Artistcellar Blog

Imagine. Create. Enjoy.

Hello my lovely squishy arty friends! I am so excited to show you my playtime for this week!

I wanted to try something out with a couple items I got in my design team boxes, so I pulled the Faber-Castell Graphite Aquarelle pencils and a couple of the Dina Wakley Heavy Body Acrylics, I wanted to try 2 things, could I use the pencils as a cheater way to add shading while creating  a watercolor effect with the heavy body acrylics, and the answer is yes, yes I can!

It was so fun to try this out and see if it would work, I grabbed my homemade journal made with hot press watercolor paper and sketched out my alien with the HB and the 6B leads in the pack, using the HB for the rough sketch and the 6B to add darker shadow and lines.

I then used a plastic lid as a palette for my paint and mixed it with water until it was very thin, and filled her face with color activating the pencil as I went.

I love how the watery paint looks like water but I can layer it and not worry about lift or making mud, and the pencils activated and created the shadows I was looking for.

For the rest of the page I knew I wanted a Space theme but wasn't sure how to go about it, so I just decided to wing it, I made circles like a bulls-eye with the Aquarelles then filled them with the watery color, I then went and grabbed a make-up sponge and a couple stencils one from the Water Series and one from the Sacred Geometry 2 series just to add some random texture over the circles.

I then made another wash of color using black acrylic paint and painted over the background leaving glimpses of the background to create the stars and planets, then outlined them in white. I added a friend for her and I was done!

I love how this page turned out and love the eyes on my alien girl! I hope you enjoyed my process summary!

If you would like to watch the video of my process check it out below!

Big Hugs and Mushy stuff!! - Shana Banana

Wouldn't you know we're riding on the Marrakesh Express
Wouldn't you know we're riding on the Marrakesh Express
They’re taking me to Marrakesh
All on board the train, all on board the train
All on board – Graham Nash

We are in a cycle of dark dreary days filled with rain and humidity. Not the most advantageous to inspire creativity on these late Spring days. I needed an escape!  I wanted sun! I wanted warmth! I wanted exotic locations! With a bit of imagination and the best tools at my disposal I magically escaped the monotonous and traveled into a world of colour and exploration.

Opening the box from Artistcellar that arrived at my door was like grabbing my passport and getting on board to an exciting journey! Included with the supplies was the CHRIS COZEN - PLAYFUL PODS SERIES stencils. As with all of the Artistcellar stencils, they are made to last and perform perfectly with a variety of media. Clean up is quick and easy, leaving the stencil in like-new condition. I have been hearing a lot about the use of Rubber Cement. It seems to be the “go to” everyone is discussing…from Google+ Communities to Workshop details that land in my Inbox.

I selected the Bodacious Pods stencil from the series. They reminded me so much of Moroccan pouffes…the lovely Ottoman footstools that take lounging to the pinnacle of relaxation.  In my collection is an exquisite image of Sir Francis Bernard Dicksee’s "Leila", which I purchased on a Digital Collage Sheet. The woman, painted in the Oriental style, at last found a home.

My idea was to give the art a rough, almost sun worn finish similar to the buildings I photographed in Marrakesh. I chose a heavy watercolour paper for the substrate.  I dabbed the rubber cement through the stencil with my fingers…varying the amount from thick to thin, hoping this application would produce a mottled effect when covered with paint.

The rubber cement dried relatively quickly, even for impatient me. As an impulse buy, I recently purchased  pearlescent watercolours. I go weak in the knees for anything with a shimmer, and the selection of colours looked scrumptious. I covered the paper with a wash. I chose all the gorgeous Bohemian colours available on my pallet: Hot Pink, Vermilion Orange, Cyan Blue, Turquoise and Bright Violet! I blended the colours using a tool new to me… The SAKURA KOI WATERBRUSH. If you haven’t tried it you must! The brush is made of flexible nylon fibers that are fed with water from a refillable reservoir. When I was finished blending, the paper was once again set out to dry.

With my fingers and an eraser I removed the rubber cement. The result was as I had hoped…patchy, worn, sun kissed, with a dazzling shimmer…just as I remember my travels in Morocco.  It would be the perfect home for Leila. I scanned the altered paper and revised the image of the woman. I wanted to keep as much of the paper without further alteration, so I only added Graham Nash’s lyrics…the inspiration for the piece…surrounding her.

Art, I am sure you will agree, can take us to the places as far and as wide as our imagination. With the proper tools at our fingertips we can re-experience the wonders of travels past. Or we can dream of places we’ve yet to see.  Either way, won’t you join me? All on board the train, all on board the train!

MATERIALS USED

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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:

Hello again!

Since my last project I have discovered -- the gel printing plate! I know, I know... where have I been right? So I started this one with a gel print with some Artistcellar stencils! I used the Halftone Dots Series, Sacred Geometry 2 and the Diamond series with DecoArt Media Fluid Acrylics in Payne's Grey, Dina Wakely's Turquoise acrylic paint, Golden High Flow in Indigo and Green Gold, and Americana Multi-Surface Acrylic in Deep Turquoise. 

Once the gel print was dry, I taped off the edges with blue painter's tape and then added a wash of watercolor over the print with a koi waterbrush. Then, I cut out a silhouette from a magazine and traced around it with a Scribe-All pencil

Next, I used some black gesso and covered everything that wasn't in the silhouette... and added some drips of Golden's green gold and a little bit of Dylusions paint in "cut grass". 

To finish it off, I brushed some liquid glass over the silhouette because I wanted it to be glossy!

That's it! It was a very easy -- but very fun project and I really like the results.​

Hello again creative tribe! I am bringing it back to basics for this post. I recently got my hands on a set of water-soluble graphite pencils by Faber-Castell. There are five pencils and a paintbrush included. The five pencils range in hardness from HB (like a regular #2 pencil) up to 8B (soft and dark). They are divine to work with.

A little history....back in college my go to art supplies were pencils, charcoal and pens. I loved to doodle and sketch. I would get lost in the details of a composition and spend lots of time adding textures and shadows. I drew a lot of faces. Mostly self portraits but also funky ones from my imagination. Faces are endlessly fascinating to me with all their variations. Even though I like to play with mixed media I tend to take a break and just draw. I keep it simple, keep it monochromatic and let the magic happen.

For this little face I started in my Dylusions art journal on a page that I had previously gessoed. (Just a light layer applied with an old key card.) You can use these pencils on an un-gessoed surface but I like the extra workability I get from the gesso base.

Loosely sketching with the HB pencil I establish the head shape. Sometimes I start my faces with the nose and go out from there but this time I started with a U shape for the face. Once all the features were to my liking I took a softer pencil like the 2B or the 4B and put the shadows in. Grabbing a wet paintbrush or even a Koi Water Brush I painted over my lines and watched as the graphite began to blend and darken. I was able to pull out more shadows and create some really beautiful shades of gray.

While the surface was still wet I went back in with the 8B pencil and drew right on the wet paper. What a dark smooth line it made! The pencil line even bled a little into the wet paper. My little texture-lovin' heart went pitter pat at all the different ways I could create texture with just a few pencils, a brush and a cup o' water.

When my drawing was dry I used the 6B pencil and added more shadows around the face. I did not add water this time as I liked how the texture of the paper made such a nice complement to the smooth texture made by adding water.

I hope if you have not yet tried water-soluble drawing pencils that you take a leap and go for it. Keep it simple and just play. Get lost in the details and experiment with textures and shadows. Layer the graphite and watch the magic happen.

Happy Creating!

Hi Everyone! It’s Briana from OrangeSpiralArts.com. 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!”

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!

 

 

 

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