Saturday, August 22, 2015

Belladonna inspiration and Yummilicious collage papers

Hey hey, lovelies!
I LOVE going for early morning meditation walks. During my walk yesterday, I saw these gorgeous Belladonna lilies and quickly took a photo of them to share with you + I knew they would inspire me to play, once I got back in the studio...

Even though portions of these flowers are wilting, I find beauty in it all.
** Do you see how the centers of the lilies resemble mini suns? 
** Take a closer look: notice the subtle change of bubblegum pink color fading into a warm tan color as the flower wilts away.
** the grass is dead YET these are still blooming!

Perfect example of how WE should find ways to THRIVE in less than ideal circumstances.

Belladonna Lilies; Color palette inspiration from Martice's nature walk
Belladonna Lilies; Color palette inspiration from my nature walk

Side note: I just realized these compliment my sizzlin' Summer colors! Hmmm, makes me wonder if I could be looking for these colors, subconsciously...

Back in the studio, I imported my picture into Photoshop. I selected 5 colors directly from the picture (using the eyedropper tool), to create my own color palette. 

My idea was to design a collection of collage papers ONLY using these colors + white. Ha! Not as hard as I thought it would be!

Guess what? There will be an awesome collection of these yummilicous papers, so keep watch!
 (Better yet, you should join my MUSELetter to know when they're released.)

Each collage paper overflows with intricate stamp + stencil detailing, abstract shapes, patterns, doodling, mantras + of course, it wouldn't be me if it didn't have bold COLOR IMPACT!

Take a look at this one on my desk...
Yummilicious Collage Papers by Martice Smith II
Yummilicious Collage Papers by Martice Smith II

For these collage papers, I mixed my own colors, using: DecoArt Media Fluid acrylics:
Pyrrole Orange
Quinacridone Magenta

DecoArt Americana acrylics:
Banana Cream
Dragon Fruit
Yellow Ochre 

other tools: 
8"x10" Gelli Arts® - Gel Printing Plate
Handmade Foam Stamps and Printing Plates (click to see tutorial!)

Enjoy the sunshine + inspire yourself! Happy creating :)

Tuesday, August 18, 2015

Paintbrush Repair

Hello friends! 

Would you believe me if I told you that the brushes in the picture below are NEW?! Yes, these brushes are STILL NEW! Life cut short in only 2 months and + to make matters worse, they broke while I was painting. ::sigh, puppy dog eyes::

Do you have paintbrushes that look like this? Ok, I'll confess: these are the really inexpensive kind. You know, the ones in the kids' craft section in art supply store? Yes, I have a few of 'em too!

Helmar's Silicone Adhesive Sealant.

*Paintbrush Repair first seen on Helmar Adhesive's blog.

I like to use these as texture + mark-making brushes but NOT for detailed work. Why? Because the bristles are too limp they have a tendency to fall out. Not cool, is it?

The photos below are easy to understand but I want to share a few pointers introduce you to Helmar Silicone Adhesive Sealant if you haven't heard of it before.

Some reasons why the ferrule detaches from the wooden handle:

  • If you let your paintbrushes soak in water jar too long, the wood expands (acts like a sponge) and loosens the glue inside the ferrule.
  • naturally happens in humid climates
  • tapping the brush too hard during cleaning
  • A sign that your paintbrushes may be too cheap. This has been the case for all of my craft brushes that have done this. (I've heard expensive brushes have this problem, as well.) 

Silicone Adhesive Sealant is great because you don't have to worry about it loosening up like regular glue. There's a super tight, waterproof bond and + it's permanent! According to the packaging, it is a multi-purpose, industrial grade sealant that dries clear + flexible.

Can be used on: paper, aluminum, powder coated metals, stainless steel, glass, most woods plastics, canvas, porcelain, rubber, concrete, cement products, metals like zinc copper.

Let's recap:

1. Always ensure surfaces are clean, dry + free from dirt or grease. Do not apply sealant to wet surfaces.

2. When applying sealant, ensure that sealant bond has good surface contact. (Secure cap immediately otherwise a cured plug will form in the top of the tube making it difficult to use the product again.)

3. Reattach the ferrule with its handle.
Sealant will ooze out of the ferrule. Wipe away the excess. Helmar Silicone Adhesive Sealant sets within 10 minutes, cures in 7 days.

Remember, when purchasing art supplies, you get what you pay for.

You can't always expect cheap products to yield superior performance. 

Invest in a couple of high-quality brushes, when you can.
You deserve the best!

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