Artistcellar Blog

Imagine. Create. Enjoy.

Hello again! This week I decided I wanted to make a fun sign for my art space, affectionately titled the "Zen Den". I had a leftover dollar store Halloween sign and I decided to give it a boost of life. I started with a couple layers of black gesso just to get it good and covered up. Then, added a layer of white gesso that I scraped away a bit to give it a more "distressed" look.

Once the gesso was completely dry I used a palette knife to add thick, even layers of DecoArt Media Crackle Paste then I let it dry completely overnight. I have used a heat tool on this before and it works, but the cracks don't seem quite as dramatic as they do when you let it air dry.

Next, I used a Artistcellar Sacred Geometry 2 stencil with modeling paste to create the "moon". I let it dry completely and made sure to clean up my stencil immediately afterwards. If that modeling paste dries, it can ruin the stencil and I can't let that happen!

For the background, I mixed some Phthalo Blue (one of my favorite colors ever!) and Titanium white. I created washes, drips and splashes. You name it, it goes. There aren't any rules here!

Then, using a thin detail brush and some DecoArt Media Fluid Acrylic in Carbon Black, I painted a tree. A happy little tree.

For the sign, I mixed together some Dina Wakley "Umber" and titanium white.

I also added a thin layer of Dye-Na-Flow "Midnight blue" to the background... for fun!

To finish the sign, I added fine details with acrylic paint markers, white Gelly Roll pen and the Artistcellar Diamond Series Stencils. I just traced the stencil with the markers and it worked like a charm!

I hope you enjoy my Zen Den sign! I can't wait to hang it up.

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Hello again!

How long has it been since you played with Shrink Film? I found a few packages in my stash and decided to play. I had never tried to shrink an entire sheet before so I decided to try that and see if the result could be used as book covers. I was not disappointed!

Here is my supply list for this project:

  • Shrink Film (regular ol' clear stuff)
  • Cheap-o craft paints (but any water-based acrylic will work)
  • Halftone Dots Stencils (I just used the two largest dot sizes)
  • Cosmetic sponge
  • Hole punch (3/16 size)
  • Basic Bookbinding supplies for the Coptic Binding Stitch

Cover one side of the shrink film with one color of dots. When that is dry cover the other side with dots in a complementary color. Repeat this on another sheet of Shrink Film. Using a hold punch punch the holes where your binding will be. Remember to punch the holes BEFORE you shrink!

Now it is time to shrink the film in your oven per the instructions on the package. It will take less than 5 minutes and it is so cool to watch!!

Cool under a heavy, flat weight for a few minute to make sure it ends up flat.

The results will not be consistent from one sheet to another and the edges most likely will not be square but that was okay with me. Time to assemble the book!

I will not include a full tutorial on preparing a book block or the coptic stitch because there are a multitude of them all over the internet that explain things much better than I could. So I encourage you to search it out and watch a few videos.

Ta Da! The final book is fun and whimsical. I like the dimension that results from having the dots on both sides of the film. It makes a cool layering effect. The color of the paint became rich and dark after shrinking and has a cool texture to it. There is a little flaking as it is just cheap craft paint so I think a light layer of a spray sealer would help. I want to try this with more quality acrylics (like Dina Wakley's paints) to see if they end up having a different texture after shrinking. 

Shrink film and stencils are a match made in heaven!

Hello Everyone!

You may not know this about me, but I am a huge book arts fan. I love artists’ books, handmade journals, and the like. Today I am going to share an easy way to make your own mixed papers, single signature, art journal.

Here are the supplies you’ll need to gather:

The Cover and Inside Pages

I love hot press (smooth) watercolor paper. When Fabriano came out with this pad a year or so ago, I was thrilled! It works great for a sturdy cover.

Fold one sheet of 11x14 hot press watercolor paper in half, with the grain of the paper. In this case, the grain runs short, so make a “hamburger fold”. (See below)

Once your cover paper is folded, it’s time to get out those stencils and paints!

Scrape a few colors of paint on the outside of the cover.

As you work on the cover, have extra copy paper underneath your painting spot. Use this extra paper for the inside pages of your journal. You can even stencil on them as you give your cover a chance to dry!

Work back and forth between the cover (both inside and outside) and the loose sheets of paper for the inside pages. Pictured below is the second layer on the front cover.

Pictured below is the second layer on the back cover. I am using an 8B Faber-Castel Graphite Aquarelle pencil to do a stencil rubbing.

Pictured below is some stencil work and Dye-Na- Flow drips on the inside cover.

Scrape paint on the inside cover, over the drips and stencil work. Doodle on the outside of the cover with the Faber-Castel Graphite Aquarelle pencil. Then add a third layer of paint to the cover using a stencil and white acrylic paint.

Sewing the Signature To bind your single signature book, you will need a ruler, or a paper slicer that has a ruler on its surface. We are going to be doing a 5-hole pamphlet stitch.

First, you need to make a hole-punching guide, using a piece of cardstock, a ruler, and a pencil.

Fold the piece of cardstock in half lengthwise, or a “hotdog fold”.

Measure one inch from the bottom and one inch from the top, and place a pencil dot. Put a dot at the center of the punching guide. Put two more dots in between the dots you already have. (See below).

Label your marks from top to bottom, 1 -2- 3- 4- 5.

Reverse the fold of the punching guide, so the numbers are now on the inside of the fold.

Gather 5-7 pieces of artsy paper to be the inside pages of your journal. Fold them, and place the punching guide at the center of your papers.

Place the folded papers and the punching guide inside an open phone book or on a thick piece of foam.

Use an awl to punch the holes for sewing.

Thread a bookbinding needle with waxed linen thread. The thread should be about 2x the length of your journal. Be sure to tie a loose knot about two inches up from the end of your thread and also near the head of the needle.

Important Note: If you want the loose threads to be on the outside of your journal, start sewing on the outside in hole 3. If you want to tie off your sewing on the inside of your book, begin on the inside in hole 3.

Use your hand or clips to hold your pages in line with the sewing holes once everything is punched. The pattern for sewing is:

Hole 3 to hole 4
Hole 4 to hole 5
Hole 5 to hole 4
Hole 4 to hole 2
Hole 2 to hole 1
Hole 1 to hole 2
Hole 2 to hole 3

You will be making an inside to outside, outside to inside, weaving pattern as you sew. For simplicity, write the sewing pattern on your punching guide as: 3-4- 5-4- 2-1- 2-3 Choose to start from the inside or the outside of hole 3, depending upon where you want your final tied threads to reside.

TA DA! You bound a book! Congratulations!!!

For more art ideas and mixed media inspiration, be sure to stop by OrangeSpiralArts.com

Blessings to YOU!

Briana

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Hello my Mushy little Arty Lovelies! 

I'm going to be honest with you here, I am constantly making art that I do not like or I am not sure if I like it, but I always have fun with the process and that is what counts!

Today's piece is one of them! I am not sure if I like it. But it was so fun doing it I will let it sit and see if it grows on me. I have a large hoard of canvases, canvas panels, cigar boxes, frames, wood... (you get the drift) of stuff I have worked on that I either just don't like enough to put on the wall or it was a mock up of something some one wanted commissioned. These things take up space and are a waste of expensive substrates. So I have decided to do something about it.

SO I am starting out with a canvas board for a mock up I did for a wall mural for a Mexican restaurant.

(Nope didn't get the job, but I was their 1st choice! They just thought I should only charge $200 for over a weeks worth of work.) I had a blast researching the whole thing and even had fun with the mock ups; I have 4 panels worth of these. But now they are useless pieces that remind me that people don't realize that custom art is worth at least minimum wage. OK enough griping. 

I didn't want the paint on the board to go to waste so I just pulled my favorite stencils

from Artistcellar and went to town using some acrylic paints, the Dina Wakley being the boldest of the colors. I love the mudgy kerfuffle that the canvas turned out having!

I wish I would have scanned it as it was for future use, blug, hindsight is 20/20.

I then kept looking at the canvas until I decided what I needed to paint and got busy.

At this point I was having a blast painting

and I was trying to figure out where to add more shadows with the General's Scribe-all in black, I took a good look at it and put it aside because I though "who would want to see this?" and I got up all pissy and was stressing about what I would do for this blog. I got angry for enjoying myself! It took my half a minute after I realized that to get back to having fun, that is what this is about right? it's not about what I think others will like, its about enjoying the process.

So I sat my bedoodle back down and had fun! I just went with the flow, adding more color with the Dina Wakley paint, shadow with my General Scribe-all and used one of the water series stencils and paint to bring my figures into the foreground and my Faber-Castell Pitt Pen in black to add some shadows.

I don't know if I will keep this or if I will cover it with paint and make something else, but I had fun, and the colors energized me. I have to remember every piece does not have to be something someone would buy, sometimes I just have to create.

If you want to see the video of my process, here it is:

Big Hugs and Mushy Stuff!

Shana Banana!

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Hello all in the wonderful world of arty fun-ness! I am back again to share what I have created using some more of the awesome stencils and supplies available here at Artistcellar!

I have been sick... I mean really sick, there is a bug going around and it was so bad I thought I had food poisoning! That being said it reasons to say I have felt less than creative.  I actually wanted to draw some stuff using the Faber-Castell Water Soluable Graphite that I got in my Design team box this month but I just couldn't get my muse to do her job, so that will have to come later!

Because I couldn't get anything to flow straight onto the void of white I decided to grab a few other items that were in the box this month, the Water Series stencils (which I ADORE) and the Generals Scribe-all pencils

I love to use stencils when my muse is in a funk just to get some texture and color on my page, I used acrylic paints and a make-up sponge to tap the color through the stencils just to fill the void that is a white page... I then went through and finger painted color willy-nilly until I saw something that I could work with.

Can you see it?

I outlined the fairy face then added in her features using the black scribe-all pencil. I added additional details using acrylic paints and gesso. I then used a damp brush to activate the pencil to make a nice wash look.

To make her pop out I did a nice wash of gesso and water around her to push her into the foreground. I then went in with the white scribe-all and added some whimsical detailing to her wing and the flowers in her hair.

And then because this is my journal and it is for me, I try to put things I want to remember, so I just wrote a note to myself "sometimes it's hard to make a mark, but don't stop, you never know what you'll end up with."

I hope you enjoyed my quick overview of the use of Generals Scribe-all and the Water Series stencils!

Big Hugs and Mushy stuff to you!

- Shana Banana

If you would like to watch my process here is a link to the Youtube video!

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. :-)

 

Lisa here...

Congratulations to all of the Stencil Winners! I really wish we could send every one of you a set of stencils, but alas, staying in business might be a better option :-) I really appreciate every one of your comments, and I know the design team really enjoyed the feedback! So thank you. All the winners have been contacted and stencils have left the building. Congratulations to:

  • Angela G.
  • Jill C.
  • Felicia A.
  • JoAnne R.
  • Terri W.
  • Lisa Z.
  • Valerie

I hope you have fun with  your stencils, and be sure to share!

I have one last project for you, using the Artistcellar Halftone Dots series. It was born out of necessity, and out of a day of cleaning the studio. I found some Christmas themed coasters, the ones you find at the dollar spot at Target. Well, we couldn't have that! I decided to grunge them up a bit.

I started by taping them all together in a row (I had six of them) with some blue Painter's tape, on the backside. You can sorta see the edges below.

I used Dina Wakley's Media Paints in Turquoise and Lemon to cover the base. The used various contrasting colors through the different sized Halftone Dots Stencils, layering them messily. I made sure to stencil over the edges of the coasters onto the one next to it, so it looked like there was no edge. (Bonus! When you are bored, you can pretend they are a little puzzle and put them back together again.)

To continue the circle theme, I dipped the edge of a cardboard tube (in several sizes) in more paint of various colors, and stamped circles, again over the edges of the coasters. Lastly, I used my Fineline Applicator with black fluid acrylics, and "scribble wrote" marks all over them. Once they were dry, I separated them, and gave them several coats of DecoArt Media Satin Varnish.

 Viola! I now have a brand new set of COOL coasters for summer time and those sweaty water glasses!

 

 

 

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!

Hey everyone, school is almost out and for this elementary art teacher I might be counting down the days along with my students. Teaching art is super fun y'all but I am t  i  r  e  d. And in this stupor I went and decided why don't I just work on 4 canvases at once. You know, just to keep things interesting. Ha!

I don't work in a series normally but each time I try it out I wonder why I don't work this way more often! It's like getting several pieces of art for the price of one. It is fascinating how things can flow and ideas can be worked out in slightly different ways on each canvas. Here is how I created one such series.

Supplies used:

My small canvases started with a light molding paste texture already applied and dried. I added black dots with the smallest Halftone dot stencil.

I then painted over that with a wash of turquoise and (using a technique I learned from Dina Wakley) I placed a stencil on top of the still wet paint and using a baby wipe I wiped off the paint showing through the stencil. What a juicy texture that makes!

I cut out house shapes from chipboard and used them as masks when I painted red all over the canvas.

Using white paint first and then several layers of yellow I added words to the houses with the pocket stencils.

Using the largest circles from the halftone dots I added white paint dots to the perimeter of each canvas.

Then more little details with yellow paint, acrylic ink and a graphite pencil.

Ta Da!!!! (Yikes! Look at that messy desk.)

Here's wishing you a creative week!

Kirsten