My art form of choice recently has been artist trading cards. I found a new group that strictly trades these little works of art. No random discussion, no confrontation, just trading. And it is a very active group, so I have a binder almost full of artwork from around the globe.
I've been experimenting with a variety of different techniques, styles and materials with varying levels of success. Even the not-so-successful efforts have taught me some important lessons, so it's all good. Here I go with a sample gallery of my recent work, along with simple explanations of the process.
Acrylic craft paint from the dollar store has been one of my favourite mediums for creating interesting backgrounds. I apply it with brushes, sponges or spray bottles and have used various stencils and tools to create one of a kind backdrops for my cards. Google has been my friend when looking for quotes and sayings to add to my cards.
I have collected a number of paper punches of various sizes and shapes and often use the punched out shapes to embellish my cards. I've printed images, such as this little monster, and fussy cut them to apply to my ATCs. I try to pick images that are not too detailed, they can be a pain in the neck to cut out.
And speaking of used postage stamps, they too have been utilized for my artistic endeavours. My postage stamp mandalas have proven to be quite popular with the trading group.
I have a variety of patterned scrapbook papers that I cut or rip, along with old book pages and magazines that I've used to create unique backgrounds for my work. This one pictured above was done on a piece of 8.5" X 11" card stock, then cut down into ATC size pieces (2.5" X 3") and embellished like the one below.
A printed phrase, punched out star and an acrylic stick-on gem was all this needed to complete it.
A friend and fellow ATC artist provided me with the die-cut windows to create a series of these cards using old Christmas cards as the outdoor scenes.
An old holiday greeting card was used for this one too. I scanned it, then reduced it in size and printed it for this series of ATCs. Mounted on card stock to frame it, with a punched out star and short phrase made these ones quick and easy to make.
I've experimented with a grunge technique using crayons and black craft paint creating a background like a scratch & win ticket. First you colour the entire surface with wax crayons. Then you cover the whole thing with black paint. Once it's dry, you take a coin and scratch away as much of the black paint as you want to get this interesting effect.
I've also used these die-cut windows to make cards that are looking to the inside, instead of the outside. Patterned scrapbook paper, along with a printed image of Mona Lisa and a phrase complete each of the cards in this series.
I've been playing around with embossing powders, rubber stamps, a heat gun and distress ink to add interest and variety to my card backgrounds.
I've even tried colouring a printed image with pencil crayons. Add a couple of punched out butterflies and letters to make the words 'BEST FRIENDS' and you are done!
That brings me to yesterday when I got the bright idea that aluminum foil, something we all have in our kitchens, might be a fun collage element on my ATCs. I was able to achieve a cool textured look by crinkling up the foil. It was fun to experiment with but I won't likely use the aluminum foil very often. As you can see, this card uses a lot of the elements I've already mentioned...vintage photo, printed word. patterned scrapbook paper and a couple different sizes of star paper punches.
So, I've been having a lot of fun with this and the adventure will continue. *smile*