July 29, 2013

Ranger Abstract Tutorial

Hi everyone,

As part of my exploration into the world of the abstract, I wanted to do a step-by-step tutorial on the process I've been using for my post cards.  I've drawn a lot of inspiration from Jane Davies, using some of her collage/painting techniques, but I've put my own spin on it, using all Ranger products for this series.  In case you didn't know, Ranger now has all its products for sale (retail) on their website!  I hope you enjoy the tutorial.

First we'll start with the supply list:

- Neenah Solar White card stock - 8 1/2" x 11"
- Distress stains: broken china, salty ocean, faded jeans, peeled paint
- Paint dabbers:  aqua, pool, stream, snow cap, pitch black
- Distress paint: salty ocean
- Claudine Hellmuth Studio Paints:  classic teal, modern red
- Glue 'n' Seal - matte
- Archival Ink - jet black
- Mini brayer 2"
- Fude Ball black pen
- White gelly roll pen
- Studio 490 (Wendy Vecchi) script background stamp
- Hand carved stamps (by me!)

And here we go... first I stamped the Studio 490 script background over the entire sheet of white card stock.

Now the layers begin... and there are a LOT of them.  By choosing mostly shades of blue, you get a lot of depth by layering them over each other, building intensity with each layer.

The first layer is with broken china distress stain.  I applied some stain to my craft sheet, picked it up by rolling the brayer through the stain, and then rolled the brayer onto the card stock.  I applied some vertically and some horizontally.

Then salty ocean distress stain - same technique...

Then faded jeans distress stain... see the colors building?

Then I added some complimentary, yet contrasting color by using peeled paint distress stain.  The green won't look so *stark* when we're done because we've got a lot of layers left to go...

Now comes the hard part (for me)... switching to snow cap paint and beginning to cover up portions of what we've just done.  I applied the paint with the brayer in opposing corners for balance.

And now some real contrast, applying pitch black paint with the brayer.  Mostly around the edges, but with a little bit in the middle as well.

Now switching back to shades of blue, toning down the black a little.  This is aqua paint dabber, poured a little onto the craft sheet (removed the dabber top entirely), and rolling the brayer through the paint and on to the piece.

... yet another layer with pool paint dabber (again, no dabber top)...

... and finally, the stream paint dabber.  You can still see all the layers we used, right down to the white card stock.  But wait, we're not done yet!

... Now I switched to Claudine Hellmuth's Studio paint - classic teal.  Squeezed a little onto the craft sheet and applied with the brayer... Are you noticing a pattern?  All the colors have been applied with a brayer, not a paint brush in sight.  I really love the random look that is created by the brayer - no clean lines... makes me happy!

And now it's time for some collage.  I had these old scrap pieces of newsprint that had been used to clean off my brayer for another project, and they make excellent collage pieces.  I cut a few pieces with similar colors and adhered them to the piece in random areas with Ranger's glue 'n' seal (matte).  (I *did* use a paint brush for that part... haha).

You can see the collage pieces below in four areas... top right, top left, middle left, and bottom right.

Then I applied some snow cap paint to one of my hand carved stamps and stamped it several times - one vertical pattern and one horizontal pattern.  Remember to wipe the paint off your stamp right away or it will dry onto the rubber.

Then I used another hand carved stamp with salty ocean distress paint to stamp some bright blue areas.

And now for that *pop* of red... I applied Claudine Hellmuth's Studio paint (modern red) directly from the small bottle onto the piece in some random wavy (map-like) patterns across the whole piece.

... added some dots under the red lines using my black Fude Ball pen.

OK! Finished!  Now comes the even harder part... cutting it up!  It's hard the first time you cut up a piece, but then it becomes a lot of fun, because you go from having ONE piece to FOUR, each with its own unique personality, but still part of the series.  I actually *love* this part...

Here's each part of the whole, on its own so you can appreciate each one individually...

And there you have it!  I hope you enjoyed the tutorial.  This one is all about the layers, working in multiple tones of the same color, except for a tiny bit of green showing through, and the pop of red on top.  I hope you give it a try.

Did another piece over the weekend.  Will share later this week.  Not sure it's "finished" yet... still pondering.  Hope you have a great week - see you soon!

~ ellen.

July 25, 2013

More Abstract Postcards


I've been at it again... exploring the world of the abstract and making post cards.  Really loving the freedom that comes from a blank slate and no expectations... just DO something and take it wherever it leads you....

I followed much the same process as Monday's post, HERE.  Supplies used:

- 8.5" x 11" white card stock (Neenah Solar White)
- Studio 490 background stamp
- Ranger jet black archival ink
- torn paper napkin collage
- Ranger glue n seal (matte)
- Ranger mini brayer 2"
- Craft paint - black, white, and mahogany/brown
- Golden fluid acrylics - green gold
- Hand carved stamps (leaves)
- Inka Gold (gold)

Here's the next batch...like the last post, I made one 8.5" x 11" sheet and then cut it down to 4 post cards, 4.25" x 5.5" each.

and a few closer shots...

... and the 4 individual post cards...

Hope you're enjoying the post cards... I'll be back next week with a step-by-step for the next batch! Stay tuned!

~ ellen

July 22, 2013

Postcard Master Board


The angels are singing! I made ART in my new studio... finally!  I've been wanting to get back to making post cards (for Jane Davies' Postcard Project), and this weekend I sat in my studio and just *created*.  It felt soooo good!  I didn't think (too much) about it, I just grabbed the supplies in front of me and went for it.

I started with an 8.5" x 11" sheet of white card stock and started layering distress stains with a brayer, and added Wendy Vecchi's typewriter text background stamp, some of my hand-carved stamps with distress inks, and then used a Stampin' Up background stamp that I've had for *ages*.

Then I added some collage elements, using torn pieces of a patterned paper napkin along with some book text.

I love the random, abstract results but wanted to add more, so....

I toned down the black with some more white, also added some citrus green and rust (Ranger paint dabbers) brayered over the top.  Here's a few close ups.

Added some more white accents with some texture scratched in with the end of my paint brush, some hand-carved stamping, and some random red circles, outlined with thinned down black paint and a white gel pen.  Then did some black paint splatter over the whole piece.

Then cut the 8.5" x 11" piece down into 4 post cards, each 4.25" x 5.5".   I like the way the smaller pieces of the whole each have their own personality.

Supplies used:

-1 sheet Neenah Solar White card stock 8.5" x 11"
-Ranger 2" mini brayer
-Distress Stains: crushed olive, rusty hinge, black soot
-Studio 490 background stamp - typewriter text
-Distress Inks: tea dye, crushed olive, frayed burlap, black soot
-Stampin' Up background stamp:  Sanded
-Book text, paper napkin
-Ranger Glue N Seal (matte)
-Ranger Adirondack paint dabbers: terra cotta, citrus, pitch black, snow cap, watermelon
-Fude Ball 1.5 black pen
-White gelly roll pen

I'm loving this exploration into the abstract.  More to come this week!

~ ellen.

July 19, 2013

The Studio is DONE!


Drumroll, please! The studio is finally done!  Well, OK... it might not *ever* be really, really done, but it's ready for ART!  I'll dispense with details of unpacking, other than to say that I couldn't have done it without a LOT of help from my niece Lauren... she (like me) loves organizing and sorting things and making them look nice, so we were a perfect team.... here's the results...

I'll start from the entrance and work around the room counterclockwise... then show some closer shots.

triple desks... GALANT from IKEA with ALEX drawers underneath.  It has been so humid here, all the windows are steamed up early in the morning.

straight ahead from the entrance, sliding doors to the back yard.

space under that window is being saved for my mom's sewing machine.

My wall of inspiration.  All art made by me.  As I make more things I'll change it up.

bookcases filled with stamps, journals, things to alter, fibers, books, etc.

The British Wall... British phone booth, art made by British friends (OK most of it is Hels', but there's a Lin Brown metal piece in there too...)  And there's my cat, Joe... he's become a studio cat.  I'm coming to terms with cat hair on the seats of all my chairs... I think I'm fighting a losing battle. LOL.

And what I consider a British train platform style clock.  Love that it says "Paddington Station" on it.

Paper, canvas, sketchpad, scrapbook storage

Long view of the desks from the far end... the first desk has all my painty, gelli pad supplies so I've got a stack of newsprint ready to go...

Distress Station... inks, stains, paints, markers, blending tools, and all my "Really Useful Boxes" stacked on the window sill.  Lauren took the price sticker off of EVERY ONE of them.  I tell you, she's all about the details.  Love her. Was working on something last night which you can see on the desk.

Corner wrap-around desk

Other side of the wrap-around.  This is the journaling area, with all my ink sprays, journals, etc.  Plus my vintage typewriter ready to go for journalling.

Closer shot of the wall of inspiration.

Close up on book cases - journals, books, fibers in the white boxes, embossing powders, perfect pearls etc. in the Tim Holtz tins on top shelf.

Close up on distress stain / paint storage.  It's an old Coca-Cola crate - have had this for  *years* and finally figured this out. Love it!  Need another one for perfect pearl mists...

And another old Pepsi crate for all my Dylusions ink sprays.

We've been buying these tiny little jars of apple juice, shaped like an apple, and they're so cute I can't get rid of them.  I'm thinking of filling them with different beads of other small embellishments.

aren't they adorable?
And back to the beginning... (note the boxes on the OTHER side of the door... we're still not quite 100% finished settling in, but we're almost there!)
Hope you enjoyed the studio tour!  Now that it's ready I'm hoping to get back to MAKING ART and blogging more regularly... trying to jump-start my mojo - he's been suppressed for so long I think he's out of shape.

Hope you all have a great weekend.  See you soon!

~ ellen.