Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Plein Air Printables and Tutorial - from AIM

The June/July issue of AIM Magazine is available—and it's a great one! It's packed full of gorgeous, art-themed work of artisans as well as inspiration for art-themed projects!

I submitted this tutorial and printables for a plein air printing set. Please enjoy and don't forget to drop on over to AIM Magazine for more art-themed projects and inspiration!

If you've already read the AIM tutorial and you're looking for the high resolution downloads of the artwork, here you go!

Plein air painting set. Click on image to enlarge.

Tools and supplies:
  • Ruler
  • Pencil
  • Tweezers
  • Mouse pad
  • Ball stylus tool
  • Round toothpick
  • craft knife with new blade
  • Markers
  • Glue stick
  • Tacky glue
  • Acrylic paints
  • White cardstock
  • Gloss white paint
  • UV protectant spray
  • Clear fingernail polish
  • Round, flat seed beads
  • Masking or drafting tape
  • Premium matte photo paper
  • Lead wrapper from wine bottle
  • Cardboard backing from notepad
  • Floral glossy stain spray in walnut wood tone

A note about printing: These items should be printed on your printer's highest quality setting. Spray the prints with a UV-blocking aerosol. 

Flattened and rolled tubes  look "used".

Paint tubes
Using the side of your craft knife as a roller, flatten the lead wrapper from the wine bottle.  

fig. 1 Roll lead around toothpick

fig. 2 Crimp end of tube.
Cut the lead into 8mm x 8mm squares. Roll the squares around the toothpick where the toothpick begins to taper (fig. 1).

One end of the lead tube will be smaller. Crimp the smaller end of the tube with your tweezers to form the bottom seam of the paint tube. (fig. 2)

Bend the top edges of the tube in slightly (fig. 3). Paint the seed beads, filling in the hole. Glue the beads to the tops of the tubes. Allow to dry thoroughly. Using your finger, lightly push the tubes flat along the bottom seams. Glue the trimmed labels around the tubes. Tubes can be rolled up with tweezers and paint applied to the tops to give them a used appearance. 

Box for paints
Trim the printed pieces. On the back of each piece, lightly score the fold lines. Fold each of the box sides flat. Bend them back to their final positions. Glue the tabs to the box sides.

Painting in progress on board
With the pencil, draw along the sides of the print to extend the edges of the sketch under the painting; draw the lines of the river, mountain, horizon, etc.— wherever the artist may have sketched before the tape was applied. Cut out the painting, leaving a 4mm white border. Cut a 55mm x 45mm rectangle from the notepad backing. Round the corners of the rectangle with the craft knife. Spray both sides of the rectangle with the wood tone floral stain. Cut 2mm wide strips of masking tape. Run a thin line of glue along the edge of the painting. Position the tape on the glue. Tear the ends of the tape. Allow to dry. Using your markers, “paint” the edges of the tape around the painting to simulate the watercolor washes on top of the masking tape. A light gray marker works well to simulate the wash effect on top of the brighter colors.

If you do not have a suitable shaped plate or finding for the palette, one can be made from cardstock. Cut a 25mm x 15mm rectangle from the cardstock. Cut rounded edges, if desired. Lay the rectangle onto a mouse pad. Create a 2mm indented edge around the rectangle using your ball stylus tool. Round the edge at the corners. Turn the rectangle over and rub over the creases to indent the edge more. When satisfied with the results, add paint daubs to your palette using thinned acrylic paints in various colors. When dry, coat with clear fingernail polish.

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Miniature Roses Tutorial

Tools and Materials:
  • coffee filter or japanese silk paper
  • punches: 1/4" heart, 3/16" teardrop, 1/4" star 
  • watercolor pencils or acrylic paints for petals
  • colored pencils
  • avocado green acrylic paint
  • ball stylus tool
  • needle or needle tool
  • mousepad
  • paper towel
  • paper covered wire
  • sewing thread
  • tacky glue
  • satin acrylic varnish
  • tissue paper for box lining
  • silk ribbon for bow
  • tweezers
  • leaf veining tool (optional)
  • florist boxes kit

Step One: Petals
To make one rose, punch 5 hearts from the coffee filter or japanese silk paper. Paint hearts. For the dozen red roses, I used a combination of True Red and Moroccan Red acrylic paints. If you would like subtle colors, try using watercolor pencils (I used red and yellow watercolor pencils on the pink single rose). Keep a paintbrush and water close by so that you can blend the colors as you work on the petals. 

Subtle colors may be achieved with watercolor pencils.

Step Two: The Basic Shape
Glue 2 hearts together as shown in picture. Glue a painted, 2" wire stem to the heart. Allow to dry.

2 hearts are overlapped and glued. A stem is glued on.
Step Three: Shaping the Center
Place hearts and the assembled hearts with a stem on a damp paper towel. Let them absorb a good amount of moisture. Place the hearts with a stem on a mousepad. Using your ball stylus tool, press down along the edge of the left heart. Turn the hearts over, press down along the edge of the other heart. You want a ruffled edge.

Step Four: Making the Center of the Rose
Pick up the stem, add glue along the bottom edge of the hearts, and roll the hearts around the stem. This will create the tight center of the rose. Pay attention that the ruffles look the way you want them to. You may wish to look at some photos for reference. 

Shaping the petals with the stylus.
Step Five: Shaping the Petals
Pick up the damp loose petals and place them on your mousepad. Using the ball stylus, press down along the top edges of the hearts and the pointed bottom of the hearts. Turn the hearts over and press down in the centers of the hearts. The shape of the petals should look similar to the photo.

Step Six: Adding the Petals
Add a tiny amount of glue to the pointed bottom of the petal and glue to the stem. Wrap the petal around the center of the rose. Do this with more petals, overlapping the spaces between the petals as you glue them on. You may wish to cut the hearts in half down the middle to create smaller petals or use a variation of hearts and half-hearts.

Step Seven: Calyx
Punch a star from the paper. Paint with avocado green acrylic paint. Using your ball stylus, push down on each of the five points of the star. Turn the star over and push down in the center. See the photo for reference. With a pin or needle tool, poke a hole in the center large enough to go over the stem. Put a tiny amount of glue along the bottom of the rose petals. Push the star up the stem into place.

Step Eight: Leaves
Punch 3 leaves from the paper. Paint with avocado green acrylic paint. Using colored pencils, add some color variation to the leaves. I used orange-red, dark blue, dark green and black in very small amounts. These may be blended with your fingers. The back side of the roses may be painted a lighter color or colored pencils may be used to lighten the effect. To achieve a wonderful, realistic look to the leaves, you may wish to use the veining tool from Templewood Miniatures. Paint leaves with satin acrylic varnish to add a realistic shine.

Step Nine: Branches
Dab a bit of avocado green paint on a paper towel. Pull the sewing thread through the paint on the paper towel. Allow the thread to dry straight, hanging from a drawer pull or door knob. When thoroughly dry, cut a 5/8" length of thread off. Glue 3 leaves to the thread (you may wish to use the photo below as reference for leaf placement). When dry, glue the branch to the stem.

Step Ten: Adding Finishing Touches to the Rose
Paint over the joint where the stem and branch are glued together. You may wish to add tiny "dew" droplets to the rose or leaves using Diamond Glaze.

Step Eleven: Assembling and Decorating the Box
The precut boxes shown in the photos may be purchased through my shop. Assemble the boxes and glue the supplied acetate into the windows. Cut tissue paper of your desired color and place into box. (I used bright green tissue inside of the box of dozen roses, and sheer ribbon inside of the single rose box). Do not glue. Decide how you want the roses to be placed in your boxes. Some of the stems may need to be cut shorter. Glue the roses to each other - not the tissue paper (glue will generally make a mess of tissue paper). 

Flower boxes are available from my shop.

Step Twelve: Making the Bow
To make a bow, cut or punch a 1/4" circle from cardstock paper. Cut the following lengths of ribbon:
  • four pieces, 1.5 inches
  • four pieces, 1.25 inches
  • four pieces, 1 inch
  • 1 piece, .5 inch

Except for the .5 inch piece, glue all of the lengths of ribbon into loops. Glue the .5 inch piece into a circle. Dab a small amount of glue in the center of the cardstock circle. Position the four largest loops on the glue to form an "X". Glue the  next smaller loops in between the larger loops. Glue the smallest loops  on top of the largest loops. Glue the small circle of ribbon in the center. Cut a length of ribbon to go around the top of the box and inside the lid. Glue to the ends of the ribbon inside of the lid. Do not put glue on the outside of the box because it may stain the ribbon. Glue the bow to the box's lid on top of the ribbon. 

Enjoy your box of roses!

Here are some public domain photos to help inspire you! Click on them to make them larger.

Monday, May 16, 2011

Giveaway Winner!

Thank you to everyone who participated in the giveaway!

A winner has been chosen...

Congratulations to Kate from Whitaker's Miniatures! Kate may choose $25 of items from my Etsy shop.

Thanks again to everyone who left a comment!

Friday, May 6, 2011

Blog Anniversary Giveaway!

Just a little way to say thank you to my followers for indulging me with their kind comments during my first year of blogging! I am very lucky to have made so many good friends, and I'm continually inspired by the work that I see in blogland. 

As a small gesture of my gratitude, I am giving away $25 of merchandise plus free shipping in my Etsy shop to the winner of the giveaway. 

Please leave a comment below and tell me what you would like from my shop. I will draw one name on Monday, May 16. You must be a follower to participate.

Good luck!

cupcakes by Minnie Kitchen; macaroon charlotte by Oiseau deNim