Tuesday, 30 September 2014

Derwent Graphik Line Painters - Tried & Tested

We love this great new product from Derwent.  The Graphik Line Painter pens are filled with opaque ink which leaves a permanent mark on most porous surfaces including paper, board, leather, clay and wood.  The pens also work on natural fabrics such as silk, linen and cotton and ironing on the reverse will set the ink marks so that finished items can be hand washed.

Within the fine stainless steel nib is a fibre-tip.  The fibre-tip needs to be charged with ink by pressing it down onto a surface and then releasing it.  Repeating the process allows you to charge the nib with the amount of ink you want to work with.  Charging it once of twice will allow for well defined lines (depending on the surface) and charging it a number of times will release a pool of ink.  The pool of ink can be manipulated on the surface by blowing it or spraying with water to make it spread or blend with another colour.

Filling the nib with paint

Artist Carne Griffiths used the Graphik Line Painters to their full potential in his intricate mixed media paintings.
Summon by Carne Griffiths using Derwent Graphik Line Painters

by Carne Griffiths

Carne uses the Graphik Line Painters in a variety of ways.  He draws directly onto the paper for fine line detail but also enjoys the freedom of the flowing ink created by charging the nib.  He blows blobs of paint across the surface to spread the colour or blend it with another, or flicks the pen nib to splatter ink across the paper.  Carne also uses a Derwent Water Brush to help move the colours around and make them 'bleed' once they have been applied.

Carne's work perfectly illustrates the vibrancy and versatility of the Derwent Graphik Line Painters on paper.  The samples below show how the pen performs on other substrates.

The permanent ink on cotton fabric

The above photos show pen marks on a loosely woven cotton fabric treated with size.  The marks are clear and there is little bleed.  The image on the right demonstrates the opaqueness of the ink; the colours from below do not show through the second application of ink.

Graphik Line Painter pen on cotton and silk fabric

It is difficult to achieve a well defined line on the more finely woven untreated cotton (above left) and even less so on the silk fabric (right), however the paint does provide excellent coverage and adhesion.  Derwent recommend heat setting with an iron on the reverse of the fabric to make the ink permanent and hand washable.  Using a fabric primer such as Jacquard No Flow to treat the fabric first will help to inhibit the flow of the paint and allow better detail. 

We heat set and hand washed the above samples and confirm that the paint did not run or affect the handle of the fabric.  The Graphik Line Painters make an excellent addition to the silk painters' choice of mediums!
Graphik Line Painter pen on leatherOur final sample shows the pens used on a black leather purse. We were delighted with this result.  The opaque colours are shown to their best on this dark background.  The paint dried very quickly and did not smudge or fade when it was rubbed.

Derwent Graphik Line Painters  are available in a range of 20 gorgeous colours or in choice of 4 pen sets containing 5 pens of different colour combinations.  Visit the website www.georgeweil.com to browse these products.

Tuesday, 23 September 2014

Drawing with Oil Pastels

Oil pastels are a drawing medium that can be used on their own or along with other pastels. The pigment is mixed with a non-drying oil and wax binder making a soft, buttery consistency which fills the grain of the paper. They create no dust at all and can be used on almost any surface including slick surfaces that would not hold a regular pastel.

Caran D'ache Neopastels on textured paper

The image above shows the marks made by Caran D'ache Neopastels on a textured paper.

On any surface, oil pastels can be easily blended using cotton buds, tortillons or paper towels.  The oil does not dry, but remains soft so that it can be reworked and more layers can be added over a long period of time.  The Arty Factory's website includes a step by step guide of how the image below was achieved using this technique.

The Layering Technique by The Arty Factory

Sgraffito is another way oil pastels can be manipulated. Colours are applied in layers then scraped away using razor blades or palette knives to reveal the colours below. Robert Sloan has used the sgraffito technique in this drawing of leaves and acorns.

Sgraffito technique used by Robert Sloan

Oil pastels can also be used to create a wash by moistening with solvents, or to add final surface touches to an oil or acrylic painting. Finished work should always be kept away from heat and framed in glass to prevent any damage.

We have a large range of oil pastels, blending and scraping tools and surfaces for oil pastels available on the George Weil website.

by Lewes Goff

Thursday, 18 September 2014

Polymer Clay Cake Toppers

We often send out regular orders to our customers, but our curiosity was piqued when we began to receive an order every Tuesday for polymer clay from customer Cheryl Locke.  Julie (who is an important member of our sales team here, and will often answer your calls) decided to investigate Chery's email address which included the word 'artlockedesigns'.

After a quick google, Julie discovered that Cheryl is a talented artist, specialising in custom-made polymer clay Wedding Cake Toppers.  Each delightful keepsake is created to replicate not just the wedding dress, hair-styles, and wedding bouquets, but also to reflect the personalities of the bride and groom by incorporating other items such as pets, football scarves, musical instruments and squash raquets.
If you go to Cheryl's website you can browse her photo galleries full of previous master pieces, and if you look below you will see the cake topper that Julie had made for her daughter Carly's wedding in August 2014.  This special gift was ordered months in advance to fit into Cheryl's busy schedule and to ensure all the details were exactly right. 

After more than 12 months of planning, we can report that newly weds John and Carly had a wonderful day - and congratulations to Julie on gaining another son!

Above, the stage before the final details are added and below, the finished item.

Polymer Clay Groom and Bride cake topper
Cheryl Locke incorporates an incredible amount of detail into her polymer clay cake toppers.  As we have the advantage of knowing John and Carly personally, we can confirm that this is an accurate representation of the couple on how they looked on the day, even down to the colour of the flowers and the whiskers on his chin!

Polymer clay cake topper from behind
John and Carly's wedding cake
John & Carly's cake topper on top of the stunning wedding cake.