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Tutorial ~ X ray art

A lot of people have asked for a tutorial on my x ray stained art. I did a quick tutorial tonight, but not on a video. I might try that at a later time, but for now, I took lots of pictures and will try to explain the process.

First, I start with a slate tile, I sand it down with my Ryobi electric sander on both sides and wipe it down with a Lysol wipe.

Then I get my inspiration image ready and sized correctly.

I use carbon paper to transfer the image.

It looks like a bunch of scribbles and hard to decipher. But I keep my image close by and continue to look at it through the process. When transferring the image, I don't put every single mark on the tile, as it will be covered up anyway. But I transfer the basics ~ the rest is a free hand approach. i will explain more as I go...

I get my stain and brushes and rag ready..

See the 2nd brush from left? It's a long flat bristled brush that I typically use initially. Tonight, though, it was not acting properly, so I had to swith to the very small brush on the right.

So, you want to start with the darkest parts first and let the stain sit and sink in.

My lines are a little thicker than typical on that last photo, and that is when I decided that the flat brush I like wasn't working well. But that's ok, I can fix that later.

These pictures above show you the very small brush I used and the blending brush.

Ok, so you keep using your fine tip brush to outline. If your lines get too thick, you can take a blending brush and blend the edges - you will want to do this rather quickly so that you don't end up with a solid line. While you are doing this, you are going to have to be aware of which segments are darker than others. You will have to keep looking back at your photo to determine this. It is too hard to just figure this out on your own, especially at this point because it is too difficult to see what is what on the tile.

The above photo shows the blending starting.

When you need to fill in the darker parts, you can use a heavier/ thicker brush (shown in the forefront of the photo on the left) to lay down some stain, but work fast to blend with your blending brush. Never dip your blending brush into the stain... use it only to blend.

So, keep refeering back to your picutre, and keep blending, and eventually it will start to take shape and you will start to visualize the petals and which should be in the forefront and which should be lighter. Also, for those lines that didn't get blended enough.. you can put stain back on it to blend. Do this part just a little at a time to make sure you blend it before it dries. As you add stain to dried stain, it will soften back up so that you can blend it. Be aware that while you do this you will lose lines that you already had there, so you will have to reapply the stain to those lines.

So that is about it for the basic tutorial. But, at the very end, I add a little more depth with this little gem...

I add this to the darkest parts and blend in a little - don't blend too much with this, You want this to be the final depth of the piece.

And that is all she wrote! :)

What do you think? There is a lot of free hand involved in this. The carbon transfer just gives you the basics. I finish it off with a coat of polyurethane for protection.

Please let me know what you think, and I would love to see your own artwork!

Have fun!


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