This tutorial was made because of this:
You may remember that at the beginning of the year I started my Stolen Ideas Project, where I randomly (through a little personal lottery system) pick an artsy book and let myself be inspired by it for a project or some experimenting. I have done three stolen ideas so far. Two I have shared on this blog and can be found here and here. The third one was a writing exercise that was a litle too personal to share from a book by Julia Cameron. And a while ago I picked the above book by Bernie Berlin about atc's. I hadn't done atc's in ages, so I pretty much just let that be the only inspiration for this project: make some atc's. I did not actually use any ideas from the book, the sole thing I 'stole' was the concept of making atc's again. ;-)
For those of you who don't know what atc's are: they are Artist Trading Cards and they are for trading with other artists. The most important thing you need to know about them right now is that you do not sell them and that they always measure 2 1/2 by 3 1/2 inches (or 6,4 by 8,9 cm). I will talk a little more about the trading in part five of the tutorial. And for finding out more about their history and general background I gladly refer you to wikipedia.
So here's how this five part tutorial will go: I will be posting every day this week, well Monday to Friday that is, and the five parts will cover the following subjects:
- in part one (today, Monday) will cover the making of an interesting background from which we will be cutting twelve atc's
- in part two (Tuesday) we will make our first set of four atc's using mostly paint markers and a glaze pen
- in part three (Wednesday) we will make a second set of four atc's doing collage with book paper and some shiny trinkets
- in part four (Thursday) we will do the third and last set of four atc's using watercolor and watersoluble crayons and also some collage
- in part five (Friday) we will finish up by talking about backing our atc's and what to do with them now they are finished
I hope you will enjoy this week of posts. Now...let's get started!
The Big ATC Tutorial - part one - the background
- a big sheet of sturdy paper that can take wet media (I used heavyweight paper intended for acrylic paint)
- watersoluble crayons (I used Caran d' Ache Neocolor II)
- a tear off paper palette (or anything flat you can spread paint or gesso out on)
- at least one reasonable size brush for spreading out gesso and paint
- something to make patterns with (I used a pattern roller, foam stamps and bubble wrap)
- decorative paper
- a good glue (I used acrylic gel medium by Talens Amsterdam which I personally like better than Golden)
- a cheap or old brush you don't mind getting glue on
- a circle template (or any other shape you like, I just happen to be a circle freak)
- acrylic paint (I used Talens Amsterdam, but any old craft paint will do)
- paint markers or any other (opaque) markers or gel pens (I used UniPosca acrylic paint markers)
- a pen or pencil to line out your cards
- some left over sturdy paper for making a template
- a ruler (for measuring your template)
- a pair of scissors to cut your cards from the sheet
Please use what you have, there's usually an alternative in your stash or a way around spending unnecessary cash. I hate for people to have the feeling they need something before they can join in. Be creative and inventive in your material choices. Remember it took me over twenty years to accumulate all the stuff I have, you don't need to do it in one splurge. I'll try to give alternatives where I can.
|Instead of diluting the crayons with water, I diluted them with gesso. This gives a wonderful chalky and soft effect. If you don't have watersoluble crayons, you can also mix your acrylic or craft paint with gesso for a similar result.|
|I used gesso to make a first pattern and covered my entire sheet with it. I usually put a blob of gesso on a tear off palet and spread it out with a brush. Then I can roll the pattern roller through the gesso and apply it to the background paper.|
|I spread the circles out over the background paper and glued them down, again with gel medium.|
|Now I got out my paint markers and started drawing around the circles. I made some flowers, see? If you don't have paint markers you can use gel pens or permanent markers. Paint markers are more opaque which is why I love them.|
|Time to get my hands dirty with some more acrylic paint. I chose two bright colors. I always grab the pinks and purples!|
|With my fingers I made these stripes with the paint. It's nice to work with your fingers! Of course there's no need to make stripes, you can fingerpaint any shape and size you want. ;-)|
|You don't need fancy stamps or pattern rollers for mark making. How about some bubble wrap? I stamped these dots with gesso and some left over bubble wrap, because I wanted to unify the background a little more.|
And with that we end this first part of our series of atc tutorials. If you have any questions you would like to ask please feel free and I hope you will do it in the comment section (instead of the mail), so other people can profit from them as well. It also helps me to see if something is not explained clearly enough, so don't hesitate to speak up if something is unclear.
The coming three days I will show you how I made three different kinds of atc's from this one background. Hope you come and see how they unfold!
Wishing you a wonderful and artsy day!