Tuesday, 27 September 2016

Brusho, Bleach and Pressed Flowers in my Bible! by Deborah Gregg

Hi again, this is more of a 'technique' blog post to tell you about my experiment with using bleach (yes bleach!) with Brusho, in my Bible (yes - in my Bible!). Yes really! And pressed flowers too. I've had so much fun I had to share it with you! First - here's a photo of the finished pages:

While doing a little online research about Brusho techniques, I came across some instructions about using bleach to lift the colour from your Brusho work.

(In case you don't know, Brusho is basically pigments of beautiful colour crystals in powder form, which you can sprinkle onto a page spritzed with water, or mix with water, to produce amazing vibrant colours and effects).

This sounded a bit exciting so I just had to try it!

I like to live dangerously....now and then!

First - I prepped my Bible pages REALLY WELL. Two coats of clear gesso, the first applied with my fingertips (which gives a nice smooth finish by the way), dried with hairdryer, applied the second coat with a paintbrush (as it was quicker I took a shortcut), and made sure it was completely dry.

I went for a double spread in my Bible, as I wanted to test out Art Basics Clear Gesso (left hand side) and Dina Wakley Clear Gesso (right hand side).

On went the disposable gloves, then I put paper beneath each page, and spritzed the pages with a little water, and sprinkled Brusho in two shades on each page, spritzing a bit more and allowing the colours to blend. I moved the Bible around a bit to help the colours to run over the page. Dabbed with kitchen towel to absorb the excess (especially when it all pooled in the centre!). Dried with hairdryer.

Then I put a tiny bit of thin bleach in a pot, and using an old small paintbrush (with synthetic bristles) I painted a little bleach circle on a scrap page:

As this worked well, I painted a little bleach over a couple of key verses in my Bible (Psalm 25v1 and Psalm 27v1) To my surprise it worked really well and the colour lifted - it wasn't left completely white but enough to stand out.

I also brushed a little bleach onto the tiny bits of bleed-through on the other side of the pages, where the paint had seeped over the page edges, this helped to neaten it up a bit. In retrospect, I should have prepped the underside of each page with gesso too, and will do that next time I use Brusho in my Bible.
(tiny bit of Brusho seeped over the edge of the page)

Back of the Dina Wakely Clear Gesso prepped page, after a tiny brush with bleach on the page edges!

Back of the Art Basics Clear Gesso prepped page, after a quick dab of bleach to tidy the edges.

I was a bit concerned my Bible would smell of bleach but it doesn't!

I left the Bible closed tight to flatten the pages a bit and completed the pages the next day, When I changed my mind about which verses I was going to add as hand lettering! That's fine!

So to complete these pages I used some pressed flowers that I had gathered in the Spring, and had left between sheets of kitchen paper under a pile of books for a couple of months!

To attach these delicate flowers to the page, I used some clear sticky backed plastic book covering. It was a bit tricky to position as I had to get it right first time but it seemed to work well.

I added the lettering using my Micron 03 and 01 pens.

In case you were wondering - both gesso's performed about the same re bleedthrough, very little between them both. I think the Dina Wakely Clear Gesso'd page feels a little bit more chalky than the Art Basics Clear Gesso'd page, which feels a bit smoother to me. But really not much in it at all! Both are great.

Psalm 23 is an amazing Psalm, one that we can all identify with. One that I keep coming back to, and I journaled this as it came up on my daily readings this week, and I've been praying for a family in our church, who have just lost a loved one this week.

In the summer at New Wine, I had a great conversation with one of the ladies who came to one of my Journaling workshops, she shared with me that Psalm 23 contains many of the Hebrew names of God. Which fascinated me as I've been studying the names of God recently - He really is everything we need. So I really enjoyed this opportunity to add these into my journaled page.

As this is a double spread page, on the other page I hand-lettered Psalm 25v15(a) 'My eyes are ever on the LORD' as I love this reminder to keep my eyes always fixed on Jesus. This tied in well with some dried forget-me-nots, which I've re-named as 'Forget-Him-Nots'!

I really enjoyed the process of creating these pages, of trying some new techniques and most importantly spending time thinking and praying over these beautiful verses in the Psalms.

Why not try something new today? Be inspired, be brave, and enjoy some creative time with your Bible!  

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