Second Floor Challenge #11: Six Colors

Written by Nathalie Kalbach. Posted in 2nd Floor, Altered Art, Neocolor II/Derwent Artbar

Are you ready to take the second floor this time? If you have no clue what I am talking about- read all about it here :) The Second Floor Challenge

So today is our 11th Second Floor Challenge and last Second Floor Challenge: Six Colors : Primar and Secondary- Yellow, Blue, Red, Green, Orange and Violet

Click here to see what Julie did

Whatever that means to you or however it inspires you.  The prompt is simply meant to get you started.  The level of challenge you aim for is entirely internal and up to you

I had to laugh a bit about this challenge- if you visited one of my workshops you might have heard me saying, that for the beginning you should try not to use more than 3-4 colors when working with a paint medium because it get’s muddy and brown. And now here I am challenged to use six colors.

So first I decided to use only one paint medium- Derwent Artbars and then I struggled a bit if I should just do something like color blocking, or circles (again?) …and somehow it felt all too easy.

And so I decided to kind of draw a background…something that is not really my strength – but hey…it’s taking it the second floor, right?

I used all the colors in the leaves and background and as it looked really flat I started using the Sgraffito technique to get some texture and dimension revealed.

It turned out ok…I am not overly happy with it, but the main thing is, I had fun and I tried something new. I actually like all the colors together – the leaves…not so much- LOL.

What I learned from this challenge:

  1. I loved the challenge to use colors together that I would usually not use together
  2. I also learned once more that I really don’t like anything that looks too flat and has no texture- either visual or tactile texture – at all.
  3. I loved concentrating on just one paint medium…it made me think a lot on how to get the most out of it- although I guess it would have been a bit more challenging using an art medium I didn’t use that much before.
  4. In the feature I might stick rather to circles again- LOL

As mentioned before this is Julie’s and my last Second Floor Challenge. Only once we both decided to skip a challenge totally out of time problems and so it is 11 challenges we did. So let me put together

What I learned in total from the 2nd Floor Challenge

  • If something looks as if it turns out to be a disaster, keep going- it usually ends up to be one of your favorite pieces.
  •  I learned that it is really good to limit yourself to only a few supplies -it frees your mind.
  • I learned a lot about supplies etc. because I was constantly forced to think in a different way when usual out of the box.
  • Doing something together with my friend Julie who lives too far away has been just fun – the challenge at least made me feel as if we are doing something together which we usually cannot do because of the distance.
  • I love getting the most out of one supply – I don’t like to use supplies in the only way it is determined to be used
  • Paint Media and Texture are essential for me- they are a big part of my style- no need to fight against that ;)
  • I developed a deep love for watercolor paper throughout all the challenges
  • It doesn’t hurt to show stuff you don’t like that much and admit that things didn’t work THAT well, nobody is perfect and I don’t strive to be perfect.
  • I loved to see that a lot of our readers took the second floor too – I learned as much from your experiences as from my own. Thank YOU!

If you’d like to leave a link showing off what you did in response to this challenge, here’s the linky list:

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hugs
Nat

Nat

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This post currently has 9 comments.

Comments (9)

  • Kathy Gledsdale

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    Lovely!

    Reply

  • Barb

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    I like mixing colors so this is something I want to try. Your work is very creative.

    Reply

  • Janet

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    Very Colorful Nat. I love the list of everything you learned from the challenge! Both this one and SFC overall. Thanks. I hope you do something similar again someday!

    Reply

  • Sabine

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    I like your composition – colourwise as well as picturewise. The leaves all seem to be tumbling down, like they do in real life. Now that you and Julie have tackled the second floor – how about a third floor challenge? :-))

    Reply

  • Jessica

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    Beautiful leaves! Thanks for all of the SFCs. They’ve been very inspiring and fun.

    Reply

  • Laurie Hunt

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    I have really enjoyed following along as you and Julie worked together. You both are such talented creative ladies that I always learn from you. Thanks much for the inspiration!

    Reply

  • gillian1

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    Ah. Such a shame that the second floor challenge is over. I’ve SOOOOO enjoyed following along with you both. I’m wondering whether I might persuade a friend to start something similar with me. She lives at the other end of the country so it would be lovely to have this sort of regular contact. Thank you both for all you efforts.

    Reply

  • Sue Clarke

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    Of course I enjoyed seeing my two scrappy “crushes” working together.
    I will come back to these challenges when I need inspiration in the future.

    Reply

  • TeedeJee

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    Loved it. Especially on what you learned on the way. Thank you sooo much ladies! What will be your next challenge??? XXX

    Reply

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Second Floor Challenge #10: White Cardstock

Written by Nathalie Kalbach. Posted in 2nd Floor, Scrapbooking Layouts

Are you ready to take the second floor this time? If you have no clue what I am talking about- read all about it here :) The Second Floor Challenge

So today is our 10th Second Floor Challenge: White Cardstock

Click here to see what Julie did

Whatever that means to you or however it inspires you.  The prompt is simply meant to get you started.  The level of challenge you aim for is entirely internal and up to you

White Cardstock – something I use a lot as a base for my backgrounds. Usually you do not see later anymore that something started with white Cardstock. Which was a good start taking it to the 2nd Floor…how about having the white Cardstock show itself and speak for itself for once ;)

I picked a 12×12 smooth piece of white cardstock and then a white cardstock with linnen texture from which I hand cut circles.

And then the weird blank page syndrom started….LOL. Yep – I was like …what they hay…and I let it lay there….for a day ….and came back and then just wrote down the feelings that came up when I was looking at this new blank page that offered so many possibilities…

I added a postcard  I had printed from one of my paper designs several years ago. This paper didn’t make it into the emotions paper line back then but it is still one of my favorite pieces.

What I learned from this challenge:

I love the chances that white cardstock offers -there is just so much freedom that attached to this supply.

I love to create layouts/projects with a deeper meaning- where the supplies itself have a meaning too.

I wish sometimes I could be a blank white cardstock again …I was so much more open and free in my work and I didn’t care about other’s and rejection.

My urge to add paint was calmed down once I had added this postcard with my painty artwork…I guess this paint obsession is not to overcome- LOL.

If you’d like to leave a link showing off what you did in response to this challenge, here’s the linky list:

hugs

Nat

Nat

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This post currently has 7 comments.

Comments (7)

  • Julie Short

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    Hallellujah! Singing loud and strong.- choosing to have supplies with meaning and relevance to you, the artist seems to have been forgotten. So good on you for stating that as part of your practise Nat!
    You refresh my spirit and remind me that I am not alone in the search for authenticity!

    Reply

  • Julie Short

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    Reading again I applaud your comment regarding rejection – tis a cold and lonely place out there at times in the blogosphere and the magazine mayhem if you aren’t the same as all the other cookies from the cookie cutter system! It seems it has to be the latest , the most expensive etc etc which is so not necessary!
    Oh and more cheers there’s not a leering pumkin or a ghoul in sight!
    Please keep encouraging your inner spirit and take your time to experiment for without it the world would be a duller place.

    Reply

  • mjmarmo

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    What a fun challenge!! Love what you did!

    Reply

  • Janet

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    Love it! I need to get busy! Thanks!

    Reply

  • Carolyn Dube

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    This is the scariest 2nd floor challenge you have done yet! White cardstock?! I love where you took it- the circles with the words is magnificent! Your painting just pops with the white!

    Reply

  • Jessica

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    I love your page. The white circles are like speech bubbles and the contrast with the postcard of your design makes your artwork just pop. I also really like the new design of your website!

    Reply

  • Bellaidea

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    very cool look!

    Reply

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Second Floor Challenge #9: Embossing Powder

Written by Nathalie Kalbach. Posted in 2nd Floor, Embossing, Gesso, Mixed Media

Are you ready to take the second floor this time? If you have no clue what I am talking about- read all about it here :) The Second Floor Challenge

So today is our 8th Second Floor Challenge: Embossing Powder

Click here to see what Julie did

Whatever that means to you or however it inspires you.  The prompt is simply meant to get you started.  The level of challenge you aim for is entirely internal and up to you

Embossing Powder- cool – I love Embossing Powder. I use it in many different ways and I love to try out all kinds of different media as embossing agents. If you have ever been at one of my life workshops you know that ;) You have used all kinds of stuff for it…Acrylic Paints was one of them. So started like this on a small tiny canvas

I spread black gesso over since I know I wanted different colored embossing powders on top of it and I hoped the black gesso would make the colors pop more.

It was like cooking …BAM! some more spicy embossing powder right into the kisser wet gesso.

Next was heating, and I had a suspicion already that this mixture would be a bit dangerous in case of the fumes…and boy was I right…yikes. I bet this is highly unhealthy and recommend almost a mask and a well ventilated area. But still I was pleased with the result.

Time to take it to the second floor – I sprayed it with water based spray paints

and BAM! sprinkled some golden embossing powder over it here and there – off heating again

Loved the results….and then used it right away for a present for a special girl

here is a close up of the Gesso-Embossing

What I learned from this challenge:

  1. I love the texture and patina aged look the embossing powder with the black gesso created. Actually to tell you the truth it makes me giddy :)
  2. this is NOT healthy! not something I would teach in a workshop. Black Gesso by Golden already has on their lable that it contains chemicals that are known to cause cancer…and embossing powder is essentially plastic, so melting it together like crazy is obviously a crazy nut case’s idea! I will wear a mask next if I do it again!
  3. I love that through the combination of those two media the heat resulted extra dimension stayed once it was dried. Pretty pretty cool.
  4. If you reheat colored gesso again and put the heat too long on it, it can loose its color at parts and gets white spots. Which in this case was cool! But something to keep in mind.
  5. I liked working on a smaller surface for this technique – first it was out of economic reasons as to not waste a huge amount of embossing powder if that technique would not work, but then it also was fun to incorporate this in a bigger project using different techniques then again.

If you’d like to leave a link showing off what you did in response to this challenge, here’s the linky list:


hugs

Nat

Nat

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This post currently has 24 comments.

Comments (24)

  • Alicia

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    Muy bonito Nat!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
    Besos

    Reply

  • mjmarmo

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    How cool is that. I do not have any black gesso. I do have some embossing powders though…….MIght have to try something like this!

    Reply

  • Andrene

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    Gorgeous!! The colors definitely pop with the black gesso and the background is divine too!!

    Reply

  • Maggie M

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    AWESOME Nat! I’m going to definitely give this a try:)

    Reply

  • Mary M.

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    Love this technique Nat! Gotta get some black gesso and try this!

    Reply

  • Sue Clarke

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    Please don’t inhale too many fumes while creating Nat.
    Good to see that Julie posted the same day as you did;-O
    I love the texture that you got.

    Reply

  • peg

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    wow, that looks so cool, gonna have to give it a go.
    Thanks for the inspo :-*

    Reply

  • SusanJane

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    Because of the dust and fumes I have always worked in small areas only. I guess you could tackle larger pieces by standing back and doing the same with breaks between each section. With good lighting you can tell if the powder has hardened and not have your face in it.

    Reply

  • Cuchy

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    ohhhh it’s me, it’s me!!!! and you even took a risk with the fumes!! ;)
    Thank you sweetie. You made my day! Can’t wait to touch it.
    Loves

    Reply

  • Mag&scrap

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    Wonderful Work with these embossing powder !

    Reply

  • lizmaynz

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    I’m sorry but I just read the part where Nat tells us Black Gesso by Golden already has on their label that it contains chemicals that are known to cause cancer!
    I mean should we be worried especially those of us that use our fingers to paint with? I already get cancer in the bladder every so often and have to get that taken out each time with out endangering myself with using a product that could essentially put me at risk again. Sorry but my health is under so much stress as it is with out this added worry.

    Reply

  • Kathy Gledsdale

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    Really lovely!

    Reply

  • ruby t

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    I love these experiments and the spirit with which you and Julie do them.
    Perhaps put black gesso down, let dry and put on the clear embossing ink so the fumes will not get too bad.
    Can you also tell us about the background of the finished piece-the blue lettering and the misting technique? I know that was not part of the project but curious about the stamping of the lettering look.
    thanks

    Reply

  • Geles

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    Oh Nath, I like this work, and Cuchy is a special woman!!. Thank you for the explain it….. I don’t know if I write well. Kisses

    Reply

  • osmancm@comcast.net

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    I would not of thought to use black gesso. thanks for sharing your process….I really liked the results.

    Reply

  • Riikka

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    Oh my gosh how gorgeous is that! <3

    Reply

  • Carrie

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    WOW! That really looks fabulous. What a shame that it’s so toxic… Well, we could just be like Michelle Ward and not worry about it. She uses all kinds of toxic stuff! Is that black gesso super thick? It looks really dimensional, which just makes the project even cooler :)

    Reply

    • Profile photo of Nathalie Kalbach

      Nathalie Kalbach

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      HI Carrie, yes the black Gesso is really thick….it is like melted marshmellows- LOL .Have a wonderful day ! Nat

      Reply

    • Profile photo of Nathalie Kalbach

      Nathalie Kalbach

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      hi jessica, love your post. i already visited. sorry for the linkz mistake, we changed it to the right date.

      Reply

  • marjiekemper

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    Thanks for experimenting and sharing… I think I’ll pass on heating up my cancer agent, lmao…. but I do appreciate seeing your beautiful results!

    Reply

  • msmathey

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    WOW – you are amazing – this project is awesome!

    Reply

  • scrappegal

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    AWESOME!!!!! :)

    Reply

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