Thursday, September 21, 2017

Day 21--30 Day Coloring Challenge

Full Page in Art Journal
Today, I decided to share with you another spread in my personal Art Journal. I had shared this color wash spread in a previous post. I decided to fill the page with a quote from myself and some images from a couple of stencils from my stash.

The sentiment comes from my diary that goes on to explain the effects of loneliness. The entire quote reads "Sometimes I sing because I am afraid: of the silence, that I am going deaf, or that no one knows I am here."

The birds were colored with fine tipped Sharpies and the outlines were done with extra fine tipped Sharpies. Because the pages are textured and treated with fixative, I couldn't use my Tombow markers. Tomorrow, I will try to see if my Copic markers will work.

To add interest, I included some international postage stamps featuring birds.

Left page detail
Right page detail

Wednesday, September 20, 2017

Day 20--30 Day Coloring Challenge

Base page

For today's coloring challenge, I wanted to share a page in my personal art journal. The first step was to fill the page with color. In this case, I used pastel sticks in shades of blue and purple. I blended the colors with a cosmetic sponge and then set the color with fixative.

Completed Page
The second step was to add two interest with two separate stencils. First I laid down the butterfly and then laid down the flowers/petals. Originally, I did a zentangle design on the butterfly but didn't like the way it turned out. To cover it up, I tinted Golden light modeling paste with Ice Blue liquid watercolor (Dr PH Martin's). I then applied a thin layer using the stencil. I then added an additional layer that I then textured for interest.

I colored the flowers and leaves with Tombow markers. I added the quotes with a extra fine tip Sharpie is complimentary colors.

Right side detail

Left Side Detail

Tuesday, September 19, 2017

Day 19--30 Day Coloring Challenge

Watercolor wash and Sharpie

When the Iron Craft Challenges ceased, I was looking for an opportunities to challenge myself creatively. One of the reasons that I liked the Iron Craft Challenges was they would many times force the artists to create something out of their comfort zone. Since you were only making things for yourself, rather than to exchange, as the creator you weren't getting judged or graded. The community was a very supporting one.

I had been on swap-bot before and many times, I always gave better than I received. I didn't mind it so much because I was always looking for opportunities to create and I could always just join the swaps in which I felt comfortably participating. The problem with swap-bot is that all exchanges get rated so if you get a particularly nasty person, and there are plenty, it gets a little disheartening when you are rated down because of a perceived slight especially if they don't give you an opportunity to correct it.

For today's coloring challenge, I decided to share a postcard that I will be sending out today. The theme was a handmade postcard in Orange.

For the front, I did a watercolor wash in shades of orange. I then stenciled an image of a woman's face. This particular stencil has four women's faces so I did a series of four postcards. The top image is the front of the post card after the first treatment.

For the back of the card, I used my alcohol inks with a paisley stencil.

Back of post card
To finish the front of the card and to make it a little sturdier to send through the mail, I put a coat of gloss ModPodge to seal the colors. As you can see, the stenciled imaged lightened in color and the orange watercolor wash really pops.

Finished post card

Monday, September 18, 2017

Day 18--30 Day Coloring Challenge

For today's coloring challenge, I decided to color a floundering page in one of my own coloring books.This was the coloring book that was send to other artists to color in a swap-bot coloring book exchange.There are five two-page spreads and each of the artists were asked to color two different two-page spreads.This is the remaining spread. This is a star mandala stencil from my stash. I decorated with background markings so that the lines would help guide the person coloring the page, if they needed. As you can see, the unidirectional lines show which element belongs with each other. It's almost a paint by numbers without the numbers. If the artist chooses to go in a different direction then  no one is the wiser.

The first step was to add color to the elements of the positive space (the parts with the lines). Each section was colored using four different colors. The first level (innermost layer) was colored in three shades of red (R37, R05, RV25). The middle level was colored in three shades of orange (YR16, YR18, YR02). The outermost level was colored in three shades of yellow (Y35, Y10, Y38). To unify all of the levels, a fourth shade of yellow (Y17)was used to highlight the centers of each element.

The second step was to highlight the positive space by using a dark color for the negative space. I was getting a Mediterranean vibe to the coloring scheme so I decided to use a dark blue to make the other colors pop off the page. In this case, I used B69.

To finish the piece, I used a gold metallic Shapie (fine) to add gold dots to the negative space.

BTW, the color designations above are for Copic markers.

Sunday, September 17, 2017

Day 17--30 Day Coloring Challenge

Today's coloring challenge is the reverse of the envelope I shared with you  yesterday. Another stencil from my collection, I colored with with Copic Markers and then added the background plaid with Micron pens in .03 (orange and red) and .05 in orange. Another quick and easy envelope.

Saturday, September 16, 2017

Day 16--30 Day Coloring Challenge

Today's coloring challenge is another envelope. Not all of my mail art gets sent through the mail. This is a hand delivered envelope that got the special treatment.

I love this chrysanthemum stencil. Each flower was filled in with 5 shade of either red or green. I used Copic markers for the coloring and a Micron .03 for the outline since I needed to work quickly and didn't have time to wait for the Sharpie Marker to cure.

Friday, September 15, 2017

Day 15--30 Day Coloring Challenge

This is the back of yesterday's envelope. I love sunflowers. I needed a nice large image so I could get this in the mail quickly. This was outlined in a Micron pen which allowed me to work quicker. When I use a Sharpie to outline something, I wait at least a half day before coloring it in (unless I use another Sharpie product). If I plan on using Tombow or Copic markers, I wait a day.

Of course, I can't do anything simply--even if most people will never realize. The seeds were done with three colors that were layered. I am still learning how to blend colors but these manila envelopes do not provide a good blending surface.

I used two colors for the leaves and three colors for the petals. Overall, I really like the way that this turned out.

Here is a little trick I have learned since I decorate a lot of envelopes. If I need to test colors, I use the underside of the envelope flap so see how steadfast the colors are on that particular style of envelope. Since it will be sealed, no one will ever see the color swatches.

 I usually send out white envelopes but since I knew that I was going to use this sunflower stencil, I decided to let the envelope color work in my favor by provide a good base color.

Thursday, September 14, 2017

Day 14--30 Day Coloring Challenge

After finishing yesterday's coloring book page, I needed to send the coloring book back to it's owner. If you have been following me for any length of time, you know that I can't send a plain envelope through the mail. I thought these hummingbirds and trumpet flowers would be a nice surprise to those who touch this envelope along the way to Mississippi.

Wednesday, September 13, 2017

Day13--30 Day Coloring Challenge

So here is the completed piece. The background is completed with Pilot Gelli Roll pens. The background is supposed to emulate the old etchings where the plate would be etched with fine lines so that the images would look as if they were raised from the background. Here, the orange represents the sun. The red represents the sunshine and the blue represents the sky. As you can see, the sunshine is double hatched to create a denser look directly behind the flower to distinguish it even more.

Tuesday, September 12, 2017

Day 12--30 Day Coloring Challenge

Today I am adulting so there was little time for coloring but I did squeeze in a little something--leaves and blue accents. The blue is supposed to represent the clouds (in the corners) and rain (the little rounded shapes).

Tomorrow,  finish the piece.

Monday, September 11, 2017

Day 11--30 Day Coloring Challenge

Today, I am continuing with the coloring book for the coloring challenge. Yesterday, I shared the color story for the flower. Here is the flower fully realized. Tomorrow, I will be sharing the coloring of the leaves featured at the bottom of the page.

BTW, that fluorescent pink paper is a cover sheet to prevent the makers bleeding onto the next page.

Sunday, September 10, 2017

Day 10--30 Day Coloring Challenge

For today's coloring challenge, I have decided to share this page in the coloring book swap that I am currently assigned. The book is long overdue and so I want to dedicate the next couple of days to finishing it so I can get it back in the mail to its owner.

As previously mentioned, to start I basically work out the color scheme on the basic pattern. Once that has been decided, it simply is a matter of of just matching and filling in the colors for the rest of the pattern. I have to say that I like the design part best and wish I could hire someone to fill it in. Until that happens, back to the studio I go.

Saturday, September 9, 2017

Day 9--30 Day Coloring Challenge

Today, I decided to combine both of the 30 Day Challenges that I am completing in September. One is the 30 Days of Happiness Quotes that I have been doing in my Hobonichi. The second is the Coloring Challenge that I have been already sharing with you.

Today's quote is a play on words. I was searing through my envelope stock because I will be making some more handmade envelopes very soon. I ran across the image of Monet's home and gardens which I thought would be funny with the word impress vs impressionism in today's quote.

Once I found the picture, I decided what I wanted to do.

Monet's home and garden.
I decided to use vellum as an overlay and to letter the quote on the overlay. I used a Sharpie Brush Marker for the lettering. I outlined the letters with a Sharpie fine tip marker in maroon. I didn't realize how bold the colors have to be in order to work through the opaqueness of the vellum. On the front, I used a .08 Micron liner to outline the pansy stencil.

I then decided to reverse color the stencil from the underside much like they used to do reverse glass painting. I used Tombow markers to apply the color and a Micron marker to add the details. I then applied two used postage stamps to the front to finish the top layer.

Vellum Overlay
Still not thoroughly pleased, I added dried flowers to the underside of the vellum to add interest. These are pansies and verbena.

The underside of the vellum overlay
One of the goals of the page was to question what was real and from where the images were coming. Very much like the Impressionists, you had to look several times to see all of the images and the component parts.

Friday, September 8, 2017

Day 8--30 Day Coloring Challenge

For today's coloring challenge, I decided to add some basic color to my art journal. I always have difficulty staring at a blank page when starting a journaling spread. To remedy this difficulty, I simply add a color wash and then put the page away until I am ready to journal. This is a handmade journal made from cold-press watercolor paper. This was accomplished using Dr Ph Martin's Concentrated Water Colors.

Thursday, September 7, 2017

Day 7--30 Day Coloring Challenge

Today's coloring challenge is a handmade postcard for a swap title "Love." Both sides were filled with color using my alcohol inks. For the front, I decorated the hearts with Sharpie markers. The back of the card included some Love postage stamps.

Wednesday, September 6, 2017

Day 6--30 Day Coloring Challenge

For today's Coloring Challenge, I decided to use one of my stencils and decorate the envelope that I will send my rent check. The theme was the colors and designs of Alhambra in Grenada Spain. The above image is the stencil with basic color.

Here is where I added background color. I wanted to highlight the positive space so I blended green and yellow in two different hues (in the first and third tile).

I then wanted to highlight the positive areas with a gold gelli pen. To highlight the negative space, I highlighted with a white gelli pen.

Detail of the first tile
Detail of the second tile
Detail of the third tile

Tuesday, September 5, 2017

Day 5--30 Day Coloring Challenge

Today, I wanted to share another piece of mail art that I sent away. This was the outer envelope for a coloring book swap where I forwarded the coloring book to the next artist. I love this turtle stencil and wanted to do something special with it. The above image is the beginning of the shell. I used four different greens to get texture on the shell.

The second image is where I colored the body in three different lighter color greens. The idea is that since the body doesn't see the sun then it would be a lighter color.

I wasn't totally happy with the "seaweed" in that it looks like sperm to me but it was too late to fix it.

I then added a three color crosshatching to the background to resemble water.

Monday, September 4, 2017

Day 4--30 Day Coloring Challenge

Here is the final piece. I am not quite happy with the coverage of the darker blue background sections. I might try and find a better way of coverage. Maybe I will revisit it before sending it off. Off to another page and then getting it out of my apartment.

Sunday, September 3, 2017

Day 3--30 Day Coloring Challenge

Today was definitely one the "just 10 minutes a day" kind of day. A full day so I decided to add color to the leaves and star. Tomorrow, I will finish and add the blue background.

Friday, September 1, 2017

Day 2--30 Day Coloring Challenge

Here is the second installment of my coloring book swap and the 30 Day Coloring Challenge. I will probably finish this up on Monday. I figure one day for the green leaves/star and one day for the background.

Have I mentioned that crayons are my least favorite medium? I just don't like the way that they do not blend or layer. Maybe it is just the paper that is being used in this book. Maybe if the paper had more tooth I would enjoy it better. That would be a great experiment to pursue later in this challenge.

Day 1--30 Day Coloring Challenge

Today is the first day of the 30 Day Coloring Challenge presented by Kathy over at The Daily Marker Blog.

The goals are easy--simply color every day, even if it is only 10 minutes, for the month of September. That's it. I have decided to start the challenge with a page that I am coloring for a coloring book swap. This is the second set of pages that I have received from this artist so I decided to use a different medium. For the next two pages in this swap, I will be using water-resistant wax pastels (Caran d'Ache) which is a fancy brand of crayons.

I actually remembered to take a photo of the page before I began (above image).

I tend to work in color palettes and that is how I decide to stop and start. Here is the first stopping point after filling in the page with oranges and reds.

Thanks for stopping along and as an added bonus, I will have a couple of weekend posts including days 2 and 3 of this challenge and a continuation of the discussion of my stamp collecting. Have a great weekend.

Thursday, August 31, 2017

Postage Stamp Collecting

Today, I wanted to share with you another collection of mine. I have always been infatuated with postage stamps ever since I was young. A friend of my mother was an avid stamp collector. He had albums upon albums of postage stamps. He used to collect international postage. He was rabid in his pursuit of collecting and even gave me my first album when I was in high school.

I like the idea of collecting postage stamps but didn't have the required patience or the dedication to keep them in the order required of a proper album. As a matter of fact, he took my album and stamps away from me since he said I couldn't do the stamps "justice."

I like postage stamps as artwork instead. I didn't care if they were important or expensive but instead I cared about the artistic aspect of the stamps. I used to glue stamps into my diaries as I was growing up so I like that way of preserving them rather than putting them in books to be stored away.

I still enjoy collecting them but now I enjoying just collecting from mail. I still buy in bulk but I more enjoy actually receiving mail and taking the stamps from their paper backing. The solution I use preserves the glue on the stamp so I have to place them on wax paper until I need to use them.

What most people don't realize is that postage stamps in the United States can be used again if they have not been cancelled (where the face of the stamp has been defaced). I never figured out why some stamps get cancelled and some do not. But if the stamp is not defaced you can use it again. With the advent of the Forever stamp in the United States the current value is 49 cents. So two Forever stamps is approximately $1. With as much mail I send, these free stamps add up. Most of my swap-bot postage is sent free of charge.

Tomorrow, I will be participating in the 30 Day Coloring Challenge hosted by Kathy. Therefore, the majority of my future posts for September will be dedicated to this challenge but I will be posting additional material on several days.