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.


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