Hi and welcome back to another week on the Chrissie Murphy Designs Blog. For this weeks Tangle Creative Process Mapping Post I’m sharing about my Stencilled Flux Combo. As you know, this month subscribers and I have focused on Flux, a tangle pattern that was originally deconstructed by Zentangle®. This last week we concentrated on creating a tile using a combination of everything we’ve learned. Let me tell you, this was no easy task, so let’s get into it and have a look at how this tile was created.
Yes….. more stencilling….
I am in love with Stencilled Tangling! I told you you’d be seeing a heap of it in my work from now on. If you missed last week’s post where I shared about stencilling Flux using painters tape , head over there now to see how this technique works.
This week though I wanted to level up again! I wanted to be more precise with masking patterns. This meant finding a way to mask off very small precise areas of a tile and the only way I knew to do this was by using masking fluid. I’m going to warn you now, this went pear shaped very quickly, it has a really big scary stage, but I persisted and I’m really pleased with the results.
Masking with Masking Fluid
I began by sketching out how I wanted my Stencilled Flux Combo to look. I made a quick decision that I’d mask the Flux Tangleations and Enhancers only, and then the original Flux patterns could be stencilled. In my first attempt I used a Strathmore Artist Tile. I used a small paintbrush and put some masking fluid over the Flux Tangleations and Enhancers.
Masking Fluid is basically liquid latex, it smells terrible, but it goes down on the paper quite easily and protects anything located underneath it. You can see in the image below, the yellowed-off white colour, well that’s where I’ve applied masking fluid.
In my first attempt I didn’t wait long enough for it to dry, I was impatient. And when I removed the masking fluid I destroyed the tile!
Before anything is applied over it, or it’s removed, you need to wait for it to be bone dry. This is very important!!
And paper choice is key!
After my first disaster, I began researching about papers. The Strathmore Artist Tile did not stand up well when the masking fluid was removed.
Now I’d like to add a disclaimer here. I can’t be sure that the paper tile was the issue, because I also didn’t wait long enough for the masking fluid to dry. Perhaps the paper tile will be ok if you wait for the fluid to be bone dry…. but I researched more and found that hot pressed watercolor paper works well under masking fluid. So in my second attempt, I switched papers.
I also allowed an entire day of drying time before applying the stencil too. I layed my stencil over the top of the tile and secured it with Painters Tape. Just like last week, I secured it to an old notebook as it’s been difficult to secure it to my craft mat.
I didn’t use a photo for inspiration this week, but I’d been thinking about my cat, Sammy.
Sammy is a grey tabby, and I wanted to play around with creating a grey tile. It turned out I only had two grey Distress Inks, so I couldn’t really do a grey tile. I ended up throwing some blue in because I thought it would work well with the grey.
I used my blender and spent some time blending colours over the stencil. I used the following Distress Inks for this tile:
- Iced Spruce
- Tumbled Glass
- Hickory Smoke
When I felt that I had achieved a smooth blend between the colours, I removed the stencil and waited again for the ink to completely dry before removing the masking fluid.
Removing the masking fluid, AKA the really scary stage!
After the Distress Ink was dry, I began removing the masking fluid. You do this by gently rubbing the dried fluid with your finger or a soft eraser and peel it away. I used my finger, and although the ink was dry I put grey smudges of Distress Ink everywhere! The more masking fluid I removed, the more of a mess I was making, but I soldiered on.
I noticed that my sketched pencil lines were also coming off. Aaaagh!!! So where I once had an idea about what I was going to draw, it all flew out the window at this stage. I was left with stencilled marks that made no sense whatsoever. This really is the scariest phase of the tile, but having faith in what you’re producing is key here. Don’t give up, keep going!
I resketched and inked my Stencilled Flux Combo
So I resketched my Stencilled Flux Combo so I had some sort of idea about what I was drawing. Then I got ready to ink it.
My good old Unipin Fineliner in an 0.3 size was used to ink this tile and it was nice to go back to black. Black is my default and I feel like I don’t need to think as much when I use black, it just comes naturally.
It was really good to get back into my comfort zone for 20 mins as I inked because I felt like I’d been in the too-scary zone for a while.
Shading my Stencilled Flux Combo
As you know, I’m also road testing Derwent Inktense Pencils this month (post is coming soon) and I used Derwent Inktense Pencils to begin the shading in this piece. I used blue and turquoise colours and I applied a tiny bit of colour to particular places I wanted heavier shading before activating it with water. I also applied some on the inside of the border.
Next I used a water brush to activate the colour because I have greater control over the water. I wanted the colour to be quite intense on the lower portions of the Flux leaves. It’s important to be careful with how much water you use here, because if you’ve done the stencilling with Distress Ink, it will activate as well. Take your time.
After it had dried I used my Copics to apply some grey shading. I finally got around to purchasing the full range Cool and Warm Grey Copics. Yay!!!
As we were working in cool tones, I thought I’d use the Cool Greys in C3, C5 and C7 to shade this piece.
And then apply more colour
I then grabbed my Prismacolor Pencils in coordinating colours, these were colours that were similar to the Derwent Inktense colours I used earlier. I added more colour over each Stencilled Flux and then applied some complimentary coloured highlighting on the Flux Tangleations and Enhancers and around the border.
I used the following Prismacolor Premier Coloured Pencils for this piece:
- PC 944 Terracotta
- PC 997 Beige
- PC 103 Cerulean Blue
- PC 1101 Denim Blue
- PC 989 Charteuse
- PC 992 Aqua Blue
- PC 903 Bleu Franc
- PC 938 White
Reinking, Highlighting and Embellishing the Stencilled Flux Combo
After applying Prismacolor’s some of the linework had dulled again, so I reinked the entire piece with my Unipin Fineliner. Next I finished the tile by applying highlights and embellishments using my white Signo Uniball pen and Kaisercraft glitter gel pens in coordinating colours.
I always apply some little dots and dashes as highlights and embellishments and it seems to finalise the tile, ground it and make it pop all at once.
My finished tile
So here it is, my finished tile. I used a piece of Fabriano Aquarello Hot Pressed Watercolor paper for this piece which is about the size of a standard photograph.
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Until next time, listen to your heart and sharpen your coloured pencils. A masterpiece awaits!
Bless you my friend