Artistcellar Blog

Imagine. Create. Enjoy.

Hello again everyone! I’m back with more drawings of pretty girls' faces. This time I’m using the Pentel Pocket Brush pen!

This has got to be my favorite brush pen. It has a real brush tip, but it almost felt like I was using a really bendy felt tip at first because the bristles sort of stick together (in a really nice way). It’s really smooth to draw with and always lays down a good solid amount of dark ink. 

The different line weights you can make with it are also impressive! It’s easy to make super fine details and also big thick lines. You also don’t get any streaks like from felt tip pens, and it’s soft enough to not pill/break the paper. 

I’m going to try inking this drawing I made with it. I already took a picture and finished it digitally so no worries if I mess up…


It’s good for fine lines, but no matter how small your lines are if you’re using it slowly or just holding it in place too long the ink will spread/bleed a bit. It’s best for long quick lines - I had a lot of fun using it for the lines in the hair.

It doesn’t soak through the paper too much, my paper is pretty thin and the back is only a little darker where I was really heavy on the ink.

Since it’s good for quick lines, I got the idea to do some practice faces! To practice making lines without sketches underneath, the placement of features, drawing quickly… I filled up a few pages with some of these funky faces.

This pen is also so much fun to use. It’s so smooth and inky. I think it also comes with a few replacement ink packs so I don’t have to worry about running out of ink.

I bet that it would also be amazing for calligraphy. I’m not too good at calligraphy without sketching underneath, especially because I’m a leftie. Since we write from left to right, it's like pushing the brush instead of pulling it, and then the ink gets all over my wrist. :( Fun fact: I think I learned in sixth grade that Leonardo Da Vinci was also a leftie and he did all his writing backwards/mirrored. Maybe I just need to learn how to do that! 

Have a nice end of the summer everyone!

When you are short on time but would like to make an exciting background page in your journal, I’ve got an idea for you! It involves a little bit of mess and a lot of fun!

Supplies:

The Process

I love to make backgrounds in my journal. I have so much fun playing with acrylic paint. I sometimes smoosh paint together, you know, like how you made butterflies in kindergarten. Or, the fabulous and wonderful Gelli Plate is another great tool for smooshing paint into your journal. You just use that plate like a big ol’ stamp and flump! Your print is made!

So, I am working on a two-toned yellow background that I made in my journal using the Gelli Plate technique I just described.

Next, I am pulling out two of the 12" x 12" Water Series stencils and laying them across the page spread.

As you may be able to see, I am doing all of this inside a large, rectangular Amazon box. (You may need to order a gigantic art book to get this size, or maybe a long calendar would do the trick??)

Anyway, working inside a box like this helps to keep the wild and crazy spray ink somewhat in control. Please note that I said, “somewhat in control.”

Once the stencils are ready, grab a couple of spray ink colors that will play nicely together.

I choose a magenta and blue. You can see some of the lovely purples that they made in the upper right corner.

Once you’ve sprayed your two colors a few times, you’ll need to sop up some of the ink. You can either use a roll of paper towels or a stack of folded towels.

Many mixed media artists like to keep these beautiful towels and repurpose them into their art, once they are dry. The color is pretty spectacular!

Now it’s time to see how things turned out. Remove the stencils, and either clean them with a baby wipe, rinse them under water, or just let them dry. Most spray ink is reactivated by water, so I usually use a baby wipe or rinse under running water.

I am in love with how these pages look right now. The colors and contrast, as well as the patterns from the stencils, makes me really happy.

Below are some shots of each individual page.

 

I did let you know that using spray ink is messy, didn’t I?

If you are afraid of the spray ink staining your skin, I am here to tell you that it does wash off after a few sessions of soap and water. You may want to use it before you take a shower or something, just in case it makes you nervous. After washing your hair, you’ll be all good.

Summary

Spray ink and stencils are really fun to use together.

The Hot Tip of the Day:

Work inside a large rectangular cardboard box when using wild and crazy spray inks.

The layering of acrylic paint, then spray ink over stencils, creates a dynamic background ready for collage, lettering, or other fun ideas you may have.

Thank you for being here today!

Happy Creating!

Blessings to you,

Briana of OrangeSpiralArts.com

“Digging through my roots to understand the way my branches grew.”― Saleem Haddad

Are you like me…a collector of stories? Do tales of our immigrant past captivate you as they do me? Currently on my bookstand is “Three Minutes in Poland”. The author, Glenn Kurtz, discovered a family home movie filmed in 1938. This began a search to uncover the lost history of the town and people of Nasielsk. I can’t put the book down, and it certainly has influenced my muse for the next project.

I decided to once again create a design inspired by the fabric flags I purchased, this time using just two.  After attaching the flags to my poster board I lightly sanded them. The flags have a canvas texture and the sanding enhanced the weave. I sponged acrylics starting at the bottom and working to the top creating a tranquil evening sky.

The rubber stamp has been in my collection for quite a while. I inked it up with black acrylic paint and repeated the image several times across the flags. I liked the grainy finish which added texture to the composition.

Taking inspiration from the stamp design I added colour by stenciling Artistcellar’s Infra and Highlight Halftone Dots.

The bottoms of the flags are covered with wax infused tissue paper. Reminiscent of the stories told to me, the words create a cadence all their own. I intend to frame the flags and attach beads and charms to the cords…a few that were even passed on to me.

There is so much to learn from recollections shared by family members. Bittersweet memories passed on to me by my grandmother of her youth in Poland are an integral part of my “root system”. And this foundation allowed my branches to search for their perfect evening sky.

MATERIALS USED:

Hey everyone! 

Today I’m trying out Yupo paper with some Dye-na-flow inks. For anyone who hasn’t heard of it or used it, Yupo paper is a synthetic plastic-y paper with a super smooth finish. The inks are meant for fabric and silk painting but I thought that would blend together really well on Yupo (mineral paper would probably work for this too).

On my first one I just used a brush to blend some colors together. Using different techniques/strokes with the brush make a lot of different outcomes!

When it was half dry, I blew on the ink to make even more cool patterns. It turned out pretty cool but also made me very dizzy. It almost looks like coral, which gave me more ideas…

On another page, I laid down a few blues and brushed them with long strokes. While it was still wet, I splattered magenta and yellows by tapping the brush a few inches over the paper. They sort of spread out and blend in a really cool way! 

As it started drying, the splatters only spread in parts of it or where the first splatters were put down and it all blended in a really neat way. 

After that, I taped down a coral stencil - this one is fire coral. I used a baby wipe to rub off the ink, since the Yupo paper doesn’t absorb it, it comes right off! Any kind of slightly damp cloth/paper towel would work to wipe it off. 

 

 The stencil didn’t fit over the whole paper, but I just moved it over, then connected the areas by rubbing off more ink with a wet paint brush. It’s a lot easier to make a really neat edge like this than with paint!

For my next experiment, I'm going to try to make a galaxy. I started with a bunch of “Midnight Blue,” and splattered some magenta and turquoise in it. 

I sprayed some alcohol on it, which made a neat texture. 

I pushed the ink around with a paintbrush and splattered some more colors on it. As it was drying, I used a paper towel to absorb some big puddles of dark ink to even out the colors. It came out really cool! 

Once it dried all the way I added more dark blue ink around the outside to create emphasis in the middle. The white Dye-na-flow wasn’t very opaque, so I made a lot of dots with my favorite white gel pen

I surfed through Pinterest and google for some sort of quote but a lot of them were really long, too cheesy, or too edgy… so I thought I’d use one of the Tam’s inspiration stencils. The “Stardust" from the "Believe" stencil fits perfectly! I used the same technique as the coral stencil and fixed it up with a little damp brush and some more ink around the outside. 

 

There's so much you can create with ink on this paper! I bet it would make all sorts of awesome skies, water, leaves, and flowers, maybe even fire… or just throw your favorite colors on for an awesome background! 

Hello Everyone,

A while back I had the idea to use some Artistcellar stencils that I had not tried yet. You know, the ones in my stash. (Please tell me I am not the only one with an art supply stash!!)  I introduced the following hashtag on Instagram: #artistcellarstencilchallenge. There was not a lot of participation, which is no big deal. However, I still like this idea, as it never hurts to have a little encouragement to use our supplies on hand or the ones in our stash. Since Instagram now allows you to “follow” hashtags, I would gladly cheer you on if you do ever decide to use some of your new Artistcellar stencils and post them to Instagram with #artistcellarstencilchallenge.

Today, I am using the following supplies to create the most colorful lily pads you have ever seen!

Supplies Used:

Water Series stencils-12 x12 Lily Pads

Acrylic paint

Foam paint roller

Baby wipe

Crayola Slick Stix

Rag and Bone Bindery Large Blank Page Journal

ProArt Markers-Set of 100 colors

TIP: Back to school season is a great time to find markers and other basic supplies on sale at your local shopping spots, like Target, Wal-Mart, Michaels, etc. I highly suggest getting a set of 100 markers. Crayola makes a set that I have been happy with, as I keep stealing them from my son’s art center. : )

Step 1:

I rolled two tones of green over the large 12 x 12 stencil, using a foam roller.

I decided to use a page spread in my Rag and Bone Bindery journal to clean off the stencil with a baby wipe. See images below.

Step 2:

I decided to add some color to those negative space lily pads.

I used Crayola Slick Stix first.

To move the color, I simply dipped my finger in a jar of water and touched it to the lily pad I just outlined.

I thought about stopping here, but pushed myself to keep going. 

Step 3:

Use a box of 100 markers to your heart's content.

I reached for my set of 100 markers for motivation, as color gets me every time. 

I noticed that coloring made me feel calm. I also noticed my brain was processing some hard stuff I’ve been thinking about lately, but my body felt calm and relaxed while doing so. This helped me to keep going with the coloring.

Below are some photos of my completed page, where I used Crayola Slick Stix, as well as markers to fill in the lily pads. 

I then added a few lines and swirly rock formations into the mix!

The left side of my page has some space for journaling or doodling, which I think will offset the lily pads and swirls nicely.

Step 4:

Add journaling or any other doodles to complete your page spread.

In Summary:

If you feel inspired, post your art to Instagram using the hashtag #artistcellarstencilchallenge. I would love to see what you create using your stash of stencils!

May you make some time to color and play, so you, too may feel a sense of calm and peace in your heart. Art is good for the soul!

Sending Blessings,

Briana of OrangeSpiralArts.com

“Summer breeze, makes me feel fine, blowing through the jasmine in my mind” - Jim Seals & Dash Crofts



It was nice to hear “Summer Breeze” on the radio the other day. It certainly takes me back to a time and place…one that now seems exceedingly serene.

Not long ago I purchased a set of Heidi Swapp fabric flags at Michaels. The pack has twelve 4” x 5.5” natural cotton pennants held together with white cord. They are perfect for painting and stenciling. The flags easily slide across the cord which allows you to choose how many you wish to use. I decided to create a triptych. With the melody of “Summer Breeze” blowing through my mind, I knew my next project needed to caress the spirit of summer the song so effortlessly portrays.

After spraying my poster board with adhesive I lined up the flag so I could create a read-across of continuous images. I like using natural sponge with acrylics. The textures they leave behind can lend a lot of interest to a design. Using a rough sponge, I covered the flags with warm yellow acrylic adding lemon highlights. Once the flags dried I started the stenciling.



The Bodacious Pods from the Artistcellar Playful Pods series were perfect. I altered the stencil with painter’s tape and used the pods to fit the space. The languid movement across the flags was just what I wanted…like a summer breeze. The Traditional Japanese Dragonfly stencil finished my design with another image that speaks summer magic to me. Diamonds and dots completed the project.

I can’t wait to hang the summer flags next to my Prayer Flags. How do you embrace the essence of your favourite season in your work? I hope the tranquil spirit of summer envelopes you and lasts well into the seasons to come.

MATERIALS USED

Hey everyone! I got to play around with Faber Castell Gelatos and Ranger Distress Crayons so thought I would do a review of them and comparison between the two. 

First up: Distress Crayons. They come in packs of five in lots of different color palettes (I’m using set one). They’re really smooth and creamy and so fun to use! I made a rainbow that could be used as a background to test all the colors. 

Coloring with them is almost like using colored pencils because they don’t really blend together, but layer over each other to make new colors. They don’t smudge after you put them down on paper, which is great if you don’t want them to smudge around (but not great if you want to smudge them to blend them).

If you do want to blend them a bit more, they are water soluble. The water picks up some of the pigment but leaves your original marks behind, they’re like watercolor pencils. 


Of course I had to try to draw some faces with them. Here’s a quick one. I don’t think they’re that good for drawing on their own because they’re so soft that it’s hard to be very accurate with them. But still an interesting look. 


Now, Gelatos! Gelatos come in packs of twelve and include a brush and two blending sponges. They come in metallics, pastels, or brights. I used brights because it was the most comparable to the Distress Crayons I used and also the colors are just so pretty! Here’s my gelato rainbow. 

I think these colors are brighter - I don’t even doubt that a few of them would glow under a blacklight. They blend together and almost create new colors as you use them. If Distress Crayons were like colored pencils in how you have to layer them, these are a lot more like paint or oil pastels. You can use the blending sponges to smudge them together for a really pretty smooth look. Or you can use your finger - I put that in for a comparison to the distress crayons. 

Gelatos are also water soluble. They’re similar to the distress crayons in how they act under water. I tested out some water on the right side here. 

I made a face with Gelatos too. I kind of liked using these better, I like how the colors blend. They’re definitely even harder to draw accurately with because they’re really wide though.


I took some more side by side pictures to show the differences more clearly. Here are a few squares in yellow and pink to show what I meant by how they blended differently:


Here’s both of them with water. I think they’re pretty similar in that aspect.


They both look fantastic on tinted paper too!

I have to say I like the Gelatos better because some of my favorite things to use in my art are bright colors and lots of smooth blending. I think Distress Crayons are also fun to use, and both of them have so many possibilities with how they can be used!

Hello all!

Today, I have a video for you. This weekend I explored a local antique shop and found some serious treasures. A really old photo album -- and a cool vintage postcard. Today I'm going to use both to create a texture-rich art journal page using Artistcellar block stencils!

Now, for the video:

Greetings, Everyone!

Have I told you lately how much I appreciate you? Well, I would like you to know it. I appreciate you being here, reading this post, and getting ideas for your art. I appreciate you supporting a small business like artistcellar. In fact, you are quite wonderful. You are shiny as a sparkling diamond, and as “glow-tastic” as the brightest neon Gelly Roll pen! Really, it’s true! You and your creativity matter. I just wanted to let you know that you are appreciated, sparkly, and “glow-tastic”!

Today I am going to use one of the Diamond Series stencils in my art journal. I am currently working in this amazing, Large Blank Page Journal by Rag and Bone Bindery. As one of Rag and Bone Bindery’s new brand ambassadors, you could be a lucky winner of a $75 gift certificate by entering my giveaway! Enter to win right here! (Pictured below are several sizes of Rag and Bone Bindery’s Blank Page Journals. Aren’t those deckled edges yummy??!!).

For this current journal spread, I am working in the Large Blank Page Journal with the bright orange patterned cover.

Above, you will see an Art Foamies stamp, some texture from a children’s texture roller tool, and rolled out acrylic paint, using a brayer. The Radiant Stencil from the Diamond Series is ready and waiting for paint.

I applied purple paint through the stencil using a cosmetic wedge. I created one on the left side of the spread:

And one on the right side of the journal spread.

From here, I pulled out my Gelly Roll pens and started to doodle, draw designs, and write on the page. I was sitting outside on a beautiful summer day, just enjoying the warm air and breeze. Moments like this are important.

The Moonlight Gelly Roll pens are my favorite. I seem to have the most success getting them to write.

After I doodled on the diamond, I extended the doodles around the page, too.

I enjoyed these moments in my journal.

May you find the time to take a break, work in your journal with some fun supplies, and enjoy some fresh air. May it be so.

In Summary

Art journaling is relaxing and fun.

If you like handbound blank journals, photo albums, binders, brag books or need a guest book, feel free to enter my giveaway for a $75 gift certificate to Rag and Bone Bindery.

You are appreciated! Thank you for being here!

Blessings to you,

Briana of OrangeSpiralArts.com

“Open to me, so that I may open. Provide me with your inspiration. So that I may see mine.” – Rumi

I believe in Synchronicity. I believe you get what you need when you need it most. I enjoy creating prayer flags and decided to continue the series. I knew I was on the right path when the Rumi quote crossed my Twitter feed. It was what I needed when I needed it.

This flag is larger in size than the others in the series. I knew the Artistcellar 12” x 12” Sanskrit Om was perfect for this design. Om is a “seed” mantra and is related to the Third Eye the Sixth chakra. Exploring this chakra, your energy to "see" clearly is heightened. The Third Eye renews our ability to view the world and ourselves with hope for the possibilities of life. Most importantly, your Third Eye is the window to experiencing the feelings of others from their perspective…to revive our ability to empathize with those we meet.

To keep the fabric taut while I worked I covered my poster board with a light coat of spray adhesive and positioned the flag. The weight of the fabric is great and shows the stenciling to its best advantage. I chose colours that symbolize the feeling of serenity and are uplifting to me. Once Om was dried I continued with the rest of the design.

Another advantage of working with Artistcellar stencils is the variety of sizes available. The bottom of the flag is filled with two sizes of the Seafoam stencil. I have been creating collage art on rocks, most recently at my local library. The shape of the stencil reminded me of those rocks and the inspiring quotes our group added to each one. The Halftone Dots added a punch of colour.

Now that the flag is complete it will hang with the others as a daily reminder of the spirit of Om. May we all be open to each other and share what inspires us most.

MATERIALS USED:

  • ARTISTCELLAR STENCILS: SANSKRIT OM, HALFTONE DOTS, SEAFOAM
  • DECOART: Splendid Gold, Blue Harbor
  • DINA WAKLEY MEDIA ACRYLIC: Blushing
  • PLAID: Color Shift Blue Violet Flash, Calypso Sky
  • DYLUSIONS PAINT: Vibrant Turquoise, Cut Grass, Fresh Lime, London Blue, Crushed Grape, Squeezed Orange, Bubblegum Pink
  • REEVES: Bronze, Gold
  • NATURAL SPONGE
  • PAINTERS TAPE
  • POSTER BOARD
  • ELMERS SPRAY ADHESIVE
  • 7 oz. COTTON DUCK FLAG: 18” X 28”
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