In my last blog posting, I had created colour sampler pages for all of my liquid and soft body paints, and organized them into a scrapbook binder for easy reference. I wanted to do the same thing for my iridescent, metallic and interference paints. Interference paints are interesting – they refract their opposite on the colour wheel. For example interference red shows a green sheen, and interference blue has a golden sheen to it. But you only get these special effects if the interference paint is over top of a dark colour, such as black. So in order to create my base paper strips, I needed to use a monochrome palette from white to black. I also wanted to see how these paints behaved over texture, both implied and tactile.
I divided watercolour paper into half, and painted white gesso on side, and black gesso on the other. Next, I choose the thickest consistency of gesso I had (similar to smooth peanut butter), and combined it with black gesso (consistency of thick cream) to create a thick grey gesso.
Using the thick grey gesso, I use a natural sea sponge to pounce the gesso between the dividing line between the white and black gesso. This created a great visual texture, but not a much of a raised texture.
Next, I choose a stencil that had a nice organic random pattern of pebbles in it. The stencil is 6 x 6 inches, so I needed to move it in order to cover the entire sheet with pattern. I used a palette knife to carefully drag the grey gesso through the stencil holes.
The thick grey gesso created a great tactile texture showing the pebble pattern from the stencil extremely well. You can see the actual ‘gesso pebbles’ in the close-up and how they are raised above the paper surface. If some gesso got underneath the stencil, a web-like pattern was created from the gesso sticking to the stencil as it was lifted off the paper. This was left to dry overnight due to the thickness of the gesso.
The dry gessoed paper was dividing into one-inch strips, each one containing the white to black gradation and these were cut into thin strips with a paper cutter.
I gathered all of my interference, iridescent and metallic paints (both liquid and soft body paints), and organized them by name and brand on a spreadsheet.
After all the strips had been painted, their name label was glued on and the strips were organized into colour families. Blue decorators tape was used to align the strips into 9 x 12 inch sheets.
These sheets were put into 12 x 12 inch scrapbook page protectors and then stored in a large three-ring binder. The interference paints were only visible over the grey textured and black gessoed areas, whereas the iridescent and metallic paints were visible over the white gesso.
These paint sampler strips are a great visual reference so you can see how the paints behave over light and dark paints, and areas of texture.