Artist's Trading Cards

passmeknottAnother area where mixed media art is really fun is on Artist’s Trading Cards.  This started as a way for forum members, like all the folks over at wetcanvas or scribbletalk, to work up a little memento for each other.  You would make a couple dozen of these and share them with others.  Eventually, you would have an entire collection, some of which may actually be famous artists.

atcprepI have been making some of these recently and I thought I would share them with you.  On Twitter the other day, my friend and fellow golf enthusiast, Hack, asked me about doing a little piece for him as a new avatar or just to spruce up his site.  We never really discussed it much more than that, he mentioned he was interested and I made note of it.  Later, however, I had an idea of what I would paint for my golf enthusiast buddy.

10ofdiamondsI don’t know if there is an accepted size for these things, but I like to use standard playing cards.  They are 2.5″ x 3.5″, just right for a shirt pocket, a key chain, a door hanger, or for display in a matte frame or baseball card case.  I just shuffle ’em up and pick one to start.

underdrawingAfter two coats of gesso, I used mod podge to glue a piece of junk mail to the front of the card.  This was mostly just to conceal the ten of diamonds.  I layed out my underdrawing with a gray watercolor pencil and began mixing my paints.

spraystuffAfter painting the greens green with acrylic poster paint, I used my spray bottles to add depth and texture.  A yellow mist in the front and blue in the back gave the grass some depth with atmospheric perspective.  It also added in the hues for the reflected sunlight and sky line.  An extremely light mist of black from the bottom and then dry brushed side to side put shadows into the grass.

girl2snackingAfter painting in the trees, golf ball, putter etc., I sprayed it down with a few coats of acrylic sealer.  I love the matte finish it creates and keeps the acrylics from being sticky.  Girl2 ate her lunch outside with me as we enjoyed working in the afternoon sun.

backsidemessThen I coated the back and adhered my contact information.  Like many others, I print my own business cards.  Here, I cut them up, glue them down and add layers of paint to give a “finished” look to them.  I have decided to use spray glitter every time I do this.  I just love it. LOVE LOVE LOVE IT!  And then I sealed it with clear acrylic sealer.

killingtimeI usually spend entirely too much time on these things.  They are just supposed to be quick little projects but they end up taking a few hours to complete with the different layers and effects I try to use.  Girl2 plays with my camera while I kill time playing guitar.  We sang Puff the Magic Dragon while waiting on a layer to dry.  Most of the time, I use a hair dryer to speed this process up, but sometimes you have to let it dry naturally to get the desired effect.  The thing to remember is that it is the PROCESS that we are enjoying so if it takes a little while longer, that’s fine.

Ultimately, I ended up with a pretty nice looking card to give to my friend.  Here is the final card, front and back, along with a card I did for my mom’s embroidery shop, Pass Me Knot Embroidery, and a Calabaza for my pumpkin because she wanted one too.


Art Journal Play and Bad Photography

finalwithglitterIt started when I sold my desktop computer and bought a laptop.  The laptop had windows Vista.  My scanner is not supported by Vista.  HP doesn’t have new drivers for Vista for my scanner.  I no longer have a desktop to use the scanner with.  THEN, we have misplaced the wife’s camera.  Now, the ONLY thing I can find to upload images with is my wonderful phone.  Don’t get me wrong, I love my phone.  I upload photos here all the time that I took with my phone.  As a matter of fact, I haven’t used the scanner or the wife’s camera in months.  That’s how it got lost.  Anyway, the problem here is that I really want you to see the detail in this journal entry.  Inspired by Leslie Herger’s Comfortable Shoes blog where she plays with her new spray bottles full of ink and creates a fall scene.  After last week’s fun with the spray bottles, I wanted to try a masking piece too.  So here is this week’s entry, Fallen.

Photo0078After I coated the page in gesso and let it dry, I went to the recycling bin and grabbed some junk mail to make masks with.  I started with just some longish pieces laid across the pages.  Then I sprayed the pages with yellow acrylic poster paint and water.  I mixed this last week by adding a tsp. of paint to a 1.5 oz. spray bottle from Wal*Mart, and filled with tap water.

Photo0079You can see that without some type of adhesive, the masks curl up when sprayed.  I left some of them this way and others I pressed down with rubber cement.  Then I added cutout shapes of leaves and began using various other colors.  After the yellow, I used a light coat of red to give off an orange.  Then I came back with a darker layer of red.

Photo0080I finished off the spraying outside with some brown, blue and green.  This is probably my favorite part because one of the first mediums I experimented with was spray paint.  I never “tagged” a train or a water tower, or even a bridge for that matter.  But I did quite a few “Starry Night” scenes on wood planks and some friend’s barns.  My mother has one that I did on canvas of a cat and full moon done completely with spray paint.  Maybe I can get a post of that sometime.  But I digress.  I love the spray paint effect!

Photo0084While the paint was drying I found a potato that was a bit overripe in the pantry.  I drew out a couple of quasi-leaf shapes and tried to trace them onto the cut potato.  There HAS to be a better way to do that.  I believe that if I ever do that again, I will just find a marker capable of drawing on potato.  The paper just shredded.

Photo0085I managed to cut the shapes into the potato and spread a little poster paint on the wax paper I was using to keep the over spray off the rest of the book.  Then I used the potato stamps all along the top of the journal in yellow, red, orange, and green.  My beautiful young bride gave me some of her pthalo green to play with.

Photo0086I love this shade of green!  I mixed some water into it and spread drops all over the pages that I blew around with a straw to make it crawl across the page.  The One Minute Muse gives an outstanding demo of this technique.  I even stood the pages upside down and drizzled pthalo along the “bottom” of the journal to let it run up into the pages.

Photo0087This is when I discovered that I had done the whole thing upside down in my journal.  LOL!  If I want upside down pages in my journal, then so be it!  I used my nifty little sharpie pen to draw in some detail on the trees and the leaves, and sprayed the edges with some black paint.  I was finished.  I couldn’t think of anything else I had that I wanted to do with this.  I wasn’t all that excited about it, but it wasn’t bad.  Later that night, back at Wal*Mart, I found SPRAY GLITTER!  I LOVE LOVE LOVE the effect that has on this.  And I can’t find a camera to do it justice!  I think that when I do, I will take really good pix of this and some previous works, including the cat that my mother has and post them here in a gallery all their own.

Rainy Daze

03OCT2009messWow!  What a busy weekend I’ve had.  We got up early Saturday morning to go to Girl2’s soccer game.  Then we spent the day at Rose State College for Global Oklahoma.  We came home just in time to watch a close, but disheartening OU football game.  We got our art on in our journals.  My li’l pumpkin made a really cool background that looks sort of marble.  She was just scribbling in watercolors, but we’re going to figure out how to do it on purpose.  Then, after the girls got back from (or would have been back from, if they’d gone) church, Girl2 and I spent some time trying to figure out how to make spray foam pumpkins to carve!

I’ll try to post about all of that throughout the week.  For today, I’m just going to post this week’s art journal entry, “Rainy Daze.”

03OCT2009backgroundFirst, I gessoed the pages to give them a nice thick texture.  Then I broke out some new toys!  I bought some *La Cheapay spray bottles at Wal*Mart.  I put in about a tsp of acrylic poster paint and filled them the rest of the way with tap water.  I mixed up yellow and blue to give a background effect similar to that of a “rainshine” day.  At this point, I got excited about the effect and ease of the spray bottles that I forgot to take pictures of the next few steps.  I painted large circles of gesso in the upper left and lower right corners and used a dry brush technique to try and blend the edges with the background.  Then I used white acrylic poster paint to make a smaller circle inside and used the same technique so that it would spotlight the pages.

spraybottlesThen I began using watercolor crayons to draw my window with the cups to catch rain water, and the 100 year old wallpaper that surrounds it.  I painted a leafy bush from outside and a closeup of one of the leaves.  I have no idea what kind of plant it is, but it’s a lot like trumpet creeper in that if you don’t trim it back, it will take over your entire house.  Once I had those painted, I decided to mix up a black spray bottle to darken the borders of the page.  I LOVE this effect.

junkmailI keep those little cards I get in the mail advertising specials, inviting me to political meetings, advising me to pay my water bill, and I use them to mix paints.  After I have one used up, I throw it into the recycling bin.  I really like to use those little paper party plates.  After someone has used one to carry around her snacks and left it on my table, I can simply wipe it down and reuse it for paint mixing.  As it is, we haven’t entertained in a VERY long time so I don’t have any.

waterdropI mixed up some various blues all from the acrylic poster paint set.  Then I painted a water droplet.  I am EXTREMELY proud of my water droplet.  I have never before attempted to paint one with acrylic paints and I am very pleased with the results!

Once I had that done, I added my text entry and *wallah!

It won't stop raining! My 100 year old house is not standing up well to the rain. The plants are quite happy: Plenty of rain, plenty of sun, & I can't MOW!

It won't stop raining! My 100 year old house is not standing up well to the rain. The plants are quite happy: Plenty of rain, plenty of sun, & I can't MOW!

*Because I like to make fun of France.