Monday, February 03, 2014

Screen Printing Party + Permaset Ink Discount Code!

I drew up a new design for screen printing last week, and it's based on my Grandpa's camera from the 1950's.  I have really been loving photography and all things vintage lately, so it was the perfect new design to start playing with in the silkscreen studio.  I had a lot of fun printing with my new Permaset screen printing inks, and the first one I tried was their Permaset Aqua Standard Ink in Turquoise.  I had never tried their inks before, but I was really happy with the consistency of the ink as well as the brightness of the colors.  I had previously been using a blue by another company, and it was super drippy and hard to control on the screen because it had a tendency to run all over the place... This was definitely not the case with my new Permaset ink!  It stayed where I wanted it to and made screen printing a lot less messy!  Here is a shot of the ink in action:

Here I am pulling a test print onto some scrap paper before printing onto the fine art piece I was working on:

And here is the finished piece with a spray painted background that I'd made previously (the image at the top of the post is a similar one with a color variation):

We also got a chance to play with some of Permaset's Aqua Supercover inks.  This is a special type of waterbased ink formulated to print on top of darker colored fabrics without soaking into the fabric and creating a light print that isn't too visible.  We loved the consistency of this ink too - so creamy and thick- and it printed on top of the dark shirts perfectly with great visibility!  Here is a close up of the ink so you can see the texture of it:

Below is the Supercover ink in action.  We were printing my fox drawing onto a few darker t-shirts and pieces of scrap fabric to make patches out of them...

And here is one of the finished shirts:

All in all, we are super happy with the new inks and had a lot of fun screen printing this weekend.  I have some new designs in the works, so we are going to reclaim some old screens later this week, burn the new images, and play with the new images soon!  I will post some photos of our printing session here.  I am thinking of making a screen with my new doe image, which you can see below in my sketchbook.  What do you think?

I also have a SPECIAL TREAT for my blog readers this month...  Permaset is offering a special discount for How To Make Art readers.  Just enter the following coupon code when you check out on their page, and you will get 15% off any of the inks on their site for the entire month of February: howtomakeart_feb


In the interest of full disclosure, I was gifted the inks by Permaset, however all of the opinions expressed here are my own, and I would only recommend products that I truly believe in.  I really love these inks and will be slowly switching out my old inks with these new ones.  A big thanks to Permaset for letting me try out some of their products!

Friday, January 31, 2014

An Illustrated Quote...

I've been in love with quotes lately, and I thought I'd stop in to share one with you that I recently illustrated in one of my handmade books...  I hope you like it!

Happy Friday! :)

Friday, January 24, 2014

TUTORIAL: How to Create a Wax Resist for Watercolors

Here's a fun technique that you can do with watercolors and wax paper, two supplies you might already have on hand.  This is a great technique to use in your art journal - the possibilities are endless!

Here's what I used:
*Niji Authentic Chinese Watercolors
*Niji Waterbrush
*Watercolor paper or sketchbook/art journal
*Wax Paper

Step One: Place a piece of wax paper on top of your watercolor paper or sketchbook page.  Draw some shapes or a pattern with a regular pencil (a regular wooden pencil works better than a mechanical pencil, since you can press harder).  Press hard so that the wax from the wax paper will transfer onto your paper surface.

Step Two: Choose your watercolor from the set.  I used #55, light green, since it's one of my favorites.

Step Three: Squeeze some of the watercolor onto a palette.  Using your Niji waterbrush filled with water, add a few drops of water to the color to thin it down, then mix it up a bit.

Step Four: Paint over the area where you had previously transferred wax paper to your watercolor paper surface.  You will find that the wax from the wax paper acts as a resist!

There are so many fun uses for this technique!  I hope you will enjoy using it in your artwork. 

Happy Friday! :)

Thursday, January 23, 2014

My 2013 Project Life Album

I started doing Project Life last year in May, and I am still so in love with this system of memory keeping!  I finished my 2013 album pretty much right on time over the holidays, but I haven't had a chance to share it with you yet on my blog...

Below are a few of my favorite spreads.  You can find more in my gallery at Studio Calico here:

Title Page:

Page 7:

Page 12:

Page 18:

Page 20:

Page 28:

Thanks for checking out my pages!  They are so much fun to make.  :)

Have a creative day!

Tuesday, January 07, 2014

Books, Books, Books...

I've always been obsessed with books, especially sketchbooks, art journals, and scrapbooks, but lately, it seems my obsession has kicked into high gear!  I can't go a day without spending at least an hour inside the covers of one of these books...  I've been working on filling several art journals and sketchbooks, and I've also been working on my Project Life albums and Smash Books lately too.  Oh, and I just finished a little Snap! album for 2013.  I hope to share more pages from these books, maybe in video form or just in a photo heavy post, but for now, here are a few little peeks...

The page below is from the little handmade book that you see in the above stack of books (it's the top book with the ribbon binding).  The book pages were put together from scraps I sewed together on my sewing machine, and the stitching was inspired by the work of Thomas Campbell, who I have been obsessed with for quite some time now!  The left part of the page has a scrap from a vintage grade book (flea market find) and a halftone made from a vintage photo booth picture (also a flea market find).  On the right, I was working on practicing brush script, and the paint was still wet when I took the photo - I like how it still glistens! :)

Next up is a page from the same book, where I did some random sketching, wrote a favorite quote, and added some white triangle designs that I made from some old puffy wallpaper border.  The background is from an old oil monoprint that I made in college.  This was a fun page to make!

The last page below is from a different handmade book (not one from the stack at the top of the post), and it was made with old xeroxes from t-shirt designs, masking tape, markers, watercolor, acrylic paint, and some craft sprays.  I love the randomness of these books that begin with binding papers together that already have images on them before the books is bound...  Making books this way also eliminates the "fear of the blank page," and it sets up challenges for myself when I start to fill the book.  I love working this way!

I hope you are having a creative week!  Thanks for taking a look inside my books today.


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