Friday, February 14, 2014

Hot Glue Stencils- A How-to Tutorial

I was quite fascinated by the videos and posts I have seen lately on homemade Hot Glue Stencils, and after doing a little research have discovered the original idea was from Traci Bautista, and she has a walk through on her blog, if you want to check it out, just click on her name. :)
So, I shared my discovery with my sister and art friend, Beckie and she asked if I would try out the technique and write up a little tutorial on how I was able to make this technique work.
Well, it was a piece of cake!!! I really thought there would be a pretty big margin of error, and I would likely fall into that error section, but NOPE! Even I was able to do this and make it work. :)
Below is the YouTube video I created on how to make the actual stencils, and then below that I will post the pictures and info on how I used the stencils, in a couple of ways.
Ok- and here is how I used my homemade Hot Glue Stencils:

First I put some newsprint down on my table, and then put two 8 1/2 X 11 inch pieces of white cardstock on top of the newsprint, and then arranged my stencils.
Then I gathered a few spray inks- the brand I have are Color Mists by, I have had these for several years- I mean like at least 6 years, and they are still good, and have only had a minor clog, that took very little to fix. I have been quite happy with them. :)
Then I sprayed the paper with the stencils sitting on top, I wanted to use several colors, so just as a helpful hint - If you don't want brown or muddy colors, use colors that are next to each other on the color wheel, and not opposite on the color wheel - So on one side I used, green, blue and purple, and the other side I used yellow and bright pink, as seen below.
After I sprayed the ink, I removed the stencils and dropped the stencils up-side-down onto another sheet of newsprint to allow the excess spray ink to drip off.
While I waited to let my sprays dry, I cleaned up the stencils with a baby wipe:
Next, I wanted to add some more texture and layers, so I dug out some acrylic paint- I have many brands and kinds, it doesn't matter if it is fancy paint, or cheap paint- anything will work.
When you apply paint, you want to put it on the bottom part of the stencil. The FLAT side. Especially when using letter or word stencils, because if you don't the image will not transfer well, or your letters will be backwards. 
When you have the paint on the stencil, then press it to the paper, and make sure you get the stencil to make full contact with your paper. You may want to use a rubber brayer or a cover sheet to press down on the stencil.
Then carefully peel the stencil off your paper to reveal the painty texture.
Take your stencils to the sink, and wash them with mild soap and water to remove the paint from your stencil..
Here is a close-up of how the paper looks:

Thanks for taking the time to watch my video and read my tutorial, and give it a try for yourself! It is super easy, and the patterns are endless, just use your imagination!!! :)

Monday, February 3, 2014

Journal 52 (January in the bag)

I started this art journal "class" at the start of the new year. I am not sure it is a real class, as I am not really "learning" much, but more of something to look forward to accomplishing each week. It is basically a group of individuals who come together to bounce off one another, and we are able to then share our pages by posting a photo on the Facebook group page. The gal in charge posts a "prompt" at the beginning of the week, and then we can use that as a jumping off point, to creating our journal page. We will have one page for each week of the year, so if I am able to follow through for the whole year, I will have a very full art journal.  I have done year long projects before, but they usually consisted of one page a month, and then I pass the book on to the next person, and so forth, or one page a day in my art journal for a period of 30 days. I have not been "committed" weekly for a whole year before, so we will see how this goes- I am doing this along side my college daughter, so maybe she will keep me on top of it.
I started by folding watercolor paper and making signatures, and sewing them together with the Coptic stitch. Then I dug out my real leather pieces, and cut a cover for my stitched signatures. I glued the chipboard "covers" to the leather, and then wrapped it around and made a flap for the front. I used an elastic headband for a stretchy closure- I set a grommet in the leather, and then stuck the headband through the hole, and tied a tight knot in the head band, so it wouldn't pull through the hole in the grommet. Then I just stretch the loop around the journal, and it holds the flap shut. I made the flap rather big, because as I work in the book, it is going to get quite fat, and I still want the flap to overlap the front cover some.

As part of the prepping of the book, most people decorated their front covers, but because I chose to use real leather, I did not want to alter it in any way, so I did a title page instead, which worked out great, because I had figured it out to have enough double page spreads for each week in the book, so I didn't want to have just a blank first page.

Week one prompt: Up Up and Away
There were so many different takes on this prompt, and seeing them all pop up on the Facebook page was really cool. Mine turned out a little subtle, but I wanted to draw a full body figure, which I have never done before, and to make it look like she had movement was really hard. I suppose the more I draw the better I will get, but for now this is where I am at. 
She was done with only colored pencil.

Week 2 prompt: Somewhere, Some Place Simple
I was so impressed with all the fun places people used as their place to feel inspired. The first thing that came to my mind when I read the prompt was my bed. I know that sounds silly, but I am a severe insomniac, and I usually just lay in my bed while my mind races until I finally get to sleep. Those hours of trying to wind down, usually bring lots of creative ideas. This looks nothing like my actual bed, but oh, well. :)

Week 3 prompt: What Makes Me Smile
This prompt was really very self explanatory- Journal the thing that make you happy or smile. My original idea for this page never materialized- I tried 4 or 5 times to make it work, and it was really a flop... I ended up Gesso-ing over it all and starting from scratch with a totally different idea. It is not what I envisioned, but it is on paper, and I am OK with just letting go of this one.

Week 4 prompt: Building Character
This was fun- self portraits! OK- Not even close to a self portrait, but I am free to journal how ever I want. I was really trying to work with watercolors for this face, but I learned that it is nearly impossible to "build" on watercolors- I am not sure how to shade a face without building colors on top of each other. I would get a good base, let it dry, and then go to add more layers, and when I would try to blend, it would just release the color underneath-- so frustrating. So, I tried mixing with Gesso, to give it more of an opaque nature, but when I would add the wet medium on top, it would reactivate the watercolor below, and I would have a mess again. I set it aside for a day or so, thinking a solution would come to me, but the only solution I could come up with was to Gesso the face again, and start with another medium. When I added the Gesso, it made for a really muddy mess, but I just went with it.  I then used lots of layers of colored pencil, and blender pencils, to achieve some kind of shadowing. It is not the best, but I think I am going to have to walk away from this one too. I am trying to remember that this art journal is for trying new things, for practice- not for masterpieces, but for lots of creative play and lots of failures.

I will try to post monthly with the pages I have done for the previous month- we will see how that all pans out in time. 

Derwent Art Academy

Well, I am back posting on my blog, and it hasn't been 6 months yet- LOL!
I am just checking in to document the last two classes of my online art/drawing course.
This is my submission for the fifth class which was watercolors. I have dabbled in a lot of different mediums, but watercolor always stumps me- many people comment that it is so easy, but I find that I rework it too much- it is kind of one of those that you have to just put it down on paper, and then walk away from it. 

The sixth class was oil pastels- I have used these even less than watercolors! It was fun, to have an assignment, that forced me to work with these mediums, and not be scared of them- I think that has been the biggest thing I have learned from these courses.
I could have done this in the reverse, where I scratched the black off of the negative space, but I thought I would give this look a go to start- I think it is pretty cool looking.