Saturday, January 14, 2017

Wall Art // Using Glue, Fabric Paint, and Watercolors

Y'all, I am so excited about this.  SO EXCITED!  Know why?!  Because this technique is so fun!  And so easy!  And so fun!  Wait, did I say that already?  I mean, it involves glue.  And fabric paint.  And WATERCOLORS.  I love watercolors.

Before you move on because the title basically gives everything away about how to do this (or not?  Idk), I'm going to pique your curiosity by telling you something!  This technique includes a secret ingredient (of sorts)!  How exciting!  So stay tuned, and I shall, in time, satisfy your ever growing curiosity.
I tried this first on a teeny! tiny! leetle! baby! canvas!  I loved it so much that I HAD to try it on something bigger.*  (And then I tried it once more in my art journal, which was a fun experience!)
Look at that edge!  LOOK LOOK LOOK!  It's so cooool.  So of course I gotta show y'all a bunch of pictures and show you how to do it  yo'self!
*The bigger thing I tried it on was this long vertical canvas I had on hand already, back from when I bought it for when I was going to paint a peacock in art class, but then decided I wanted a bigger canvas for my peacock, so I bought a new one, and saved the smaller one for a later time!  (Such a fun story, I know it.)

The first thing to be done for this super cool technique is to "draw" a simple picture with liquid glue.
For the teeny! tiny! leetle! baby! canvas, I "drew" a lizard-type-thing, and for the one in my art journal, I "drew" a peacock.  (Hopefully you could see that?  I'm not sure if I would, except that I'm the artist!  HA!)  For this one, I "drew" dragonflies.  Aren't they cuties?!  You want to do relatively simple pictures, and as much as possible, thick, even squirtings of glue.
YAY I'M GONNA SATISFY YOUR EVER GROWING CURIOSITY NOW!  It has come time to reveal the secret ingredient.  (Ooh, how exciting.)  Can you see by the picture below?  It's a heat tool!

Well now that you know the secret ingredient, I'll give you the list of supplies for this project.

Liquid glue
Heat tool (this is the one I have)
White fabric paint (or acrylic paint)
Optional: acrylic sealer (I got mine at Walmart; I have both matte and gloss, but I used gloss for this.)

I got the bright idea to use a heat tool to dry the glue because 1) It was already sitting out from some other project I don't remember now, and 2) Ain't nobody go time fo' dat!  "Dat" being: waiting like thirty. whole. minutes. for the glue to dry.  Yeah, um, not gonna happen.
But guess what I found when I used the heat tool!  I didn't know it would do this, and boy oh boy, I  was so excited when I saw it happenin'!  It made the glue bubble up!  You can see that better in the picture above than the one below.
I held the heat tool about two to three inches above the glue, and then waved it over the whole thing until it was all dry.  It was such fun to see it bubble up like that!  And then after it bubbled up, it would scrunch back down, and that's what gave it the nice texture, and that's why you need to put the glue on there pretty thick.  If the glue isn't thick enough, it will dry before the heat gets to it, and it won't bubble up and scrunch back to provide that texture.  The texture will really come in handy when we get to watercoloring.

On the edge of my dragonfly piece, I just did a simple squiggly line all around.  This is an example of when I probably could have done the glue thicker.  You can see that, even after drying with the heat tool, the glue looks pretty flat.
Now after it's all dry, it's time to paint over the whole thing with white fabric paint!  I say fabric paint because that's all the white paint we had on hand when I was doing this project.  You could totally use acrylic paint too.  I'm sure they both work pretty much the same.

And I got out three bottles of the stuff because...I thought I'd need that much?  Well I didn't.  I only used one (the matte one, on the left, but it probably doesn't matter which you use).  The amount of glue I squeezed out (which you can see in the picture) was just about the perfect amount for my canvas.
With a good sized brush, hopefully acrylic, apply a good, thorough layer of paint over the whole canvas, making sure to get in all the little crevices.  Funny story: the paintbrush in the pictures is not the one I ended up using to paint the whole thing.  It's really better for watercolors than acrylics, so it wasn't stiff enough to do the job well.
See?  Now it's all painted white!  Just like it was already!  Haha, okay but hopefully you can see the difference.  I love the additional texture the paint strokes give.
YAY, this is my favorite part, and definitely the prettiest!  Watercoloring!
Before I started on the front, I wanted to practice some on the back.  Mostly I wanted to see what it looked like to watercolor right on the canvas, without the layer of fabric paint.  It was nice, but I liked the way it looked better with the fabric paint.  It would be cool to watercolor right on a canvas sometime, but that's another project for another time!
Alrighty, it's go time.  Paint time.  Play time.  Whoooo!  So first, just get your brush nice and soaking wet, and then get your canvas nice and soaking wet, and then apply some color on there!  I am a huge fan of lots of color, and also prettiness, so I like to use lots of pretty colors that coordinate well together.
At the top, I used light blue, turquoise, and light green, and then at the bottom, dark(ish) blue, purple, and dark(ish) pink.  I tried to be careful not to mix them too much, but I did bring them together in a way that I think pleases the eye.  It pleases my eyes a whole lot.  :)  Try to be light and fluffy with your painting.  Don't think about it too much, and don't try to make it perfect.
I also want to stress the importance of standing (or holding) the canvas in a vertical position and letting the paint drip down to the bottom.  That's how all those awesome streaks happened.  I couldn't have done that with my own skillz.
Aaahhh, doesn't it look awesome?!  Notice how the color got caught in the groovy texture.  That wouldn't happen as much if I hadn't let the paint drip downwards.
Aw, they're like BFFs.  Too cute.
Oh yeah, don't forget to watercolor the sides.
The last thing I did was sign my work!  Actually the last thing I did was seal my work.  Before that I signed them.  I just used sharpies in coordinating colors.
Ooh, and look at this!  I even made this cool collage thingy for Pinterest!  How fancy of me!  Yeah, I still haven't put in the effort figured out how to add a Pin-it button to my images, but once I pin it (which you can also do if you have the browser button), you can stalk my little Pinterest, and get it fo' yo'self!  (You should totally do it.)
And now I'm the one whose curiosity is piqued: will you try this?  I hope you do, and if you do, please let me know and show me a picture, because I want to see how other people will take this and make it their own!

What picture would you "draw"?

Saturday, January 7, 2017

Introducing...My Art Journal!

Buddabum buddabum buddabuuumm...  I done started an ART JOURNAL!  "...We so exciiited, we so exciiited..."  I had this adorable turquoise journal, completely blank, on my shelf, that I wasn't really sure how to use because it's so big.  You can see how adorable it is from that picture right up ther'.  See that monster?  So! cute!  Into my art journal, it was transformed!

This post will have a lot of pictures, because I'm showing y'all all the pages I've done so far in my art journal, which is quite a few at this point.  For the first three pages, I cut out pictures and words from magazine pages and sort of made a collage on each page.  This magazine had so much good stuff to cut out!
As with a lot of things, I was inspired (sort of indirectly, if I remember correctly) to start one mainly by Jennie at Little Girl Designs.  She's been the inspiration for a bunch of my art projects, and I'm so thankful for that!
This was specifically inspired by her post on How to Make an Inspiration Board, one of the challenges for her Creative Play Challenge.  What ha' happe'ed wuas, I wanted to make an inspiration board-type-thing, with a theme of things that make me happy, or things that I love, something along those lines, but I didn't want to make it on a board.  What better place to do it, if not on a board, than in an art journal?!  I had been thinking about starting one for a while, so this was the perfect opportunity!
So I cut out a bunch of words and pictures along that theme.  This isn't a great picture because of the glare, but hopefully you can read the words.
Many of these words I didn't use, or haven't used yet, and that's fine!  Their time shall come.
I love this one.  :)
I had been planning to put everything I'd cut out into one collage on one page, but it wasn't working for me.  There were definitely some different color schemes and such going on, and I thought each group needed a page to itself.
I knew I wanted these three pictures together.  They all go so! well! together!
So this is what I came up with...
The next one was just words cut out to make a sentence, and I really like the sentence.  :)
I thought the words needed something behind them, so...I doodled a background.
After gluing them down, I thought they still needed to stand out a little more, so I outlined them.
I like to find creative ways to put in the date, so I squished it in the edge of the doodle like this!  You can also see that I added inside circles to the edging circles, so they look like doughnuts!
Time for the third page!  I love how well each of the pieces go together!  That painting snippet goes perfectly with the words "beautiful spontaneity," don't you think?
These are all the sharpies I used on this page...
Aaand, the finished product!
This was a big flower I made when I was younger, and I had it on my shelf for years.  I kept it, thinking I could someday use it in some art project.  Well, the day finally arrived!  I just glued it in and then wrote a bunch of words around it (and doodled some).  I like to write words...
On the same shelf as the flower, I had this pooh card, which was a thank you from when I gave a painting to a couple in our church.
And, on that very same shelf! was an old birthday card from my parents, that I loved so much I just couldn't put it back in my letter box after I received it!
And you can pull the card out!
And...the other side.  (My pop has nice handwriting.)
This was the handout from my friend's history presentation.  I was going to throw it away with all the other handouts...*clears throat nervously* but then I discovered something crazay!  Where water was spilled on the gray areas, it turned a light green!  So of course I had to play with it some.
The following three pages are cards that me and my little friend from church made when she came to my house.  She drew this one.  (I looked.)
I drew this one.
Aaand, she drew this one!
Alrighty, can anyone guess how I did this one?  Hmm...YES!  I had to get my whole hand painty!  Which is, um, kind of the point!
Look at that.  Ain't it purdy?!  I love getting messy with paint.  :)
These are a couple of origami birds my sister gave me over Christmas break when she was de-cluttering her room.  Her friend made them for her about fifteen years ago, which explains why she wouldn't want to throw them away!
Even though this is a pretty, um, boring page, I like it because it shows that even as a youngun, I liked to come up with new ideas and execute them.  These were scraps of wallpaper glued onto index cards.
This is a drawing given to me years ago by another Maggie!
Ooohhh, okay, this, honey darlin', is sooo cool.  I'm doing a post on this technique in the near future, so I won't explain it here, but trust me, it's sooo cool, and sooo fun!
Look at that texture!
So simple, yet one of my favorites.  :)  I cut letters out of scrap photos I had printed onto regular cardstock.
Whyyy I feel the need to keep some of the things I keep...sometimes passes my understanding.  But nevertheless!  I kept this "list of priorities" and a "texting schedule" I made a few weeks ago, and inserted them into the art journal!  But I first painted the background with turquoise watercolors, and I'm so glad I did.
All opened up!
As you can see by this point, it's less of an art journal, as it was originally meant to be, and more just a perfect place to put miscellaneous flat objects that need a home.  Though I do try to make every page artsy in some way.  Hopefully you can also see that it does not have to be hard!

Does this make you want to start an art journal?