Part of a lesson that I've been working on for fourth grade students is the development of a unique fairy, gnome, or elf composition that is colored using colored pencil. Before getting to this point, students examine proportions through the work of Leonardo da Vinci and a more modern proportion scale showing preteen proportions. They practice figure drawing using volunteers from the classroom as models. For my example, I created this. I first tried regular colored pencils and really struggled to add even coloring to the face. More expensive colored pencils were significantly easier to manage, but the face was overworked. I wish that I had begun coloring with the more expensive colored pencils. I haven't fully developed the rest of the fairy. Students are asked to show an element or object from nature that shows the scale of the fairy, gnome, or elf. This example shows indicates the small size of the fairy with the inclusion of an acorn.
In this illustration, screen printing ink was used to paint a fairy riding a goose onto a wooden panel. After lightly sanding and using pencil to sketch, the ink painted on easily with a brush. The ink flowed smoothly, and the transparent base worked well to create transparency in the fairy wings. For a simple illustration and more complicated ones too, ink on wood in terms of application, is simple and yields attractive results.
In this piece, the panel seemed to indicate the drawing to me. The grain on the panel helped determine the composition.
This last week, I took an intensive screen printing class and thoroughly enjoyed it. We experimeted with sticky contact paper and then worked with drawing fluid and filler.
Although the contact paper is only good for shorter runs with less prints due to detachment of the sticky contact paper from the silk screen during the washing process, it has some great advantages. The use of an exacto knife results in crisp lines that can be difficult to replicate with drawing fluid.
For the next process, I drew a sketch and traced it by first using a washable marker on the screen and then flipped the screen with the silk side up and painted drawing fluid with a fine brush onto or in the marker outlines. The screen had been taped around the edges with duct tape to protect the frame. Once that dried, I filled the screen with orange filler and waited for it to dry. After rinsing away the drawing fluid with cold water, only the filler was left, and I printed the resulting image. Working from that print, additional screens were created by drawing all objects of one color on each screen. On the yellow screen, I drew the beach and feet of my parrot, etc. Once all the screens had been filled and dried and the drawing fluid had been rinsed, I was ready to print. Drying was necessary between each layer but was relatively quick. A squeegee was used to pull ink down over the image at a 45 degree angle and then the ink was rinsed away in cold water. The key layer, or outline, was the last to be printed and really helped to pull the image together.
To remove the filler, hot water, soda ash, a soft, plastic bristled scrub, and the jet setting on the hot water were used. My next print was created freehand onto the silk screen with drawing fluid without a drawing to trace. It was made in a similar manner but instead of creating five screens, I created two. For the color blocks, I taped off all but the desired color before each color run.
I thoroughly enjoyed silk screening and will continue the process from home.
What makes Art something special? I have been exploring mediums and styles to find the answer. Ideally, Art is something that others can appreciate, and I am still trying to discover the secret. At least I was until just recently, when it struck me that my best work is produced when the subject has a special meaning for me. If my work resonate's with others, all the better. Of the images below, "The Bird" was made at the suggestion of another. "The Lady in Ink" was a doodle made on an envelope during a work class that I was attending. I have become stuck on "The Bird" and have yet to complete this painting.
The Lady in InkLady in Ink on a Tote Bag
Art is invaluable when it has a deeper meaning or sentiment attached to it. By possessing a drawing of that special person, animal, or object, you have something to treasure for as long as you can preserve it.
The value of a digital file is in its ability to be preserved in the cloud indefinitely. The trick is to save the file in multiple places in case the unthinkable should occur such as your cloud account is deleted or your computer becomes damaged.
Another benefit of possessing a digital file, is the ability to share it with a wide audience. Digital art can be used in place of a profile photo where permitted or as a logo or a letter head shared with clients.
Really, the uses are up to you. At Creation Creatures llc, you can purchase a simple digital version of a hand drawn artwork from your photograph. Try it out if there's a drawing that you'd like to have made. Purchase a Custom Drawing
I hope everyone is enjoying the holiday season. It goes by too quickly and seems like there is too little time and money to get that perfect gift for everyone. I have been exploring money-saving possibilities. I may be decorating some plain mens t-shirts. Tie-dye and iron on offer lots of design possibilities.
Maybe I'll design an ugly sweater t-shirt. The ugly sweater tradition has really grown. Many people are looking for that perfect ugly sweater.
Of course there is always baking brownies or cookies. It's fairly in expensive to pickup holiday containers deigned specifically for gifting baked goods.
I was also thinking about sewing some oven mittens or painting some picture frames. There are lots of possibilities. How about a painted rock, critter paper weight?
I've been working on this project sporadically due to time constraints. It's coming along although more slowly than I'd like. A double-edged sword that experience in Photoshop is the potential for zooming in very closely. I can become intensely focused on details in one section of the image and zoom out to find no progress or mismatched progress.
To combat this during my last coloring session, I decided to just start filling color in all over the place. The color is more refined in areas where I have spent a little more time. I would like to finish this over the next two weeks. It seems like a reasonable goal if I invest significant time into it.
Written by Beth Ashton, 8 December 2016
Although I am still relatively new to Zazzle and have been using it for less than six months, I have enjoyed the experience and the tools that allow you to share your creations through social media. Need something for the holidays? You can buy your own artwork as a gift or someone else's work. Just don't create an object that uses the word beer. It will be dropped as I have learned the hard way. There are certain guidelines that help to maintain a family friendly experience.
The featured image in this article is the cover of my newest project, a greeting card that can be customized with your own photo and message inside. If you would like to check it out, follow the link.
Looking for other gift ideas? You can follow this link instead.