Hahnemühle Bristol and Avery Elle


I am always looking for different ways to use color. Recently I posted about Avery Elle Liquid Watercolors. In that post I dropped the color straight onto a wet journal page in a book. For today’s post, I wanted to try Avery Elle on my craft mat and apply the color straight from there.

For this project, I took two sheets of Hahnemühle‘s 120 lb. Bristol paper and cut them down into 3″ x 4″ tiles. To begin, I used sapphire and sugar plum Avery Elle liquid watercolors. And that is my non-stick craft mat underneath. A really nifty tool in my studio. When they say non-stick they mean just that. I’ve literally colored thousands of sheets and pieces of paper on top of this craft mat. I even stick my gelli plate on top of it to pull prints. I’ve used acrylics, watercolors, inks, craft paints, ink pads, paint markers – literally any kind of ink or paint you can think of. And a simple little baby wipe cleans it all away. Yes, I do have one or two tiny little stains, but for the most part all glue, all ink, all media has wiped up and gone right into the trash can. But, back to my project. Sorry.

I sprayed some water directly onto the mat, then added some drops of the two colors. I was surprised that they didn’t mix with the water and move about a bit. Many inks will do that just like they do on paper. But not these Avery Elles. My first thought was that this was going to be a bad idea.

But I placed a tile down over the color anyway and tapped it down, trying to pick up any color I could. I really expected it to still be in the same arrangement the color drops were on the mat. Just dots of color and wet paper.

And it was – sort of. When I tapped the tile down into the wet area it apparently smooshed the color out to the sides – which is not the usual happening either. And it left a bunch of color still on the mat.

So I turned my paper around and placed the other long side into the color – which I liked a whole lot more.

I wondered what would happen if I placed one drop of the sugar plum onto the super wet tile. Not a whole lot. Hahahaha! I still expected the color to start blending with the blue but it mostly didn’t. It basically pushed the blue out of the way.

I had a lot of blue puddle at each side of the tile, so here you see me trying to decide what to do next.

But of course. Hold the tile at an angle and let that pretty blue from the top run down the paper a little.

But the tile was screaming for more sugar plum. So I squeezed a line of purple across the middle and again angled the tile for run down color. Just look at that purple go. Not blending so much as it’s pushing.

Until it meets the blue at the bottom and stops. So . . .

. . . I flipped the tile over and let the purple run in the opposite direction.

But this time instead of just the purple moving, the blue also started to move and run down. Interesting how that one section in the middle remained untouched. Remember, all I did was one good spray of water on the craft mat to start with, then those 5 drops of color initially, then one drop of purple and that purple line. No more water was added, so this is mostly straight color.

Moving right along. Spray water – to that I added drops of lemon grass and aquamarine. Love both these colors! So pretty! I put one tile down into the color and had soooooo much color attach to the paper that I placed another paper face to face to this one and pulled them apart.

Yeah, I totally don’t know where that yellow came from. Hahaha! And there isn’t a trace of the aquamarine to be found. And I don’t know which of these papers was the original one, but you can see the two of them in this shot. Neither has aquamarine showing.

I had this much lemon grass – uh, lemon grass, that could be why there is yellow??? – this much left over, so I added a bit of cherry to it. Then thought that was not a wise move because that would totally make mud. But . . .

. . . what I got was totally mud-less. Why don’t these colors mix? I have no idea but I am glad because I really am not a fan of mud.

Again I took a second piece of the Bristol and put it face to face with the first non-mud cherry and lemon grass tile and got this. I used my heat gun to dry my paper and push that dark cherry mess off onto the craft mat. That gave me some dark cherry and there was still some green on the mat, into which I placed another piece of Bristol. Just no photo at that point. Sorry.

I made a few other tiles with another process which I will show you tomorrow. As I made the tiles, I laid them on my nifty drying system. You may have noticed as I was using the 120 lb. Bristol paper that there was curling a little with all the wet. That is a normal thing for this weight of paper. What is not normal for this weight of paper is for it to dry flat. And these did. Once they were completely dry I did not need to place anything on top of them to flatten them out. They did that all on their own. Awesome Bristol paper from Hahnemühle! Let me show you how these look once dry and make a couple observations.

That first tile that had the beautiful sapphire and sugar plum colors – really lightened up as it dried. Those rich colors I originally had did not survive. Except that little hopeful band across the very bottom.

As the two lemon grass and aquamarine tiles dried, a hint of blue appeared in both tiles. And that lemon grass really separated out into some pretty yellow and green colors. The second tile was dried with my heat tool – that is why there is a hint of a heat ring in the middle.

The cherry and lemon grass leftover piece darkened and brightened once dry. Strange how this tile is almost sectioned off straight down the middle into a color blocking formation. Not intended at all.

And last is the dark cherry and green leftover color piece which faded into this. I love it! I think these two colors look super together!

Overall the Avery Elles did not work as I expected them to using my craft mat lift technique. I did like how they turned out – they just didn’t do what I thought they would. I find it strange that the lemon grass separated into two colors and mostly obliterated the aquamarine. The one color that held up and performed the best was cherry. And honestly I dislike red so much I am surprised I am making that observation. Hahahaha! How did the Hahnemühle Bristol work out? Awesomely! I cut the papers down into smaller pieces in case the technique didn’t work and I wouldn’t waste so much paper. But because the pieces were smaller I was able to make several pieces of background color for tangling on. And I still have 7 pieces to use with other techniques. The Bristol comes in a pad measuring almost 9″ x 12″ and has 20 sheets. I used 2 sheets of paper and got 16 total tiles to play with. Can’t wait to try some other ideas I have! I will definitely be using this Bristol till it’s gone! The Avery Elle Liquid Watercolors have yet to work like I thought they should, but I am still liking the results I’m getting. So I will continue to experiment and let you know how it goes. Let me leave you with a few links, then I’m going to go tangle some flowers on one these tiles! Yay!!!!

Avery Elle Liquid Watercolors
To purchase Hahnemühle Bristol
Ranger Craft Mat

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6 thoughts on “Hahnemühle Bristol and Avery Elle

    • that’s because I don’t show you the really bad ones. hahahaha! no, I don’t usually have many that I don’t show you. you get to see most of it. I mean – who can go wrong with teal, purple and pink most of the time?

  1. Hmmm – don’t think those Avery Elles would have house room with me, how utterly peculiar. Just goes to show that you really have to know how your products (read tools) behave. Thanks for all your photos – I don’t know how you manage that as well as creating but it really gives the viewer a good picture (!! that was too good a pun to delete!!) of what is going on

    • hahaha! good! thats what I want – I want you to be able to ‘see’ and understand what I’m doing. so we all get to benefit from my meanderings. <3

  2. Reading your blog is like watching a live video! I love how you explain each step, including your surprise and consternation at the results!
    Funny, talking about your craft mat, I had so much glue built up on mine, I had to do a quick clean up yesterday! A squirt of hand sanitizer spread around with a soft putty knife, wiped up with a paper towel and it is good as new!

    • that’s a good tip! that glue mess is the hardest to get up and I have a bottle of glow-in-the-dark hand sanitizer sitting here that I bought for some long forgotten project. hahahaha! I am so glad you are enjoying the posts <3

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