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Fast, Easy Artist Postcard

November 4, 2016 Leave a comment

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I’ve had almost no time for art with learning computer programming, so making an artist postcard (APC) was a good quick project. For this postcard, I cut Thai mulberry bark paper to a postcard size then did the drawing with a Japanese brush pen and colored pencils. I used an ordinary glue stick to paste the art onto chipboard (a recycled cereal box) so it was sturdy. A computer print out postcard back was glued to the opposite side. I pre-cut a few pieces of paper to postcard size to carry around so if I get a little time, I can make more art for postcard fronts.

Categories: Artist Tips, Uncategorized

Artist Tip: Watercolor pencil drawing for a watercolor painting

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If you want the lines of your under drawing to disappear when you make a watercolor painting, draw with a watercolor pencil in a lighter hue that will blend in with the final painting. These orchids were bright orange, yellow and red, so I used a yellow ochre pencil for the drawing. Watercolor purists never erase their graphite pencil lines and leave the drawing as a part of the final work, or they work totally with paints and brushes with no pencil drawing at all. This watercolor pencil drawing trick gives you a solution somewhere between the two traditional methods where the under drawing vanishes and you will not have to rub an eraser over your painting.

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How to mount rice paper on a heavier paper

May 15, 2016 2 comments

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This short five minute video shows you how to mount an ink brush painting on rice paper onto an artist trading card using an iron and light weight fusible web material from the fabric store.

How to Mail Trading Cards

March 27, 2016 3 comments

This post teaches how to mail and prevent damage for traded sports cards and stickers, artist trading cards and mail art. There are a few basic steps you can take to armor the content of your envelope from dents, tears and water damage. Sorting and cancellation machines, hand delivery and the weather are all factors when you send your trade out into the postal system.

I am using this pile of traded hockey sports stickers as an example. They weigh 1.8 ounces (52 grams) and are all the same size.

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Read more…

Melted Rainbow

February 6, 2016 2 comments

melted Prang watercolors

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My Prang glitter watercolors melted! I never get extreme heat in my apartment; I think this is the work of gravity. I had them stored with the box flipped in its side.

The colors are very transparent so I wonder if they contain glycerin or something else besides glitter, pigment and gum Arabic. Or maybe there is a dye-based colorant in the pans instead of solid pigments.

If you have a set of these paints, best to store them flat and facing up. Now I’m not sure what to do: use the colors, discard the box or frame it.

Categories: Artist Tips, Uncategorized

How to Use Landscape Composition Formulas

July 30, 2015 1 comment

The Artist’s Magazine January/February issue 2015 had an article on landscape composition, but it was these thumbnail sketches that illustrate the concepts which I found to be the most helpful. Reading through a lot of descriptive language is a lot slower for me to do than just seeing an illustration of the concepts. Landscape painting is not really my thing but I have attempted a few canvases. I learned from the article that landscapes can be composites made of elements pulled together rather than a recording of what one may see if they were standing at a particular place in person.

The 14th sketch is really just a viewfinder made of four strings attached to the opening of a mat. It is more of a composition tool than than a composition formula. Maybe there was an editorial push by the magazine for the author of the article to come up with an even number of formulas.

Landscape comps 01

Landscape comps 02

Categories: Artist Tips, Painting

Colored pencils with baby oil, a new example

March 17, 2015 2 comments
ATC Letter Carrier by Shellie Lewis

ATC Letter Carrier by Shellie Lewis

Today, I went to the Art Institute museum and did some caffeinated café sketching. (MMM hazelnut coffee. I rarely drink coffee and it seems really strong!) I decided the revisit the baby oil blending technique for colored pencils with a less cartoony piece of art. The blending works really nice with skin tones. I learned if only a spare amount of baby oil (mineral oil) is used, added colored pencil layers or lines laid over the blended layer do not blur or bleed. I used the same cold press type 130# heavy weight paper and this is an artist trading card size artwork (2.5 x 3.5 inches) the same as the prior blog post with the Manga girl cartoons.

Overall, I am still tremendously enjoying the new technique. I have had little to no problem with the baby oil bleeding through the paper since I used a heavy paper and a very tiny amount of the baby oil. Using cotton swabs and a small, round paintbrush to blend the colors is continuing to work well. I added a new step for control and blot the cotton swab on a paper towel to lower the amount of baby oil on the tip if I feel it may be too wet. Now I’m wondering what other art mediums there are where baby oil works as a solvent…