My Process: I started with an acrylic paint background that I did before I even knew what the prompt was. I used a light pink to cover the entire spread. Then I used two different stencils and dabbed in a light red-violet color in random areas across the page. I repeated this with a two different stencils (one of which was a paper doily) using a light blue-violet paint this time.
Notes: A rule of thumb is that acrylic paints sold for crafting tend to be more opaque (not easy to see through) while paints sold for fine art tend to be more transparent. This isn’t always true, but it is more often than not. White is an opaque color, so the lighter a color is, usually the more opaque it is, even with fine art acrylics.
My Process: I glued down scraps of sheet music with **Pam Carriker’s Mixed Media Adhesive.
I used a ***Montana Marker filled with Neon Pink fluid acrylic paint and added strokes of color, again, more or less at random, laying it down thicker in some places and spreading it thin in others. If you don’t have a Montana Marker, you can just spread your color with a brush, a baby wipe or makeup sponge. The Montana Marker isn’t crucial–just very handy.
Notes: The choice to use the brighter neon at this point was deliberate. It helped tie in the sheet music with the background, yet it also adds some sense of depth because sheet music paper is slightly thicker, and just because the paint color is more intense. It some areas the paint picks up the texture of the adhesive, and where the paint is thinnest, it almost seems to float like a mist.
My Process: When the paint was dry, I added another layer of the Pam Carriker Mixed Media Adhesive. Even though I wasn’t gluing anything down, using it this way makes it easier to work on the surface later, because it is the same all over, and the gesso-like tooth allows you to use pen and pencil and lots of other mediums over your background.
Notes: I used a Pigma Micron, but this surface can damage them if you have a heavy hand. If you don’t know whether you do, consider using a sharpie or pencil or some kind of graphite. If you have used glue or ****gel medium then the surface will be smooth, possibly slick and your ink may bead up, smear easily, or skip. This will vary according to the type of pen or pencil you are using.
My Process: Once the adhesive was dry, I outlined the sheet music with the Micron pen, and started doing my *****Zentangle patterns.
I hope I’ve managed to explain clearly without boring you stupid! Please feel free to ask any questions.
*Zentangle–more a method than an artform, it’s a process that encourages one to enter a meditative state while drawing. Part of the process is to use patterns that have been broken down into steps so that they can easily drawn, no matter the level of talent or experience. You can find out more at Tanglepatterns.com or Zentangle.com.
**Pam Carriker’s Mixed Media Adhesive is a bit like a mix of clear gel medium and gesso. It doesn’t glue things down quite as well as gel medium or glue, but it dries with a slightly toothed surface that makes it easy to use pen, pencil or watercolor. It you are just gluing things down, gel medium or glue is a better choice.
This Mixed Media Adhesive is a Derivan Matisse product. The company is based in Australia, and this adhesive isn’t overly easy to find in the U.S. I buy mine from JerrysArtarama. (You can buy Montana Markers from them as well.) I like the product very much, but given the difficulty in finding it, and the cost, I find it a bit of a luxury that I usually ask for on birthdays and Christmas. I’m getting awfully fond of it though, and that may change.
***Montana Markers are another great tool, especially with ones with the 15mm tip. Essentially, they’re just plastic tubes resembling marker pens, filled with acrylic paint. They are a little spendy, but you can also buy them empty, and fill them up with cheaper acrylic paint to save some money. They’re cleaner than brushes or foam tools and you can cover a large area very quickly. Like Copic Markers, they are refillable and you can replace the tip, so the major expense for each color is one time. If you don’t already have any paints or brushes, these might be cheaper in the long run, unless you are buying the very cheapest of paints and brushes. Not an absolute neccesity, but definitely handy.
****Gel medium is essentially acrylic paint without color pigment. You could use liquid inks, such a inkpad re-inkers, fountain pen ink, etc, to mix with gel medium and use it as paint. This also means that acrylic paint is an adhesive, so if you don’t have glue or gel medium, you could thickly paint both sides of the item to be glued, making sure to paint past the edges of it, and you would glue the paper down. There might be ingredients added to your paint that would interfere with the stickiness, so I’d try this out on scraps before relying on it.