My newest favorite tool for mixed media use is Venetian Plaster. I'd never heard of it before II picked up a copy of "Surface Treatment Workshop" by Darlene Olivia McElroy and Sandra Duran Wilson. I have to admit that I hesitated to get this book. I am behind on my reviews of many great craft books and I wasn't sure that anything could be as good as my favorite book from these two authors "Image Transfer Workshop".
Happily this book is, indeed, as good. It's beautifully laid out, contains superlative instructions and has some amazingly terrific ideas. For some reason I was intrigued by the description of Venetian Plaster "...Venetian Plaster gives you a unique finish that cannot be replicated with any other medium...." Hummmmmmm. That's quite a big claim. I did some online research to learn a bit about this intriguing stuff and then went in search of a size smaller than a gallon. I wasn't sure that I could get this on or small island but thankfully the hardware store carried one brand - and they were able to order a quart of it for me. I ordered it on Wednesday and had it in hand last Friday. I couldn't wait to see what kind of surface this would provide on paper....and not even special paper at that! I am using an Aquabee Super Deluxe sketch book (one must wonder want a non super deluxe pad would be like!) The paper is 152gsm - what I think I would a mid weight paper. Certainly not as good as real watercolor paper but not as thin as many journals or sketchbooks either.
It really IS an unusual surface treatment and I am in love! It has a smoothness that is nothing like gesso - which is what I had anticipated it would be like. It also has the coolness of real marble - even on paper. I tried burnishing, tinting, and embossing it - all with great results. I bet I will be using this a lot...maybe more than gesso because it feels like silk on the pages and has a natural tactile feel. Very interesting stuff! I was so glad that I got this book!
|This was my first trial of Venetian Plaster -building up layers; gently sanding in between and then adding wisps of color and other textures. You can double click for a closer look.|