(A )Making Coloured Papers.
In chapter one I was asked to research star shapes. In this chapter I had to think more about colour and choose a colour scheme to work with.
I felt I had not really done as much sketching as I should have so I took this opportunity to draw plants and think about their colours at the same time.
I did not have coloured inks to hand so I played around with mixing pastels with water. This gave strong colours and covered the paper well although on some papers it was a bit grainy when it dried . I sprayed the papers with fixative to set the pastel.
I used a selection of papers including newspaper, brown wrapping paper, cartridge paper*, some of which had ink drawings on it already, photocopy paper (recycled), sugar paper and blue **and white tissue paper.
The blue tissue paper was a better quality than the white which almost disintegrated when the water was added but I was able to save pieces.
*I covered the cartridge paper with a mixture of yellow/orange colour. As I did this the ink which I had used in a previous drawing reacted with the water and flowed naturally over the paper. It was a lovely surprise! Unfortunately I do not know what or where the ink I used was to repeat this. While the ink was still wet I mopped it up with other papers adding to my collection of mixed papers.
** The blue tissue paper could be used without adding colour but I did add some to a sheet. The colour had an interesting effect on the front and back of the tissue paper.
I used brushes, burnishing and sponging to create textural marks on the papers.
The above are samples of the papers I dyed. Putting these samples together was great fun and I enjoyed creating the star designs with them.
As well as creating colours within the same families, yellows-oranges and blues to purples I layered these too. This can be seen in the lower left examples shown above.
(B) Printing on to coloured papers.
I did not have a rubber large enough to make the size of stamp I wanted so I used crafting foam and super-glued the shape to the base of a small, firm box which had the alphabet marked on the opposite side*. I decided to use approximately half of a 6 point star for this and I used yellow and orange acrylic paints.
Initially I was randomly placing the stamp to see what would happen but I needed to be more methodical so that I could repeat pleasing results more efficiently. *The letters on the other side of the box gave me a landmark for each turn of the stamp. I could then repeat this position more easily. The star was stamped onto blues and purple papers.
I also made a slightly larger stamp in half a sun shape. I used an empty soap bar box and stuffed it as firmly as I could with oats! (lol I don’t know why I used that!). It worked quite well but because it wasn’t as firm, the paint tended to splurge out a bit. After practising with this I learned to carefully wipe the edges, and stamp it so that it was cleaner before the final stamping. The process was a bit longer and more fiddly but I was happy with the end results.Star stamp Top – 45° turn. Top Left – side by side. Top Right – opposites. Centre – rotated 360°. Bottom Left – Checkerboard. Bottom Right – gapping. Sun stamp Top – 90° turn. Left (on gold) – reflections. Bottom Left – Checkerboard. Bottom Right (on orange)- side by side. Bottom Centre – random turns overlapping.
I also used the star stamp on yellow papers which is not shown here. These were randomly stamped similarly to the blue sun example above.
I think the strongly contrasting colours of the star samples work very well together. I particularly like the centre and middle images where the colour and patterns work well together.
I think the strong contrasting colours of the reflected sun sample works well but I think this would also have worked well on paper from the same family e.g the blue tissue paper which has random prints on it or the top sample which moves from purple to a bright pink hue on the right.
There are interesting textural marks on the tissue paper as it has wrinkled during the dying process and when glued to another surface. This has given an aged effect to the printing process.
If I were doing this again I would try combining the stamps in a variety of ways too. E.g. different colours on each stamp or the same colour.
Doing random, light printing with one stamp and more methodically with another could possibly create a sense of depth too.
How is I think of these things after the event!!?
C. Star Shapes from Coloured Papers.
I used A3 purple paper for the background of this exercise and gold for the star shapes.
The only technique I did not use in this exercise was carefully tearing the paper. I was having too much fun cutting using a selection of scissors and craft knives. I also had a star punch to add to my tools.
I varied the sizes of the shapes and used my sketches and research of star shapes as inspiration for this selection of work. Some came about through using a bit of imagination and creativity too.
Starting from the top, working left to right I will explain the inspiration and technique used to make the shape.
First on the top left…this was inspired by a yellow flower which had lots of fine , long petals. I used wavy scissors to cut strips and overlapped them as I stuck them down. Looking at it now, it also makes me think of Medussa!
Next we have a sold 6 point star . For some of these shapes I used tracing paper and the original drawing as a template.
Moving along I created a 14 point star by cutting out two 7 pointers and overlaying them. To add interest I cut one with straight scissors and the other with pinking scissors. Very effective I think. Next to this we have a simple 7 pointer. I used a craft knife to cut this one to see which tool I preferred for cutting into fine points (scissors or knife). I was actually more accurate with the scissors in the corners and they didn’t leave little snags! This row ended with a smattering of punched, tiny stars.
Next row now. I used the negative from a punched star for the shape bellow the larger 12 point star. This idea evolved from a 3D Christmas decoration I saw on line. This time the craft knife was redeemed as I could not have cut out the centre pieces without it. I drew the areas I wanted to cut on the back first. It also reminds me of a pin wheel that turns in the wind, a waterwheel or a market’s BIg Wheel!
Still employing the craft knife I cut out the centre of a 6 pointed star . I should have kept the little star, I don’t know what happened to it but I can see a wee space where it would fit in nicely!
Just bellow and moving along from the 6 pointer is a sunny shape inspired by the sun design on a plate I own. Pinking scissors, straight scissors and the craft knife were all used in this lovely creation. I could have cut out the centres of the points to make it look even more like the inspirational design but I think the one I made had a nice balance of shapes to it so I left it. I could have made another one though!
Next came a flower shape. Lots of flowers have a similar shape so this one is a tribute to them all. Sometimes the simple things are the best. Just above this I have more punched stars radiating out from three 5 pointed stars with the centres punched out. This design was inspired by a piece of fabric I had which had shooting stars in gold on it.
Looking bellow this and to the right of the flower is a design inspired by a platelet snowflake.
Starting from the left again we have two 12 point stars. One using plain scissors and the other combining straight edged and pinking scissors. The plain one reminded me of a tacky price tag, so I decided to jazz the next one up a little.
Next comes a shape inspired by the spice star-anise. I cut out the centres with the craft knife to represent the seeds in the centres of each ‘petal’.
Above is a small 5 point star. I was tempted to draw a smily face on it as this is the standard practice when I mark a great piece of work!
The shape just bellow was created from the negative of the platelet snowflake above and my first attempt at this design overlaid on it. I am ambivalent about this one. It makes me think of a sunflower but also a turtle!
Going back to the left the journey round the picture is nearly complete. The first and last shapes were inspired by star-fish. The first was cut with wavy blades and the last was done with straight scissors, both freehand. In between these I have a large non symmetrical 5 point star and the negative image of the star-anise shape above it.
Two similar snowflakes of my own design fill the bottom of the page. One has areas cut out and the other is a solid shape. The last two are small stars. The first is inspired by the star of David. I cut out two triangles and slotted them together to form the star and the last little trio were left over negatives which I slotted together to create a chain of stars inspired by jewellery.
This was a lot of work but I enjoyed doing it so much if I had not been so tired I would have worked all night on it doing even more!