July 29, 2013

Ranger Abstract Tutorial

Hi everyone,

As part of my exploration into the world of the abstract, I wanted to do a step-by-step tutorial on the process I've been using for my post cards.  I've drawn a lot of inspiration from Jane Davies, using some of her collage/painting techniques, but I've put my own spin on it, using all Ranger products for this series.  In case you didn't know, Ranger now has all its products for sale (retail) on their website!  I hope you enjoy the tutorial.

First we'll start with the supply list:

- Neenah Solar White card stock - 8 1/2" x 11"
- Distress stains: broken china, salty ocean, faded jeans, peeled paint
- Paint dabbers:  aqua, pool, stream, snow cap, pitch black
- Distress paint: salty ocean
- Claudine Hellmuth Studio Paints:  classic teal, modern red
- Glue 'n' Seal - matte
- Archival Ink - jet black
- Mini brayer 2"
- Fude Ball black pen
- White gelly roll pen
- Studio 490 (Wendy Vecchi) script background stamp
- Hand carved stamps (by me!)

And here we go... first I stamped the Studio 490 script background over the entire sheet of white card stock.

Now the layers begin... and there are a LOT of them.  By choosing mostly shades of blue, you get a lot of depth by layering them over each other, building intensity with each layer.

The first layer is with broken china distress stain.  I applied some stain to my craft sheet, picked it up by rolling the brayer through the stain, and then rolled the brayer onto the card stock.  I applied some vertically and some horizontally.

Then salty ocean distress stain - same technique...

Then faded jeans distress stain... see the colors building?

Then I added some complimentary, yet contrasting color by using peeled paint distress stain.  The green won't look so *stark* when we're done because we've got a lot of layers left to go...

Now comes the hard part (for me)... switching to snow cap paint and beginning to cover up portions of what we've just done.  I applied the paint with the brayer in opposing corners for balance.

And now some real contrast, applying pitch black paint with the brayer.  Mostly around the edges, but with a little bit in the middle as well.

Now switching back to shades of blue, toning down the black a little.  This is aqua paint dabber, poured a little onto the craft sheet (removed the dabber top entirely), and rolling the brayer through the paint and on to the piece.

... yet another layer with pool paint dabber (again, no dabber top)...

... and finally, the stream paint dabber.  You can still see all the layers we used, right down to the white card stock.  But wait, we're not done yet!

... Now I switched to Claudine Hellmuth's Studio paint - classic teal.  Squeezed a little onto the craft sheet and applied with the brayer... Are you noticing a pattern?  All the colors have been applied with a brayer, not a paint brush in sight.  I really love the random look that is created by the brayer - no clean lines... makes me happy!

And now it's time for some collage.  I had these old scrap pieces of newsprint that had been used to clean off my brayer for another project, and they make excellent collage pieces.  I cut a few pieces with similar colors and adhered them to the piece in random areas with Ranger's glue 'n' seal (matte).  (I *did* use a paint brush for that part... haha).

You can see the collage pieces below in four areas... top right, top left, middle left, and bottom right.

Then I applied some snow cap paint to one of my hand carved stamps and stamped it several times - one vertical pattern and one horizontal pattern.  Remember to wipe the paint off your stamp right away or it will dry onto the rubber.

Then I used another hand carved stamp with salty ocean distress paint to stamp some bright blue areas.

And now for that *pop* of red... I applied Claudine Hellmuth's Studio paint (modern red) directly from the small bottle onto the piece in some random wavy (map-like) patterns across the whole piece.

... added some dots under the red lines using my black Fude Ball pen.

OK! Finished!  Now comes the even harder part... cutting it up!  It's hard the first time you cut up a piece, but then it becomes a lot of fun, because you go from having ONE piece to FOUR, each with its own unique personality, but still part of the series.  I actually *love* this part...

Here's each part of the whole, on its own so you can appreciate each one individually...

And there you have it!  I hope you enjoyed the tutorial.  This one is all about the layers, working in multiple tones of the same color, except for a tiny bit of green showing through, and the pop of red on top.  I hope you give it a try.

Did another piece over the weekend.  Will share later this week.  Not sure it's "finished" yet... still pondering.  Hope you have a great week - see you soon!

~ ellen.


Red Kitty said...

Wow this is fantastic, love it. The layers look awesome. Will definitely be giving this a go. Thanks for sharing.
Sandra. Xx

Helen said...

Love it - 4 works of art for the price of one!! Love all the layers, and the wiggly red line is fabulous.

Myrna said...

Thank you for sharing this. It's great for a newbie.

Melanie said...

Thank you for sharing this. It looks like lots of fun.
Love the way it turned out.
Liefs, Melanie

Nan G said...

Amazing! Thanks for sharing your steps. I'll have a go at it. :)

Kay Wallace said...

You have so beautifully created a family of "themed" postcards, Ellen! Love the process and will definitely try it! Thank you for taking the time to share the process with us!

whyducks said...

So beautiful and just my colours!

Teri Barefoot said...

Love this

LaurieJay said...

Ellen, this is so fabulous in so many ways. I've been working in tones of blue or tones of green a lot lately, but you managed to explain to me why I do it! Because of the layering possibilities. I also love working in series and have done that on separate pieces of paper - now I have to try your method, on one big piece and then cut it up. Your instructions were fabulous, too and I can't wait to try this. Two thumbs up, Ellen! :-)

Candy C said...

These are all very cool...all of your postcard posts. You really have a way with this abstract stuff, Ellen! Just amazing! <3 Candy

Rosie Schirrmeister said...

So much inspiring, thank you for showing. I will try it too.

Have a wonderful weekend