Thursday, March 13, 2008

Crackle Technique, Canvas class & The Trip

Last weekend I had another one of my canvas classes. I taught different canvases, all basically using the same technique but the girls had a choice of several different styles. They were all surprised at how quickly it comes together, the class is 2-1/2 hours but after you've done a few of them you should be able to get that down to around 1 to 1-1/2 hours. The hardest thing is to make your decisions about images, colours, quotes, embellishments....isn't that always the way though!
Here are a few of the canvases that some of the girls made, yes, I remembered my camera this time! First up are Debra & Lorraine...

then Karen & Donna...

....then Jane M & Jane W...

....Sheryl & Marie....

lastly Nicky & Caryl...

There were another 6 girls in the class but I didn't manage to get photo's of them all, but at least you can see the different styles represented here.

After the canvas class was an atc class on crackle techniques. We used Ranger Crackle Paint for backgrounds, Ranger Crackle Accents on images and also a 2 step crackle using Helmar 2 step crackle which will create a cracked effect over an image. Below are some atc samples using the 3 different techniques, some of them you may have seen before in earlier posts.
The Ranger Crackle Paint works best for me on chipboard rather than paper-weight and what you would consider is a thick coat is actually a medium coat. Generally if people can't get this stuff to work, it's because they've laid it on too thin. Just slap it down, it is self-levelling and let it dry. Once it has started to crack you can use a hair-dryer to force dry the rest of it. The act class is 2 hours and these backgrounds were all dried and made into atc's in that time period. Here's the raffle atc for this class using the Ranger Crackle Paint. (Weathered Wood colour)

and another... (antique linen colour)

Crackle Accents is applied just like a dimensional medium (Glossy Accents, Dimensional Magic etc) over an image, let dry - this takes hours - and your image has a crackle finish to it. This stuff doesn't work on non-porous surfaces though, only paper/cardboard type substrates. This is a sample of Crackle Accents - the man is crackled.

The Helmar 2 step crackle is a little more complicated. Once you have painted Step 1 onto your image, not too thick a coat, just a normal sort of coat, you have to let it dry to the tacky stage. On the jar it recommends 10 to 20 minutes though it depends on your climate and how thick or thin you have applied it. You have to wait for all the creaminess to go away and your image to become clear before you can go onto the next step.

There are a couple of main points to remember with the second coat of the Helmar 2 step.
You must make sure that you totally cover all of your step 1 coat, if you leave any edges uncoated then these will stay tacky as the base coat dries to a tacky finish and stays tacky! I did Step 1 in the class to show the thickness and took it home. The next morning I applied the 2nd coat and it worked perfectly fine so the 10 to 20 minute rule is just to make sure that you don't try to apply step 2 too early!
Secondly, don't go back over where you've already painted with the 2nd coat. I start at the top of the image and using a soft brush, start to paint the 2nd coat on, going down the image and across. Very hard to explain, but I'll try. I start at the left top of the image and go across the image to the right side and then move down a bit and go across back to the left. Making sure that you've not left any bits uncoated. I use a sort of cross-hatch motion as well. This needs to be a trial and error thing but once you've done it a couple of times and it has cracked, then you'll know how much to use and the direction of your 2nd coat can affect which way the cracks appear.
After the second coat has dried (it needs a fair bit of time - can be force dried with a hairdryer to finish the cracking off - just don't overheat the paint), you can apply some acrylic paint in a contrasting colour and wipe it off immediately so you don't let it dry on the image. When you wipe it off you should have some of the acrylic colour seep into the cracks to highlight them. You may need to use a baby wipe very lightly to wipe off the extra colour from the image, just don't over wipe as you'll soften the crackle.
After all of this, if you find that you've got some tacky bits as you haven't done the edges too well, then I use a bit of Treasure Gold in a colour that's relevant (silver, copper, gold etc) and rub it onto the edges of the image lightly. This will cover the tackiness and solve the problem.
These are some samples of this Helmar 2 step crackle technique.

I don't do much personal info on my blog but you may have noticed my ticker counter on the right hand side counting down to a holiday! Only 4 weeks to go now before we go on 2 back-to-back cruises. Firstly a 15 day cruise to Columbia, the Panama Canal, Costa Rica, 3 stops in Mexico and finishing at San Francisco. Then later that same day after arriving in San Francisco, we leave on the same ship for a 15 day trip up to Alaska visiting Astoria, Seattle, Ketchikan, Juneau, Hubbard Glacier, Skagway, Sitka, Inside Passage, Vancouver, Victoria and then back to San Francisco!

Going on this wonderful trip of a lifetime is my hubby and myself, my Auntie and Uncle (who are only about 5 years older than us) and my Mum and Dad. Well, that was the plan anyway....we've had some bad news from Dad's doctor and he's unable to make the 13 hour plane flight from Sydney to San Francisco. Too tough on his heart and lungs, he has asbestosis from working in Wittenoom and has some heart disease as well. So he is staying home, BUT showing what a truly wonderful man he is, he's asked my best friend if she would like to go in his place!!!! All the trip is paid for her, including her air-fares, all she needs is some spending money.

So this all happened within the last few days and now she only has to wait 4 weeks to go on a fabulous once in a lifetime trip! Joan and I have been best friends since we were 12 and she has had her fair share of personal tragedies in her lifetime and has come through with such a wonderfully positive attitude. Dad is really, REALLY, happy to be giving her this gift and I for one am really thankful to have a great Dad.....Mum's pretty cool too!!! lol She's sharing her cabin with Joan and she is virtually like a second daughter to my parents. We'll be sad to not be sharing the memories with Dad, but if it gives him some more time with us, then yay to that!


Jenny said...

What a wonderful gift from your Dad, how truely unselfish is that?
Most people would be looking at how to get their money back.

It is a shame your Dad cant make it but how wonderful your Mum is still going to go as well and like you said if it gives him more time with you!

By the way the ATC's are wonderful
(I dont think I have seen one of your cards i dont absolutley love !!!)

Take care, see you soon

Luv JEn xxx

Anonymous said...

Kel you certsinly have a dad in a million, wish him well and have a wonderful any room in your case for me? I'll see you before you go. Thanks for the fun canvas class.
Caryl K

Sam Marshall said...

Hi Kelsey,
Thank you so much for sharing these wonderful techniques and it's fantastic to see what is being created in your classes. You are so generous!
I bet you just can't wait for this trip, it sounds awesome!!!!!
You're so lucky.

Jen Crossley said...

Oh Kelsey How wonderful is your dear DAD he is one in a million giving your friend Joan his chance at that wonderful holiday he is truely a selfless gentleman.
LOve your blog update always full of wonderful art hints and techinque.I especially like Fragments and betrayal Stunning.Your student are so lucky to have such a wonderful and very talented teacher.

Diane said...

Hi Kelsey, First off...what a wonderful man your father is! I know you're very proud. I can feel it in every word you write about him. This 2 step crackle technique is wonderful. Very beautiful! Have a wonderful vacation! Thanks for sharing your beautiful work! Diane

Dawnie said...

As always youve shared all fab and fantastic tips and tricks super star.What a beautiful papa bear you have my lovely, but then you already knew that.Bet Joan is thrilled to bits so hope you all have a BLAST.

Me xxx

carmel said...

Helloooooo Kelsey! been missing you heaps!! so sorry about your Dad (what a bloke) WOW what a trip, got an empty sea container to bring home all the booty, imagine what you will pick up in Mexico etc - still got to love your work, why couldn't that darn shop be closer LOL. It would be great to see you b4 you go! Hugs, Carmel xx

Julie H said...

Hi Kelsey,
Is Joan the one from camp? I am so glad you are all having a trip together and I know your Dad will be thrilled you are happy - Dad's are the coolest people in the world!
Skimmed the other comments and I am with Carmel. Pack no clothes, no make-up and no jewellery, you are going to need every teeny tiny space for the art treasures you will find.
As to your crackle explanation - WOW and thank you. See you soon.

Linda Cain said...

Beautiful, beautiful work! Don't you love crackle?!?!?

Joan said...

I always knew your Dad and Mum were great. Now you've gone and made me cry (again)!!! Tears of joy and appreciation of course. Friends forever with many a memory between us. My lips are sealed!! :):)

mary schweitzer said...

These are wonderful! You always get my mind whirling in a million directions. Thank you for always being so generous with your work.

smarcoux said...

Kelsey .. reintereating what the others have said .. your dad sounds really really special your very lucky to have him... perhaps a party when your all back with pictures and pressies for him when you return... this sounds like a trip of a lifetime shame he cannot go .. I am sure his daughter is following in his footsteps... never had the pleasure to meet you but you sound grand !
Love your work , keep up the great work.

Mary S Hunt said...

Sorry that your dad can't join y'all on this terrific cruise itenery! generous he is to invite your buddy to join on the will have a fabulous time. Those are all great places to see.

Chris said...

Kelsey, I'm so happy for you that you get to have this great experience! Thanks for sharing these techniques in such a clear way. I'm saving this in my techniques notebook. Have a wonderful time.

Your BBA friend,