Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Tutorial Tuesday - The Happy Accident

Hi there!  Today I’m going to show you how to make shadowed polka dots out of a tragic accident.  It all began with a raid of the office supply cabinet where I found this little diamond in the ruff:

I thought I could make something fun with this, so I grabbed it up.  That was 6 months ago… You’ve been there, right?  Well, I happened across it in my stamp room jungle this rainy weekend and decided to finally do it.
I began by spreading Fabre-Castell's Gel Medium all over the top with a palette knife.  Why was I using the textural accents sampler instead of my large jar of gel medium?  I reference the jungle comment above, but it is enough to cover the whole front – there’s really a LOT in that little tube!
I wanted texture for this project, so I didn’t worry about smoothness or clumps.  I wanted to take the flat notebook and make it almost like canvas, so you’ll see some thick parts and some places not even covered with the gel above.
I am a sucker for polka dots, and when I saw the sponge dauber that comes in the FC Gelatos Designer Colors kit, right away I saw myself making some polka dots with that.  So, here we go…
While the gel was still wet (don’t worry – this takes a while to dry, so you have plenty of time here.), take the sponge dauber and just push it into the gel medium.  The harder you push, the deeper “well” around the polka dot will be.  You can also twist it for a fun swirl pattern in the polka dot, too.
Now, this is the hardest part – wait for the gel to dry.  If you’re like me and about as patient as well, nothing, you can use the heat tool to dry it.  But, if you do, only do it for a little bit at a time, or else you will cause it to bubble, which can be a cool effect in and of itself.  I just let it go over night, so then I know it’s good and dry.  When it’s clear with no milky color, that’s when it’s completely dry.
Now came the fun part – coloring with the 50’s Diner Gelatos Designer Colors kit.  Oh how I love these colors!!!   First, I took the Squid Ink color and twisted it in the polka dots.  You can really see the “walls” of the polka dots here, although the rest of the texture is tough to see.
Then I sprayed the whole page with water and blended the Squid Ink with the stipple brush dipped in water.
Then I dried off the cover with a heat tool and colored with the rest of the fun colors in the 50’s Diner set – Aqua Dolce, then Banana, then Blood Orange, and then more Aqua Dolce.
I took a baby wipe and blended the colors, and that’s when it all fell apart…
GONE! My fabulous colors were all gone!  Just some polka dots and two little muted strips of color… what was a girl to do??????
Cover it in gesso and start again, of course!  I did the same thing – spread gesso with the palette knife then made more polka dots with the sponge dauber.
Again, I had to wait for it to dry, aided by the heat tool, of course, because I am SO not patient enough to wait TWICE.  When the gesso is dry, it will be matte, not shiny any more.
Then, I colored again (still my favorite part!)…
Then, I held my breath as I took a baby wipe of out the container to blend the color…
Whew!  This is exactly what I had in my head for this!  I added the Squid Ink to the polka dots afterwards this time to make them really pop out.  If you look closely, you’ll see the gel medium polka dot shadows, as well, which I think is SO cool!
When you rub your gelatos over the rough surface, you’re going to get little chunks.  Do NOT toss them.  Pick one up with your baby wipe, and then rub it on the surface for fabulous streaks.
See the difference?   You can also see the fun polka dot shadows in this picture pretty well, too.  Now, all it needs is a little washi tape, and I’m calling this ready for the job! You do need to wait for the project to be completely dry before applying the washi tape, or else it will peel off in about a day.  Again, I let mine sit over night, and then slapped it on in the morning before work (that’s why it’s so dark in the background J).
I hope my happy accident has inspired you to start again, not just chuck your project if it doesn’t turn out exactly as you had hoped the first time.  Either way – have fun and happy creating!

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