Friday, September 24, 2010

Creating Textures

Using texture in your photography, photo manipulation, digital art or Traditional Art can add dimension, depth and color to your work. Textures can be found every day in the world around us. Here are some examples of three of my own favorite textures; Rust, Peeling Paint and a Stucco Wall:
 From an old painted metal chair on my mom's front porch

Fading and peeling Fresco taken in Pompeii, Italy

Stucco Wall taken at DisneyWorld

Besides collecting images of texture you can also make your own texture. Using basic supplies that can be purchased at any craft store, you can create your very own texture in any color desired! Here's how:
All you need are a few supplies!

Take some cheap watercolor paper and cut it in half. Grab a paper plate and pour out two small piles of Acrylic Gesso. Tint the Gesso with Acrylic Craft Paint with two colors of your choice. I chose Lavender and Pale Yellow. Mix the paint in with the Gesso and using a 1" flat paintbrush, paint each piece of your watercolor paper. While the paint is wet lay the two colors on top of each other and then pull off. Viola! Two sheets of texture with light and dark areas.

In just a few minutes we created great texture that can be used as a background or overlay in our art!
You can find these textures and more available for your use in my DeviantArt Textures and Backgrounds gallery

Here are a few more shots of everyday images that have been enhanced and given an otherworldly quality by using textures:

Have an artful weekend!

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Sunday, September 19, 2010

A Pirate's Life

Arrgh!! Today is Talk Like a Pirate Day! So you scallywags, it's a perfect time to post about this past Tuesday when it was my turn to host our monthly Bunco game! If you don't know what Bunco is, google it because I'm not about to try to explain it to you. :) My theme was based on the movie "Pirate's of the Caribbean". As a child, it was always my favorite ride at Disneyland and I am a huge fan of the movies. So, after months of planning, making my own decorations and lining up a big secret surprise, the night finally came and it was a treasure trove of fun! 

Upon walking in the door, the girls were greeted with a shocking surprise: Captain Jack Sparrow and Captain Billy Bones who then made them walk the plank to prove their loyalty to The Black Pearl!

I asked that everyone wear their best pirate garb:

Betsy had the funniest costume:

Cynde and Kelly had my favorite costumes of the night:

Here's the entire crew:

A look at some of my decorations:
The tables were decorated with old world maps in blue and topped with a treasure map and little candle lighted lanterns.

The table covers. I loved this fabric!

Treasure map and lanterns. The treasure maps were actually bandannas.

The table number cards

Treasure chest with scrolls, maps, jewels and gold coins.

The floating prize was inside this chest. It was a necklace made of seaglass from Scotland with a Sparrow flying over it. I also made a Davy Jones themed charm bracelet. I won my own floating prize! Yay for me!

The crew's mascot...a colorful parrot!

Centerpiece on the food table. An old chandelier becomes a very cool candelabra! 

The cutlery is wrapped, tied with twine and featured in a small treasure chest.
Pirate items surround it including a bottle of rum, snuff boxes, a compass that doesn't point north, treasure maps, telescope, starfish and gold coins.

My "Pièce de résistance" 
A 1" scale scene of Jack Sparrow stuck on Rumrunner Isle.

Dead Men Tell No Tales!

The coral was created by collecting discarded palm tree seed branches from my yard and spray painting them in lovely colors.  Add a message in a bottle, some gold coins, seashells, starfish and put it all on a fishing net. Hang a scary pirate with a stern warning and you've got a cool side decoration! :)

I made "Why is the Rum Always Gone" rum punch and bought plastic glasses with a skull and crossbones. To jazz them up a bit, I wrapped rope around them and then added a metal decoration to each one:

And to finally round out the decorations, I had two life sized stand ups of Jack Sparrow and Will Turner.
All in all, it was a successful hunt for treasure on the Black Pearl!  A Pirate's Life is definitely for me! :)

Friday, September 10, 2010

Veiled Memories

Veiled memories of you dwell uneasily upon my dreams

Oh how I miss having the time to do digital art! I'm currently busy with preparing for a Pirates of the Caribbean themed Bunco party and most of my time has been going into making decorations, running errands and setting up, making sure the ladies of my group are going to have a great time (yes, pictures will be posted after the party...don't want to give away any of the surprises just yet!).

I've also been drawn lately to mixed media, which is very much like doing digital art and photo manipulation but only in a traditional sense. I have traditional art to finish: The Sketchbook Project 2011, digital painting to complete: Remember the Pinup? Ongoing tasks to tackle (My Exploration project) and new challenges on the horizon (Write a Novel in November)...but, digital art still calls to me and I was inspired to create the above piece last night after perusing the new issue of Digital Studios Magazine. So much creativity flows out of the pages!  And, they printed a thank you letter I wrote! It's on page 2. :)  I truly love the magazine and wish it were printed more than twice a year. All the artists that are showcased are talented and inspiring. Looking through it makes me want to do more pieces to submit for the Spring issue but alas, time is a constraint for me right now and not sure I'll be able to pull it off. We shall see! As long as I'm doing some form of art, I'm a happy girl. :)
Have a wonderful and artful weekend!

Resources: The castle, butterfly and postcard are from my own stock collection and are available in my stock gallery at DeviantArt ; Texture by Shadowhouse Creations and Vintage Woman by MementoMori-Stock .

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Sketchbook Project 2011: Below the Beard

Completed pages 8 & 9 of my Moleskine for the Sketchbook Project 2011  My theme is "Below the Surface".

Whenever I see men with long beards
I imagine they have little creatures
living below the surface.
Santa probably has tiny elves.
I gave my model, Walt Whitman
tiny little mice to keep him company
while he composes his verse. 

Sunday, September 5, 2010

Exploration #9: Miniature Museum

Exploration #9: Miniature Museum
Collect only very small things. Store them in a mint tin or small box.

This exploration task was made just for me! Since I am a miniature artist, I naturally am inclined to collect really small things that I can use in my art.  Some things are obvious, like doll house miniatures you can find in a hobby shop but others are not so. Such as whiskers my cats discard which are perfect tips in miniature quills, thimbles for milk pails and even sticks from the yard to make a cord of firewood.
Here are my boxes of "doodads".  The first one includes a variety of things such as images from magazines that can be used as miniature art paintings, miniature presents, string which becomes sailors rope, brads for decorative elements and even things I've made out of clay such as the Italian Kitchen sign that says "Cucina Pazzo" which translates into "Crazy Kitchen". :)
The next box includes all my "spooky" items which I use to make these miniature Witches Hutches and Cabinets that I sell on Etsy and Ebay. I usually make one or two to sell around Halloween.  Of course, I have one myself in my elaborate Witches Cottage and Greenhouse that I made.
Spooky Doodads
Witches Hutch
The wands on top are exact replicas of the wands in Harry Potter!
(already sold)

Witches Cabinet
(Available for purchase)

My witches cottage and greenhouse
The greenhouse was a bitch to make!
She grows things such as "Devil's Ivy" and "Skunk Cabbage"

Inside the front room. I grouted the floor and made the stone fireplace from scratch!
It even has burning wood! The whole cottage and grounds are wired for electricity.

I built this English Book shoppe filled with used books!
It's the decorative piece in my guest bedroom.

A look down into the book shoppe. I made most the books myself and am still in the process of filling it  all up. Some of the items such as the newspapers were purchased from other mini artists.

This is my main dollhouse  My dad built the shell when I was 12 but I didn't start working on it until I was 28.  I had to rebuild the stairs and I added the front porch and all the window treatments as well as the shingles and siding. Most rooms are done except for the Conservatory but I am always adding to it.  It is a 1912 Georgian style home. It even has a porch swing out front! :)

A look at the 1912 kitchen.

There have been a lot of miniature structures that I have built and sold in the past. I did a Shakespeares Globe Theatre with a production of Othello going on inside and a Fairy Shoppe made out of a giant mushroom. Sometimes I miss those pieces but I can't keep everything!

And finally, this week I was able to indulge in my love of miniatures and create a piece for my upcoming Pirates of the Caribbean bunco party:

Jack Sparrow stuck on the Rumrunner Island. For this I got to use
a bunch of gold mini items I have been saving as well as wood from my yard. :)

I ended the week with a Creative Saturday with Lita where we did traditional art. Lita worked on painting a Fiery Fairy in watercolor and I did a painting in Acrylic. I still have work to do on it but I'm calling it "Waiting on the West Highland Way".
She is a Scottish Lass, waiting on the road alongside Rannoch Moor for her lover to return from Kingshouse after fighting in the rebellion against King George. I was happy with the progress and Lita and I had a very productive day which of course, included a trip to B&N for artistic inspiration!

May you all have a creative week ahead and have a safe Labor Day holiday!