 5 cards..

I sprayed Adirondack ink onto some envelopes and added some text stamping. 

Using colours to match the cards.. 

I put them aside, and when I looked at them again I decided them needed a little sentiment, so added a different one to each card. 

I really like these cards, pretty much made from leftovers. I almost threw out the collaged papers, they look so much better at die cuts. 

Darcy x

Friday, 1 May 2015

Calendar Challenge 2015: May

Time to link up again, many thanks to everyone who joined in last month. 

Here is a reminder of the rules for May. 

1.. Keep a part of the original picture and incorporate that into your design
2, Technique - Make marks,... scratching or stamping into texture paste/thick gesso/spackle/glue anything that will hold the shape
3. Add – an image that depicts your star sign/horoscope (drawing,painting,magazine image)
4. Blog your calendar page and link up from May 1st 2015

I really struggled with this page. I wasn't expecting to as i did think the original page had plenty of options.. 

Eventually I decided to keep just the 2 central characters, and I gessoed out the rest. 

I then began to transform them into 2 flamenco dancers, this is where I came unstuck. the image I had in my head was way better than this. 

I added text stamping around the edges

I applied grey and red paints to the bottom section and also added the same stamping. 

I felt the ladies needed feet, so added those, bringing them down onto the bottom page. 

I stamped the dates using  a ransom style alphabet set, and the month name from another set. These are both clear stamps and so old now i cannot recall who they are from. 

Next to add the elements from this months rules. I tinted some grunge paste and then made marks in it with bottle caps and a cocktail stick. 

The other rule was to add my star sign. mine is Aquarius and is depicted by zig zag type waves. I had cared this stamp a log time ago and it worked well as a border. 

I finished off the top half by adding various shades of Treasure gold over the grunge paste.

Not totally happy this month, there are elements that I like.. the colour scheme, the hand carved stamp, but the image not so much.. 

Link up your calendars and then go visit each other.

Here are the rules for June.
1.. Keep a part of the original picture and incorporate that into your design
2, Technique - Create glue or paint skins and add them to your page
3. Add – a receipt or ticket stub
4. Blog your calendar page and link up from June 1st 2015

Here is the link for May.