As you know from my post last week, I got to do a class with Donna Downey. As in THE Donna Downey. Very, very cool. She is wickedly funny, doesn’t take herself or art too seriously and my favourite part – she let us behind the curtain of running a creative business. You can read about that on my other blog HERE. Yes, I have two blogs – my other one is about starting a creative business.
So, back to the Donna class. I did the 5 hour journal class. We played with gelatos which I wasn’t totally sold on. Still love my Caran D’Ache Neocolour II crayons. We experimented on gesso’d pages vs plain pages. Sometimes gesso is better, sometimes not. That was a great thing to learn – that gesso isn’t a must have every time. I was surprised how big a difference it does make when you use it though. Especially with making the gelatos blend.
We played with painting with your fingers – my friend hates painting with her fingers. She was squirming and making “I hate this” noises the whole time. But I paint with my fingers all the time, so I just jumped right in. Donna showed us how she paints like this which answered a question I had about my painted pages. Turns out I’m a bit stingy with the paint and I rub way too hard. Me? Heavy handed? Nooooo… really?
Sometimes, it’s not a whole page that you love, but just little elements. The flowers I painted on the page didn’t look anywhere as nice as Donna’s, but the dotty pattern I created is definitely a keeper of an idea. Loved the extra texture and interest it added.
Image transfers were fun to play with. The product you use makes a big difference apparently. Donna recommended a Golden gel medium, but I just played with my Liquitex matte medium. The transfers didn’t turn out all that great. Donna’s tip was the Golden could have the backing paper torn off after a couple of minutes but the Liquitex would need to dry fully before wetting the paper and rubbing it off. We didn’t have time for that (and she was talking to the Queen of Impatience), so I just squirted away with water and tore at it like a woman possessed. I bit more time and patience (I know I have some around here somewhere) and I think it could look really good. If nothing else, it gave lots of texture.
We also played with texture and her droplet of paint technique. This was one of my favourites of the day. My page stuck together after I was a bit keen with the gesso and then turned the page. They stuck together, so of course I just ripped it open. The torn ripped bits gave it heaps of extra texture. Happy accident.
We also played with a palette knife which I use all the time. I use it to apply gesso, to smear paint, to apply modelling paste and paint through stencils, to get paint out of the jar… One of my must have tools.
This class wasn’t a finished project class. It was a technique class with lots of experimenting and trying stuff out. Everyone’s pages turned out so differently and everyone had different successes with each technique. What I love is when you do a class like this, you can see a person’s style show through. I look at my pages and they look like mine, not a copy of Donna’s. You could see that with everyone’s pages. That’s what is truly beautiful with a class like this.
Leave a comment and let me know who you’ve done workshops with and which one was your favourite.