Monday, September 14, 2015

Urban Fantasy Mixed Media Tag...

Hi Friends and Fellow Paper Lovers :)

Every month I participate in a tag swap in the G+ Community called Creating and Sharing Mixed Media. I always get fantastically beautiful and creative tags from the artists there. I plan to make a display of them all for my studio in the future to inspire myself when I feel the need of a zap of artistic energy! This month the theme was 'your favorite book'. Well those of you who know me..know I am a voracious reader. I get e-books from the AP on my phone called 'oyster' and I chomp through them like there is no tomorrow. Well..I just couldn't sort through this volume of books to settle on a favorite. I thought and thought...but it was impossible! Therefore I decided to just make my tag about my most often read genre...Urban Fantasy. In this genre..the heroine is almost always female. She is usually conflicted about her ability to save the world from whatever sort of disaster is coming..but she always pulls through in the end. There is almost always a super natural element..magic or evil or vampires or werewolves..something. And there is also usually some really hot guy as the protagonist. I love these quick read books. I can remove myself from my reality and just hop into a world I know isn't real..but seems full of action and adventure. Now don't get me wrong..I do read 'heavier' books about serious issues and ideas...but I really do love a good romp with a frisky werewolf and I am not afraid to admit it! :)



To start out..I wanted to use the definition of Urban Fantasy. I decided to print it out on some deli paper to collage onto the tag. I did this by using a word processing program and my printer. I taped down the deli paper to a piece of cardstock and then ran that through my printer. Then I dried the ink thoroughly and used my brayer to put some liquid matte medium over the print to make sure it doesn't run. If I had a laser printer I wouldn't have to do this...but mine is just an old ink jet type.


Next I got out one of the tags I have made out of old manila folders. I did a sketch of my heroine on the tag using a graphite pencil. I put a full moon behind her and a distant cityscape.


Now I added some color using acrylic paints and a small brush. I did it quickly and rather messy as I knew I would be going over it again with other layers. 


Once I gave my acrylic paint layer a good drying...I added my definition collage piece over it. I used a old gift card to apply the liquid matte medium to both the back of the words and the front of the tag. Then I used the card to press out creases and bubbles and make it as smooth as possible.


I again gave the tag a drying with my heat tool. Then I added gelatos in black, metallic purple and silver. I used a baby wipe to blend as well as my fingers.


Now for my new toys! I used the Pitt Artist Pens from Faber Castell to add details. Because I put a layer of liquid matte medium over the whole tag..these pens are super easy to blend with a small brush or your finger. Then, because they are india ink..they dry permanent. I am in love with these new pens at the moment!!! <3<3<3 I also used my gold and silver water based Sharpie pens to add some metallic highlights.


Now for the skin tones. I used my all time favorite Neocolor II water soluble crayons to do the skin tones. I blended it with watered down white acrylic paint and a small brush. This is really something I LOVE to do!


After skin was dry..I went back in with a grey toned Pitt pen and blended shadows into her hair. Then I did highlights with my good old Posca pen in white. I also used the black pen and some other colors to finish up her eyes and lips.


Finally, I wanted some more shimmer..so I used the silver metallic gelato again over her body and hair. I blended with my finger.


My final step was to add silver splatters using a Zig Painty pen and my blitzer. I used to do this to everything. But its been years..lol. Luckily the pen was still good.


Of course, I layered the tag onto some cardstocks for a finished look..and I added some ribbons and fibers.



I hope you enjoyed reading about my tag making process and my reading habits :) Please leave me a comment if you did!
<3 Shel

Saturday, September 12, 2015

Beauty Girls - Mixed Media Gifts :)

Hello Mixed Media Mavens and Generally Awesome Friends :)

Today I want to share with you three mixed media canvas boards I just finished for a friend. This friend of mine really REALLY loves to give gifts. I mean she LIVES for the feeling of giving the perfect gift to anyone she cares about! It is a pretty awesome way to live I think :) So, my friend's long time hair dresser opened a new shop and it has bare grey walls. My friend decided the perfect gift would be to have me make some art for the shop. And of course..my friend paid me with a gift :) Awesomeness in a box...the boxed set of 48 Pitt artist pens I have been drooling over!!! So if you followed all of that...I made a gift for a friend of a friend...and got paid with a gift from a friend. How amazing is that!


My idea was to make 3 canvases that were similar but not the same..so they could hang together on a wall. I decided to do all three at the same time. The benefit of this would be continuity of design...and less dry time since I could work on one while another layer was drying. I had three canvas boards that were from an acrylic painting kit my Mom gave me. They had light grey printed images on them so you could paint them in without drawing. I put of layer of white gesso over them, but it didn't completely make the lines go away. I knew I was going to add many layers so I didn't worry about the faint grey lines..but just went ahead an made sketches on each canvas with my graphite pencil. 


I wanted to make each canvas have have a color theme. I decided on Pink, Orange, and Turquoise. I figured these colors would be nice on grey walls. So my sketches became a  Caucasian girl for the pink, because light skin often has a pink tone. An African American girl for the orange because that skin tone looks lovely in Autumn colors. And a Asian girl for the turquoise because I always see (in my head) Asian girls wearing traditional turquoise silk kimono as the ultimate in fashion. Each of my sketches got a acrylic skin tone base.


My next layer was collage. I used some printed napkins and scraps of gelli printed papers and tissue papers I had around (mostly on the floor). I tried to stay with my color theme for each canvas. I used liquid matte medium to attach the papers. 


Next I choose 2 or 3 colors of my Neocolor II water soluble crayons to fill in the background white spaces. Again sticking with my color themes. I used some water thinned white acrylic paint to blend out my crayon colors.


Then I did some stamping on my backgrounds. I used acrhival ink or acrylic paint.


Next to add some texture I used stencils and Molding Paste from Prima. I applied the paste by scraping it on with a palette knife. This brand of paste has now become my favorite after using several types. It is from their art basics line. I like the consistency..the lack of stickyness..and the dry time.


Once my canvases had some time to dry, I decided to make the backgrounds less busy so that the girls would stand out. I did this my first brayering some watered down white gesso over them...then using spray ink over that. It had the added effect of making the raised areas of the texture stand out more too.


Then I decided on some dripping...I LOVE the look of dripping right now. It is a new obsession :) I used Liquitex acrylic inks and dripped from the top. I used a spray bottle with water to make them run better. I had to use a baby wipe in some cases to clear off my girls faces of drips.


Now it was time to make my girls come out from behind the backgrounds! I used a combination of acrylic paints and Neocolor II crayons to color in my sketches. The base colors of the skin tones are done using the crayons blended with watered down white acrylic. I really get in the zen mode when I do this process. It takes several layers of colors...going lighter to darker to even darker. I really enjoy it.


To finish up, I added some details using my new Pitt brush pens and of course my trusty Posca pens.


And then finally splatters...you can't do without splatters!


I hope you enjoyed my Beauty Girls and I hope the friend of a friend likes them well enough to hang in her beauty shop :) 




I would love to see your comments! <3 Shel