Rock Painting

For Christmas last year I got given this kit…

…and it has been sat on my shelf waiting for me to get around to it – along with a bajillion other kits and projects.  I finally did it!

It’s a pretty good kit, with a full colour guide that’s very detailed.  It goes into lots of information about what mandalas are, and provides patterns for you to follow as well as techniques, hints and troubleshooting advice.

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The paints were… not great.  Particularly the red and the white.

But I diluted them as best as I could and I had a go.  Admittedly I didn’t give the rock a base coat, but the dots looked wrong.  How do they get them clean?  How do they get them less translucent?

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I knew my technique was almost certainly a factor, but this paint was not helping.  I decided that I’d investigate dot painting in the future, but there was something specific I wanted to do and it involved painting a rock white.  I dug out some other types of paint.

This rock has ready mixed poster paint (sometimes called tempura paint I think) in the centre, and the clumpy blobs on the right are the paint that came with the kit.

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On my second tester rock I used acrylic in both white and a colour on the right, and gouache on the left.

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I left these to dry over night.  The poster paint actually came out the best.  I wasn’t sure it would, since it was so thin, but it was my favourite.  The gouache was pretty smooth too, but it was shiny.  I preferred the matte finish of the poster paint.

Okay, so having decided what paint was going to work, time to reboot.  I coated the two tester rocks (after picking off the chunks of paint that came with the kit), as well as the failed dotty one, with poster paint.  This is the stuff I used by the way..

The first coat was… unsuccessful.  Especially with the acrylic/gouache rock – it picked up the coloured paint.  But I was expecting to need to do a couple of layers at least.

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After layer two, the rock on the left (the one which had the poster paint and the kit paint tested on it) looked just about done.  The acrylic/goauche rock needed at least one more layer.  The dotted rock was… well, you can see.

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The good rock got two layers on the bottom in the end.  The other two got a few more layers on top and ended up textured, but acceptable.

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The textured two were put aside for another project, but the good rock was going to turn into this.  Hopefully.  (Image found on Pinterest.)

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I figured the easiest way to go about it was with paint pens, so I dug out the few I have.  Luckily I have a black.  I don’t have a yellow or orange, but I did the beak in gold and it looked cute.

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Unfortunately, the black paint pen – a Pilot Pintor from the May Scrawlr Box – did not survive.  I’d barely begun before it started failing.

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I had to shake and prime and pump the pen a lot and eventually managed to colour the thing in.

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I touched it up the next day, and then varnished it.  I’ve been experimenting with varnishes and things, but that’s a whole other blog post.

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Resin Haul

So, since I’ve been trying to do more resin stuff, I may have been shopping for supplies.  Here’s the haul post I promised you.

I got a big kit from Amazon that came with a LOT of stuff, and I bought loads of bits from AliExpress too – that site is dangerous.

I got the most important supply when working with resin.  Resin.  There’s a bunch of UV resin here, and some 2 part epoxy resin too.

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The second most important supply is glitter.  Obviously.  This set came in the kit from Amazon.  I wouldn’t buy more glitter (honest), because I have a ton already.  That always stops me buying stuff.  Honest.

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The kit also came with a colourant set, and these cute little dried flowers.

I got a bunch of tools to make things easier.

And I expanded my collection of molds and bezels.

When I was laying things out to take pictures for the haul, I couldn’t resist having a little play.

I made this little pendant – trying out the colourants and some glitter.  I like how it looks, especially when held up to the light.  The gel nail polish I coated on top to try and combat the sticky resin isn’t exactly smooth though.

I also tried the little flowers.  I did a clear layer, with a white layer on top.  I obviously didn’t cure the clear layer enough, or didn’t spread it far enough in the mold, because there’s a little bit of leakage.  I did another clear layer on top of that, but it should have been thicker.  There’s a big dip.  I might have a go at filing the edges down.  But it’s pretty good for a first attempt.

There is another resin post coming soon.  I did a lot more experiments – and I even took notes!

 

I am a Watercolourist – I think

Since my last update back in April, I’ve made a lot of progress with my watercolour work.  And a few changes too.  I bought myself some better supplies, as I showed you in my haul post the same month.

I’m loving the Sakura Koi paints.  They are very soft and creamy and rich.  And so vibrant.  My collection of brushes has increased, although I’m having difficulty getting used to waterbrushes.  I’ve been using the masking fluid on occasion too, although some of the paper that I’ve got really doesn’t like it.

Since that haul post I’ve also bought myself some Arteza watercolour sketchbooks, which I love.  I also have the Daler-Rowney paints from the June Scrawlr Box, and the September box came with some paints too.  Lots of new toys to play with.  And lots of things to learn.

I’ve been learning the basics from various places online…

…I’ve been doing brush control exercises, which I really enjoy doing….

…I’ve been doing some tutorials.  Mostly from DearAnnArt on Instagram…

…and Watercolor Misfit on YouTube.

I’ve mimicked things I’ve found on Pinterest…

…made illustrations of other people’s characters during Art Fight

…made versions of characters I’ve created using avatar generation apps…

…and even done some original stuff too.

I’m really enjoying watercolours.  I combat my lack of patience by working on multiple pieces at once.  Paint a bit – move it aside to dry and paint a bit on the next piece – repeat.  It’s like a little factory.

These images are just a sample.  I have many many many more.  I post most art things I do on my Deviant Art page if you wanna check me out over there.

So what do you think?  Can I call myself a watercolourist yet?

More Resin Experiments

In July I wrote a blog post about my experiments with resin.  A lot of it was speculation because I hadn’t taken any notes and the pictures had sat in my “blogs to write” folder for an indeterminate amount of time.

I was inspired by a video by SoCraftastic to get back into resin, and bought some bits and pieces to play with, with the intention of a follow up blog post.  In fact, I made this promise:

The interest in resin is most definitely reignited! I will shortly be heading back into it, and I promise to take notes this time. In theory there’ll be a blog post in the next month or so, but I say that a lot, and I have a folder of many many blogs waiting to be written.

Well, at least it hasn’t taken me too long to write the next post.  Only a couple of months.  But… um… well… I didn’t make notes.  I really REALLY need to start making notes. So forgive any wavering or rambling.

I started by gathering all the resin pieces I had in my box.

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Then I took a piece that I liked, that wasn’t quite right, and tried to fix it.  I chose this square pendant with little diamond glittery things in.  It was pretty, but the surface was a bit of a mess.

 

So I domed a little resin on top, and placed it under my new UV lamp.

 

It worked, just about.  But the resin wasn’t quite to the edges, and it was ever so slightly tacky.

So I moved on to something else.  I chopped up some little pieces of foil and mixed them with resin in a little tiny heart gem mold.

 

I learned that I need to be tidier with the resin, and that the foil didn’t really show up very well.

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Next I tried some layers.  With a layer of clear resin, then some little star sequin/glitter things next.

 

And this probably would’ve looked gorgeous.  I might even attempt this again.  But I messed it up, first with foil, then with glitter.

 

And of course, I was using UV resin.  Which only cures with the light permeating through it.  So opaque things aren’t going to cure.

Which I utterly forgot.  So I ended up with this mess.

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I cured this one over and over and over and over – you’ll notice it appear in upcoming photos.  It eventually cured – mostly.  But it’s hideous.

 

Okay, so opaque doesn’t work.  What about clear and shiny?  In which I learned that some pendants have loops that prevent you laying the pendant flat – and in which I used a non-flat resin piece as a stand.

 

Another piece that didn’t cure quite fully.  Pretty though.

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Have I made enough mess?  Nah, I don’t think so.  Time to get out the glitter!

 

This one cured pretty well, but super un-level.  Because I didn’t take into account the loop.

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I was getting pretty frustrated by this point.  As I usually do when things don’t quite work right.  Things weren’t curing fully, and I was just making a mess.  So I put it all away.

I did some research about how to sort out tacky pieces, and how to prevent them.  I ordered some gel nail polish top coat, which is supposed to cover tacky resin.  I bought a whole bunch of new supplies, including the kit that SoCraftastic used in her video.

I also looked through all my pieces to see what I could possibly salvage, and I put them in a little box inside my resin box.

The next resin blog post will be a haul post.  Yay!  After that we’ll see what I can save, and maybe make some actual new pieces that won’t need saving.

 

 

Blog Notes Note Book

I’ve mentioned a few times that I suck at taking notes when I’m working on a project for a blog post.  And with my tendency to leave things in the “to do” file for months at a time, this can provide some issues when I come to write the blog post – like with my resin experiments.

Well, a month or so ago, I received something a little weird in the mail.

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There was no return address on the envelope.  No packing slip inside.  Just these.  I didn’t order them.  I still have no idea where they came from.  They’re index books so they have these little alphabet tabs, and the paper isn’t the greatest quality, so they went on my blank notebook shelf and got forgotten about.

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Forgotten about, that is, until I wrote that resin blog and decided to go grab a notebook to keep blog notes in.  These are ideal – the paper isn’t great quality, but it’s just for scribbling notes as I go.  I really mean “scribble” too.  My handwriting is atrocious when I’m rushing.

Then because I’m me, I couldn’t just leave them unlabelled and undecorated.  I taped some white card to the front of the first one, and got my stickers out to add a label.  Then I got a bit carried away.

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Who doesn’t love stickers?  Weirdos, that’s who.

But I now have a notebook for taking notes for my blog posts.  I’ve even been using it already.  Yay me!

Correction – I don’t know my own characters

A quick post to point out that I am a muppet and don’t know my own characters.

In the last post I highlighted the fantabulous drawing of my character that Ninahah did for me.  It was Nina herself who pointed out to me that the character is not Wren, as I first wrote.  It’s Katerina.

My OCs aren’t as fleshed out as they could be.  They have no backstory, no personality or details or anything.  Making character profiles for them is something that’s been on my to do list for a while.  I really should get around to doing that.

NinaHah!

Way back in May, my friend NinaHah did a raffle on her Twitch stream, to draw someone’s OC.  I got picked and she did an absolutely awesome drawing of my character Wren.

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I requested the line art too, so I could have a go at colouring her in, and I’m really pleased with how she looks.  I cut it out and attached it to some shiny black paper – because I am awful at backgrounds – and she looks fabulous!

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I’m so thankful to Nina for her art, and for her generosity in sending me the line art too.  She’s such a wonderful artist and you should definitely go and check her out.  She can be found on Twitter and Deviant Art as well as her Twitch channel.

She currently has an awesome comic called Second Chance which you can read here on Tapas.

I wrote this blog because I have an upcoming collaboration with Nina, and I wanted you all to know all about her.  But as I write it I find myself enjoying the celebrating of my arty friend.  So much so, in fact, that I think I will showcase some more.  Keep an eye out for them.  If you’re an arty or crafty person, get in touch.  Maybe we can collab?