Saturday, March 3, 2018

Sneak-peek: Homemade envelopes for Happy Mail!

Oh, my... it's been so long!!  Well, I've been getting my art in by doing Happy Mail!  The last two batches I did, I made my own envelopes, including the one shown here.  So, this is just a little sneak-peek of what's coming!  I'll do a post, hopefully later today, sharing how I created the flaps (made separately) and how I put the envelopes together.  SO much fun!  

Monday, February 6, 2017

Feb 6th: How Do You Beat the Winter Blues?

Greetings!!  Here is Feb. 6th's Prompt/Challenge.  The prompt is, "How do you beat the winter blues?" and the Challenge is to use watercolors.  It can be watercolor pencils, Neo-Colors, Twinkling H20's, etc... or just straight-out-of-the-tube watercolors.  Your choice, but just use some in there, somewhere.  I used Caran d'Ache's Neo-Colors.  I put them down dry, then added water with a regular paintbrush and worked them around.  I just wanted light colors in the background... almost like a wash.

After that dried, I penciled in scallops around the outer edge.  I decided that I wanted a "window" to write stuff in, so I added scallops to create that.

Then, I used Tombow markers to fill in the scallops.  I used #'s 373 and 685.  I outlined them with the black Pitt pen, "S".  (On Pitt pens, "S" stands for super-fine.)

Using my black Pitt pen, I filled in the window, first, with all the things that help me to beat the winter blues.  (Suddenly, I'm really tired of the rain!!)  Then, I used a Tombow, #133, to put the brackets around each item.  Added the little dots, to separate each item.... and went around those and added the straight lines with the Pitt pen.  Then, with my mechanical pencil, I penciled in the block letters up at the top.  Wasn't sure if I wanted to use markers, regular watercolors or acrylics in them, but decided on acrylics.  Martha Stewart's "Pollen" yellow... a beautiful, soft yellow.  (When I see it on the Joann's site, it looks much darker and more orange!)  After all the lettering was filled in with paint, I outlined it with the Pitt pen, putting an extra-wide line on the left side of all the edges of the yellow.  Does that make sense?  So, like in the center of the "O", I thickened the line on the right side of the center, but the left side of the right-yellow part of the "O".  Anywhere there is a vertical part of the yellow, it gets thickened on its left side.  Sheesh... I don't know why that's so difficult to explain!  Please leave me a comment and ask about it, if you're confused!!  :)  I then took my white Sharpie Paint-pen with the extra-fine point and added all the markings in the scallops.  I decided to add little groupings of three dots all over the watercolor background that's outside the "window".  I thought the inside of the window was busy enough.  :)

Next week is St. Valentine's Day, folks!  (Hint-hint!)  You don't need a partner in order to have love; you only need a heart.  :)

Remember, these prompts/challenges are for the Inspired Mixed-Media, Altered-Arts Group on Facebook... please come join us there... and share your work with us!!  :)

Have a wonderful week!

  ~ Teri

Monday, January 30, 2017

January 30th: Groundhog Day! What does "Shadow" mean to you?

January 30:  Groundhog Day is coming, so this week's prompt/challenge is about Shadows.  Whatever that means to you. I focused on our "shadow side"; the dark within us that, if given any chance, will raise its ugly head up.  :(

I started with three colors and instead of spreading them around, I dabbed them around.  (I'm going to call it a "paper-towel", but what I really used was my dried-up "lens wipe" for my glasses.  :) )


So, I dabbed the paint around until it looked like this.  No spreading.... only quick, up and down movements with the paper-towel.

I'm going to keep this one more simple, overall.  Next, I used the Dylusions Vibrant Turquoise paint and that sweet TCW stencil, by Rebekah Meier and added a bit to one corner.  Be sure to use a make-up sponge or paper-towel and dab the excess off, first, before putting paint over your stencil.  If you have too much paint on whatever you're using, it'll end up seeping underneath and just look messy.  Also, dab with one hand and hold the stencil down firmly with the other!  You don't want your stencil moving around on you.

Then, I started sketching.  I used a brown Prismacolor colored pencil, so it'd be darker and could move more easily over the acrylic paints than a regular pencil would.  I wanted to make my person look androgynous - neither male nor female - and very angry, because we all have the ability to let our Shadow side take over!!  I think it ended up looking more female, though.  :(   I painted in the shadow, first, with some Dark Violet (Golden's permanent) and Ceramcoat's Burnt Umber.  I'd never painted a shadow like this before, so that was interesting!  ;)  

Then, I started using acrylics to paint him/her.  (I used Americana "Tangerine", the Golden Dark Violet, and Dylusions Vibrant Turquoise for the clothing/shoes)  Wanted the hair to look wild and crazy.  After that, I decided that all the negative thoughts of our Shadow-side should be down below.... "love" is at the top.  So, I wrote in all the negative aspects that I could think of, with a black Pitt pen, "S"   I outlined with the Pitt pen, adding lines for creases, etc...  I used Folk Art's "Brilliant Blue" for the eyes and Americana's "Tomato Red" for the lips.  Used my finger to brush on a tiny bit of the Tomato Red, to make him/her look more angry.  Then, I used a Sakura Pigma Sensei with a .06 point to add the main text.  (I can only find them in sets, online, but I'm pretty sure I bought mine individually, either at Staples or Craft Warehouse.)  I added the "love" with my White water-based Sharpie Paint-Pen, extra-fine point.  Waited for it to dry, then outlined it with a Tombow Magenta (#685), with the finer-pointed end.  Added some outlines (but not entirely) on the main text with the Tombow Magenta.  Went over the "all", to emphasize it, with the Paint-Pen. Lost some of the black, so filled that in with the Pigma Sensei again.  And, here it is, finished!  Remember, click on photos to make them larger!  AND, all bloggers love to get comments, so, please, leave me a comment!!  (Just click on the comment button - it's easy!)

Have a wonderful week!  Happy Creating!!

             ~  Teri

Friday, January 27, 2017

January 16th: A prompt and a challenge

Happy New Year!  It's been far too long since I've been here.  😏 I'm hoping to change my ways... to do more art and to share it here. I run the Inspired Mixed-Media Altered-Arts Group on Facebook and decided it was time to do some challenges, once again.  So, I'm putting them out there on Mondays.  The first one should've been Jan. 16th, but I was a couple of days late, so we skipped the 23rd. Next one will go out Jan. 30th.  If you're interested in this kind of art, you're certainly welcome to join us over there!  (Do a search for the aforementioned group name on FB and you'll find us!)  So, since it's a new year and I always feel like the new year gives me a clean slate, the prompt is, "What will I do with a clean slate?" and the challenge is using security envelopes (that have cool designs on the inside) as part of your foundation.  So, here we go!  You can click on any of the following pictures and it'll take you to the original-sized photo, to get a better look.

I'm using Dyan Reaveley's Dylusions Art Journal in the 5 x 8" size.  The first picture shows you what it looks like when you open it... it even has an envelope for storing images, etc.... has a wonderful thick-chipboard cover (ready for your beautiful artwork!) and an elastic band, to hold it together.  

                                                The next picture shows how big the pages are.  My hands aren't very big, but since this type of art is generally done across both pages, it gives you plenty of room to work. 

I used the Liquitex Super Heavy Gesso for this.  The heavier the gesso, the more texture you can get out of it.  If you look closely at the above photo, you can see some of the texture that I created by dabbing my foam brush onto the page, in quick movements. After letting it dry (one of the most difficult things to do (!!) but, you can hit it with a heat-gun if you don't want to wait), I put some dabs of three colors of paint all around on the pages.  Oh!  But, first... put either waxed paper or deli-paper behind the pages that you're working on so you don't make a mess of your other pages!  Trust me, the paint can get everywhere!  :)

Then, with a credit-card (or something similar), I use the edge and start spreading the paint around.  Yes, one color goes into the other.. that's what you want.... but, don't keep going over and over certain spots, or you'll end up with mud.  Not good, unless that's the look you're going for.  :)

I lost a lot of the Patina green and the Vivid Violet, so added a bit more in.  Ended up being too green, so I used a wet-wipe to try to take a bit of paint off.  It wouldn't lift off very well, so I went ahead and added my security envelope pieces.  One of the things to remember with this kind of art - your backgrounds are only backgrounds!  They are not a masterpiece unto themselves.  So, don't worry too much about them.  The trick with mixed-media is layers, layers, layers!!  So, the background is most likely going to be augmented by other things.  Don't get too hung up on the backgrounds.

Unless you're putting your foundation papers right up against the edge of the page, don't lay down papers with straight-cut edges. Tear your papers!  It will give it a more organic, natural feel/look.  I tore up the security envelope in random ways.  I took three pieces and adhered them to my page with Mod-Podge.  Play around with where you'd like them to be before gluing them down.

Now, it's time to add some paint, to cover those up a bit.  You want to almost cover them, but not completely.  (The other way you can do this, of course, is to put these pieces down as part of your foundation, right on top of the gesso, and then add paint.) I put down dabs of Folk Art's Patina and Americana's Melonball and spread them around, once again with my trusty "credit"-card.

                                                                                                            I still didn't have much of the "pink" showing, so I decided to put some down with my finger.  When I do this, I do not put dabs of paint all over the page!  I just put a dab on my finger and apply it that way.  I'm never sure how much it's going to take, so go about it slowly, adding little touches here and there, until it seems right.

For the pink, I used Dylusions "Bubblegum Pink" - spread around with my finger.  I also added the same brand of paint, in "Vibrant Turquoise".  (Love those Dylusions paints!!)

Now, for the real fun!  I used StazOn "Jet Black" ink to apply flourishes onto three of my corners. Remember, as odd as it seems (no pun intended), there is more balance in odd numbers than there is in even numbers.  So, I only put them on three corners.  You don't want it to look all uniform, unless you're doing a piece where that would work.

 Next, I used my favorite piece of bubble-wrap (isn't it gorgeous??); dabbed some Dylusions "Fresh Lime" paint onto a small spot of it and applied that in a few areas on my piece.  Once again, in an odd amount of spots.  I then used Dyan Reaveley's wonderful scallop rubber stamp and StazOn (Jet Black again) and stamped along the side edges.  I will fill those in with paint, later, but I also want to add some painted circles to the piece and I want to use the same colors, so it's more cohesive.....I'm waiting to see what colors I end up using for the circles.  So, the picture below shows the bubble-wrap spots and the scallops on the edges.

I wanted to add a "Scribbly Bird", using Dina Wakley's cute rubber stamps.  I found some gelli-prints that I'd already done and stamped on those.  I cut out a couple of them, to see how they'd look on the piece.  

Then, I realized that the colors weren't right on either of them, so I started playing with some color.  I brushed on some Melonball, to lighten it up.  Did another one with Dylusions "Fresh Lime" and Folk Art's "Brilliant Blue".  Liked that one better and thought it'd show up better on the page.  

Here's a weird thing... as I said, I did these gelli-prints a long time ago, but as it turns out, the one I chose to add here was done on the exact same security envelope design as what I used here in my background!  How weird is that??  OK, moving right along.  

I thought the bird needed more highlighting, so added a bit of Golden's Fluid Acrylic, permanent, "Violet Dark".. it's Dark Violet, but that's what they call it.  I'm talking about teeny bits of paint at a time, with a #1 brush.  Then, I noticed that light spot on the bird's foot... draws your eye there too much... so I dabbed on some Brilliant Blue to cover it.  Ugh!  That made it too dark!  So, I used a wet-wipe and dabbed over it, to take a bit up.  It just seemed too monotone - all blue - so I dabbed on some Fresh Lime with my finger and softened it with my wet-wipe.  I then noticed that the beak needed some definition - it kind of got lost in there!  My tiniest brush was still wet so I had to use a #4.  It was really too big and the whole thing was too filled in and looked bad!  So, once again, I used my trusty wet-wipe and dabbed it on there, to removed some paint and soften it up.  I used the Brilliant Blue on that so it would tie in with the other Brilliant Blue.

Then, I started adding my circles.  Just free-hand, painted circles, using the colors I'd already used, but not blended; just straight color.  I painted the smaller circles first, then added in the larger ones that look like they're behind the smaller ones.  The bird isn't adhered to the page, yet; still deciding where it should go.  Now, to add highlights and shadows to my circles.  Shadows aren't created with black paint.  Generally speaking, you mix the color of the thing that you're shadowing (in this case Dark Violet) with its complementary color - the color opposite to it on the color wheel; in this case, Fresh Lime.  But, that didn't create a dark enough color, so I added some Burnt Umber and that worked.  For the highlights, I used the color of the circle; for instance, Melonball, and then added some white, to make it a shade or two lighter.  I decided where my shadows should be, first - and made them all the same.  So, my shadows are on the right/bottom'ish of each circle and my highlights are at the left/top'ish.  Imagine where the light is coming from.... if it's the left, then your highlights should be at the left and that would naturally create a shadow on the right.  Anyway, I put the paint down in its respective area and used a dry brush to move it around a bit.  If it dried too quickly, I used my wet-wipe to dampen it so I could move it around and maybe soften the color. 

Note:  When mixing color (two, for instance), you don't want to put both colors down together, in one spot.  You want to put them down in their own spots and then start a new spot with one of them and slowly add bits of the other color to that spot.  See how I put yellow in another spot?  Then, I'm adding the violet to that yellow, bit by bit, until I get the right color.  You might have to add more yellow in!  Don't just throw them together, right off, because you don't know how much of either one it will take to get your desired color. 

I then used a General's water-soluble black pencil around the circles.  I painted in the scallops with the (Folk Art) Brilliant Blue and Patina; Americana brand of Vivid Violet, Golden's Dark Violet and Dylusions Fresh Lime.  I adhered the bird with Mod-Podge.  Used white charcoal around the bird.  I went over the scallops with a black Pitt pen, "S", because some of that had gotten painted over, accidentally.  Added the text with a White, water-based Paint Pen, extra-fine point, Sharpie.  (I use those all the time!!)  Added all the little dots with the same pen.  Did the black text at the bottom with the Pitt pen.  I thought I was done!  Then, when I looked at it this morning, it just hit me that the bird needed a tiara!  I'd just seen one in my stuff, so cut that out, put some Color Box Pigment Brush Pad (Cat's Eye) "Merlot" on the edges and glued it down with Mod-Podge.  So, here is the finished product!  I hope you learned something and had fun doing your own!  
See you next week!  

      ~ Teri


Thursday, March 10, 2016

Oh, my gosh... how does the time go by so quickly??  Well, it does, whether you're having fun or not, so I say - have fun!!!  I've been dabbling a tiny bit with Zentangles over the last year or so.  Nothing serious, though... just doodling when I'm listening to live music at the coffee shop, mostly.  Until now.  We have friends that were eloping.. sort of.  My husband and I were the witnesses... and the woman who married them was there with her husband.  That's it.  Very private and beautiful.  I decided to try doing a Zentangle for them.  The first one I ended up ditching.... there was an area that was just too busy and I couldn't figure out how to fix it.  So, I started completely over and ended up with this!  Had it framed and I'm pretty happy with it.  The Happy Couple absolutely loved it.  What more can you ask for?

Sunday, July 5, 2015

DLP: The Beginning is Always Today

Oh, my gosh.... here it is, just after the 4th of July, and I'm realizing that I haven't posted anything on here since New Year's!  I've been busy with the Documented Life Project.  But, a couple of trips, birthdays, Father's Day, Mother's Day, etc.... have put me behind.  I'm not worried, though; I'll catch up!  I'm fully committed to this and am going to do every prompt!  I have about 22 to post on here, though, so I'm not going to explain how I did every piece.  I'll share what I used and if you have any questions, feel free to ask!  :)
The journal challenge for this week was Gesso.  I think the idea was not only to use it to prime your pages, but to also add it into your piece.  I used Gesso over a piece of punchinella (used as a stencil), over at the right.  It's the white, vertical "line" that runs parallel to the red triangle on the right edge.  After I put the background down, I added a couple of map pieces, some random swirly marks and washi-tape.  I used my latin-text rubber stamp with black Staz-On.  Oh, there's some sheet music scrapbook paper on there, too. I went over all the paper pieces with more paint....very lightly, though.  I usually use my finger to do that.  I added the flowers and the text.  I think I used a black Tombow pen for the black, but I'm not sure about that.  (I need to get better at keeping notes on my process!!)  If it's not a Tombow, it's a Pitt or a Pigma Sensei.  I love them all!  I have a feeling it's a Sensei.  For the white, I used the bullet-tipped white Sharpie paint marker.  They're great!  I use that and the ultra-fine tipped one all the time!  The reddish triangle and swirly at the bottom were likely done with a Tombow.  "The Beginning is Always Today" was the journal prompt.  Sometimes, I use the quotes, but I'm not focusing on the "journal" part of the journal.  I'm focusing on the "art" part.  I hope that makes sense.
Happy creating!
 ~    Teri

Monday, January 12, 2015

Happy New Year!!

Happy New Year!!  I hope your new year is off to a great start!  Mine is.  And, it includes art.  I've joined a (free!!) project called The Documented Life Project - 2015.  It's for Art Journaling.  It's run by four women (Lorraine BellRae Missigman, Sandi Keene and Roben-Marie Smith ) who are accomplished mixed-media artists and they've gathered some other well-known artists to take part in the project this year.  I'm so excited!  There's a monthly theme.  For January, it's "The Blank Page and How to Face It".  Then, there's an art challenge and a prompt.  But, of course, you use what you want from all of that and do it your way!  The first week's prompt was Be Your Own Goalkeeper and the art challenge was Book-Paper.  Using book-papers on your foundation makes for a quick and easy way to get rid of that big, blank page staring up at you!  Book-papers consist of, but are not limited to:  Old letters/envelopes, scrapbook papers, maps, dictionary and encyclopedia pages, other book pages, tissue-papers, security envelopes (they have some great little designs in them!), ledgers, old time-cards/sheets, library cards, etc....

So, with Mod-Podge, I put down my Book-Papers.

Then, I laid down, not too thickly, some of Golden's Gesso, (pronounced JEH-so).  

Then, I started playing around with a brush and Martha Stewart Craft Paints (high-gloss and satin, which I'm just now realizing), in the colors Surf and Granny Smith and Folk Art Acrylic Paint, in Pure Orange.    Those paints are watered-down a bit.  I squeeze out a bit of paint on some deli-paper; I dip my brush into some water, first, then pull a bit of the paint away from the rest of it and mix it around with the water.  This makes the paint more transparent when you put it down.  The idea was that you could see some of my book-paper that I laid down first, but I ended up adding enough paint that you can't really see much of the foundation.  But, that's okay.  I sprayed down some Tattered Angels Glimmer Mists, in Chili Pepper Red. Then, I added the rectangular area, on the right, with Golden paint in Titanium White.  The white paint picked up some of the red mist and made it a bit pink.  I used rubber and acrylic stamps with ColorBox's Chalk "Q", in Prussian Blue and Dark Brown.  (I linked to a different color scheme so you could see how luscious they look in their packs, but the color scheme that I used was actually Chocolates and Blueberries.)  I used a Pitt pen for the writing and the "thought bubbles".  I used Washi Tape by K&Company (they're actually calling it "Paper Tape".  (That's the vertical strip on the left, with the polka dots on it and on the "GOALS" tag, on the right.)  I used a General's charcoal pencil and blended it, on the outside of the little scalloped area on the right.  The woman, doing all the thinking, is from some Artists' Papers, from the Stampington Company.  They send you a paper pack when you subscribe to Somerset Studio, which I highly recommend if you're interested in mixed-media art.  A superb publication.  Not one you'll browse through and then toss into the recycling bin!  You'll want to look at them, over and over, and keep them forever and ever.  Oh, and on the woman's hat, I used Prismacolor pencils and Ranger's Stickles, for a little shimmer.

FYI:  I try to find links of the exact product.  If a link goes to a product that's not exactly what I wrote about, it means that I couldn't find the exact product, online.  I use links from some of my favorite, trusted, websites.

This was lots of fun!  Took me far too long, though, so one of my hopes is, besides my art getting better - is that I get faster at it!  Wish me luck!

Happy creating!
Enjoy the day!

     ~ Teri