Artistcellar Blog

Imagine. Create. Enjoy.

Hello again!

This week I've been busying myself getting preorders ready for my oracle deck. In the meantime, I was going through my art studio and re-discovered Mineral Paper! Don't you just love when that happens? 

I was on vacation this weekend, so I packed up some art supplies on the go -- watercolors and stencils! I absolutely love the way watercolors work on mineral paper... and I really, really love how the paper does not buckle or have any issues standing up to the wet media. 

To begin the painting, I sketched out the girl and then outlined it in black ink. Then, I started adding color using various Artistcellar stencils (see supply list below).

Once I everything was dry I also added white highlights and additional "doodles" with the Uniball Signo UM-153 pen and Tim Holtz distress crayons.

Use your intuition and let yourself play on the page with your supplies!

I hope you enjoy this week's project - and in the meantime you can check out my oracle deck preorder at: http://bit.ly/DearHeartOracle

Supplies Used:

I had hoped to share the progress in my fabric book but it is going quite slowly so I have a different project to share with you today. Never fear, the progress in the fabric book will be shared in the near future!

This project was inspired by a portrait lesson I taught my 4th graders at school. We have been learning about facial proportions and portraiture and I knew they wouldn't be excited about drawing random faces for long. In an effort to make their art more personal I asked them to draw a self-portrait with a simple line drawing. Then I asked them to fill their faces with words that describe who they are and what they like. It was fun to see what words they chose for themselves.

When I finished my project example and as my students were busy with their own I looked again at my paper and realized I had the beginning of a great piece of artwork. I ended up creating two versions.

Here are the supplies I used:

I began by spraying water and Dylusions ink liberally on the watercolor paper. While the ink was still wet I pressed the mineral paper onto the watercolor paper and then carefully peeled them apart to see how the color transferred. Let dry before continuing.

Before using the stencil I sprinkled water on the mineral paper and after a few seconds I wiped up the water by rolling a paper towel roll on the surface which resulted in the ink being lifted off the paper. I set the stencil down on the paper and sprayed it with water. Since the inks are water reactive I was able to take a soft paper towel and rub it through the stencil design to remove some of the ink. This was done on both the Mineral and watercolor papers. The subtle design it created was perfect for a background.

Using carbon transfer paper and a stylus I transferred my drawing onto both papers. I did not trace the words as I wanted the freedom to change those around if the composition called for it. 

Using a small brush and black paint I went over my graphite lines to create a bold outline for my face. I carefully painted white paint onto the face on the watercolor paper. The ink from my first layer is still reactive with wet media so I was careful not to scrub my brush too much on the surface. Some color transfer happened and it was lovely how it created a dimension to the white paint. Having an under layer on a painting always help bring more depth to the piece. For the Mineral Paper I just painted regular water onto the sections of the face and blotted the water up with a paper towel to remove the inked surface. 

From this point on I found myself concentrating on the watercolor paper composition. Using a pencil I sketched in my lettering lightly to focus on how things would fit. When everything was where I wanted it I used a black acrylic paint pen to bring out the lettering. 

Final details were using Dina Wakley acrylic paints to paint the eyes, lips and shirt. 

I am very pleased with the result and I can't wait to finish the variation on Mineral Paper. I hope you will take some time to create your own self-portrait celebrating the qualities that make you, YOU!

Greetings Folks

Have you ever created something that you weren’t satisfied with? You just didn’t like how it was turning out? Maybe you were even feeling like you just wasted some very good art supplies! Hmmph.

I am here to tell you that that’s part of the process, and it’s going to be okay. You don’t have to love everything you create. Each time you attempt to make something and use those precious art supplies, you are learning and growing. Try to give yourself a break, alright? You are doing good work!

Today we will look at how I made use of spray inks, the Crown Chakra stencil, and Dina Wakley Acrylic paint on a piece of Mineral Paper. This art creation definitely had a stage that had me wondering if I could save it or not.

Stepped Out Process Photos Below

TIP: Put a large piece of paper behind your work area before using spray ink. They can be unpredictable.

I used Dylusions Ink Sprays in pinks and purples over the Crown Chakra stencil.

Perhaps I sprayed a bit too much, because when I lifted the stencil, I saw this.

I tried to print the wet stencil on the bottom half of the paper, thinking I might be able to get a clearer image. However, that didn’t work as I’d hoped.

I put the Crown Chakra stencil back on and used a cosmetic wedge and Dina Wakley acrylic paint to try to save myself.

I ended up painting around the sprayed and painted stencil image. I felt like it was sort of starting to come together.

Since I am not one to waste paint, I started painting the borders around the two Crown stencil images. I sort of felt like Josef Albers, so that was fun!

As you can see the wet print of the stencil needs a little help, so I worked on that section next.

I put the stencil back on the Mineral paper, and applied some acrylic paint with a cosmetic wedge. (Have I mentioned how much I love the Mineral paper? It’s thin but tough!)

Pictured below is what the image looked like after removing the stencil. Can you see where I applied paint?

Yet, there’s still more work to do!

Now things are looking better.

Does anyone else reading this have a secret love with brown paper? I do!

The great thing about smartphones and photography today, is you can easily crop your images and turn them into something new!

I am pretty sure this piece will end up in a mixed papers handbound journal. It might even make a great cover! We shall see!

I like having options, don’t you?

Thanks for being here and playing along with me!

All of my best,

Briana of OrangeSpiralArts.com

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

Greetings Artistcellar fans!

I hope life is treating you well.

Today I have a stepped out tutorial of a layered art piece to share with you using the following supplies:

Before I get into the step-by-step process, I have to tell you something. The NEW Mineral Paper Pad is really, really awesome! The paper is made from rocks, not trees. The paper feels smooth, thin, yet sturdy for both wet and dry media. You neeeeeed to check out this paper!

Step 1:

Choose an artistcellar stencil you like, and with a cosmetic wedge, dab a color of Dye-Na-Flow through the stencil. (Here I am using the Trillium stencil with Midnight Blue Dye-Na-Flow).

Step 2:

Try different ways of applying the Dye-Na-Flow. Pictured above, the right corner was done using a paintbrush. Then I flipped the stencil over (bottom left) to make a print and rubbed a little color around with a paper towel. All of these variations make for an interesting background layer.

Step 3:

Complete the page with one more use of the stencil. (I used the cosmetic wedge again).

Step 4:

Choose a contrasting color of acrylic paint to dab through a different stencil. (Here I am using the Sun Flower stencil from the Kaleidoscope Series.)

Step 5:

Continue playing with placement of this second stencil.

Step 6:

Next I pulled out the Dylusions Paint. One thing I love about this paint is that it is semi-transparent, which makes it perfect for mixed media layering techniques!

Grab the first stencil you were using and place it slightly off-center on an area where you previously used that stencil.

When you remove the stencil you will see the following results:

Pretty cool, right?

Step 7:

Do the slightly off-center technique one more time. You might want to choose a new paint color, or a variation of your contrasting color.

And here you go!

So, that sort of looks like a jumbled mess now, would you agree?

This is all a part of the creative process and the layering process. It’s sort of like the “teenager” stage.

Let’s tie things together.

Step 8:

Add a unifying color (I used yellow Dye-Na-Flow) to part of your piece.

Step 9:

Add a focal image or symbol. (I painted a red spiral using a ½ inch paintbrush and Dylusions Paint).

When I finished this piece, I was pleased with the lightweight Mineral Paper. The piece could easily be framed or turned into a flag on a banner (you know, with ribbon or string and multiple “flags” hanging down). Of course, there is always the possibility of cutting and tearing for your mixed media collage creating pleasure!

In Summary, I hope you’ll try the NEW Mineral Paper Pad from artistcellar. It is quite amazing stuff! Also, try to remember that there are many stages when creating a layered piece. It’s normal to have a stage that you really don’t care to look at. Usually, more layers will take care of the issue, as well as adding a focal point.

Have fun and enjoy your art supplies!

Blessings,

Briana of OrangeSpiralArts.com

SaveSaveSaveSave

"Travel brings power and love back into your life." – Rumi

TRAVEL: To go from one place to another, as on a trip; journey.

From the time I was a child the word “travel” was the genesis of my wanderlust. I couldn’t walk past a travel agency without stopping to look into their store window. Gazing at posters showing incredible scenes of cities that seemed so far away only fed my desire to travel. I wanted to learn about the lives of the people depicted in those posters. I wanted to see for myself the towns and cities that looked so enticing even when viewed through a plate glass window. I wanted to put pins in a map of all the places visited. I knew I was destined to live a nomadic life.

And I have been lucky. I have visited almost all of the places that sparked my interest. And I found when traveling my journey enriched not only my physical but my spiritual life as well. And this is why I am in love with the beautifully crafted Artistcellar Labyrinth series. Let me tell you about the journey I walked in creating this collage.

Starting with my Strathmore Journal, I covered a page with Dye-Na-Flow Midnight Blue fabric paint using a 1” foam poly brush. While still wet, I splashed on Dye-Na-Flow Magenta followed by dripping rubbing alcohol into the wet dye. As the page dried a soft floral pattern emerged.

Although I liked the effect, I wanted to see how the dye would react on Mineral Paper. But this time I drizzled on a bit of rubber cement before coating the paper. The beauty of Mineral Paper didn’t disappoint! I liked the way the resist seemed to flow with the dye one enhancing the other. Although the technique was the same, I now had two distinct looks. Where my journal paper produced a soft velvet effect, the mineral paper was watery and wonderful. Looking at the backgrounds, I couldn’t decide. Which one should I use in the final work? As the saying goes “You can never have too much of a good thing”, so opted to use both.

In my last collage I featured the Chartres stencil. This time I knew Crete was the one to work with and stenciled directly on to the page in my Journal beginning with Viva Decor Inka Gold. I liked the effect I got the last time I used this product and polished it, when dry, with a soft cloth. It then became a wonderful base for shades of Silver, Gold, and Rose Red acrylics. The final element added was a vintage map.

Just working with the Labyrinths allowed me to recall so many memories of my travels. I believe travel empowers you to wander with purpose and explore the passions that drive you. Travel does more than include the physical movement from one place to another. Travel also resurrects the desire to explore within and find love and serenity in just being present.

MATERIAL USED:

Save

Hello again Creative Spirits! I love experimenting with new supplies and techniques especially when I don’t have a goal or project in mind. I thought it would be fun to try the DecoArt Media Crackle paste on one of the finished Mineral Paper sheets from my May 24th post. Mineral Paper comes in pads as well as origami paper which is a perfect size for the 6” Artistcellar stencils.

I applied a medium coat of paste on the mineral paper sheet over one of the stencils from the Kaleidoscope series (Sunflower) with a palette knife and lifted the stencil off carefully. I really liked the bright white paste and the texture was different than other crackle mediums I have tried.

While the paste was drying, the mineral paper buckled quite a bit then and flattened out again. Let the paper dry until completely flat before doing the next step. The cracks that had formed on the surface of the mineral paper looked really cool but was a little too pasty white for my taste.

I applied a wash of magenta and blue Splash Ink over the paste which really brought out the details of the cracks. I love the way the color settled into the lines and stained the paste just enough to make it blend with the background.

I thought of many ways I could use the finished sheet in a collage or a background for a card but I couldn’t help to fold it into a heart instead. I wanted to see how the crackle paste would hold up to folding and I was surprised that it stayed on the paper with very little coming off during creasing. I like the way the folded heart feels on my fingers as I move them across the surface. If you would like to fold this super easy heart, you can find the directions here.

Supplies:

The Self Is Born in the Stars – Carl Jung

I’ve always been interested in Tarot. The cards intrigue me…not so much as a tool for fortune telling, but more of a way of discovering what is happening in the present and how it will  shape the future. I am by no means an experienced reader. But I do find comfort in handling the cards and finding my part of the story of the symbols.

As with many of us, my life has been quite hectic of late. And I find time seems to be moving at an accelerated rate.  I’ve been told that life gives you what you need if you are receptive. And what I needed was some time to stop and reflect.

Looking through my collection of Tarot cards, I was drawn to The Star card. Stars are visible in the Universe because of the cradle of darkness. So too, we shine when we have been through a difficult time and come through with strength and faith in ourselves.  I decided to use the card as the basis for my work using the Artistcellar stencils.

The Star Card is aligned to the Crown Chakra. I started the collage using Prismacolor pencils on rough drawing paper and the Crown Chakra stencil. When finished I built the collage around the stencil drawing. The vintage images of the Marseilles Tarot, the palmistry hand, and the night sky fell into place.

I can’t get away from the Mineral paper. It is wonderfully adaptable to any media. My acrylic paint using the Halftone Dots stencils stayed as vibrant dried as they did wet. The Pearlescent Liquid Acrylic kept their incredible shimmer, which is sometimes lost on other substrates. If you haven’t tried this paper...you must! The results are delicious!

It has been a brilliant education getting familiar with all the products Artistcellar has to offer. I have tried techniques that are new to me, and hopefully will stir your interest as well.  This brings me back to The Star card.

The card is one of personal transformation, new ideas, and opportunities. The thirst for new journeys can be of a physical or spiritual nature.  But above all, The Star is one to encourage you to have faith and believe in yourself.

And what better way to be true to yourself than to write your own story across the sky?

MATERIALS:

Artistcellar Halftone Dots Series Stencils
Artistcellar Stencils: Pocket Stencils – CHAKRAS – Crown
Hand cut stencils
Mineral Paper
Vintage Images Tarot Card, Palmistry
Drawing paper
Prismacolor Coloured Pencils
DecoArt Metallic Acrylic paint: Teal, Amethyst, Plum
Reeves Metallic Rose Red, Copper, Silver
Daler Rowney Pearlescent Liquid Acrylic: Moon Violet, Waterfall Green, Galactic Blue, Velvet Violet

Greetings Creative Ones,

Hand lettering is truly an art and takes years of practice and patience. I may come up with and master a style that I am happy with some day but until then, I can use these great Artistcellar stencils to make beautiful words happen.

I fell in love with Tam's Inspiration series stencils by Tamara Laporte. There are twelve words to work and the lettering style is very playful which is just what I was looking for. I didn’t really have a plan when I started this project today and I wanted to see where these whimsical little words would take me.

I used Yasutomo’s Mineral Paper and Splash Ink to create a background of color. Drop several drops of the acrylic ink randomly on the paper and wait a minute to let the color settle a little. Take a brayer and roll the color over the paper until the colors are blended and let the colors dry but not too dry. The ink should be slightly tacky on the paper. I chose the Kaleidoscope series for the the background because I can doodle inside the shapes later. Lay the stencil over the mostly dry color and lift off color with a damp makeup sponge.

Take another stencil from the Kaleidoscope series and apply ink from an ink pad with a sponge for a layered effect. Do this with several sheets of mineral paper and enjoy the process of making beautiful back grounds. If you feel the paper is too saturated with color, you can rinse it off or wipe off excess color with a sponge or baby wipe. I decided to choose the paper with the lightest background for the lettering.

Apply archival black stamp pad ink over the lettering onto the colored mineral paper using a makeup sponge. Bring out highlights using a white paint pen. Bring out shadows and fill in the gaps with a black felt pen. Make doodles using the shapes in the background with more ink.

Supplies:

Oh, and dont’ forget to those white “magic sponges” for cleaning paints and inks off stencils. :-)

 

Hello again!

I have been playing with Mineral Paper lately and I have to say I might be a *little* obsessed. The paper itself is made from rocks... and it's SO smooth.

I like to start with watercolors with this paper. I used a few different shades of greens and blues from Peerless Watercolor. After I had a pretty thick layer of watercolor, I used a hair dryer to dry it a little faster. The paint already dries pretty quick on the mineral paper, too. (Hint: Use a hair dryer, NOT a heat gun.)

This is where the magic happened, you guys. The colors mixed and mingled in such a beautiful way on the page.... and, the paper didn't even crinkle.

Next, a few spritz's of Lindy's Stamp Gang "Ponderosa Pines Olive" spray and took the hair dryer to it, too. More magic!

Then, I used a calligraphy pen to outline some of the Sacred Geometry stencils, randomly around the page. I thought it made it pretty interesting to only uses pieces of the stencil. I then went in with some gold and blue/green acrylic paint to outline and stamped a quote, "I do not have time for things with no soul."

To finish, I used matte medium to adhere the Mineral Paper to a piece of black matboard, then used gold spray from Heidi Swapp and the Halftone Dots stencils around the edges.

I finished up with some outlines and doodles with a Uniball Signo white pen and that's it!

The beauty of Mineral Paper and watercolors/sprays is that the paper doesn't buckle or tear, it can really hold everything that you throw at it... and everything reacts together in such a magical way.

Have you tried it yet? Leave a comment and let us know what you think of it!