Thursday, 24 November 2016

Oops! Inktense Part 3!

I've been teaching drawing and colouring with Inktense pencils this week. Every time I do, I am reminded that these are such a lovely product. I just love 'em!

They are so easy and effective to use with just a few top tips to make the effects extra special.

It reminded me that back in March I added two tutorials on this blog for using them and promised a third one. Life got so busy and I forgot to do it.

Part 3 was going to be about using these amazing, versatile pencils on fabric. Here it is...

It is a little known feature of Derwent Inktense pencils that when they are dry they become permanent. This makes them fab to use to colour fabric. 

Some artists use Fabric Medium to wet the pencils and it is great to experiment with this and see if it gives extra fastness but I have always just used water to fix mine.

The colours are also translucent which means you can layer them. This means that you can keep adding colour and blending it to make lovely watercolur effects.

Step one: I used a vintage doily and drew one of my  little crazy birds onto it. I probably used a 0.2 size Pigma Micron pen for this because it is permanent and can draw fine detail without the nib being ruined on the textured fabric, if it is used carefully.

I will have some workshops coming up soon,  in 2017 on Whimsical Illustration

Let me know if you are interested in these because lots of people have been asking about these and I think places may go quite quickly.

I then embroidered over the lines and details using 21st Century Yarns hand dyed thread. Then it was time to play with the pencils!

I drew around the embroidered contours on the doily with the pencils. I used 2 colours because I love the way they mix to give a blended watercolour effect. Here is a closer look.
Click on the photos to get a larger and closer look.

Then I added the water. Here is the most important bit......
This gives you much more control over the dissolving the pigment and spreads it only as far as you want it to go.
As soon as the area you have been working on is dry, it is fixed and you can add more colour if you like.

The area on the right of the photo above shows the effect with the water added.

I will probably leave it like this now. Sometimes, you just need a little bit of colour to zizz up a thingy! Finished!

These would be fabulous to decorate one of the pages in a 

Fabric Book. 

Workshop coming up in February for making these and I will probably include this technique in that action packed day.

Have a go! I'd love to know if you do and what you think.

PS. Try colouring on Satin ribbons and on threads too.

Thursday, 17 November 2016

Workshop details for Chesham at last!

11th February:  Mixed Media Fabric Art books. £65

Using hand painted Calico and mixed media we will make a handmade fabric book with textile pages and pockets. There may be opportunities to continue learning additional techniques throughout the year to add to your skills and the beauty of your book.

11th March: Scrap Stitching £65

We will use hand embroidery techniques with treasured scraps of textiles, silk and vintage embellishments to make a little picture with exquisite details. Later in the year, in June, there will be a chance to learn a different set of techniques with rust dyed fabrics.

8th April: Blanket Books £65

We will use vintage wool blankets, wool fibre and hand embroidery to make Folk Art inspired treasure book.

May 13th: Vintage Inspired Mini Quilts £65

We will use some fantastic vintage resources like antique lace, pearl and linen buttons, precious found objects and vintage photos to learn how to make tiny  hand embroidered fabric 'Quilts'. You will be able to take these home finished, to be framed or use them in a future textile project. You could also use them as pages in your Fabric Books if you are working on one of these with me.

10th June: Scrap Stitch 2. £65

We will use precious scraps of vintage fabrics and previously rust dyed fabrics with hand embroidery to make an exquisite textile panel.

8th July: Folk Art Needle felted and hand embroidered picture. £65

We will needle felt and embroider a Folk Art inspired picture onto vintage wool blanket using merino wool fibre and hand dyed, silk and wool threads.

13th and 14th October: 2 Day workshop. Altered Books. £150

This is a 2 day workshop which will introduce the subject of Altered Books from scratch and advance into adding doors with real hinges, niches and decorative 3D elements. The 2 days are packed full of mixed media materials and techniques. You will leave with lots of ideas to continue your adventures with Altered Books.

To book a place please email Paula at:

Saturday, 12 November 2016

A time for gathering

Autumn is such a beautiful time isn't it? 

I really want to capture it; the astonishing changes in colour, the crisp chilled air. Artists have always tried to capture the colours and feelings of the season.

For me, I also want to capture the textures. Crunching through the leaves, the rustling of the trees...

When I was a little girl I used to try saving the beautifully colourful leaves or sticking them in a scrapbook but they always fell apart or continued drying till they became brown and brittle.

I know how to do it now!

You need to gather the leaves before they are brittle. At the beginning, when they have lots of colour and are still flexible is the perfect time to add them to our sketchbooks and preserve them for a long, long time. These are about 6 years old and they are in one of my sketchbooks that have been looked at by hundreds of people.

Here is how to do it. PVA glue! also known as White Glue.

This is an adhesive that is made acrylic. A kind of plastic and if we coat our leaves well enough it encases them and will stop them deteriorating. 

These pieces of Bracken Fern were picked while they were still flexible. On a piece of non stick paper I coated the back and front with the glue making sure I coated every little nook and cranny.

I painted my sketchbook page with a base colour and when it was dry, coated it with PVA glue and laid the fern onto it. I added more glue and pressed it into the fern so it becomes fully embedded.

When it is fully dry you can add colour by watering down paints and trickling them between the spaces in the leaves.

Now you can capture a little piece of Autumn colour for yourself. Go out for a lovely walk and see what beautifully shaped leaves you can find.