Thursday, 20 April 2017

Mending and Hanging Terracotta Pots with Milliput Epoxy Putty

Milliput Terracotta Epoxy Putty

What is Milliput?

Milliput epoxy putty is used to repair damaged metals, glass, concrete, plastics, brick, cement and wood, and in places where welding is impractical. This malleable putty is also very popular with model makers for its work-ability and smooth finish.

When mixed in equal quantities, the two-part epoxy putty cures to a rock hard, durable finish which can be sanded, filed, drilled, turned and painted. It is self hardening (and will set under water!) and non-shrinking. Although it is not recommended as a thin layer adhesive, it will bond most materials.

In this post, we demonstrate the Terracotta Milliput epoxy putty which is ideal for repairing cracks and breaks in garden pots, picture frames, sculptures and brickwork.

Repairing a Pot with Terracotta Milliput Epoxy Putty

A pack of Milliput contains two sticks of putty. You will need to cut off a slice of the same size from each of the sticks. The soft putty is then kneaded until both colours of stick are fully combined.

Thoroughly blend the two parts of Milliput Epoxy Putty

The chipped edge of the garden pot below was repaired by pressing some of the blended putty into the crack before smoothing it over with wetted fingers.  The repair is almost invisible!

Terracotta pot repaired with Milliput

Making Hanging Terracotta Pots from Milliput

The bonding properties of cured Milliput is so strong that it can be used to make simple "brackets" for your terracotta plant pots. The Milliput was first rolled into a ball and then pressed into a disc shape.

Adding a hanger to a garden pot with Milliput Terracotta Epoxy Putty

The disc of Milliput was then pressed onto the rim of the pot and the join smoothed into the terracotta using a wet finger. An old biro pen was then used to make a hole.

Milliput dried rock hard within 3-4 hours

The epoxy resin set hard within 3-4 hours and the pots were ready to hang!

Hanging pots adapted using Terracotta coloured Milliput epoxy putty

Milliput epoxy resin is available in Standard, Terracotta, Black and Silver Grey grades, and in a finer grade of White for repairing smooth finishes such as ceramics, porcelain and marble. Find out more about Milliput and to buy from George Weil.

Thursday, 16 March 2017

Acrylic Painting: help from a Scanner, Photoshop & Imagetrace Paper

I decided to paint my son and his fiancé a painting to mark their engagement. The design needed to be personal to them, and to appeal to their "alternative tastes". I chose to paint three playing cards, the Queen of Spades, Ace of Hearts and King of Diamonds on a large canvas. As I'm not the most confident artist or the most experienced painter, I utilised the help of a scanner, Photoshop and Imagetrace paper.

Tools and Paint
Preparing the Canvas

First of all I sketched the outline of the cards before painting the rest of the canvas in Hookers Green with a 1in flat wash brush. The playing cards were painted in a mix of Titanium White and a small amount of Cadmium Yellow and Mars Black.

The Queen, a Scanner and Imagetrace Paper

The scanned image of the complex playing card was clear enough to produce a reasonable print after enlarging it in Photoshop. The outline of the design was transferred onto the canvas with Imagetrace Paper.

Imagetrace is a wax-free tracing paper with a pure graphite coating on one side. By placing it graphite side down onto the canvas, I could lay my print on top and trace the outlines with a biro. The pressure from the biro caused an imprint of graphite to remain on the canvas.

When I finished transferring the design, I painted the outlines (which took hours!) using a liner brush. Liner, or rigger, brushes have longer length hairs designed to absorb some of the shake when painting fine lines. I used a small round brush with Crimson, Ultramarine, Cadmium Yellow and Black acrylic paint to complete the remainder of the painting.

This was the stage at which I had intended for the final painting. However, the playing cards did not make the impact I had envisioned so I decided to work up the design by adding poker chips.

Developing the Design for the Painting

I didn't want to add a further element to the painting without first getting an idea of how it would finally look. For this reason I created a mock-up by taking a photograph of some playing cards with some plastic poker chips to help me decide on the layout.

I then designed a poker chip, comprising a logo of the engaged couples' initials and an iconic image in Photoshop. The great thing about Photoshop (or Illustrator) is that you can build up an image in layers and add drop shadows and bevelled edges - very helpful for replicating the behaviour of light when painting from fiction.

Adding new elements to the Painting

The poker chips were designed to scale for the painting, so after printing them at full size, I cut them out and drew around the edge with a pencil onto the canvas. I then painted over the Hookers Green with Titanium White (the only way to cover dark acrylic colours).

The next stage was to transfer the design of the poker chip using the extremely helpful Imagetrace. This was a little more tricky because I had to line them up correctly. I then painted in the detail with the acrylic paint before finally adding the shading and highlights.

The Finished Acrylic Painting

I'm delighted to say that my son and his fiancé like the painting very much!

by Allison Holland

Tuesday, 17 January 2017

A Comparison Between Coloured Pencils

Why so many Coloured Pencils?

We are often asked why we carry such a large range of coloured pencils. But what is the difference anyway? Here is a quick review of 8 of our most popular pencils, which we hope will help you to choose the coloured pencils most suited to your needs. Each of the pencils featured are available individually in a choice colours or in a set of assorted colours.

We made our samples below on smooth hot pressed watercolour paper.

A comparison of coloured pencils

Derwent Tinted Charcoal

The pencil core looks and feels exactly like charcoal which does not split or splinter. It is made from tinted compressed charcoal for a choice of earthy tones ideal for landscapes. The pencil strokes give the same familiar whisper on paper as all dry chalky media and the charcoal marks are easily smudged or blended. The charcoal core is naturally water-soluble.

Derwent Tinted Charcoal Pencil

The cedar wood casings are painted at the end of the pencil to give an indication of the pencil lead colour.

Stabilo Carbothello Pastel Pencils

Stabilo state that this chalk-pastel coloured pencil has a wonderfully dry and dusty stroke, just like charcoal. The pencils are very similar in performance to Derwent Tinted Charcoal pencils. The large choice of highly pigmented colours are bright and clean. The chalky core is naturally water-soluble.

Stabilo Carbothello Pastel Pencil

The wood casings are painted along the shaft to give an indication of the pencil lead colour.

Caran d'Ache Luminance 6901

The creamy lead feels satisfyingly smooth and leaves a mark with very little pressure. Caran d'Ache claim that these superb pencils are "the most light fast permanent colour pencil ever designed". They certainly are the best of the permanent colour pencils in our test. The highly pigmented, opaque colours lend themselves well to overlaying, mixed media and gradation.

Caran d'Ache Luminance 6901 Pencil

The cedar wood casings are painted at the end of the pencil in the same colour as the pencil lead.

Caran d'Ache Pablo

The pencil lead transfers colour smoothly and with little effort. There is no grittiness or resistance on the paper and colours blend well. The sharpened lead leaves a fine detailed mark. The lead resists water and is used to include permanent detail with water-soluble pencils or watercolour paints.

Caran d'Ache Pablo Pencil

The hexagonal cedar wood casings are painted the same colour as the lead and stop the pencil from rolling away.

Derwent Coloursoft

A soft blendable lead which is slightly more sticky than the other pencils tested. The pencil was tried on a variety of papers and performed best on the papers with more "tooth". Performance was adequate to good on the smoother surfaces.

Derwent Coloursoft Pencils

The cedar wood casings are painted a reddish brown and the end of the pencil is painted the same colour as the pencil lead.

Caran d'Ache Supracolor II

The Supracolor pencils feel similar to the Pablo pencils. Supracolor are water-soluble and can be used with permanent pencils to add a wash. These coloured pencils are used alongside watercolour paints or in mixed media work. The pigment dissolves quickly when water is applied.

Caran d'Ache Supracolor II Pencil

The hexagonal cedar wood casings are painted the same colour as the lead and stop the pencil from rolling away.

Cretacolor Aqua Monolith Water-soluble Woodless

A solid stick of water-soluble crayon covered in a thin film of lacquer, the Cretacolor Aqua Monolith is a delight to hold and handle. The sharpened lead provides a fine detailed line and the "lead" glides smoothly to quickly colour areas from light to dark, depending on the pressure applied. The pigment is soluble in water although as an aquarelle it is not as good as Supracolor II Soft or Derwent Inktense.

Cretacolor Aqua Monolith Water-soluble Woodless Pencil

A slightly thinner but heavier pencil than the wood pencils, the entire pencil (apart from the fine lacquer coating) being made from pigment. Pencil shavings can be dissolved in water to use as paint.

Derwent Inktense

The best of the water-soluble coloured pencils! Used dry, the pencil is a little resistant on the paper and less smooth than some of the other colour pencils, although the colours transfer well. The "lead" is a special formula, when wetted dissolves quickly into a vibrant ink, which is permanent when dry. This allows for layers of colour washes and other exciting techniques.
The pencils can also be used for "painting" on silk and other fabrics as the marks are permanent when the pigment has dissolved and dried.

Derwent Inktense Pencil

The cedar wood casings are painted blue and the end of the pencil is painted the same colour as the pencil lead.

Water Soluble Coloured Pencils

Here are the results of the three water soluble pencils tested. The Derwent Inktense coloured pencils and the Caran d'Ache Supracolor dissolved very easily and the colour spreads readily. The Cretacolour Aqua Monolith took slightly longer to dissolve.

Water soluble coloured pencils

Browse the George Weil website for the full range of drawing and coloured pencils >