Monday, April 28, 2014

A few more quick cards.

I didn't realize it had almost been a month since I blogged. I have joined an art group this year and was told we had to have 4 paintings done by June. It now seems that date has been postponed a bit so I now have more time for the fun things. I have made a few more cards for the 52 card challenge.  I love making little pieces of art like these.  I find it very creative to make art for myself and not for potential future buyers.

Unfortunately I don't have progress shots for these ones but I can do tutorials if you want to know how to do a particular technique. Let me know in the comments section.

Week 11 - Vintage. This card is an acrylic painted background. I just put a couple of different paints on randomly with a brush and mixed them together a bit. I used an image from a free image site. The writing was done with a white uniball Sigma pen. It works on almost any surface as long as it is dry.  

Week 12 - seed.  I used strips of masking tape layered over the background card. I then dry brushed brown and green paint on so you can still see the texture of the tape.  The seed packets are stickers from my stash.

Week 13 - clue.  This is the queen of hearts card from my deck.  I kept her face and lightly painted over it so I could still see the lines then re-drew them. I painted a new hairstyle and outfit, then covered up the background.  It looked a little plain so I used a stencil to add a bit of colour to the background.

Week 14 - note.  The quote on the back reads "I once bought my kids a set of batteries for Christmas with a note on them saying toys not included." I thought it was funny so I used a photo of a pack of batteries to make this simple card.  The background is embossed cardstock with a little ink to add shading. 

Week 15 - concept.  The quote on the back reads "Space is an inspirational concept that allows you to dream big."  I used a card that had been covered with gesso. I painted the card with dark blue acrylic paint that had some gel mixed in to make it a little transparent. While it was still wet I dropped on some light coloured paint in the top left corner. I quickly covered the card with plastic wrap and then smooshed the lighter colour into the dark colour. It makes it look cloudy. I should have let it dry but I was impatient and took the plastic off too soon. It lifted the entire background off in some areas so I had to do the whole thing again. This time I left it to dry completely.  The background was now textured so I used very watery paint for the planet to highlight the texture that was already there. I splattered on watery paint for the stars and used a paper towel to blot them off. That leaves the faint marks that looks like distant stars.  I then splattered again for brighter stars and let them dry. The card was done.

Week 16 - pen.  I used a black tissue covered card for the front image. I used the white Sigma pen to sketch and doodle the image.  The back of the card was lightly painted with acrylics and the word doodled on top with the white pen.

Wednesday, April 2, 2014

Printing workshop

Today I am sharing some of the prints I did when I took an online class at the start of the year about gelatin printing. The class was a lot of fun and run by Linda Germain ( It was called Making monotypes. This is not the typical gelatin plate printing that you see in the mixed media world. We did make gelatin plates to print on but the art making was very different. We were making finished images, not backgrounds.

I have not done any printing before so it was a big learning curve for me. I absolutely loved the class and will use what I learned in the future. I found it easy to follow and learn from the teacher. There were loads of videos, mostly short so I didn't have to spend a lot of time watching them. I did get better results as the course went on and as I got more used to the way the inks worked.  It is a skill that takes practice to master but I feel like I learned enough to keep experimenting and learning as time goes on.

We used plants and other objects to make our first prints. I thought it was fun looking around for things that would make good prints.

Another technique we learned was making our own images. I did make mistakes along the way but it helps me to never do that again. Can you see the bottom print where one layer was printed upside down, lol?

 We learned how to make prints more interesting with extra layers.

More experiments with nature printing.

A series of prints I made at the half way point of the class.  I was experimenting a lot with colours and layers throughout the class. It helps me find the colours that I liked the most.

One part of the course I really liked was drawing our own images to print. I loved doing birds. 

 We learned how to make a print with a border. It is more difficult than I thought and quite hard to keep the border clean.  It is a skill that gets easier with practice. 

 We experimented with printing on different types of paper. I liked printing on textured paper a lot. This was a lithograph paper and it took the inks really well. We also printed onto book paper.

Using multiple colours and images to make a complete picture was one of the main skills we learned.

 I seem to be making a lot of pictures with birds in them lately. The birds that live in our street are a major source of inspiration to me.

I don't only use birds though. All of these prints are beginner prints but I can see the potential of this art form. I had so many ideas as the class went on. I will be practicing a lot.

I will recommend this online class to you if these types of monoprints appeals to you. I found the attention given by Linda was more personal and more often than any other class I have done. She was always there to help and made many extra videos addressing problems that came up as we did the course.  Linda did limit the number of people that could sign up for the class at one time so she could respond to everyone as needed. I think that was a great idea.

This was my final online class for a while. I have decided that I need to do more of my own art this year, as well as more of the other projects that I have been putting off for a while. I will still be sharing the creative things I do here, it is something I love to do.