One of the things I’ve been doing a lot of since the new year is experimenting with new (to me) techniques in different art and crafting endeavours. All of these have been created for swaps through Swap-Bot, and some were certainly, in my mind anyway, more successful than others. Each of these, however, brought me out of my comfort zone, surprised me, and gave me the confidence to keep going, not to mention the desire to start creating and experimenting more for myself and not others through swapping! Read on to see two of my favourite experiments in the last couple of months.
First, let’s look at this Blue Crab ATC. I created this for an A – Z of Marine Life ATC series and really was overwhelmed at first. I thought I’d bitten off rather more than I could chew when I realized just how nuanced and detailed a Blue Crab is – and how NOT nuanced or detailed or even Blue Crab-like the stamp I was going to use for this was. Nevertheless, I mulled it over and decided that I could make it work. For this ATC, I layered the base with Dylusions paints although I cannot, for the life of me, tell you which colours I used anymore. While that was drying, I used the Stampers Anonymous Tim Holtz Mini Blueprints crab stamp to stamp the image on white cardstock. I then used an artist’s pen with archival black ink (to prevent smearing when painted over) to draw over the stamp and create a crab that looked more like a Blue Crab does. Once I was happy with that result, I used my Kuretake ZIG Clean Color Real Brush markers to add colour to the crab. Finally, I cut the image out (removing the blueprint aspect of the stamp as well) and fixed it to the background. I finished it with Dylusions Mica Spray in vibrant turquoise, outlined the image with a white paint pen, edged the card with an ombre ink pad, and called it done. Overall, I was pretty happy with the results of this. I don’t do a lot of “realism” so shading and blending colours for something even slightly “realistic” is not one of my finer talents, but I was encouraged with this ATC.
The other “great experiment” was an altered tag. The theme was “April Showers Bring…” and I put this one off for quite a while because I wasn’t sure which way I was going to go. Even when I started to gesso the first tag that I abandoned before the gesso was dry, I wasn’t quite sure. Then I realized, after watching too many videos on how to draw realistic ran and puddles, that this was the perfect opportunity for me to try hot glue painting! For this tag, I simply found some nice background paper (Jane Davenport’s Paper Pad) and adhered it to my tag. I then used some artist’s cloud stickers I picked up at Michael’s a while back, and got to work with my glue gun. Once I was happy with the “rain” effect, I used a waterbrush to add the Ken Oliver’s Colour Burst (Liquid Metals Precious Alloys, Metallic Sky). I finished this off with a silver archival ink pad, a sparkly blue ribbon, and a bead attached to waxed Irish linen thread in a gunmetal colour.
As I mentioned, this tag was the first ever foray into hot glue painting. It was a simple project but one that I can already see has soooo much potential! I can’t wait to do more of it on different substrate – and preferably with a much better glue gun than the super cheap one I currently have!
Both of these experiments involved techniques that, for me, I not only enjoyed doing, but have ideas for more in the future. I am grateful that I took the chance and tried these, and I definitely encourage all of you to take that risk and do that thing that you have always wanted to try but were too afraid you’d fail!