More mail art

More Mail Art © Angela Porter | Artwyrd.com
More Mail Art © Angela Porter | Artwyrd.com

After a very late night talking to a friend and not enough sleep, today is a self-care day. I’m going to go back to bed soon and try to sleep some more before driving for four hours tonight.

While waiting for sleep to catch up with me again, I thought I’d make some mail art. The photo isn’t the best; I’ve said it before, I’m not a brilliant photographer. However, I’m sure you get the idea. Also, I wanted to catch a glimpse of the metallic highlights I’ve added to this card, so the angle of the photography was just plain weird!

My brain seemed to have ticked over some ideas while I was asleep and I woke with some things I thought I could try out. This card is the result of some of them.

I started by using a 4″ x 4″ piece of watercolour paper and applying Distress inks to it to create a background.

I used a torn piece of paper to mask off the bottom of the panel so that could use an ink blending tool to apply Pine Needles and Crushed Olive Distress inks to create some land.

A sky was required, so I used Broken China Distress ink to create it so that it faded from top to the land.

I then sprayed the background with a mixture of gold Perfect Pearls and water to create a less perfect appearance.

While this was drying, I flipped through my Zibladone (visual dictionary) and found some motifs I liked. I used Pitt Artist pens from Faber-Castell to draw the motifs on the panel. I chose these pens because they’re waterproof when dry and I knew I wanted to add colour and sparkle to them later on.

To give a sense of dimension, I used black pens for the foreground motifs and a grey brush pen to create the foliage in the background.

To help the seed pods stand out, I used washes of Dusty Concorde and Seedless Preserves Distress inks. Then, I used some Cosmic Shimmer gold iridescent watercolour paint to add the gold highlights.

Once everything was dry, I used a piece of Cut’n’Dry foam to edge the panel with Dusty Concorde Distress Ink. The design was framed nicely by this edging; it also added a sense of dimensionality.

Next, I mounted the panel on a piece of black card and then adhered these layers to a 6″ x 6″ blank Kraft card, all done with Tombow Mono glue.

Finally, I carefully used a gold glitter Uniball Signo gel pen to add lines around the edge of the design panel and also the black mat.

I then turned my attention to the envelope. I drew some more of the seed pods before adding a light wash of Dusty Concorde and Seedless Preserves Distress Inks, being careful not to overwet the envelope. I added dots of gold watercolour paint to the seed pods and the space around them too, making sure I left enough space to write the name and address of the eventual recipient.

I’m quite pleased with the card. I’ve done this style of drawing digitally in the form of a mandala, but never like this. However, as I look at the card, it seems to need a focal motif in the space between the seedpods. I may be wrong; it may just be my constant need to fill up space with line and pattern and the difficulty I have in leaving white space in a design.

I shall let the card ‘sit’ for a while before making my mind up on that issue.

More Foiling experiments

More foiling experiments ©Angela Porter 2019
More foiling experiments ©Angela Porter 2019

The death of a laminator…

Another useless photograph, but I think you get some idea of how the foiling appears.

I’ve had a bit of a nightmare with the laminator. This morning it decided to terminally ‘eat’ a ‘foiling sandwich’ and there is no way I can get it out. I tried to put an A4 sheet through the laminator which meant that the folded ‘carrier’ paper had the fold to the side, not going through the laminator first. I think that’s what caused it all to get caught and stuck.

Lesson learned? Hopefully. I think I’m going to have to work on images that are A5 (UK) in size or less. Which is fine now I’m sure about that. However, I really was hoping to foil one of my A4 monogram images.

Ho hum. I shall purchase another laminator later today so I can continue working on it. The instructions with the foil say any home laminating machine will work with this particular foil.

About the foiled works…

Here’s what I’ve discovered so far.

Foiling works best on smooth paper, such as the heavyweight ‘premium’ paper I use in my printer. I do want to try Bristol Board as that is smooth and a bit more weighty again and stands up well to quite a few media.

Coloured cardstock, such as the dark blue example to the bottom left, doesn’t work quite so well as it’s not all that smooth. The foiling ends up a bit uneven and has a kind of ‘brushed’ look to it.

The copper foil I’ve used is amazing! It is like an interference ink or paint in that it’s colour changes from coppery-red to gold as it catches the light in different ways. I’m in love with this one for sure. It looks fab with turquoise blues and greens, a lot like the colours of verdigris.

I tried colouring the top left, top middle and bottom right images with Distress Inks after foiling. This worked brilliantly! It needs to be added after foiling; a little wipe with a dry paper towel removes any excess ink from the foil.

I’m not sure if you can see it, but the centre of the two mandalas at the top left and middle have some colour added to them. I used Staedtler Fineliners for the blue one and Zig Clean Colour Real Brush pens for the orange one.

The mandala at the top right I coloured using Chameleon markers and pencils after I’d foiled it. Not my best choice of colours, in my opinion, but it was an experiment. The alcohol inks stained the foil where I couldn’t keep the nib in the tiny spaces. The mandala was designed to be printed on A4 paper so the gaps weren’t quite so tiny, but I printed them at 4″ x 4″ just to try the foiling out.

I need to draw at sizes that it’s possible to foil successfully without killing a laminator off quickly in the future, and that means A5 or less in size. Unless I decide to ’tile’ the image in some way.

Future experiments in foiling…

There are some different papers I want to try. Bristol Board from either Frisk, Daler-Rowney or Winsor and Newton in particular. Strathmore is textured and I suspect it won’t work well, it’ll be more like the coloured card stock.

Coloured, heavyweight paper is a definite, particularly black I think. Just for the line art in foiling.

Hot-pressed, smooth watercolour paper may be worth a try, along with the smoother side of Claire-Fontaine or Daler-Rowney mixed media paper.

Different papers mean I can used different coloring media in different ways.

What else I have learned and what else I need to think about.

I really, really like digital colouring and I’m rather rusty with different traditional media.

I also need to think about what I can do with foiling and any market that I can create for myself with my art.

I’m really not at all good at promoting myself or my art and pricing work is so very difficult for me to do. It really is. I have a bit of a break in contracts at the moment (apart from editing some templates this week) and it’s something I really do need to turn my attention to. I create so much, but do so little with it.

Digi Hallowe’en Pumpkin Stamp set

I have a set of 13 digi stamps with a whimsical Hallowe’en Pumpkin theme available in my Etsy shop, Artwyrd.

The set includes :

  • 3 pumkins without faces
  • 5 faces to add to the pumpkins or any other images you wish ( spooky eyes in the dark, on monsters, ghosts, aliens…your imagination is the only barrier!)
  • 5 leaves to use to create an autumn/fall scene with or without the pumpkins

Use them to create cards, or to fill a page with images for a custom colouring page, or any other craft you can think of.