Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Layers and Layers and Layers

From one of my online buddies, Barb, I found out about these cool digital frame effects that can transform your photos with just a few clicks of the mouse. The site is http://pixlr.com/express/  and it has many different textures you can add to your pictures. I have always wondered how Tim Holtz and others have made these grungy looking edges to their photos. I cannot afford Photoshop and this is a free alternative. Check it out!

 These She Art canvases are not projects that are quick finishes for me. I look at them and think, "Let me add one more layer of texture, stamps, paint or something." Then another layer and more staring at the canvas to see what else is missing.
I have a set of about 8 Tim Holtz Distress Markers and the other day I bought some additional markers at Michaels called Stamp Markers by American Crafts. The interesting thing about them is they look exactly like the TH markers, except for the text on the barrels of the markers. I am sure they are not the same formula of ink inside. I was looking for some more Distress Markers at the big box store, but they did not have any. I am getting hooked on being able to use a brush end marker to add details and additional color to my canvases. I even got some workable fixative spray so that I can seal the markers before adding more Mod Podge.
 This canvas features a dress made with layers of patterned scrapbook paper and highlighted with red acrylic paint. The flowers are paper ones that I Mod Podged down and then went over with some more paint and markers. I also used some old reading flash cards that were destined for the trash bin.

Here is the final version of this canvas. I redid the hairdo, added butterflies and hand wrote the sentiment, "Take wing and fly." It has so many layers of paper, paint and marker I cannot even count them.  I wish I had not hand written the words on it. I am never satisfied with my handwriting and once it's on there it's on for good.

Summer has finally started for me and I look forward to a long string of days in which my time is my own with no alarm clock ringing at 5 a.m. 
Happy Crafting!

Gale C. Lewis

Sunday, May 20, 2012

More She Art

I am still working through the She Art class videos at my own pace, making canvases as I go along.  The good thing about this class is you have access to the materials online for a year, so no deadline pressures.  (Lord knows, I have enough pressure with the high stakes testing taking place at my school these past few weeks.)

Here are two stages of a canvas that I have done some repairs on. I originally gave the girl a very unfortunate large blond bushy hairdo. It was kind of like Rosanne-Rosanna-Danna, only yellow. So this morning, I got out my exacto knife and cut several layers away from around her head to rid myself of the offending hairdo.  I like these braids much better.

I got some rubbery shelf liner and a mesh placemat at the Dollar Tree this week and have used both of them here to add texture.  I plan to add lots of paper butterflies to this canvas and some sort of sentiment to go with them.

I did this canvas this weekend. Can you tell these are hollyhocks?  I am really pleased how this one came out. I did use my Silhouette machine to cut the dress and body parts. I just cannot cut this well by hand.

Tonight I started some new backgrounds. This is the step that seems to take the longest for me because you have to get it done before you can work on your next girl. There are lots of different materials here: origami papers, book paper, tissue paper, acrylic paints, Adirondack Colorwash Sprays, Mod Podge, an aluminum grill pan (as a template for the dots.) 

I wonder how many more layers these will take on before they are ready for the next girl I design? Well those butterflies are not cutting themselves. I am not cutting them using the Silhouette machine because I forgot to add registration marks when I printed it. Now it has to be cut by hand or wasted. I am too stingy with my printer ink to waste them, so hand cutting it will be.  Blurrrrggg!

One week then a few weeks of freedom before summer session!

Happy crafting!

Gale C. Lewis

Thursday, May 10, 2012

Cute Goat Girl

 Still working on my She Art class by Christy Tomlinson and I have veered from the directions (as usual) to make it my own.  She does not tell how to make mermaids and goat girls, but I am using her directions and adapting them to my ideas.

This canvas started with a picture from an animal magazine of this little goat (or deer maybe) with the largest eyes and longest eyelashes. I knew right away that I wanted to make her into a girl.

This week in the class I am learning about how to make the dresses more detailed and interesting. I used strips of the blue paper to make the dress look pleated. I added a belt and then embellished the dress with scraps of lace. The hairbow is made from the same paper as the dress.

The background of this 5x7 foam core board was made with tissue paper over which I glued strips of blue and green papers. I added some green glitter glue and blue paint. Once all that was dry, I stamped on the rectangles and the circle using acrylic paint and old wooden blocks.

For the sentiment, I used my Tim Holtz Chitchat stickers and doodled around them with a black Sharpie. Let me tell you, doodling over dried glitter glue is not easy.

One of the hardest things for me about this class is adding the doodles and embellishments and not worrying if they do not look perfect. I am not skilled at sketching and I know that shows in my doodling.

I have already given this one away to my friend Heather.

I am only halfway through the Week 2 videos and there is still another week to go after that.  I am learning so much!

Happy Crafting!

Gale C. Lewis

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

She Reached for the Stars Canvas

 This is the first She Art Canvas with lots of doodling and other details added. I used some Distress Markers on the sunburst and to outline the words below.
 I thought this was an appropriate sentiment for my first She Art canvas. I am trying out an online art class and this is the first girl for me. 
 My new 8x10 canvas-- in love with it.  I used green and blue tissue paper for the background and inked over it with Distress Ink pads. The body and dress were cut on my Silhouette Cameo from various papers, including dictionary paper. I painted over the dress and then colored on some designs with Distress Markers.  I got the idea to have her reaching above her for the stars. The stars were painted with a template cut from cardstock in both purple and yellow. Then I traced them in black Sharpie to help define the shape.

The trickiest part here was deciding how to paint just the back of her head. I think I still need to add a layer of paint around the neckline.  I love the shape of this dress way more than the boxy dress I made on the first canvas. It was astoundingly easy to cut from a paper doll template!
 I stamped the bird with Staz-on ink and then added doodles such as the music notes and squiggles with my Sharpie. See the border along the edge of her dress?  I love how that turned out.
Here is the big lug-- Kippy. He was intently watching me take photos of the artwork, and I could not resist taking a few of him. Of course, he would not keep still, so his picture is off center.

Here's to trying something new and reaching for the stars!
Gale C. Lewis

Sunday, May 6, 2012

Mermaid She Art

Still working on my Christy Tomlinson class-- She Art.  Yesterday I spent some time cutting art doll parts with an electronic cutting machine. It was the first time I had used book pages in it and of course it cut like butter. The problem is that my cutting mat is already almost worn out and I am having to use tape to hold the papers in place.  I made some larger head templates and found some clothing patterns that I can cut using printed scrapbook papers.

For this mermaid I used an 8x10 canvas that I had already covered in Fluevog blue tissue paper and some Distress Inks. I decided to repurpose the canvas for a She Art project, so I added some more designs with acrylic paint.

I used a circular piece of foam pipe insulation to make the circles of orange paint. Both white and orange paint was added using a craft brayer.

The mermaid was cut using an art doll template and my Silhouette Cameo. I cut her upper body from dictionary paper and the bottom portion is scrapbook paper. I Mod Podged them down to the background and then painted over them with acrylic paints. I added hair with more paint.

I added some seashells cut from fancy luncheon napkins in sort of a heap near the bottom of the canvas. They really blend into the blue background.

I will add more details when she's good and dry. I do not have the special ink pen the instructor uses and my Sharpie will not work on damp surfaces.  I need to find a white paint pen, too.

I am having lots of fun making these. More are on the way.

Gale C. Lewis

Friday, May 4, 2012

She Art Class by Christy Tomlinson

 I am taking an online art course for the first time. The course is an older one by Christy Tomlinson called She Art. There are lots of videos to watch and directions for creating the ladies from paper, paint, and other media. This is my background board which I covered with papers and tissue tape.  They are Mod Podged onto an 8x10 canvas board.

After allowing all the glue to dry, I added texture and interest to the background using acrylic paint and stamps.  This is the hardest part for me. Figuring out what makes the background interesting versus what makes it look messy is tricky to me. Christy T. says not to worry about making it look perfect, just gets lots of little details on the canvas.

Here is my first girl minus the details and sketching which are supposed to go on top of the paper and painting. Love the hairdo, which I was most concerned about getting right. Also, I will definitely play around more with the dress shapes in the future. (I am going to want my girls to be snappy dressers!)

She is not finished yet, but I am happy with her progress so far.

Gale C. Lewis