Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Progress on the Tuscan Farmhouse

I just received these pics today and couldn't wait to share the progress of the Tuscan Farmhouse. There is still some painting and a bit of work left to do yet, but it is taking shape.

I am still undecided about what to do with the little room off the side. Shall it be a storage area? laundry? tool shed? breakfast nook? room for the wine press? Perhaps some of my knowledgable readers can tell me if a wine press would be located in a house or in a separate building?

Friday, June 17, 2011

My Tuscan Farmhouse

After planning and talking about building a Tuscan farmhouse for years, it is finally becoming a reality! Of course, in order for that to happen I had to relinquish the thought of building it myself!

I've asked SMRD Studio to create the Italian home of my dreams after seeing her work at the Chicago Independent Show in April. MR specializes in just the type of structure I'm seeking. I sent her photos of a bed and breakfast that I stayed in while visiting Greve in Chianti and asked her to use them as inspiration for my 3-room house. MR said that the structure should be finished by the end of the month. I can't wait! 

I wish I had a workshop like this!

Le Cetinelle, the inspiration for the miniature Tuscan farmhouse.

Wednesday, June 1, 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.