Hello September! One of my favorite times of the year is just around the corner. Fall. I just love the sights, scents and colors of this season. How about you? Hi, I'm Debi Adams, and I'm the DIY Columnist for StencilGirl®. As some of you may or may not know, I love filling my home with bits of decor that welcome in the season. No better time than now to introduce a new piece of art that makes use of the autumn colors. Although my art/crafting history has a lot of card making in it, this latest piece can be used as wall decor, table top display or even a Thanksgiving table greeting as well. I made it as a card but as you will read, it can be translated into framed artwork too.
Creating my art piece was really easy. It was based on the three key components that go into card making (See my "The Art of Cardmaking" video series), although not all are necessary for an art piece. The reality is mixed media art and card making are very similar at their core. It's the approach and use of products that make them different. (Not surprisingly, I have heard it can make all creative parties a bit uncomfortable when delving into the other's genre). Both attack their projects with a background, a main focal point and a message. The layering effects and how a message is conveyed is where the road begins to divide. Here I approached it with a bit of both. It is my intention that no matter where your comfort zone lies, you will be able to stretch your creative bandwidth. So let's get started with, "The Process".
I used Arches® Cold Pressed Watercolour Paper 140 lb. weight for my substrate. I found this watercolor paper to be absolutely the best for getting amazing results. You can buy it by the sheet or by the tablet, not inexpensive but most definitely worth it for your better projects. You can also use cold-pressed watercolor paper or mixed media paper at 140lb. too. They are not nearly as costly but work just a bit differently in terms of outcome but definitely a great place to start!
Windsor Newton watercolors are my paints of choice but you can choose whatever watercolors you like. Misting the paper with water first helped the watercolors spread nicely. I dipped my watercolor brush into my colors and just started dropping them onto the paper, letting them bleed together. Choose just three complimentary colors to get started so that you don't end up with a muddy mess. I misted some areas a bit more so the paint could actually drip. Some areas I went back into and added more color.
When everything was dry, I stenciled in a new ATC Mixup design using white acrylic paint. (Stenciling and mini-markings were made with the bottom left and bottom right stencil images below). Ok, so I am going to be the biggest cheerleader EVER for the all the NEW and past ATC Mixup stencils! I love them. They are absolutely the best. They are easy to take anywhere, especially if you cut them down like I did. You get 9 FABULOUS designs on each stencil from a variety of designers. The possibilities with these are endless. (This post could go on and on!). Today I chose Jennifer Evans ATC Mixup collection.
I love dimension in my art. To achieve this with stencils, I painted or watercolored several of the designs on watercolor/mixed media paper. (It's ok if the design bleeds. Part of the watercolor look!) Don't forget to use several shades of paint so the flower has some life to it. When dry, I drew around the flower and added markings using my black and white pens and then I cut them out. I always make more than I need so that when I want that "something" for another project, I just reach into my "spare parts" jar.
I got kind of an idea, half way through. (Call it my a.d.d.) Ya'll may have already done this a long time ago so just amuse me, but I thought about double stenciling this design. I put another stencil (Gridded) on top of the flower stencil and painted it brown. I loved how it made the daisy look whimsical. By double-stenciling, I eliminated any excess design outside the flower's border. Anyway, just a detour here. Sometimes art takes us on an unexpected journey.
Now the last part of the process is mark-making and assembly. Add any additional marks to your base before attaching flowers and sentiment. I created the sentiment using this wonderful stencil by Carolyn Dube called Alpha Jumble Small. It is a must have if you are a cardmaker. I used a sponge applicator and white ink/paint to apply the image to the skinny black strip of cardstock. Also, I try to incorporate a little bit of black carpet thread into some of my pieces. I tied a bow and adhered it behind the flower. The flowers were attached using foam dots.
Adding the sentiment made this a card but don't feel obligated to put this on yours. Often times I give my project away so the sentiment works. If I were to hang it, I would definitely remove it.
Speaking of give away, if you leave a comment on this blog, I will draw the name of a random winner who will receive this card/art project. You must live in the continental U.S. to enter and only one comment per person. Winner will be chosen on Thursday, September 13th when I post here again!
I love art, playing and creativity. I hope I have in some way inspired you to try something different today.