Monday 25 September 2017

Large Dylusions Journal: My Love And I, In A Small Cafe - acrylic on paper background

I was not feeling very good on Sunday and I wanted a nice, relaxing project that would not take too long and that would take me out of my comfort zone. I decided to make a background very, very loosely inspired by a video of Dina Wakley that I saw on YouTube ages ago making a wet-into-wet acrylic background. As I was working in my Dina Wakley Media Journal, I decided to use my Large Dylusions Creative Journal...but I knew the gesso for this technique would take ages to dry and I wanted to do another layout, so I used the Dylusions Journal Insert Sheets I obtained a few weeks ago in one of my absurd number of art hauls. I started out with the same three Dina Wakley paints I've been using for ages, and one of my regular 3/4" cheap golden taklon brushes - but after the overnight cure, my beautiful Dina Wakley Media Short Handled Brushes arrived, so I used the 3/4" one to finish this off.

As for the title of the background "My Love And I, In A Small Cafe"? It's a line from the 1957 Patsy Cline song "Three Cigarettes In An Ashtray", and it refers to the three stepped vertical lines in this background.

"My Love and I, in a Small Cafe" - acrylic and mica on gessoed cardstock (NB: this is just a background, not a finished layout)


Ranger Dylusions Journal Insert Sheets (Large) [BUY NOW: USA, UK]
(I used one of the mixed-media cream pages from this pack - you could just work direct in the Dylusions Creative Journal (Large) [BUY NOW: USA, UK], obviously, which is the exact same paper)

Prima Finnabair Art Basics Clear Gesso [BUY NOW: USA, UK]

Ranger Dina Wakley Media Heavy Body Acrylics in:
   Night [BUY NOW: USA, UK]
   Blackberry [BUY NOW: USA, UK]
   Rosy [BUY NOW: USA, UK]

Ranger Dina Wakley Media Mica Sprays in:
(these are from a pack of three - you can't get them individually - but they're quite economical and last ages [BUY NOW: USA, UK])

3/4" Golden Taklon soft-bristled brush
(this was just a really cheap one - I really don't spend money on acrylic brushes for crafting as for fluid acrylics, it really doesn't matter!)

Derwent Spritzer [BUY NOW: USA, UK]
(obviously you can use any mister but I really like this one as it's economical and has a decent volume, maybe 20 mL)

Palette knife

Ranger Dina Wakley Short-Handled Brushes in:
   3/4" flat
(this comes from a set of 4 brushes [BUY NOW: USA, UK] and arrived part way through the project so I decided to use them)

Container of water


STEP 1: I deliberately worked with the paper landscape and such that the spine of the journal would be at the top once stuck in. I painted the majority of the surface in gesso, but leaving some gaps around the edge. I left it for 10 minutes until it had started to thicken and dry, and then spread on a relatively thin layer with a palette knife, just thick enough to have some texture - I made sure this didn't go all the way to the edge of the painted gesso so that I basically have three "tiers" - paper, painted gesso, impasto gesso. I then left it for about 12h to dry completely.

STEP 2: I spritzed the paper with water and then added a decent blob of Blackberry and made a few bold strokes with my soft golden taklon brush - I tried to vary the texture and ensure there were thick parts, thin parts and impasto parts (aka really thick parts). The paint bleeds beautifully into the wet paper. I also ensured I covered all three "tiers" with some paint.

STEP 3: I added some Night at the bottom (so the outside edge of the page once in the journal), and spread it to make a thick and dense area, and made some strokes from it around the page.

STEP 4: I then did the same with some Rosy, concentrating on keeping it thin as it's more impressive that way, and then worked pretty fast to try and get the next stage done before anything began to dry at all.

STEP 5: Working from the opposite diagonal corners, I sprayed on 2 blasts of each the Lapis and the Ruby mica sprays - one colour from each corner, so that in the middle of the page they made a colour purple effect. The mica hitting the wet paint did make some interesting effects, kind of like when you put salt into watercolour. I then left it to dry for 24h.

STEP 6: At this point, I moved to my Dina Wakley Short Handled 3/4" Brush, and applied 3 blobs of Rosy about 25% in from the righthand edge of the landscape page and worked each one to make a 3/4" wide stripe from that point to 3 different lengths - one almost to the end of the page and the others in between - I wasn't aiming for precision at all. Et voilà! I won't use it for over 24h, and I will re-attach it to the journal before I start adding some collage elements.

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