Wednesday, September 2, 2015

Day 9 - "Our Favorite Things- Art Supplies" Series: Mark Making Tools


"Our  Favorite Things - Art Supplies!" Series.  
In no particular order; JodiPenny, and Jean will take turns sharing a few of
their creative must-haves.

Hello Friends,  it's Jodi here today.   Welcome Back to Day 9 in our series of "Our Favorite Things"!  We are having a blast doing this, and hope you are enjoying it as well!

 In my first post, I shared with you the paint I love to use most before moving on to some of the mediums that can make your paintings full of texture and interest.  Today I'm going to share with you, some of my favorite tools that are also key components  for me in developing  a wide range of marks in my work. Some may be very familiar to you and others may be a wowza..I need to try that 'Thang' introduction!  

 Let me start by saying that I love texture.  I do not love flat looking paintings.  Let me rephrase that, I don't love for myself to create flat looking paintings.  I want my viewer to dive right into the painting and wonder how I achieved a certain look or to be mesmerized by the layers of depth created.  The bonus is that I get a huge thrill out of making this all happen!

Part of my own artistic process that gets my creative juices flowing, involves devising ways to create juicy touchable texture.  I encourage my students to try new things, too.  You can do this too!  Try combinations of things and not to be afraid to experiment.

Sometimes you stumble on some really cool processes that create looks that make you glow in a basic of discovery.

 You may never be able to replicate these marks again, but that's okay.  You will discover new things and keep yourself fresh.  Life would get boring if every piece you did looked the same anyway (or looked like someone else's), right?

Okay so without further adieu, here are some of the tools I love to use in addition or with the gel mediums and acrylic paints mentioned in my first two posts.

As you can see, all of these are well loved :)   

Palette knives-come in all shapes and styles, plastic, textured, big, small, flat, skinny.  One tip, if you buy a metal one be sure it's stainless steel as others that are less expensive will rust like no tomorrow if left in a water container.  Not that you would ever do that.   I use these to mix paints, to add paint to my canvas,  scrape into areas, and to draw or write sgraffito style into my work.

Foam backed Rubber stamp--this one featured has cool bubble wrap type circles by my friend Nathalie Kalbach. (I love your stamps Nat so much, I'm afraid I've abused them!!!.  I like the foam backed stamps because working on a soft flexible surface such as a canvas, you need a flexible stamp tool to get a nice mark.  

Catalyst Wedges--if you like to play with Gelli plates, you probably are familiar with these tools. They come in several different shapes or cuts as well as range in how flexible the plastic is to work with.   These make great lines and scratches along with patterns within your work.  

Can you see all the delicious marks and layers??  Yum yum and fun fun!!!

Another view  with some additional catalyst wedges and blade to the right.  I use the flat wedge all the time to paint with or scrape off paint with.  

Going back to my love for line work in paintings, the Fine Line applicators are the perfect solution for quick lines and for larger paintings. I normally use sketching dip pens and acrylic or india ink, but these are even easier to use.   Watercolor artists use bottles like these for masking fluids, so it's a similar concept except instead of leaving a white area from the masking fluid, you are adding line work in whatever colors you chose to work in.

**The replacement tips can also fit right on top of your small 1 or 2 oz jars of paint!

While there are always commercial products you can buy to make memorable marks and textures (such as stencils and tools mentioned above), take a moment to look around your home, kitchen, heck even look down as you are walking--you never know what interesting tools you may come across that can be used in your work to give it that unique flavor only you could give with your one of a kind bad 'arse' artsy self!

Let us not forget, the tool that generally is always available and can probably make some of the most interesting marks??  Your hands and fingers! :)

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Tell us of a favorite mark making tool you've  'collected' in your stash of go to goodies.   What kind of marks do you like to make while painting?


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  1. Haven't tried the Catalyst tools yet but I have used silicon kitchen utensils for mark making. :)
    It is very simple but one of my go-to tools is bubble wrap. You can make marks in wet paint, molding paste or mediums as well as stencil with it. Plus, you can relieve stress by popping it too! LoL

  2. Items from the hardware store...washers make cool stamps.....I'd like to try using a icing bag to apply molding paste...I saw this somewhere and it looks like a great idea

  3. stencils. weird stuff on my table. like carving tools or a bottle cap. clay stylus'. i am a circle and swirl girl.

  4. I love to use detangling combs, hair picks, and Q Tips

  5. I love to use detangling combs, hair picks, and Q Tips

  6. I really enjoy dragging an old credit card through paint because I never know what the results will be, but it always comes out great.

  7. I like to use most of the same tools as you have pictured but also a floaty noodle cut down. It provides a cool donut shape and then can be rolled thru to marbleized other areas

  8. I love making my own stencils and using pencils in wet paint. So many fun ideas here!

  9. Fave mark making tool? That's a tough one! I think I would have to say a bamboo skewer since it is so versatile.


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