Thursday, September 27, 2012

Up and over the rainbow

I am a fan of a lot of decorative artists on facebook. There are so many amazing and talented people out there that to be honest, put me to shame. I am so inspired by my colleagues and hopefully vice versa.
 I do feel like one of my strengths is my lack of FEAR for COLOR! I'm tired of so many bronze projects,... come on painters! Let's bust out of the brown box!    I understand that bronze is a metallic that works in almost every situation, but personally, I'm tired of it. Lately, I've had some great clients who agree with me.

Happily,  I got to do the most amazing finish in  a pool house bath last week.
I have 'that kind of client' right now that doesn't obsess about what I'm going to do...they just let me be me and do whatever I think is right! I did not work from a sample board, just from an idea inside my brain.

My client actually had the idea of doing bands of color,  based on the decorative tile in this room ( not shown). It is this beautiful dichroic glass that changes color as the lights hit it.  I wanted to recreate something like that on the walls and I immediately knew that transfer foil is what I wanted to use. Here's what I did....

 Some basic instructions are as follows, but this is not a "DIY" project. If you have never worked with foils before, do not attempt this as your first foil project. This was very time consuming and required several layers of Glue and foil, glue and foil, glue and foil.  I spent part of 8 days working on this project.

1. Basecoat.(Sherwin Williams paints)
I started by basecoating the walls "Jay" blue ( which is about the color of blue tape). The top foot of the walls are painted "June Day" yellow, as is the ceiling.  I chose the dark blue base for the walls because I wanted blue to be the dominant color.  I did not tape off a line between the colors, I just eyeballed it.  Once those two colors were dry, I dry brushed on bands of dark purple (across the bottom 12 inches) and emerald green (about 12" where the blue and yellow met).

2. Glue.
Roll on Wunda Size with a 9" roller, cover the entire wall and ceiling. Two coats is best. Let dry at least overnight.

 3. FOIL! 
I worked from the bottom up using foils from Prismatic in a dark purple, a light purple, dark blue, light blue, celery green, and finally bright gold.The ceiling is bright gold, silver hologram and gold hologram. The silver was added because the light fixtures in this room are silver. The blue band is the largest, but you can adjust according to whatever color you want to dominate.
Foil will not transfer completely, so you are left with sticky areas.  I rubbed over each band with the color beneath it to get that 'bleeding color' effect.  
Because this foiling  requires a layer of very sticky glue, when I was finished applying my foils in rainbow fashion, I rubbed over the entire thing with gold hologram foil, which caught any sticky spots and added this amazing effect that you just can't get with any other product.  However, it does not photograph well.Those splotchy areas on the ceiling in this photo, are actually chunks of silver and gold hologram. *Note. Do not rub silver hologram over the rainbow effect. It is too bold. Gold hologram foil is more subtle.  I foiled the ceiling first (which has knock down texture) and then used my 'used' sheets of hologram foil to go over the walls. You want the hologram areas of the wall to be very small and subtle.

I learned a lot about foil on this project, for example the 'Passion Purple' color transfers really well, whereas the Celedon green -not so much. I used an entire 100'  roll of celery green and it's the least dominant color. I have loads of purple left. Next time I will want to order twice as much Celery and Carribbean Blue (light blue).Something else I learned on this project, bugs of every kind are attracted to Wunda Size (in it's defense, this was an 'outdoor project' as the door has not been installed yet and this is in a poolhouse). I made sure that there are absolutely no sticky areas left anywhere.

I am just dying to see the gigantic Swordfish that is going to be mounted on this wall! (poor fish, but he's beautiful!)

The biggest compliment I got came when the homeowner told me that I had outdone myself this time....that made me really happy!

I've done a few gradient or ombre type finishes over the years, here are a few of my favorites. 

 This was a feature wall in my studio, done with troweled metallics.

 This subtle version of ombre was done with watered down paints over a sky blue basecoat.  The raised leaves have Swarovski crystals added for some sizzle.

 I promise you, this is not a brown ceiling, it photographs that way because of the heavy layer of mica flakes and glitter over the entire thing that are reflecting the light in a way that make this look brownish.  The colors are silver, teal, purple, blue, green...all metallics with a layer of gleaming sparkle over the top.   This is in a man's master bathroom. He requested a stormy sky effect, and I think we got it!

I love creating 'big' effects that can't really be shown on a sample board. I'm blessed to have some really trusting clients!

Stop by my facebook page to see more photos of my work.  (All photos are copyright Punch & Sizzle, and Elizabeth VanHoutan  please do not use photos without permission).