Monday 1 April 2013


I had great fun with this week's tutorial for Kristin's Tutorial Tryouts - Every Tuesday and found another resist technique that I am sure I shall use again.  Added to that, I really went loose and free and experimented. This is a longish post, but plenty of pictures and a doodle doggerel at the end.

No worries about what 'you nice people out there' might think of my work, and I enjoyed myself, as I hope you will be able to see from the results.  The challenge was to try this tutorial from Unruly Paper Arts using PVA glue as a resist.

The first ones were just to get my hand in, on scrap pieces of paper that were floating about on my far from tidy desk.  This first scrap below measured 3" x 4".

The paper was already painted with blue and yellow - probably a waste piece from something larger and I thought it would be interesting to see how the coloured background turned out.  I spread the glue with my finger 'drawing' the shapes freehand.  It didn't look too good but improved with a few scribbles with a gel pen and a mount of shiny maroon card.

When I showed Dev he said it was not up to my usual standard, but that with experiments 'different rules apply'.  So I wrote that on the image in Photoshop.

The second scrap of paper produced a completely unexpected result.  It was just a small piece of black paper (about 4" x 4") on the still untidy desk.  I thought it would be interesting see the effect on black paper, and painted a 'cloud' and the bird freehand with a paint brush.  The only thing I could think of for painting over the PVA was white gouache, and surprise surprise, the gouache stuck to the PVA parts.  It was streaky over the rest of the paper, but I stopped there so that I didn't mess up the part I liked.  I added the tops of the trees from a stamp, and found a few words that seemed to fit well.

For the blue and green version above I painted the glue on with a brush through a home-made stencil that moved - somehow the bend at the foot of the tree makes it look as if it's about to walk off the page in disgust.  Watercolour added for the grass and the sky.  

Another surprise result.  Perhaps I'm doing something wrong, but I like the effect.  Instead of seeing the white paper through the glue diamond shapes of the stencil, the watercolour paint turned the glue darker.  In my collage 'bits' box I found the butterfly to add to the piece.

I made this butterfly many years ago but never found any use for it, so at last it's found a home.  It's made it completely with free machine stitching in various colours, on a base of water-soluble fabric.

Even in this close-up of the butterfly it is difficult to see that I used a lot of gold thread which makes it sparkle in the sun.

For this 'Relax Enjoy' version I painted the glue through a simple quilting stencil of a flower onto watercolour paper, long and fairly narrow, which gave me enough for the version below as well.
I painted over with yellow watercolour, and mounted both cards on what is really a purple mount to contrast with the yellow.

It looked a bit lacking in any oomph, so with a purple coloured pencil I surrounded the flowers and added detail in the flower centre, and added shading randomly with an orange pencil.  The coffee cup and words jumped out of the pile of collage bits and said 'Use me'.

This is the other half of the same piece of watercolour and the same stencil.  The collage pieces at the corners were from a Christmas card, and I added the matching purple and orange emphasis with the same coloured pencils.

Let's not get too serious.  Next, here's the kind of collage I love doing, a simple element of collage with appropriate wording.  

I cut out the boy and thought of the text a couple of months ago, but he didn't find a home until this week.  The PVA resist 'stars' you can faintly see in the background were applied in a different way.  I painted the glue onto part a large stamp from Homebase intended for home decoration.  It worked quite well and the glue easily washed off the stamp (immediately, of course, not the next day).

Like the blue diamonds version, the glue spots on this numbers card were painted through a stencil.  I  painted over with yellow watercolour and then wiped paint residue from the spots with damp kitchen towel as carefully as I could, so they were as white as possible.

A bit stuck for something to add, the idea of numbers stuck on the spots came to me, and then I found the image of the dice I had torn out from somewhere or other, can't remember where.

It makes me think of gambling, not what I had in mind when I started.  I'm not a gambler of any kind, but I wonder if there are enough numbers on there to provide someone with the winning entry for the lottery!  If so, good luck.

Now my favourite kind of doodling, but a special tutorial doodle with a short doodle doggerel.


Here's Bootsie
Off to see his Tootsie
Singing as he goes
And light as a feather on his toes
He's all in a whirl
Because he's going to see his girl

During the week I had the desire to try to combine the PVA resist with Carla Sonheim's gesso technique from last week's Tutorial Challenge here, and Bootsie is the result.

I painted the background with yellow watercolour and then randomly drew 'sunray' lines from the centre to the edges with my finger, so that they varied in density and width.

When the glue was dry I painted over with dark green watercolour, and again wiped away as much unwanted green paint as possible from the sunrays.

When that dried I added the oval and circle shaped with white gesso and a paintbrush and left that to dry.  Oh the need for patience is very trying on an impatient artist!

Then the fun bit.  I painted the bird shape with blue Inktense pencil.  That dries fairly quickly, so I could add the whirly lines with darker blue Inktense and paint over them for more intensity.  Collage beak added, ink outlining and Bootsie's boots to finish the job.

As you can see, I really enjoyed this tutorial, and I'd recommend you to try it.  


  1. I'm having lots of fun with this challenge too (thanks for suggesting it to Kristin). I love the surprise effect of your gouache over black. and aren't you clever for combing the two tutorials? great fun.

  2. absolutely wonderful!!!!! when we dream anything is possible! Beautiful!

  3. Wheee! You are so much fun, Jez - I love the way you are so adventurous with different techniques and just 'go for it'! I think it's fantastic that you combined tutorials too :)

    And, you know how much I loooove your doodle doggerels!!! These would make such a great book!


    p.s. Thank You for suggesting this great (and fun!) tutorial!

  4. This looks another fun one and I love the varying results you got each time.

    I agree with Kristin - your doggerels would make a great book :)

  5. Great post Jez, I love all the different ways of experimenting with the technique you have tried out. Your butterfly is beautiful, it must have taken a long time to make and your little bird wearing boots is so sweet!

  6. I love where you took this! You went to so many different places. I got inspired to do another page looking at where you went!! Also the doodle doggerel is GENIUS! I am still smiling, a great way to start my day! :)


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