Thursday, February 14, 2013

Happy Valentine's Day!

We had art group last night, so I made something a little Valentine's-y.  These started out with some homemade hot glue stencils and Dylusions ink spray.  They looked cool, but you can't really tell now where I did them because I ended up painting and stenciling all over the place.  I'll have to show you those another time.

Hope you have a super sweet day!

Saturday, February 9, 2013

Journal Page Step by Step

Working in my Mega Journal.  The left side was already painted with acrylic paints from when I prepared the journal.

Starting with a cheap, hard bristled brush because I'm going to play with a stencil.

This is a stencil that I cut a long time ago out of watercolor paper.  For this step, I used the hard bristle brush to pounce on some pink glossy craft paint -- just in the middle.  The glossy part isn't what's important, but I know from using this paint before that it's more transparent than opaque which is what I was going for.

Before I removed the stencil, I sprayed a big spray of Dylusions Bubblegum Pink ink spray.

Then I used the remnant from punching out my daughter's Memory game cards as a stencil.

Using the same brush that I used for the pink before, I pounced on some pink acrylic and orange.  I don't wash my brush in between most steps.  Just a side note about color selection- I usually stick with three or four colors next to each other on the color wheel.  That way, I don't get a muddy color when the colors mix together -- just fun blends!

The page was screaming for some yellow, so I used the same brush (probably blotted off on a paper towel) and added a lemon yellow craft paint around and on the stenciled squares and the circle starburst stencil.  (Why was it screaming?  I wasn't super happy with the squares competing with the starburst, so something needed to make them calm down a bit.  The yellow seemed to do the trick.)

Ok, I did wash my brush before I did this step.  I grabbed some white gesso (which I like because it dries quickly, isn't too opaque, and it dries with a flat/matte finish) and painted a circle.  I also added some white between some of the rays and in the middle.

I had a thought that the circle might become a flower, so I stenciled on two flower centers using pink craft paint and the same starburst stencil.

Then I grabbed a flat brush (again, a cheap, hard bristle brush)...

And I added some more white in and around those flowers using gesso.  On a different day, I may have just stopped here and moved to a different page.  I kind of liked it just like this, but that seemed like a boring demo.  I hadn't really messed up anything yet (at least in my mind), and I wanted to keep playing.

So, I added some lettering using a small #6 round brush and some white gesso.  The ink spray does some interesting things when you paint over it which I'll have to explore another day.  (A note about Dylusions ink sprays - they are water soluble, so they will smudge when you use them over a painted surface (like my page on the left was painted) and then paint over them.  If you put them on an absorbent paper (like my page on the right where there was just paper), they don't budge much.) 

And I kept going with some thin Sharpie markers and Prismacolor colored pencils in purple and magenta.

So here's where I confess that there's part of the page that I'm not happy with.  For whatever reason, I decided to just write the word "discover".  It made it onto the end product as you will see, but I will probably revise this by painting over it with a stripe of gesso and do some different lettering.

I added a paper arrow on the left, and after that, I got a little crazy.  I added a darker pink stripe around the big circle, then I made some white circles with gesso over all of my circles.  After that dried a bit, I took a wet wipe and started smudging parts of the page -- mostly to soften up the darker pink stripe.  You might be able to see where I made a big circular sweep over the big circle.

Ok, so now I have some smudgy messes.  let's clean up a bit.  I added some paper circles to the middle of my small flowers.  The orange striped center was a little too white, so I used a Portfolio water soluble oil pastel followed by some water to tint it a little orange. I also used the starburst stencil and Dylusions Orange ink spray to add some subtle orange rays on the bottom left.  To do that, I just sprayed the ink, then smudged it with a paper towel while the stencil was still in place. 

And to finish up (for now), I used a Stabilio black pencil to  do some outlining and add details.  I also added white gesso accents and painted over the "dream" letters again so they would stand out a little more.  And finally, I added some cut out scrapbooking paper circles for the middles of the circles.
That's it!  Don't hesitate to let me know if you have questions.  Have a great weekend!

Thursday, February 7, 2013

Shelly's Studio Presents: Be the change

So I have an awesome and super crafty friend named Sheila.  We met through Harper's school.  (To those of you who told me that local friends would happen once Harper was in school, you were right! Thank you!)

Sheila's birthday was yesterday.  She tries to ignore this birthday thing a bit, but we weren't very cooperative.  So of course a birthday project had to be made because I can't really afford Sheila's real birthday wish -- a private island.

Here's what I made (and had to hang on my wall for a few minutes of course):

- Boards cut to approximately the same length + boards for the back to hold it all together
- Screws (I used 1 1/4 inch screws, but use whatever is appropriate for the boards you pick)
- Glue
- White acrylic paint or white gesso (I prefer gesso or white primer because it dries very "flat" (not shiny))
- Brown acrylic paint or stain
- Accent color paint (optional - I used aqua craft paint)
- Water
- Container for the paint/water mix
- Waterproof covering for your table (a trash bag will work fine)
- Paper towels
- Baby wipes (optional)
- Large paintbrush
- Small flat paintbrush (I used a #6)

I started with some old board scraps we had sitting around (you can find scraps at home improvement stores in the giveaway bin too), and I attached them together with GLUE (don't forget glue - you will regret it like I did) and screws.  PREDRILL your holes for your screws that you don't split the wood pieces.  Here's what the back looked like:
PAINT the front with some white gesso or a watered down white acrylic or latex paint (even white primer will work fine).  You can even use a different light color of paint if you want (light blue, green, pink, etc.)  I used a light coat of white gesso, and I didn't paint the sides of the boards (they end up brown later). 

A fun step after painting - If your boards are too perfect, DISTRESS them with a hammer, screwdriver, anything else you can think of to make marks on the board.  You can go as crazy as you want with the distressing. 

Then collect these supplies:
- something waterproof to cover your table (I used plastic coated paper from the grocery store, but a trash bag would work great too.) 
- brown acrylic paint (or stain will work too)
- water to thin down the paint (I use about a 40% paint, 60% water mix)
- a large paint brush
- paper towels
- baby wipes (optional, but I like this step)
Here's a step that looks a little scary, but it all works out in the end.  Paint the thinned down brown paint onto the boards -- paint the sides too.  You don't get extra credit for being neat here.  Just get that brown paint on there fairly quickly.  You might be thinking, "Wow, that's really brown."  Well, get the paper towels, and start mopping the brown off. 
Then (if you want) use BABY WIPES to remove even more of the paint.  Just a heads up - if you rub too much, the white paint under the brown paint will start to also wipe off and wood will start to show through.  I like some of that, so mine has a little wood showing through here and there.  I dripped on three blobs of the optional acrylic accent paint (I used aqua).
 And I used baby wipes to spread it across the boards.
Ok, time to get a cup of tea or coffee and do some breathing.  Let the boards dry completely.  Besides, the next step is the lettering, so we need to settle down a bit from all this excitement.  Stare at your boards for a while and make a plan for where the words are going to sit.  I didn't have a big plan at first, so I turned the boards upside down, and then back, and then back again.  I ended up turning mine upside down from where I started because I thought the words would fit better that way.

Scared of painting without guides?  DON'T WORRY.  Here's another way you can do this.  On your computer (in MS Word or whatever word processing software you use), find a font that you like, make the letters BIG (maybe 250 point to 350 point depending on the size of your boards).  Print them out.  Use graphite paper and trace the letters onto the board.  Don't have graphite paper?  Flip your printed pages over, and color all over the back of them in pencil (use the side of the lead like when you were a little kid making rubbings).  Now you have your own graphite paper on the back of your papers.  Trace away.

So, time to begin.  I used the white gesso and flat #6 brush to paint my letters.  I won't lie, it was a fairly slow process. 

- Don't use too much paint on your brush. 
- Don't press down too hard on your brush tip. 
- Use BABY WIPES or a wet paper towel to wipe away mistakes.
- Turn your board as needed to get a better angle.
- To get an even spacing, paint letters from both the left and right sides (that is why below, the word "WANT" was painted before the "U" in "YOU".  I wasn't exactly sure how much space I would have, so I went to the right side and painted the T, N, A, and W.  Then I came back and painted the U.
- Use the square tip of the paint brush to go back and make "squarer" ends on your letters.  This ends up looking better than the more rounded end you may get when making your first brush stroke to make the letter.
TAKE A DEEP BREATH!  Attach a hanger on the back (I used two screws and some wire), and you are done!  ENJOY!

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Let's call it a draw.

This journal page and I are not playing nice-nice.  I'm letting it go for now.  Time to turn the page (ehem, get back to work on my new non-art business for the rest of the day) and move on.

I've been doing regular show and tell updates over at my facebook page (!/ShellyMasseyArt).  Hope to see you there!