Artistcellar Blog

Imagine. Create. Enjoy.

This week I want to share with you what I created with the collage papers I created from my last blog post. Remember these?

Here's what I used:

One more thing before we start. I don't have any process photos (GASP! I know!). I was going along with the creative flow and didn't even realize until I was finished, dagnabbit. But, on the other hand, I do have 12 finished faces to show you!

My process is as follows: In my little Moleskine I pre-gessoed a bunch of pages so the page is ready to go when I am. I decided I wanted to fill this book with faces but before I draw the faces I add a few layers of color onto my page with paint and stencils. Using a foam wedge makeup sponges makes this process easy. While those layers dried I went in with my paint pen (black or white) and drew faces on a few of the pages. (Nope, no pencil first! Just go for it! To make it even more fun I used a continuous line on some of them.) For the other pages I cut face-like shapes from my homemade collage paper and glued them down with matte medium. To review: On some pages I drew a face directly on the stencil decorated background and on others I drew a face on top on collage paper that was cut to a face-like shape and then glued in the book.

Oh look! I do have a process shot! LUCKY!

This shows some stencil layers and collage paper cut to a face-like shape.

Now I just use my imagination and paint the faces fabulous colors remembering to use complementary colors to help make things POP! Don't layer your paint on too thick since you want the underlayer texture created by the stencils to still peek through.

I also add a layer of paint to the backgrounds in some places to make things interesting.

Final steps happen when all the paint is dry. I take my extra-fine black paint pen and trace over my drawing lines again. This smooths the edges of the features and lends it a finished look. I also take my 9xxb drawing pencil to create value and texture.

I'm in love! We'll see how many faces I create with this style/technique before I change it up. I already have plans to make even more of my own collage papers.

Happy creating!

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!

Hello My lovely Lovelies!

To start I will show you what became of the canvas I started for my last post. Originally I was going to just keep layering the 12" x 12" Water Series and Coral Series stencils until I loved what I saw, but I failed that plan miserably. Because of the stencils I was inspired to paint a mermaid. I used my Dina Wakley Paints to make her. The only bad part is I still need to create something to fill the blank space on my wall because this piece is now the wrong size.

I love how the stencils inspired me to create her! I think I will do another using the same stencils and create some fun fish. I'll keep you posted if I do.

The journal entry I created for this post was not what I had originally planned, I have a family member who it looks like is losing a battle with cancer so I wanted to record my feelings in my journal. I used my (Jane Davenport) watercolor journal, my Koi watercolor Field Sketch kit, NeoColor II's, Dina Wakley Paints, a white paint pen and watercolor markers, along with a Pocket stencil from the Steampunk Series and the Seven Jewels stencil from the Japanese Geometric series.

I love how the use of the larger stencils broke up the monotony of my plain background without any real effort and tied my pages together.

I created both pieces live on my Youtube channel, if you would like to watch how I worked you can see below!

Big hugs and mushies too you!

MERMAID LIVESTREAM: 

JOURNAL PAGE LIVESTREAM: 

 

A DAY AT NATHAN'S

"Coney Island is and always will be 'the people's playground.' It's a place where people of all backgrounds come to have a good time." Harold Feinstein, Photographer

It could be the incredible weather. Eighty degrees in April?! Really? Or maybe it was the Pink Full Moon. Or maybe I was just hungry. Nevertheless, my thoughts were drawing me to Coney Island. And one of my favourite places was, and still is, Nathan’s Famous Hot Dogs.

Established in 1916, immigrants Nathan and Ida Handwerker spent their life savings of $300 to pursue the American dream. Still standing on the corner of Surf and Stillwell Avenues in Brooklyn, Nathan’s was always a great stop on the way home from a day at the Beach. The huge white sign with the “Nathan’s” green script is forever a welcome mat to every Beach weary traveler. 

I found a great vintage photo taken in 1947 of a hungry crowd waiting to be served. And there in the foreground was the object of their affection…the famous Nathan’s hot dogs and buns marking time on the rolling grill. 

Grabbing my Strathmore Visual Journal I started the design. I brayered layers of acrylic paint on to the stock. I wanted colours that screamed beach, summer, and joy so I selected hues of yellow, orange, red and pink. I especially love the Dylusions sprays. Bubble Gum Pink is outstanding. It really gave the background the pop of colour it needed. But rather than spray it on to the paper, I sprayed my palette, coated the brayer and rolled it on to the surface. The hot pink colour stays true even when dried. I love it!

But what is the Beach without the Ocean? Part of the charm of eating at Nathan’s is feeling the grit of the sandy sidewalk under your feet and the salt in the air. That is why the Artistcellar Water Series is the perfect complement for my composition. I chose to use the 12” x12” Surf stencil. The movement of the stencil is a wonderful counterbalance to the straight brayered patches of colour.  In addition to my Visual Journal I also have a digital counterpart. From this collection I chose two watercolour versions of the Artistcellar Halftone Dots Series. Stenciled on to Mineral Paper the samples had just the quality I was looking for to complete the work.

But what is Nathan’s without people? With a bit of digital manipulation the image was ready to become part of the final composition. 

And that’s what I love about Art. Even though I couldn’t be at Nathan’s physically, by working on the collage I was able to travel through time and visit a location near and dear to my heart. It allowed me to remember an exceptional, blissful time with my family.

But Nathan’s isn’t just somewhere to eat. For me it is the embodiment of all that is truly American: our spirit of entrepreneurship, our willingness to hope for a better future, a place where young and old, rich and poor can mingle. In essence, it is a microcosm of the tolerant and diverse city I am proud to call my Home.  

As a Nation there may be times we seem to go off track. But I firmly believe our collective soul thrives on compassionately embracing ideas that are different. And most of all offering a warm welcome to those who want to make this Nation their own.

MATERIALS USED:

Hello my Lovelies! I am totally scatter brained! I recently realized that I lost a day at some point this week! So here I am working leisurely on this week's blog post thinking I was a day ahead of schedule than "splat" reality throws a curveball at me! Sorry Lisa! I was playing with a canvas and my 12" x 12" Water and Coral Series stencils.

My plan is to keep doing layers of color until I like what I see. I had company in  town and I gave a piece of art off my wall and I now have a space to fill so I am making this all for me. I will give an update on my next blog post as to how it turned out.

Because I wanted to have a actual completed piece for you I promptly took out my journal and decided I would have some fun play time. After doing the faces of February I realized that I am pretty much stuck in a rut as far as what the faces I usually make look like so I have been working on changing that and trying to evolve my style a bit.

If you are familiar with what I normally do you will notice I tried to make her eyes further apart and to put less detail in the nose, I want to kind of "rough up" the look and get to refining later.

I started by doing a very rough sketch of my girl holding her kitty with my Generals Scribe-all in black. I then activated the pencil with water and started adding Dina Wakley  paint willy-nilly until I got the face colored in nice. I did a color wash background using more watered down paint in multiple layers. Then went back in with Cheddar and Fuchsia and the Japanese Geometric stencils thinking it would give me the feel I wanted but It didn't groove with me so I went in with Gesso through the 12" x 12" Sea Foam from the Water Series and realized the sentiment I wanted to record in my journal. "Why can't I just live in a bubble with my cat" which I wrote using a nib pen wth my Dyna-flow in Turquoise. For the last touch I used my white gel pen to add little scribbly bits here and there until I was happy!

I love doing these fun journal entries and exploring my style! 

Big Hugs and Mushy Stuff!

Shana Banana

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 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!