Friday 7 June 2019

Reworking a "failed" painting - in progress

Sometimes when a painting really does not go the way you want it to, it is easier just to cover the whole thing with gesso and start again.

So that's what I did with this painting, with the layers underneath providing some fantastic texture.


I continued to add more collage and stencilling.  And by adding some grungy black marks with a Sennelier oil stick, it really began to take on a distressed shabby chic look.


In the next photo you can really see the amazing texture.


 I thought the damask stencil really lent itself to the whole new vintage vibe. Unfortunately it is quite an old stencil and I'm not sure who made it but there are plenty of similar on Amazon and Ebay.


 I will continue to work on this but I have several projects on the go at the moment, I keep getting so eager that I move on to my next idea without finishing my last project!

Anyway, I hope you like the video with the painting as it is at the moment, 

Thank you for stopping by, Eleanor x

Friday 31 May 2019

Easy abstract art in less than 2 minutes!

Sometimes I just want quick results, especially if my mojo is flagging.

So what better way than this really quick and easy abstract using nothing but the side of my hand to apply the paint.

I first divided my A3 card (300gsm mixed media card) into 4 sections with masking tape and used Decoart fluid acrylic paints in Quinacridone Magenta and Green Gold, and of course black. I have tried using this technique with other acrylic paints but the fluid acrylics work really well for getting this sweeping motion with the side of my hand.


I can think of so many uses for this kind of art work, I can use it as a basis to create a more detailed piece of art, cut it up to make a series of art work just as it is, or as a great way to experiment with different colour combinations. But for me today it was simply a way to express myself when my creativity was a bit low.


And here is the video...

I hope it provides inspiration for you too! Thank you for stopping by, Eleanor x

Wednesday 22 May 2019

Abstract art journal pages using France Papillon stencil "rockformation"

Having been focusing on large canvases lately I fancied a change so I have returned to art journaling.

These pages are actually a rework of pages that I considered to go horribly wrong the first time round, which is why my Youtube video starts with the pages partially completed. Initially I cover it all up with white gesso and start again.


 To help cover my previous work and add texture, I used France Papillon stencil "rockformation". I had no idea at this point just how much I was going to fall in love with this stencil.

However, after applying the gesso and starting to add Lindy's spray inks it still did not feel that I was getting anywhere with these pages. It just looked very messy until I let the inks dry and began to add white paint to calm it all down.


Suddenly the richness of the Lindy's spray inks really became apparent. The main two colours I used were Lindy's Cocklebells Coral and Red Hot Poker Orange. 

However, it was the addition of Golden's Sepia high flow acrylic that sealed the deal for me. I can't tell you how much I love this colour paint except to say I ordered a really large bottle after discovering it!


Now the difficulty with the Lindy's spray inks is that they are water soluble and so reactivate when wet. So when I added white acrylic paint there was initially some mixing of colours but this actually added to the depth of colours.

But the bit that really brought these pages alive for me was lightly brushing white acrylic paint over the texture of the stencil and then using a palette knife to really bring out the beautiful detail of this stencil. 


I have to say these reworked pages turned out better than I could ever have imagined, but it was the "failed" layers underneath that really formed the basis of, I think, the successful outcome. So the moral of the story is if you don't like your original art work, gesso over it and start again, you never know what you may get!

Despite my happiness with the art journal pages themselves, I can't say the same for my video. I used a glass mat to protect my worktop form all the spray ink but it caused a lot of glare in the video. Having said that you can still clearly see the process and for anyone who watches it I hope this does not spoil the experience for you.

 I will be entering my art journal pages into this week's Simon Says Monday Challenge which is "use stencils". 

I hope you enjoy the video and I will be back soon! Eleanor x

Friday 17 May 2019

Large abstract art on box canvas

This is the largest canvas I've ever attempted- a 24" x 24" box canvas and I'll admit it did seem quite daunting at first.

 I decided on a neutral colour scheme but other than that I had no other plan for this canvas before I started.

I began by adding some gesso for a little added texture with a large spatula. I then added some Golden fluid acrylics in sepia, burnt umber and black. I love the almost watercolour effect of these acrylic paints.


I realised as I was working that I was focusing on the middle of the canvas too much and eventually tied it all together by adding areas of black on each side.

Towards the end I could see the beginnings of a citiscape but decided not to follow that path for this painting. Having said that I will at a later stage continue to work on this painting and see what transpires, it just isn't quite finished how I want it to be.


I quite like the result so far but now wish I had started with a lot more texture, but it's a good excuse to try again! I really enjoyed working large, there's just so much more space to experiment.

 For those that watch me on Youtube you will probably notice this is my first video where I have placed the camera to one side of me rather than overhead. The canvas was just too big to lay flat on my work table under the camera but I really like the different perspective of this video. You can just make out my camera rig that my husband made for me, it is so versatile that the cross bar acts as an easel too!

Given that this painting did take quite a bit if time, I have speeded it up quite a lot. I hope you enjoy it!

See you again soon, Eleanor x

Friday 10 May 2019

Acrylic Abstract Art box canvas "581"

It is ages since I worked on canvas. As you may be aware from Youtube or my blog I usually work on card so it made a change to work on this 16" square 3D box canvas.

I wanted to create something that I hope is easy to follow and recreate. Just some simple acrylic painting with some stencilling and rubber stamping too.

I chose one of my favourite colour combinations of pink, teal and yellow on a grey background.


For my background I used Americana paints in storm cloud grey, slate grey and graphite, mixed with white. I love the Americana paints, they are good quality but reasonably inexpensive. Before the paint was dry I used a silicon brush shaper by Finnabair to scribble into the wet paint.

The first stencil I used (on top of the pink areas of paint) is by AALL & Create called Broken Circles, one of my favourite stencils. Rather than add paint with the stencil, I removed paint instead with a baby wipe.

I didn't want  a really obvious pattern so I blurred it a little as I continued to paint. The pink paints I used are Pebeo acrylic paint in Fuschia and Decoart acrylic paint in cherry blossom pink.

The alphabet and number foam stamps are by Tim Holtz (I attach the link here). If you don't have any number stamps you could always type out some numbers and letters and collage them, assuming of course you have a printer.

It was a bit ambitious stamping on to a box canvas, but all I did was just put a heavy book roughly the same depth as my canvas underneath my painting so that it made the surface rigid enough to stamp on.


I did the scribbly script in Golden's teal fluid acrylic paint using a fine tip applicator bottle and splashed some of the teal paint as well.

I love to grunge up my paintings so I used the edge of AALL & Create stencil called "parched earth" to dab black acrylic paint along each edge of the canvas. Again I was not looking for definite pattern from the stencil, just more of a random effect. You could probably achieve the same results with other stencils or some paint dabbed on to on a piece of acrylic.


I have used a variety of tools to apply the paint, not least my yellow window glass cleaning scrapers! I find hardware stores very useful for finding more unusual tools for painting.

To finish my painting I added some yellow paint by Hobbycraft, again really inexpensive, but I love this mustard shade of yellow.


I hope you enjoy the Youtube video. Even if I inspire one person in the world to try abstract art then I feel my job is done!

Thank you so much for stopping by, I have a lot more abstract art in the pipeline so please do check back! Eleanor x

Friday 3 May 2019

Abstract art "Titan"

As my blog would suggest I love creating all kinds of art work, but I always return to abstract, it really is where my heart lies.

This is one of my favourite pieces, not least because of the colours. I've mainly used Golden High Flow acrylic paints including raw umber and burnt umber. But for me it was the addition of sepia and titan buff that really brought it all together.


I created this art work several months ago when I first started recording my work for Youtube. Unfortunately I forgot to switch the camera back on half way through, so I decided at the time not to release the video. However, I liked the result and felt that even with the missing portion of video that some one may like watching what I had recorded. So I apologise for the missing bit but I hope this does not spoil the overall video.


I have used inexpensive cardstock, just 210gsm card from The Range. My aim is to mount it on to a wooden panel to display it which would reinforce it.    


I hope you enjoy the video. I'll admit half way through it really did look very messy and it was difficult to see how anything half decent would result. But as ever, I'm always surprised myself that with perseverance even the hottest mess can end well!

Thank you for stopping by, see you again soon, Eleanor xx

Saturday 27 April 2019

Buds and Petals

This could not be more different to my last art project. I love all kinds of art and don't like to stick to one genre as I get bored easily.

I can't even remember the last time I used watercolour. Some time ago I bought some Daniel Smith watercolours and have hardly used them. So I dusted them off and hand painted this kind of whimsical impression of some buds and petals for this week's one layer challenge over at Less Is More.


I liked the idea of these delicate vines hanging from the sentiment (by Papertrey). Then it was just a case of adding the petals and buds in a variety of colours.


I used some very fine watercolour brushes from Ebay for the vines and chinese watercolour brushes for the petals.


The watercolour paper is just some I had in my stash and I don't know where I got it from.


I am rusty at watercolour painting but I quite like how it turned out. I think with a bit more practice I could improve on this.


Anyway, I hope you like it, thank you so much for stopping by, Eleanor xx

Friday 26 April 2019

Abstract mark making session...

One of my favourite things to do is mark making, especially when I get in a bit of a rut which I think I have done recently. This was purely a mark making exercise and not intended to be "finished" pieces of art, just mark making for the pure fun of it!


I started by dividing my paper with masking tape. I have used an A3 heavy weight mixed media cardstock. By dividing the paper this way you get a co-ordinating series of art work without much effort.
I started the process by scribbling with my Boldmere B pencils, the darkest of which is 8B. I also used my beloved Paintstik oil sticks by Markal. These are great if you just scribble, or whether you scribble then blend. They also work well with acrylic paints layered over the top.

I also used my wax crayons by Manley which I got from Amazon. I love the wide range of colours in the pack of 30.


To apply the acrylic paint I used a small rubber brayer and the side of my hand which you can see in the video. It was why I wore rubber gloves for this project! I use my fingers a lot for acrylic painting, but the side of my hand gave a completely random brushed effect without any brush marks.

I like to use these mini art pieces as a springboard for larger projects or just keep them as they are to refer back to if I need to.


I think these would look great translated on to a large canvas.


I have a Youtube video for anyone who would like to see the process. I hope it inspires you!

Thank you for stopping by, Eleanor x

Wednesday 24 April 2019

Finnabair April 2019 challenge "burgundy"

I've been struggling the last couple of weeks to even get in my craft room. Frustratingly I have to pace myself as I get tired so easily but at least I managed to put together these art journal pages for this month's colour challenge over at Finnabair which you can see here.

I rarely use the colour burgundy and definitely found this a challenge. I have tried to achieve different tones and values with the red and burgundy paints that I have. 

I don't think I've ever created such a vivid piece of work!


My "art journal" is in fact an old book fom a charity shop. I like it because it is quite small and not too daunting. 

For texture, I've used Finnabair's "swirly florals" stencil.


To pick up on the touches of gold I tried to add some gold foiling whilst the paint was still wet but it didn't work too well. Instead I brushed a Tim Holtz ornate book plate with gold gilding wax. The sentiment is a Finnabair sentiment sticker.

 It has been good to use colours outside of my comfort zone. I nearly gave up at one point as the red colours seemed too over powering, but although this is much more vivid than my usual work I actually quite like it!

I managed to produce a video for anyone who wishes to see the process.

I hope you enjoy the video and thank you for stopping by, Eleanor x

Friday 12 April 2019

Bright and colourful cards with neon acrylic inks

I am so in love with bright colours at the moment but I decided to take it to the limit by adding neon colours. I never realised just how happy neon colours make me.


I began by stencilling acrylic inks to create a background pattern. Not necessarily an obvious thing to do as you don't get a nice crisp stencil outline with acrylic inks. But it wasn't the look I was after. I just wanted to create a little watery random pattern to add some "visual" texture.


In addition to using acrylic inks I used Dr P H Martin Bombay india inks. I really love adding these over the top of my art work as they are transparent and waterprooof. As they are transparent you can still see some of the earlier stencilled pattern underneath.


The combination of the acrylic inks and india inks almost create a watercolour effect, although I think the colours are much brighter and deeper than watercolour.

I have used sari silk ribbon from Ebay to finish my cards.


I usually used really inexpensive white card from The Range for mixed media which may not make sense as it is not a heavyweight cardstock. I used to worry and fret so much about card warping when adding ink and paint which I found occured no matter how heavy the cardstock was.

My way around this is to adhere my art work to another piece of card to reinforce it when I have finished. That way I don't have to use expensive heavy weight card in the first place only to end up reinforcing it anyway. I came to the conclusion years ago that I may as well use cheaper card instead.


One of my other recent discoveries was grid paper which I got from Ebay. To me it is visually pleasing when you can see the grid pattern underneath the ink...


The Youtube video for this is slightly longer than usual. I think I got a bit carried away, this project became quite a labour of love! Please click on the picture below to see the full process.

I really hope you enjoy the video.

Thank you for stopping by, see you again soon, Eleanor x