Friday, August 18, 2017

Coloring--Day Five

For the coloring book swap, we are required to send our coloring book to each artist in the swap. Since I provided a small book for my swap, I decided to give each of my swap partners, an uncolored envelope for themselves to keep and one to send my book through the mail. They could either leave the envelope uncolored or send it colored through the mail. I thought it would be fun for each of the swap recipients to receive something fun in the mail. I also provided labels for each swap partner to use.

Of course, the first artist in the swap was the luckiest in that they got to chose what they want to keep and what they wanted to color.

That's all for another week. Have a great weekend and I look forward to share more things next week.

Thursday, August 17, 2017

Coloring--Day Four

I refuse to send out a plain envelope in the mail. It really takes very little effort to fill up an envelope with color. This is my rent check envelope. This is the back of the envelope. Here I used Tombow markers and detailed with a extra fine tip Black Sharpie.

This is the front of the rent check envelope. To say the least, my landlord knows when my rent check arrives and has expressed his appreciation of the extra effort. His office carefully opens the envelope and has collected them over the 10 years that I have been sending them. His secretary teases that she is going to have an exhibition of my rent check envelopes.

Wednesday, August 16, 2017

Coloring--Day Three

I have been sending out a lot of mail for my swap-bot challenges. This was the envelope that I used to send out the coloring book to next artist for the coloring book swap. I decided to keep the front of the envelope plain because the artist had such a long name and the city name was long as well. I needed as many lines as I could fit in so there was little room for any extra decoration.

The back of the envelope was decorated with a mod 70s vibe. I used Sharpie markers to fill in the all of the blank spaces.

Tuesday, August 15, 2017

Coloring--Day Two

This is the second page of the coloring book for my first partner. This page was filled in with Tombow dual tip markers. I used a subtractive method on this page. First, the page is filled in with markers. This method works well because Tombow markers are very heavily pigmented. The page is then lightly misted with water. The final step is to take a paper towel and place on top of the wet surface. Press down (do not wipe since you don't want the ink to spread). Lift the paper towel and continue to blot the page (do not re-mist) until you reach the level of coverage you desire.

This technique mutes the colors a little, especially if you use bold colors like I did. 

The above image is the blotted paper towel. I am sure that if I used an absorbent artist's paper that I could have used this blotting image as a basis of some other artwork.

Monday, August 14, 2017

Coloring--Day One

This is week will be dedicated to coloring. Different people have different definitions of coloring but I simply go with the most basic definition--adding color to something. I am participating in an adult coloring book swap. We have three other partners and we are required to color two pages in our partners' coloring book.

When I color, I always color on a smooth surface. I usually enlarge my coloring surface by using a piece of foam core. I like the smooth surface of foam core. The problem with coloring directly on a surface is that you can transfer the texture of the surface onto your coloring page. Since I normally don't want to do this, I work on foam core. On top of the foam core, I usually place a piece of newsprint to capture all of the bleed through and so I can make any notations that I want.

This page was colored using Copic Markers for the background. I always keep my colors (regardless of medium) out until that particular phase of the coloring is completed. I used the markers for the background only. I use the newsprint to sample the colors that I want to use and to make notations of the colors should I need to reference them later.

The foreground of the page was filled in using Sharpie Extra Fine markers. Granted this is a non-traditional style of coloring. This is more like a mix of coloring and doodling.

Friday, August 11, 2017

Snail Mail3

Envelope Front
I refuse to let an envelope leave my apartment without some type of embellishment. This was a hand delivered note to a friend of mine in Manhattan.

Envelope Flap Side
I don't know why people make such a fuss. This literally took me ten minutes to do. The outlines were done with a stencil and a fine tipped Sharpie marker. It was then "colored in" with extra fine tipped Sharpie markers.

A little effort results in an outcome that the recipient always appreciates.

That's it for my return this week. Have a great weekend and I will see you on Monday.

Thursday, August 10, 2017

Snail Mail2

Most of my time lately has been dedicated to Mail Art and envelopes (either making or decorating them). The brief for this was flowers, 70s and butterflies. This is the outer envelope for a coloring book challenge that I signed up for in swap-bot. The backgrounds are done with my alcohol inks. Stencils were used to make the designs and the designs were filled in with Copic markers. The black boxes are the areas designated for the postage meter strip and the bar code meter strip.

The back of the envelope was dedicated to butterflies and a giant sunflower. These stenciled designs were filled in with fine tip Sharpie markers.

Wednesday, August 9, 2017

First Wax Seal

Here is another of my wax seals. This was the first one that I ordered. It is a custom order from Get Marked.  This is a double R in a overlapped script R. The wax is from a local store called Paper Presentation. Unknowingly, I purchased wax sticks for glue guns and they melted fine in a regular melting fashion.

Plain Seal
Seal with PearlEx powders
Seal with Gold Pigment Ink

Tuesday, August 8, 2017

Wax Seals--My latest obsession 

It is my nephew's fault I got involved with wax seals. He is eight going on thirty. He wanted a Harry Potter themed birthday party. He told his parents that Uncle Russ needed to get involved with the preparations this year. I have always been enamored with wax seals but never really experimented with them. Years ago, I tried but I found them too messy and the seals broke too easily in the mail. Things have changed drastically over time and the process is much cleaner and less stressful. The above image is the sample page in my wax seal book. It is easy to take the book around to show clients how wax seals work.

The above image is the simple wax seal with no adornment.

The above image is the wax seal with silver highlights. The highlights are created with stamp pad pigment ink. Rub your finger across the stamp pad and then lightly rub the image on the seal.

The above image is the seal in relief with an inked background. This uses a pigment ink stamp pad as well. To accomplish this look, the brass seal is dipped onto the stamp pad and then placed in the melted wax.

The above image illustrates two techniques: highlights using PearlEx powders and wax seals with ribbon.

For my nephew's project, we used the gold background technique (next to last photo) on the outer envelope. Each "student"/guest will go to the  sorting hat to get assigned to a particular house. Once assigned, they will get a scroll of assignments . At the end of the party each student will graduate and get a diploma signed by the headmaster and sealed with a ribbon.

Monday, August 7, 2017

Smail Mail

Since the demise of the Iron Craft Challenges, I have returned to Swap Bot to try and find a creative outlet. Most of my swaps have been affiliated with Mail Art, Postcards, and Envelopes. This is a postcard for a swap called Mostly Green.

When I read the recipient's profile, she was a fan of postage stamps and Monet. The color palette was inspired by Monet's Water Lilies series. The card is made from cold press watercolor paper. The paper was laminated with a scrap piece of decorative paper and the remnant of a map. I chose stamps that had the green and mauve theme of the Monet palette.

The obverse of the postcard was treated with my handmade alcohol inks. I like the pointillistic look of alcohol inks in a spray bottle.

Returning (Hopefully)

I really haven't been away but was finding it tedious to upload pictures to my computer and then format them and then post to blogspot. I was sharing a lot of my projects directly to my Instagram account (russromano). I could take a photo and directly post it to IG and it was much quicker to get everything out in the world.

I am now going to see how things post to blogspot directly from my iPad. If things format correctly and look presentable I might provide more posts.

Here is my first experiment with posting. If this posts well then I will return tomorrow with more details.