Saturday, December 2, 2017

Second on the 2nd: ATCs for a swap

My dear friend Chris recently showed a technique she tried that you can see here.  I applauded her for her effort, which I thought was so much better than when I tried it.   Here is the post (and the follow up) I referred to.  It's from July, 2008 and I show both in their entirety.

Women for an ATC swap

I started working on my Women ATC swap today.

My initial inclination was to make Vintage/Victorian women for the swap. I got out lace, buttons, old book pages, etc. I was searching for appropriate images when I stumbled across the March/April edition of Somerset Studio and decided to thumb through it for inspiration. Lo and behold, I found the "Stitchy Chix" article by Lisa Bebi on pages 28-31. I had seen this technique before, it wasn't anything new, but I had never tried it. So, I put all the vintage stuff away and found a "slick" magazine. As usual, I had to try a new technique for a swap. Without even seeing if the technique was going to work, I jumped right in.

I gessoed a bunch of women featured in ads, mostly from the waist up. I dry brushed thin gesso onto the images. I don't use expensive gesso, so it didn't completely cover in one coat. I put less gesso on their faces, because I can't draw. By leaving just enough of the faces intact, I was able to see where to put the eyes, eyebrows, noses, ears, and mouths. I used Zig fine point pens on the faces. I was also able to see the outline of the outfits the women were wearing and just followed the lines. I colored them in using watercolor markers. If you use the better quality gesso, you might want to water it down before you begin.

After the gesso dried, I cut the women out. After they were cut out, it was easy to follow the outlines. I used the above mentioned watercolor pencils and Zig pens to color and highlight the images. Now, I didn't do the lovely shading that Bebi did. In the article, she used Golden acrylic paints, so her "Chix" have a chalkier look than I got with my watercolor markers. However, she made hers on large canvases, and mine are for teeny-tiny itsy-bitsy ATCs, which limited the size of the women and the amount of embellishments I could use.

Although I prefer to make every one of my swap pieces the same, I have made them all similar. They all have the same funky background and texture paste applied using punchinella as the stencil. The faces and outfits are all different, though. I have all the women finished, just not turned into ATCs. I'll try to finish and show the rest later.

These are the rest of the women I made for the Women ATC swap. I got a bit carried away with these. One thing I noticed was the watercolor markers lightened overnight. You can tell which of the women were colored with watercolor markers and which ones were colored with permanent markers. The permanent markers kept their brilliant colors. You can imagine my surprise when I saw the finished product the next morning.

A word of caution. I used my black and red Zig pens on the faces and the black Zig pen got ruined. I tried to use it today and it no longer works. I was really sick about it, because my Zig pens are the best writing instruments I have. The gesso was not kind to it.

Now it's time to share your own Second on the 2nd.  The rules are quite simple and everyone is welcome to join the fun look back.  All you have to do is bring back a post that you are especially proud of, or perhaps one you shared before anyone knew your blog existed.  Any post, any genre, any artistic endeavor is acceptable.  Then link below (direct links only, please) and Bleubeard and I, along with other Second on the 2nd friends, will be by to visit.  Please be aware this link is only open for five days, so linking on the 2nd is preferred.

12 thoughtful remarks:

Valerie-Jael said...

Lovely ATCs. Sorry your pen stopped working afterwards, probably got clogged up. Have a nice day, hugs, Valerie

kathyinozarks said...

Good morning Elizabeth, I enjoyed reading about your atc's They turned out great-Happy second on the 2nd Kathy

Darla said...

Very interesting second look (or first look in my case). I did create a few ATC's a long time ago. I should look through my pile of papers and come up with a few more. Is anyone trading them these days?

Nancy said...

What an interesting method! I love that background, too. While reading your post, it occurred to me to try this with clear gesso and then alter the existing image by layering on color and pen work. I might give that a try. Like you, I find that gesso is kind of grainy and harsh on pens. You made a lot of these and it looks like fun!

Sandra Cox said...

What fun! I love that these women all have their own individuality, hair and dress style:)
YOU, have the best weekend ever, Elizabeth dear.

froebelsternchen Susi said...

I love to see your take on this technique Elizabeth!
They turned out very charming!
For that special project the cheap non permanent office markers I mentioned earlier as you maybe remember would be perfect I think.

I can imagine that you were sad about ruining the zig marker at that time.

Happy weekend my friend!
oxo Susi

kathyinozarks said...

Yes you are most welcome to the recipe-its a really good one. that's a great idea putting the popcorn in glass lidded container-very pretty

Divers and Sundry said...

The women make a wonderful set! I enjoy your 2nds :) as I don't remember some and some predate my discovery of your blog. Thx!

Cindy McMath said...

These are great Elizabeth! I’m glad you shared them. I remember that technique but don’t remember your take on it.

Meggymay said...

These ATC women are all super Elizabeth. The covering of gesso was a good idea as well. I can imagine how you felt about your pen, it happened to me a while ago and was gutted when I realised what I had done.
Yvonne xx

My name is Erika. said...

I like these ladies. They don't look bad at all. I think it really looks like you painted them. And the background is lots of fun too. It makes them, for some odd reason in my brain, look like athletes. Since I didn't get to see them originally I'm glad I got to see them again. Hope it's been a good Saturday. Hugs-Erika

pearshapedcrafting said...

I love these Elizabeth! This was a long time before I was blogging so it's good to see too! Very clever to bring them together as a collection with the lovely background! Thanks for the mention and the compliment dear! Hugs, Chrisx