Tuesday, 3 September 2013

Pébéo Fantasy test pieces

I thought I'd better blog about this before forgetting about it. As you can see, there's two more pieces than in the sneak peek posted here. As mentioned in that post, the paint comes with instructions just must follow to the letter in order to get the effects you want so therefore I thought this post would start with my first pieces, which all failed, and tell you what I did wrong.

The first fault I did was not paying attention to the instructions saying mix well. I just shook the bottle and stirred the knitting stick (for applying the paint) around the bottle once. That's usually enough with ordinary paint, but this isn't ordinary paint and you really, really need to stir well as the effects won't appear if the paint isn't mixed properly.

The second fault was taking the next set of instructions lightly. Flat, horizontal surface means that and not just something sort of horizontal and flat-ish. I wanted to paint the bottom of a cab. To keep it horizontal I fixed it onto the table using Tack-It (häftmassa) and moved the cab until it seemed to be horizontal. It wasn't 100 % so and therefore the paint slowly, slowly moved to one side, which ruined the possibility for the patterns to emerge.

The third fault I made was forgetting how slowly the paint dries and thus making the very first piece, the round bronze tag, on an impromptu worktable. When moving it, the charm got rolled over by a paint syringe, got knocked into the wall of the cardboard box and then, finally, was dropped on the floor. You need to work on a table or other space where you can leave the pieces untouched until they harden. And don't pick them up just because you want to look at them more closely, even if they've been drying for two hours. I did that with the piece below and accidentally put my thumb in the bezel, ruining the paint (which was one of my first successful pieces) and having to redo it....

same bezel with glass cab

So far you can see that I've tried adding paint both directly to a cab and to a bezel covered by a cab. You really should do the latter and I'll explain why. First look what happens when I flip the big glass cab from the photo at the beginning of this post:

Whatever pattern there is on the surface won't be on the bottom. When painting the back of transparent glass cabs, it's the bottom of the paint you will see once the cab is being used. It's at least a small comfort that the Fantasy paints have a mica shimmer that makes them nice to look at even when you fail to get the effects desired. These two cabs are still useful even if they're so far from what I wanted to make.

One last fail, which I don't really see as a fail is what Cookson Gold in their tutorial call an amalgamated effect: if you wait too long (like, a minute or two) to add a second or third colour, the new colour will be engulfed by the first one and the result will either be a marbled look (bracelet) or just one colour on top of the other (copper connector). If filling multiple bezels it's better to add all colours to one bezel before moving over to the next. Pébéo doesn't tell you that on the package so be sure to remember this!

But enough with failures -- I've had some very successful results too! And for every failed piece (almost) I've learned something.

These two glass pebbles -- that I made before realising cab painting was a dead end -- might not look very special, but I'm including them as they were my first two successful attempts at using Prisme. You can see the front of the eggshell white and purple cab above.

For most of my tests I've been using 2x2 cm glass mosaic. They're a good, handy size and will hopefully be very useful and versatile when it comes to actually doing something with them. In the samples above I've used two colours in each (except in the apricot tile in the middle of the top row), mixing Prisme with Prisme, Prisme with Moon or Moon with Moon. The only real flop was the red one in the upper right corner: the lighter red in the centre is Prisme, which should've turned bubbly as in the rest of the samples.

I've also filled both tags (need to be careful moving those) and bezels. Here are two examples of that, both using two colours of Prisme and as you can see they've fused together on the brass round in a way they didn't do in the bezel (part of a bangle).

My final samples are both made using Vintaj brass tags. In the first one I mixed three colours of Prisme. Nothing fancy, really. In the second piece I wanted to see what happened when you have a relief. As you need a horizontal, flat surface would the paint migrate from the relief (in this case decoupaged thin cardboard leaves)? Except for the edges, the paint did cover the embellishment well, though I'm not sure it was a good idea to paint on a sealed pendant considering the Fantasy paints are solvent based. Not sure if that explains the lack of pattern in the Moon paint or not.

Now, when I say that the paint is dynamic and moves, it doesn't just mean that it'll flow on a surface that isn't horizontal. It means that the paint changes, morphs during the time it takes for it to harden. The patterns develop up until the paint is dry, meaning the results are unpredicatable. A fun surprise. Below is a photo I took of the pendant above just two hours or so after applying the paint (never occurred to me to snap one right after dripping the paints on the charm). Notice the differences, both in pattern and the proportion between the colours. (The harsh shimmer, however, is due to the artificial light and camera flash as this photo is taken indoors at night.)

It's not a paint for control freaks -- but for everyone who loves unpredictable results and find morphing paints exciting, it's heaven!


  1. Thanks for the useful tips. Sounds like the perfect paint for me. I already knew it from the names, Moon and Prisme. Anna

  2. These are beautiful!! I wonder if I can get this paint in Japan??!!

  3. These are so beautiful. They seem nature made!! I wonder if I can get this paint in Japan.

    1. Thank you! I looks like you can. Check out the Pebeo "Where to buy" page here: http://en.pebeo.com/Pebeo/Where-can-you-buy-our-products/%28etat%29//%28pays%29/JAPAN/%28zone%29//%28ville_recherche%29

  4. So intrigued by these paints! Thank you for the useful tips!

  5. thank you for sharing your experimentation. i have been amassing my collection of Pebeo mixed-media paints and found your blog while searching for techniques. so far, yours has been the most useful. i love playing and making mistakes, it's the only way to really learn.


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