Wednesday, May 11, 2016

Donna Downey Studio Visit - Part Two

Friday April 29 - jam packed day!

We were at the studio by 9:30, finishing to prep folders and getting ready for the onslaught of inspiration and information.

Here are a few images of the pages we prepped the night before (sorry, missed in last post). Guess I should explain what I mean about 'prepping' pages...without going into too much detail (after all, this is a paid class of Donna's - it simply is not right to share that nitty gritty details).  We prepped out pages using several different mediums such as Gesso(s), Grounds, Gels & Pastes.

This first one is Tar Gel through a stencil over Black Gesso (still wet).  Was intrigued to see how it would dry (is supposed to be clear) and how it would reflect the black base.
note:  Anita dropped a few drops of interference paints into hers and lets just say...wowzers! It was also suggested to mix in the colors to the tar gel, pretty cool too.

Making a skin - I chose to use the Donna Downey Stencil Silhouette Trio (DDS069), using Tar Gel on the top and Fiber Paste on the bottom.  I really wanted a mix to see what kind of effect I could get.  This was all done on top of a simple page protector sheet that you can purchase at an office supply store.  note: other options of mediums to use are (any) gel, modeling paste, paint; but understanding the 'thicker' the medium, the better the skin will be. 

Here is Glass Beads Gel through another Donna Downey Stencil Keyhole Splatter (DDS015).  It goes on white but will dry clear.

Here is another done on a base of Black Gesso, Interference Paints and then Tar Gel through a Crafter's Workshop stencil (Mosaic Squares). Again, hoping to see some great effects once dried. 

The first hour or so was spent finishing up pages from the night before getting it all ready for the days teachings.  Once things got rolling, Donna discussed just about everything 'acrylic' - gesso, manufacturers, functionality of paints, mediums to affect drying times and texture, and of course fielded questions from students.

I know I will be lacking in photos for a lot of this, but as said previously, this is a paid class so will show what I feel is right not to disrespect Donna and her business.

I did bring an extra journal with me, as most of you know...I usually have several on the go as I then to get impatient as 'paint dries'!  

This is the 'placemat' that Donna had at each of out stations.  The goop on it was from the night before, so I chose to put it in my journal that I brought and use it as a starter.  I used Golden Carbon Black, Yellow Ochre and Teal in Fluid Acrylics to start.

These first few pages were one of the file folders.  Played with the ghosting technique and then of course spraying and using a fineliner.  One major thing I noticed when attempting to do the ghosting - the way I have had the most success with - is that it does not work as good with artist grade paints (Golden in this case). If you wipe away when the paint is still wet, you will get good cleanage, but not as crisp as I am used to.  Not to mention the paint that sticks to the stencil and tends to lift off the paper from the file folder as well.  Now, understand, we are using a file folder and YES, is does make a difference.  Also, it is very humid in North Carolina and the paint takes forever to actually dry. 

We made some hot glue 'stencils' free handing the designs and then Donna showed us a few ideas on how to use them a little differently. 

Missing out on the outside time in the sun, I took a break for about half an hour and headed outside and basked in the sun.  While out, thought I should grab a few shots!

Front (street) view...

Yuppers...that's how she rolls!

Side entrance, also entrance to Studio Coffee, their new coffee bar!

After lunch, we tackled image transfer.  Donna swears buy using Golden Regular Gel (Matte) for her image transfer along with simply printing off the images on her inkjet printer...and honestly, I totally agree!  So easy and pretty much perfect every time!  The trick?  Brush (or use a palette knife) and apply an even coat of the gel in the area you want the image to go.  I like mine to be a rough edge as I really do not want crisp clean lines for this technique. Now all you have to do is place the image face down onto the prepped surface, burnish is lightly with your hand/fingers evenly  and slowly peel back the paper.  If you see the image is staying on the gel surface, continue to slowly pull back.  If not, place back down and continue to burnish.  No need to leave it too long or you will have a lot of the paper stay and then that is when the work begins.  It can be saved, but this is when you have to use the water technique you see all over the internet. 

I started playing with some Heavy Body paints - used the same colors (with the addition of Phthalo Blue, also the Teal was Open) as I had previously (above base page), again using the journal I brought with me.  I had asked Donna for a catalyst wedge the night before as I find I use this the most when applying paints in an 'abstract' it had to dry!

I added white and wasn't happy... 

Wiped with baby wipe then dragged with Catalyst...loved it!

Donna did a quick demo using Heavy Body paints and created a quick 'Abstract Floral' - seriously, this woman has mad skills.  Makes it look so easy.

Then she did another one, making her poppies, with her finger...and guess who has it?! Yup, you would be correct!

Started to play with a few more color combo's using the Open Acrylics and tried a few mark making techniques.  This may not have been the best choice - but who would have thought after three days they would still not be totally dry! Deli Paper to the rescue!

Then I decided to pull out a couple sheets of her collage papers (okay, really nice wrapping paper) and started tearing them up and adhering them down using Matte Medium.  I used a Stabilo Woody (same as the All Stabilo, just a fatter and shorter...kind of like a little kids crayon).  Loved the coverage I could get, but anted it darker, so pulled out the Faber Castell Black Brush Pen and deepened the shading.

I added a few strips of music paper from a book in her stash and applied and followed the same steps. I then dug through her stamp drawers and found a stamp that I liked, stamped on an extra file folder using Stazon (Black), roughed up the edges, inked then attached with staples.

Here is another collage page, this one was of paint jars, very colorful.

Last one, using a new color combo for me...not my style or colors...but made it work for now.  Simply tore up the pieces randomly and filled the page.  It is how it still sits today...

As it turns out, this is one she uses in Inspiration Wednesday (May 11), perhaps I can take some inspiration from it and finish it now!

Throughout the day, I walked around the studio, inside and out - simply taking it all in.  Here are a few shots...

Wish I would have taken a picture of the other bathroom too!  It had 4x4" paint swatches over the entire bathroom - so cool!

The Store....

The Studio...

Studio Coffee...


What our class journal was based on.

 What does 5 years of inspiration wednesday look like? 

Here is the 2015 Inspiration Wednesday Journal in its' entirety!

Thanks for stopping by...I'll be back with another soon- because, no, the class is not done yet!

To check out more about Donna Downey Studio Workshops, check it out here!

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