Monday, February 23, 2015

My daughter's 16th birth day gift - Serving Tray

I created another serving tray - this one is for my daughter who's turning 16 this week.

I wanted to include lots of little things from her childhood, so it's full of words and symbols that have meaning for us. (((hugs)))

This was a lengthy process but totally worth it.

I started with watercolour paper from Canson XL - 140 lb - 12" x 18" (blue cover)

I trimmed the paper to fit in to the serving tray I had purchased from DeSerres (they were left over from their Christmas stock so they may or may not have them in stock now).

Then I began to tangle using many different black microns. I found that using 02 was better (for the most part) because this paper is very heavy and it is such a large piece that the usual 01 micron was too fine a line. I chose not to do a string because I could see what was going to appear on the page (more or less) and I wanted my creativity to flow without worrying about seeing the string left on the page when I was done.

(A string is a pale line drawn on a page to give you a starting point when you are doing a tangle or Zentangle.)

After I drew in all of the patterns, I grabbed my coloured microns and began to colour.

This process took a long time. I wanted to give it colour but I didn't want to overdo it. After all, I knew I was going to watercolour it after and I didn't want to limit the shades that would go in to any of the areas.

I let the piece dry for a day or two before I did the watercolouring on it - using inks. During this time I did some practice sheets to see how this effect would work on an already tangled piece.

The reason I didn't start with watercolouring is because I wanted to use the watercolouring to enhance the piece instead of drive it's direction. For example, I added bronze ink to all of the slugs and silver to one of the twisted ribbons. You can't tell in the pictures (although you can better in the video) but there is silver mixed in to all of the inks and bronze and copper added to the piece as well so it shimmers.

None of my practice sheets worked in the way I wanted them to, but I learned about what I didn't want to happen doing them.

I ended up mixing my inks in tiny little bowls - adding a lot of white to them. When I felt they were light enough I added another dropper of white. (A little thing I learned from graphic design - if you think that background to the website or ad is light enough... lighten it a bit more!) Then I added silver to each pot to create the shimmer.

Then I took a huge breath, centred myself and asked the Goddess to steady my hand I created this piece. I didn't want to screw it up!

I wet the page and began creating. I used a lot of paper towel to remove ink, add ink and add texture to the piece. Dropping one drop of ink on to a brush helped add the little touches to the slugs and ribbon.

Then I let it dry for a day and when it was dry I shaded it with an HB pencil. Normally I use a lot of different pencils when I shade but I wanted the tone of the pencil to match the piece and this one did perfectly! After it was fully shaded I grabbed my chalks. There's a post below on my chalks.

I used the chalks as more coloured, shading highlights.

After I was done with my chalks, I put it in to the serving tray and VOILA it was complete!

My daughter cried when she received her gift. I'm so glad she loves it. Every stroke was done with love. I'm extremely proud of the young woman she's become and look forward to the journey of continuing to watch her grow.

Happy Birth Day little one...

love and hugs,
(aka Aleesha)

Here's a video of the finished piece.

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