Artistcellar Blog

Imagine. Create. Enjoy.

Greetings, Everyone!

This week I am still thinking in rainbows, as my research into the seven main chakras continues.

I recently purchased the latest book by Elle Luna called, Your Story is Your Power: Free Your Feminine Voice. It is a much needed book, reminding me about how patriarchy impacts my life.

Here’s what the cover looks like:

And in the first pages, I saw this, and gasped!

I fell in love with this rainbow labyrinth and was inspired to reach for the Artistcellar Labyrinth Series stencils.

Here’s what I used:

Here’s what I made:

Using the Artistcellar Labyrinth: Chartres Stencil

And I tried it again using the Prang watercolor:

Here’s what I made using the Artistcellar Labyrinth: Crete stencil.

Here’s what I made using the Artistcellar Labyrinth: Anasazi stencil.

Here’s what I learned:

I could’ve been more careful, as to not let the watercolor seep underneath the stencil, and that makes for cleaner edges.

The Mermaid Markers were easier to use, as they were not as wet as watercolor, water, and a paintbrush.

In closing:

May you enjoy creating some rainbow art this week, or sometime soon!

Plus, I encourage you to take a look at Elle Luna’s new book!

All of my best,

Briana of OrangeSpiralArts.com

Hello all!

For this week's project I started working on a couple portrait of my friends, Arlo and Ruby.

This isn't just any portrait though, I wanted to create them in my own little character style, so I started with some rough sketches using some of their qualities. They are both unique, so it was pretty easy to pick out some great qualities to highlight.

From there, I used watercolors to add the first wash of colors.

Then, I picked three Artistcellar stencils - Cathedral Plans: Reims Plan, Blocks: Tiles, and Labyrinth: Crete. I used modeling paste and a palette knife to create incredible texture with the stencils. In fact, this has to be my absolute favorite way to use Artistcellar stencils - as background and texture elements to my paintings.

Once dry, I added even more watercolor - and watching it travel between the raised modeling paste really makes my soul sing.

To incorporate even more color I started incorporating acrylic paint into the portraits and the flowers.

From here, another one of my favorite techniques is to put down some watercolor on top of dried acrylic (you can see this in the flowers) then I spritz it with water and let it run and melt on the page. To me, this is relinquishing control... and I think that is an important and fun practice to integrate into my art.

So, to finish it all off I added some white highlights with a uniball signo UM-153.

I can't wait to send it to them. I hope they love it!

Hello friends!

After spending my morning creating amazing little pieces with plaster and molds (some homemade, some store bought) I was feeling really inspired to create. I grabbed a small canvas and set to work without really a plan of what the final result should be.

First, I used an Artistceller Blocks Series Stencil (Tiles) with DecoArt Media Mister in Carbon Black. Since the canvas is so thick, I thought it would be fun to add some of that stencil design on the sides, too.

Next, I used an Artistcellar Labyrinth Series Stencil (Crete) with Golden Coarse Molding Paste. 

From there, I glued my plaster pieces on, and started building color with Tattered Angels Glimmer Mists in - Partridge in a Pear Tree, True Blood, Lava, and Iron.

I also used a palette knife and some of Finnabair's Rust paste for extra texture.

Then, to finish the whole thing off, I poured Liquitex Pouring Medium on top and let it dry. This creates a super glossy, almost resin-like effect except it's way less sticky, messy and smelly. (Hooray!)

I like to make weird art. Art that makes me think. Art that makes people uncomfortable. 

I call this one D - I - S - C - O - N - N - E - C - T, and I'm still deciphering it's message myself. 

 

All of a sudden, I have fallen in love with watercolor pencils again. I used to use them more in my early art journaling explorations, nearly 17 years ago, but I sort of forgot about them.

While recently planning for an adult art workshop, I wanted to introduce the class participants to a user-friendly art supply with versatility. Aha! Watercolor pencils!!

And since I was having so much fun with watercolor pencils, I decided to incorporate them into this post for artistcellar, too!

Note: The Faber-Castell Albrecht Dürer Watercolor Pencils sold on artistcellar are of superior quality. Here’s a link to a video (created by ColoringKaria) that shows you many ways to use these fabulous watercolor pencils: https://www.youtube.com/watch?annotation_id=annotation_3538991757&feature=iv&src_vid=zSe119-1ZXs&v=VZ8Wi15RXXw

Note: There are many, many kinds of watercolor pencils on the market. If you are curious to see how different brands compare to one another, I found this video helpful (created by MyOwn Stuff): https://www.youtube.com/watch?annotation_id=annotation_3538991757&feature=iv&src_vid=zSe119-1ZXs&v=VZ8Wi15RXXw

Now for the step by step tutorial on the mixed media art I created on Mineral Paper.

Step 1:

Trace the Crete labyrinth stencil using a ballpoint pen on Mineral Paper.

Step 2:

Color inside the lines you traced in a way that pleases you. Keeping the stencil in place can be helpful.

Step 3:

Wet a brush and smooth out the watercolor pencil coloring you just did.

Tip: Swipe excess water out of the brush before painting. If it’s too wet, the water seeps under the stencil.

Step 4:

Play with the possibilities of watercolor pencils and a wet paintbrush.

Step 5:

Draw concentric circles with the watercolor pencils, in purple and blue, around the labyrinth. Wet the colored pencil work with a brush.

Drip Dye-Na-Flow in Midnight Blue around the paper.

Tip: Turn your paper upside down to get a new perspective.

Step 6:

Drip Bright Green Dye-Na-Flow around your paper.

Drop rubbing alcohol (90% isopropyl alcohol) onto the wet areas of your paper and watch what happens!

Step 7:

Squint your eyes and notice if you see enough contrast. Notice if there are any other colors you feel need to be added. (For me, I felt like a warm pink was needed. I decided to draw some plant-like shapes all around, including through the wet puddles of color).

Tip: Making an artful mess is fun! Try to enjoy the experience of exploration.

Step 8:

Drop more alcohol and tilt your paper in different directions for the drips to do their thing.

Step 9:

Unify the piece by adding sweeps of liquid watercolor. (I chose to use some neon liquid watercolor purchased at Blick).

Step 10:

Drop more alcohol onto the outside edges of the labyrinth where you traced with ballpoint pen. Watch the alcohol dissolve the ink and make some of the lines blur.

Tip: Not all pens are dissolved by alcohol, so do a test on a separate sheet of paper to check your pen’s solubility.

Finally, let dry and then enjoy your finished piece!

In Summary

I hope you feel inspired to play with watercolor pencils. They are versatile, portable, and fun!

I hope you feel inspired to play with inks and rubbing alcohol (isopropyl alcohol), because it’s a really fun technique to try.

May you continue to honor your creative spirit through exploration and play, even if you call yourself a professional artist.

I will leave you with this quote:

“Play keeps us vital and alive. It gives us an enthusiasm for life that is irreplaceable. Without it, life just doesn’t taste good” -Lucia Capocchione

Blessings and Peace to you,

Briana of OrangeSpiralArts.com

It looks like Briana and I are on the same wavelength! I also played with the Blue Moldable Stamp but I paired it with the Crete stencil from the Labyrinth series and Dye-na-flow colors. If you like mixing colors and happy accidents then grab your heat gun, a pad of watercolor paper and join me!

But first, a quick note on what didn't work for me. After creating my stamp I sprinkled a little Dye-na-flow on a non-stick craft mat and patted and swirled the stamp in the colors, then pressed it onto the paper a few times. Results were fair. The colors were over mixed for my taste but some texture from the stamp came through.

Now for what worked....

Using separate brushes paint the colors onto the stamp and let them mingle a smidge as you tilt the stamp in different ways. Don't let them mix too much and be careful or the dye will drip off the stamp!

Be bold as you quickly turn the block over and press it onto your paper. There will be more color and less stamp design for that first print. You can get a few more prints by lightly misting the color left on the block with water and stamping again. These prints will have more stamp detail and some interesting color mixing.

I sure had fun making little blocks of color magic and they turned out great! Now, what can you do with them? Layer more goodness on them with inks, colored pencils, collage, paint, you name it! Turn them into Artist Trading Cards, create a mini accordion book, use them as an embellishment on a handmade greeting card, incorporate it into a mixed media artwork or an art journal page.

Here is one I embellished with colored pencils, a quote and Photoshop!

If you make your own please share them over on Artistcellar's Facebook page so we can see all the lovely color and stencil magic!