Monday, July 5, 2010

Gothic arches

It's true, I'm an addict. I'm addicted to swapping art and small pieces of artwork with my internet friends.
Hi, my name is Sox, and I'm a swap addict.

I just signed up with the TreasureArtTrend group to  make some gothic arches. We are 14 in the group, so we make 14, send them off and will receive 14 back! The format is 4x4, to make a chunky Fat Book.

Here is mine. We were to incorporate a woman and a bird. And an arch!

Friday, July 2, 2010

Junk album samples

Here are the pages I painted yesterday:

Aren't these colors completely yummy?

Let's see yours now!

Thursday, July 1, 2010

More photos about your junk mail

I've been working on a little book this afternoon.

I've realized that I'm either not following Carla's instructions for applying the watercolors, or I don't remember what she did, or maybe I'm doing my own thing.

Anyway, of course, you'd want to experiment.

Here's what I've been doing:
After the gesso is dry, rather than waiting for the first coat of watercolor to dry, I do a wet-on wet, I think it's called. I put one color really liquid, then I add another color on the side or most of it, and let that drip and melt into the first color.
I get much more vibrant colors, and the results are pretty neat.

So... it's up to you. Experiment until you get the colors you want. The beautiful thing about watercolors is that they run into each other, and if you can hang your papers to dry, and have them standing rather than laying flat, then the colors will run. IF they lay flat, they will puddle, which is another interesting effect.

Anyway, I'm sure you have enough junk mail to experiment.

These should inspire you and fill in where I didn't put words....

This last one is a page from Carla's book. She's just too clever!

Junk Mail book

Supply List:
  • 10-20 pieces of junk mail (envelopes, unopened credit card offers, Pizza Hut flyers etc.)
  • brushes, about 1/2" wide
  • small watercolor set (cake or tube is fine)
  • brayer
  • roll of scotch tape. scissors
  • A small container of white gesso
  • Plastic or newspaper to protect your work table
  • twine, rope or ribbon

Optional items:  1/8" hole punch, heat gun, rags, water containers

Select pieces of junk mail that are made our sturdy paper. The thin newspaper pages probably wouldn’t work so well.

Pick pieces that are of different sizes so your pages overlap and stick out over each other. 
Envelopes are great too if they have an interesting marking on the inside. Split the envelope open so it lays flat. You can see Carla’s page using an envelope. Note also how the pages are different size and overlap.

The first stage is to cover your mail with a layer of gesso with the brayer. Pour the gesso in a tray or a sheet of glass so you can load your brayer. Apply the gesso rather thinly so that some of the text shows in place. If there are some parts of the advert you like, such as a face or a cute puppy, leave it showing.
When you apply the gesso with the brayer, only go over the page once. You really want to have the markings left by the brayer to show. The watercolor paint will later sit in these ridges and valleys and it will look really neat.

Paint one side of all your pieces and lay on the plastic or newspaper to dry. Go have some fun.
When one side is dry, cover the other side. Your gesso must be dry, so that it doesn’t lift later. It’s ok to use a heat gun.

Now the fun part. Get your watercolors. Choose one color for the base. Dilute it heavily and start applying on the first piece of mail with your ½” brush. Your color should be transparent. Put it to dry and do all your other pieces.  You can vary the base color you use on your pieces so they don’t look the same. You’ll  notice that the paint deposits unevenly on the gesso. That’s the idea.

Lay out to dry.

When the first side is dry, do the other side of all your pieces with a base color. Let dry.

*****Yes, it takes a lot of drying. Better have another project going too.*****

When both the sides are dry with your first layer of water color paint, pick another color, complementary, or to add accents. Carla used some diluted brown to make it vintage, grungy. Cover part of the page with your second color, again, very transparent and diluted.
Cover all your pieces, and lay to dry.

You can see on these pages how the watercolor deposits irregularly, and takes a great look with the second color.
Do the other sides.
Use the photos here  as a guide for the strength of color to use. You should end up with some lovely, transparent color that is yummy.

Notice how the pages overlap. This lady emphasized the difference in size to make her pages really funky.

Next to the binding. Carla used twine to go with the junk mail aspect. You could use rope, ribbon, rings, whatever you can come up with. Depending on the height of your book, punch 3 or 4 holes. Mark all your pages so your holes correspond. Then insert a piece of twine and tie it off individually for each hole. You can cut the piece off or use it to go to the next hole. The idea is that the book has to lay flat when it is open.

Yours truly showing her book.
It was such a fun class!
Here are some examples below to help you design your book.

And here is Carla’s book with her amazing animals. I will not guide you through her animal design, it is really unique to the way she thinks and I’d be incapable of leading you through it. 

I hope to see your examples in the photo album.
If there are points that are unclear, do contact me: