Artistcellar Blog

Imagine. Create. Enjoy.

Hello Creatives! Here is a quick project for you this week. Are you a fan of Zentangles? I admit I wasn't familiar with them until recently when I researched them for an art lesson for my elementary students. (I'm an art teacher by day and it is pretty fun!) Go ahead and do a quick Google search and feast your eyes on the all the amazing patterns people have created. I find this drawing practice to be relaxing and a great way to improve my drawing skills. My students got a lot of fine motor skills practice with their Zentangle projects! It was quite satisfying to them to fill their papers with patterns and the end results were impressive and they were very proud of themselves!

Grab an Artistcellar stencil that has a larger pattern and use your favorite black pen (like a thin nib Faber-Castell Pitt Pen) to trace the design onto a smooth drawing or Bristol paper. Now you are ready to fill each section with a different pattern! 

My favorite stencils to use for this are the Quilt Series Stencils and the Seafoam stencils from the Water series

I hope this inspires you to try something new with your stencils! Happy creating!

I am not one to make New Year's resolutions. Past experience tells me I am no good at them. It could be that I find them too rigid or myself swayed often by weaknesses that refuse to become strengths. 

With that said and for whatever reason I can't help but ponder at this time of year of things I would like to change or to make happen. Call me a sucker for a new beginning with the thrill of unknown possibilities. Like that crisp, clean white paper in front of me begging to be transformed to share my dreams upon it's surface. 

I suppose that is why I love art so much. The projects vary in size and scope but there are always possibilities and dreams to be explored and shared.

I'll keep today's post short and sweet and leave you with this beginning of a page in my art journal. 

I was drawn to the Sea Foam stencil from the Water Series because it conveys the best to me of what the thoughts in my brain look like right now at the cusp of the New Year. They vary in size and importance but they are bubbling to the surface preparing to make themselves known to me as time progresses. I will write them down in the bubbles and see what the year brings. Perhaps this page will serve as a reminder to me in the future because it is good to be reminded of your dreams.

Happy New Year Creative Souls

(paints used are from Dina Wakley Media Acrylics)

Hello and may this post find you well!

Today, I’d like to perhaps take you back to your childhood days of folding paper notes and making paper toys. This could be a fun gift for someone this holiday season, or it could be something you use, just for the joy it brings!

Supplies Used:

Step 1:
Scrape paint over a piece of ledger paper or another sturdy copy paper, while having a 12x12 stencil underneath. I used the Sea Foam stencil. See the fun texture?

Step 2:
Measure the square size you’d like to work with. I measured out an 8x8 inch square on the painted ledger paper.

Step 3:
Follow the directions for making a “Cootie Catcher” paper toy in the book mentioned above.

Note: I am NOT a perfect measurer or cutter or paper folder. So, I want to assure you that this will still work with some inaccuracies.

Step 4:
Now it’s time to add some Artistcellar magic, using the Chakras Series Pocket Stencils! Apply paint through the chakra stencils, using a cosmetic wedge, to the inside flaps of your soon to be “Chakras Catcher” paper toy!

Step 5:
Then apply paint through more of the Chakras Series pocket stencils to the outside squares of your paper toy.

Step 6:
Add the final or sixth chakra stencil to the middle of the paper toy.

Here’s another look at the outside stencils.

Here’s the paper toy, “Chakra Catcher,” in action:

May you find much joy in making and giving your paper toy!

Blessings to you,

Briana of OrangeSpiralArts.com

It’s nearly my birthday, and I want to have some FUN! So, I decided to use some awesome supplies from artistcellar to create a sign to hang on my art studio wall, as a loving reminder.

Supplies Used:

Step 1:

Gather your supplies.

Step 2:

Apply the Dylusions Blendable Acrylic paint through the Sea Foam stencil in a way that pleases you.

Step 3:

Remove the stencil and take a look at what you’ve got so far.

Step 4:

Look around your studio for some painted papers or some scrapbook paper.

Hand-cut the letters F-U-N.

TIP: The N can be tricky. I usually have to draw it out the correct way before my brain can process what it looks like backwards. Usually I draw the letter on the backside of the paper, backwards, so that when I cut it out, it’s the correct orientation. With the N, I just cut inside my lines on the front of the paper. That helped me have more fun!

(See how tricky N can be??!!)

Step 5:

Enhance your letters in some way to help them stand out from the background. I chose to color in some oval shapes, using markers.

Step 6:

Hang your FUN sign on your studio wall and smile each time you glance at it!

Sending You Blessings for More Fun!

 -Briana of OrangeSpiralArts.com

Autumn is my favorite season. I love the weather and the comfy clothes. I love the colors, the smells and the crunchy sounds of leaves. To celebrate the arrival of Autumn I felt inspired to create a fall themed craft. Here's what I used:

I began this creative adventure by gelli printing over a dozen sheets of deli paper with a set selection of paints colors and only two stencils. I wanted the papers to be cohesive so they would layer nicely when I collaged them onto the pumpkins.

To prepare the pumpkins I first applied a layer of gesso. When it dried I used a glue gun to "draw" lines and dots on the surface. 

Now to collage the paper onto the pumpkins! Tear the deli paper into smaller pieces to make it easier to apply to the curvy surface of the pumpkin. Paint your chosen collage medium onto the surface of the pumpkin, then apply the paper and finally paint more collage medium on top. I used a stiff brush that I could abuse because I wanted to really form the paper onto the textured surface. 

The final layer was the addition of a metallic paint (I used Dina Wakley Acrylics in Gilt and Penny). I think it really makes everything pop! 

The finished pumpkins make me so happy! The colors and textures created by the stencils are gorgeous. What Autumn themed artwork would you create?

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!

Today I wanted to challenge myself in two different ways -- I wanted to paint a boy (something I don't often do) and I also wanted to use totally new colors for the portrait. Eee!

I started with an 8" x 10" canvas and a graphite pencil. I used a sketch of my own from about a year ago as my reference. For the background, I also used a 12" x 12" Artistcellar Sacred Geometry Sri Yantra stencil.

 Once I finished with the sketching, I brushed on a layer of clear gesso.

For the portrait colors I used Dina Wakely Acrylic, "Blushing" and "Umber" mixed with DecoArt Media Fluid Acrylics in "Titanium White". I brushed on layers to capture shading until I reached a point I was happy with. 

For extra background elements I used 12" x 12" Artistcellar Water Series in "Sea Foam" and "Ripples" with DecoArt Media Mister in Primary Cyan and then I added in more color with Dina Wakely's "Ocean", "Fuchsia", and "Blackberry Violet".

To finish off his shirt, I used Dina Wakely's "Evergreen" with some white acrylic for the stripes. 

This week, I discovered that it is really fun to go back to old sketches and drawings and bring them into the now. I changed a few things here and there, but mostly kept true to the style of past me.

I hope I have inspired you to go back and rediscover some of your old work! How will you incorporate it into the now?

WE RISE TOGETHER

“You will rise by lifting others.” - Robert G. Ingersoll

When times are bleak we seize the smallest glimmer of hope wherever we can encounter it. I find myself in the midst of such times. For me, turning to my Art is a way of trying to make sense of what is clearly chaos.

I started my journey in Art as a printmaker. The mechanics of cutting a woodblock or prepping a stone always fills me with the comforting feeling of whispered anticipation. Working with the Speedball Lino Cutter and Speedycarve block was like visiting an old friend. And the timing couldn’t be better.

I drew simple butterfly shapes on to the Speedyblock as I wasn’t sure how easy it would be to carve. I must say, it was like pushing a warm knife through butter. Now that I am familiar with the block, I am looking forward to using it again on more finely detailed work. I tried both a conventional stamp pad and acrylic paint to print the image. Both were successful, but I preferred the acrylic paint finish. When dried, I coloured the butterflies using Twinkling H20 watercolours. I love their shimmer and rich hue…keeping true colour even when dry.

I love the variety and durability of the Artistcellar stencils. Adding to my Strathmore Journal, I grabbed the Halftone Dots and Seafoam stencils. I wanted to create a feeling of randomness. I allowed the stencils to drop to the paper without positioning them. My selection of acrylics was as accidental.

When all of the elements were complete, I scanned and began the final composition.

It is impossible to ignore the events surrounding us. The implications are global. But through it all, my spirit is renewed.  Each time I see a new group of concerned individuals lifting their voices in unison, I know we are seizing the essence of what makes us truly American. Like soaring butterflies, our differences are celebrated. And we will only rise when we support and lift each other.

MATERIALS USED:

I've been making some little art in a little book and it's been fun! It's supposed to be a daily art practice (it's a daily planner by Moleskine so there is a page per day) and while I am a little behind I am enjoying the challenge. Some days I just fill several pages with stenciled backgrounds or solid paint colors to give me a nice little jumpstart for more little layers. Can you tell I'm having a little fun?! ;)

The stencils I used for these pages are the Rouen from the Cathedral Series and Sea Foam from the Water Series. The paints are Dina Wakley Acrylics. Other supplies I used are black and white acrylic paint pens and water soluble crayons. 

I ended my mini art session with words I cut out from an old children's book. I feel like this will be a good thing for me to do this year and I hope you are inspired to make a goal to implement some little sort of daily art practice!

Hello and How Are You?

I hope you are doing swimmingly!

Today is all about getting in the ffffflllllloooooowwww with the 12x12 Water Series Stencils.

The tools I am using are:

First I experimented with rolling two colors of blue paint directly over the Sea Foam stencil.

Here’s the result (see below) after pulling up the stencil from the newsprint

Then I printed the wet stencil on another sheet of newsprint. (See below).

Next, I wanted to see a contrast of color, so I first rolled out some red and hot pink acrylic on newsprint. (See drops of paint prior to brayering below).

Oooh, la la, isn’t that beautiful!?

Then, I used a cosmetic wedge to dab the mix of blue and white paint over the red and pink background.

I made a print of the wet Surf stencil, and felt like trying some watercolor paint in between the blue lines.

Still feeling inspired by the contrast between pinks and blues, I rolled out some neon pink acrylic ink over the blue Sea Foam print from earlier.

If you are interested in learning more about ink, I have a NEW online class that starts on Friday, January 13, 2017. It’s called Ink and Oil Pastel, it’s only $20 USD, and it’s going to be so, so fun! More details here: http://www.orangespiralarts.com/my-blog/ink-and-oil-pastel.html

I do hope you’ll join in the mess making and artful experiments! See you in class

Blessings and Happy Creating to YOU!

-Briana