Artistcellar Blog

Imagine. Create. Enjoy.

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! 

While I really enjoy my job being an elementary art teacher it does feel like I need to ooze creativity at every turn. Since we've been on winter break I've enjoyed the time spent at home with my family watching Christmas movies and trying to catch up on household chores. My creativity has enjoyed a short break as well but it is time to make some more messes in my newly organized creative cave and, as expected, it is a little sluggish to start. So today I am sharing with you the tale of two pages in my art journal, a place I can make really great and really NOT great art.

I started with a surface that has a thin layer of gesso on it. When dry I picked out two 12x12 stencils from the Coral series and using a few of Dina Wakley's new paint colors I laid down a messy layer over the whole page.

Then, before the paint dries too much I lay down my chosen stencil and taking a baby wipe I gently wipe over the surface lifting the wet paint through the stencil. The result is beautiful but remember you need to start with a dried layer of gesso for it to work. I repeated this technique on the neighboring page with a different stencil and colors. 

When this was dry I wondered and wondered what to do next. I grabbed a couple manila tags and painted them and then used one of the stencils again to put another layer of color.

I decided to create a face on one of the pages and using a sketch of mine with carbon paper I transferred it to the stenciled surface. Then using water soluable graphite pencils, distress crayons and various colors of Dina Wakley acrylics I attempted to bring the face to life.

Unfortunately I wasn't feeling it and I ended up wiping the whole thing off. It has left a pretty interesting surface with the face still showing so I think that all is not lost. I need to just leave it be for now so I turn my attention to the opposite page.

The tags I painted fit nicely on the page and I glue them down. I then decide that I need to switch gears before I get too frustrated. I decide to make my tags into houses so I pull out my stash of handmade paper scraps and start creating a cut paper collage. Houses are a familiar trend in my work and I tend to create them when I am at a loss. I am using a gel medium to glue down my papers. 

Here is where I have ended up and you know what? I like it. It's simple and whimsical and makes me smile.

It's okay to create something simple especially when you are getting back into a creative routine. I tend to overcomplicate things so this was a nice reprieve. When you choose a familiar theme and medium to create in, it will rev up your creativity and help get things running smoothly again. What would you choose?​

Hi Everyone! It’s Briana from I have a question for you. Have you heard of Tammy Garcia’s (aka Daisy Yellow) Index-Card-a-Day challenge? Commonly and lovingly called “ICAD”, this is an art challenge that lasts 61 days, and begins on June 1st. The challenge began in 2011, and you can get a lot more information from Tammy’s convenient ICAD FAQ page. I am the type

of artist who loves an art challenge for the inspiration and push to keep creating on a regular basis. I don’t always follow the “rules”, and that’s totally cool with Tammy.

What I want to share with you today is a simple way to get several index cards created using the fabulous artistcellar stencils! Use this idea to participate in ICAD 2016, or just for fun!

I am demonstrating with the “Sea Fan” and “Fire Coral” stencils from the Coral Series. I am also using Distress Stains by Tim Holtz.

Step 1: Get your supplies ready.

  • index cards
  • artistcellar stencils
  • Distress Stain
  • a roll of paper towels
  • your art journal (optional)

Step 2: Place an index card under the “Sea Fan” stencil.

Step 3: If your Distress Stain is new, get it started on a separate index card. Apply “cracked pistachio” Distress Stain over the stencil and index card.

Step 4: Apply “mermaid lagoon” Distress Stain over the “Sea Fan” stencil and the same index card.

Step 5: Roll a roll of paper towels over the wet ink, keeping the stencil in place.

Step 7: Lift the stencil from the index card to see the cool design.

Now onto the “Fire Coral” stencil.

Step 1: Get your Distress Stain going on that “other” index card.

Step 2: Apply “abandoned coral” Distress Stain to the “Fire Coral” stencil over an index card.

(Note: What’s fun about using the 6x6 artistcellar stencils over an index card is that you can choose which part of the design you want to capture. OOH, and layering designs over one another would be super fun, too!)

Step 3: Soak up that extra ink with your roll of paper towels.

Step 4: Lift the stencil and see your design!

Now you have three index cards started (or completed) in a matter of minutes! Put them in your ICAD collection, take notes on them, or send them in the mail to a friend!

I hope you feel inspired to create with stencils and additional art supplies! Play around and have some fun! Because, “That’s what it’s all about, hey!”