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Thursday, 23 July 2015
Playing with Brushos- Day 1
The lids have a pull-off plastic seal, and all the Internet wisdom is that you don't use this to open your tubs. Instead, what is recommended is to poke a few holes in the lid itself, then use it like a salt shaker. You can also see I colour coded the lids with a small self-adhesive dot. I just sprinkled a tiny amount of the powder out of the tub, and picked it up on a wet cotton bud, then rubbed it on the dot. Much easier to find the colour you want, when faced with a box full of white lids!
Point No 1: the size of the crystals in the tubs does seem to vary from colour to colour- for instance, the Turquoise is very, very fine, almost like dust, whilst the Ost. Blue crystals are much larger. So you may need to enlarge the holes after you try it out, or even add a couple more (I started with 3 holes per pot, just using a pokey tool).
Next, on to paper. A while back, whilst browsing in The Works, I spotted a Canvas art pad, so picked one up thinking I might do some stamping on them one of these days. At the Hobbycrafts show in November, one stand had lots of art pads, buy one, get one free, and I saw some smooth watercolour pads, so got a couple of those, as you'll get a much clearer image when stamping on smooth watercolour paper than you would on the more traditional, rougher one. I took a sheet from each, and cut them into 4 pieces- the watercolour pad is an A4 one, the canvas pad is just a little larger.
I put a blending mat on my desk, as there was going to be a lot of water involved, and got down to playing.
I hope you can see here the amount of Brusho crystals I've applied. You may need to enlarge the image. It really is a very small dusting of colours, you can see why they say these pots will last a very, very long time. This is one of the quarter Canvas sheets, by the way.
You can either put the crystals down, then add water, or you can do it the opposite way round, and cover your surface with water, then sprinkle in crystals. I've done it both ways, during this try out.
Anyway, now it's time for the water misting.
Pressed it down well.
This was how it came out. OK, but lacking detail now. So, I wondered what would happen if I added more crystals and misting.
Surprisingly, the additional colour does not just get absorbed into the background, which was what I'd expected, to be honest.
So, put them aside to dry, and a little later, this is what they looked like.
The colours continued to blend and merge a little, but I really like how they've dried. Make a nice landscape type background, I think. In fact, I have a plan for at least one of them, based on that thought.
Next piece of canvas, and again, I've tried to show how little powder is put down to get these colours this strong.
Water misted over the powder- the more water you add, the more fluid it all becomes- it's a case of stop when it looks good! I'm only using one of the Tim Holtz mini- misters here, and probably spritzing less than a quarter of one over the crystals.
So, not knowing when to stop, lol, I added some more water.
And just lifted the paper from end to end to let the water slide.Then put that aside to dry.
For the last quarter, I spritzed the canvas with plenty of water. Then sprinkled on the Brushos.
Red for starters.......
.....followed by orange and yellow.
Now I swapped to the Smooth watercolour paper, and back to crystals first.
Needed a little more colour at the bottom, methinks. So I added some more. And spritzed some more too. The brown at the bottom- and it was only brown- look like roaring flames, don't they?
Point No 2: Everyone who has done the spritzing with Distress Inks will know that the big thing with them is that the colour stays true, it does not break down at all. This is not the case with Brushos. When wetted, all sorts of strange colours become apparent. As I said, the bottom of this background was only sprinkled with the two shades of brown- yet you can see yellow and orange in there too now. Depending on what you are trying to achieve, that may be good or bad!
Still on the watercolour paper, and this time water first again. The blue here demonstrating the multi- colour effect, you can see purple appearing too. Then some green added, and left to dry.
Another watercolour paper, this time done powder first.
You remember that sheet I did earlier, letting the colours run from one side to the other?( I've put it below so you can compare dry to wet). The colours became much more muted after drying, and while it was nice, lacked a certain amount of 'oomph', shall we say. So I wondered now what would happen if I added more colours and re-spritzed- would they just merge in to make mud?
Only one way to find out!
Amazingly, no you do not get mud. The yellows and oranges still maintain their colours, which really did surprise me. I didn't expect to see the yellow so clearly. So you can layer colours on top of each other, as long as you let them dry.
So this was the first days experiments, which brings me rather neatly up to-
Point 3: These are very messy! You need a well covered work area- my blending mat was nowhere near big enough. Although they are called crystals, they are more powdery, and as I said earlier, some of them are extremely fine dust-like powder, so as soon as you spritz, they get scattered. The higher up you mist from the better, but that only cuts it down a little.
This is my desk, and its 30" wide- the colour is all over the side and back of my desk. And it takes a lot of shifting too. Babywipes do not cut it. I had to get some spray kitchen cleaner up here.
Also, hands! 3 days later the colour is still on my fingers, and you really do not want to see what my nails look like. Actually, that's the worst bit- inky fingers is one thing, but when under your nails look like you haven't cleaned them for the last 6 months- that's a bit too far.
So that's Day 1. Off for a coffee, and then I'll write up Day 2.