Thursday, August 18, 2005

Consider the Lilies

This spread was done in a friend's art journal. The pages were handmade paper so they were a bit of a challenge to write on with a pointed nib. The illustrative element was part of a paper napkin that was adhered over a layer of wet matte medium. Can be tricky. Here's how:
1. Decide what part of napkin you want to use. If you want clean lines, cut the shape before separating the layers. If you want a torn effect, that will be more easily done by working with just the top ply from the beginning.
2. Carefully separate the layers of the napkin.
3. Place the napkin where you want it on the spread.
4. Holding it in position, lift one edge and paint matte medium on the page with a wide flat brush. Try not to get any on the napkin itself as it will immediately curl and be very hard to control.
5. Carefully roll the napkin back into place and gently pat it down with the brush. Be very careful as the napkin is easily torn while damp. You will probably get some wrinkles. Don't fret. These just add to the charm!
6. If working with a large piece, you should apply only a small area of medium, press down one part of design, then apply a little more medium, etc.
7. If the design is to go across the gutter, use something stiff and very thin (less than 1mm thick) to press it down between the pages. Be gentle. Get it in securely but don't press too hard as you could damage the binding, as well as tear the napkin.
8. With the stiff strip holding the napkin in the gutter, carefully lift one side of the napkin and with the brush begin applying medium from the gutter out toward the edge of the page. Work quickly as the medium dries fast.
9. Repeat the process for the opposite page, although you won't need the stiffener anymore.
10. After a few minutes when it feels dry, you can remove the wax paper that was protecting the rest of the pages in the book. If you brushed the matte medium all the way to the edge of the book pages, there may be dried fragments that you will need to trim off with sharp scissors.
11. Leave the book open to dry, ideally overnight. It will feel dry in just a few minutes, but if you must close it before the next day, be sure to insert a clean piece of wax paper between the napkined pages.