Friday, August 28, 2015

Gelli Printing with Junk and a Big Butterfly...

Hi Friends :)

On Wednesday last I had a Gelli party with myself using some junk I had been saving around the studio. I made several 'mark making tools' and then used them on my 8" X 10" Gelli Plate to pull a bunch of cool prints :) There are two things about making Gelli prints I must point out though. One is how freakin' addicting the process is. You think you are going to just make a few...then HOURS later you have a whole stack because you just couldn't stop! The other thing is that feeling of  "OK now what do I DO with these prints" I think some of my friends answer to that would be 'hoard them because they are so cool' But in this post I show you what I did with some of mine. I made a canvas collage with a big butterfly :)

So I started out using this big box of things I had 'saved for the good' in my studio. There was toilet paper rolls, Styrofoam meat trays, netting from onion bags, lids of water bottles, shelf liner bits, corrugated cardboard, you know...JUNK. I used up all this stuff making mark making tools. The Styrofoam trays became the base of most of my tools and I used hot glue to stick some of the other things on it. I also cut strips of Styrofoam to make a sort of 'stamp' type thing. As you can see below..I had FUN and I made a ton of prints. The paper base I chose this time was newsprint from a big sketching pad. It is a nice weight for collage.

To begin my collage I started with a blank 12" X 18" canvas. I torn some of my lighter orangey/turquoise prints into strips for my back ground and attached them using matte gel medium. I like the GEL medium for attaching thicker papers. I also prefer a matte look. You could use a gloss medium if you like yours to be shiny.

Next I drew a butterfly shape on a piece of deli paper. I like to make patterns from deli paper because it is lightweight..adding no bulkiness to my collage and it is also translucent so I can use it from either side. I picked out some prints that were orangey/yellowy for my butterfly.

Then I decided I wanted my butterfly to have a black background. So I brayered over the deli paper with black gesso. Why gesso? It is very matte finish where as my black acrylic has a sheen. Then I cut out my butterfly and attached it to the canvas using liquid matte medium. I prefer the LIQUID for attaching light papers such as deli paper, tissue, or napkins.

Now to start forming the wings. I cut pieces of my varied orangey/yellowy papers and started to fill in the sections of the wings. Attaching the pieces with matte gel medium.

Then somewhere in the middle of doing the wings..I got distracted by the background. I decided I needed some branches and leaves. So I torn strips of a brownish/rust print and started attaching those. Then I cut some leaves from a darker turquoise/green print for my leaves.

Then I went back to finishing my butterfly. Filling in the wings and body and making eyes. Once I was all done and had let it dry..I came back and decided it still needed 'something'. So I punched out some flowers from a light yellow/pink prints. I attached these to my leafy clusters on my branches.

Then..I went away and watched an episode of Chopped on food network and had a fudgecicle :) When I came back...I started doing detail work with my white and black acrylic paint pens. I tried out my new Molotow white pen but don't see much difference between it and my beloved Posca pens.

Next I wanted to add more depth with some shadowed areas. This is a subtle step..but I really like to do it. I used my very water reactive Stabilo All pencil in black. Because my entire collage is sealed with matte is very easy to blend out my pencil using a Aquash water brush. Compare the top area to the bottom area to see the difference in this photo.

My final touch to this canvas was to add some diluted white acrylic paint spatters. I used my fan brush to do this..tap tap tap.

Here are some close ups of the canvas. I collage over the edges so it is ready to hang with just a thumb tack :)

I hope you enjoyed this Gelli print collage on canvas :)
<3 Shel

Saturday, August 22, 2015

More Mixed Media Tags...Getting my mojo back?

Hi Friends,

It is another hot Saturday here in Southern Arizona. You know..only 99 degrees (37 C),.. No big deal right? I think it is a good day to stay in and play in the studio. I have been avoiding my studio lately. Each morning I wake up and say....gotta do some art today. Then I find reasons not to. Dang..we artists are MOODY I tell ya! Yesterday I was reading a blog post by one of my favorites about 'finding your edges' and she said SO MUCH about what I have been thinking and feeling. Here is a link if you want to read about it :) Artfully Wild Blog. So on to the art! I am in a monthly swap in a great G+ community called Creating and Sharing Mixed Media. This month's theme is 'Monet's Garden' which I was very excited about. I don't care if it is a stereotype..I am a GIRL and I like FLOWERS! I was planning to make a serene pastel garden scene full of soft focus impressionism...but style came through and this is what I made :)

I started out with this wonderful piece of colorful paper that I received from a friend and fellow blogger. Lynn Mizera -  Scrapbook Lynn's. I think it is some sort of a heavy weight paper towel and she saturated it with brilliant colors. Love love love! I attached it to a manila tag using matte gel medium over and under. Then I trimmed the edges. Don't worry..I saved the excess to use in another project!

Next I got out some Dylusions acrylic paints and a cosmetic sponge to apply color to a flower stamp from Stampin' Up!. I stamped this across the tag, changing colors until I filled up my garden with bright flowers.

Next I connected the stems and added some highlight details using my green and white Posca paint pens. Love these pens!

My art is never complete if there isn't some splattering or I added some splatters to my background using diluted white acrylic paint and a fan brush.

Now I needed a girl to hang around in my garden and smell the flowers. I sketched a girl on some mixed media paper...but I didn't want the illustration to completely cover my colorful garden. I decided to make her dress translucent. I cut off her head and hand and then sketched her body onto some deli paper. She has a stamped flower in her hand.

Next came the coloring. Of course I used my very favorite Neocolor II water soluble crayons blended with a aquabrush and a little white acrylic paint. I just LOVE to color this way! 

Once I laid out my colored in girl...I decided my dress needed more pattern then just what was showing through the deli I used my deli paper piece to cut out another dress from some printed tissue paper instead. Music notes now cover her dress. Then I glued down my pieces using matte gel medium.

To make my figure stand out more and look more like a illustration...I used black and white Posca pens to outline and highlight my girl.

Then I decided I really wanted her to be 'in' the flowers..not just posing in front of them. I got out the stamp and Dylusions acrylic paint again and stamped flowers over her dress at the bottom. Then I added stems and highlights like before with Posca pens.

To add a little dimension and bling...I used 3D matte gel by Prima to attach some small pearls and a gem to make her a necklace. I put a few pearls on her hat too.

I thought there needed to be a quote on this tag..and I found the perfect one from a Unity stamp set. I added it across the bottom. I put in some shadows and color to make it less stark.

To finish off my tag I tied on some sari ribbon on green and pink. And of course...I can't stand not having a I mounted the whole tag on green cardstock.

I hope you enjoyed my tag project. Leave me a comment below :)
<3 Shel

Oh, and here are two more tags I made today using bits and bobs from my desk :)

Tuesday, August 18, 2015

Beach Tag for Tag It Tuesday...

Hello My Bloggy Friends :) Long time no post!
It seems that the Summer season should be a time of blissful relaxation in the sun with plenty of time to do the things you want to do. However, in real life it never seems to work out that way. The kids are home from school. There are trips to take and plans to make. The list of things that have to get finished before 'normal time' starts up again grows longer and longer. My time for art is limited and time to write blog posts even shorter. But, I knew today was the day to join in the fun for 'Tag It Tuesdays' linky party over at Cards and More by Sheri and I really wanted to play! So I made my tag just in time. Here is my process for those of you who want to follow along :) 
The theme was ocean/nautical :) I wanted to make a tag that reflected the time I spent on the Oregon beaches as a child. Wandering in the sun, feeling the salt spray on my skin, and picking up shells. Here is my tag :)

I started out looking for some scrapbook paper or stamps in my stash with a shell theme...but SHOCKING...I had nothing. So instead I did a google search for some images. If you want to use just a simple line drawing in your art,  a good idea is to search for coloring pages. I found these shells and then used Microsoft Publisher to shrink them and put multiple sets on a page. I printed them out on a old manila folder I had cut in half. I wanted the lines to be a little less stark black, so I used a brayer and some gesso over the whole image. This also serves to seal up the ink which will run with wet media.

Next I got out some beachy colored inks. Tea Stain, Turquoise and White. I spritzed and blotted until I got a look I liked. The Heidi Swapp Colorshine sprays also have a pretty shimmer to them which I liked :)

I had some left over Gelli printed deli paper on my desk that I had made for my Koala collage. I used a few torn strips to at the bottom of my tag in the sandy area. I attached it with matte medium and trimmed the edges when it was dry.

Next was some drips and splatters. I used white acrylic ink and some Pebeo Dyna acrylic paint to make drips from the side of the tag across horizontally. Then I used watered down white acrylic paint and a fan brush to spatter the tag.

Once that was dry, I mounted the tag on some confetti tag cardstock and also created a hole enforcer out of the same cardstock.

Now for my top layer. I did a google search for a inspiration photo of a girl picking up shells. Then I used that image to inspire my sketch. Next, I colored in my sketch with Neocolor II water soluble crayons blended with a waterbrush and a little white acrylic. Here is a progression of the coloring of the sketch. At the end I reinforced some of the lines with my graphite pencil.

Now I needed some shells for the beach and there happened to still be a few whole ones left on the manila stock I had printed. So I cut them out and colored them with my Neocolor II crayons. Then I attached them to the tag using foam dots for a little dimension.

The upper part of the tag looked pretty plain so it was time for some words. I picked out some washi tape that reminded me of a beach umbrella and used my archival ink to stamp 'beach days' on it. However, this cheap tape has some sort of a plastic or waxy coating and the ink beaded up. So I went over the images using my black Posca pen. I guess I could have just used my own writing in the first place! 

To finish up my tag I used some sari ribbon and a piece of fiber through the hole at the top.

I hope you enjoyed my tag project :) Go check out other 'beachy keen' tags at Cards and More by Sheri. <3 Shel