June 16, 2011

ACEOs on another level

when i started to make time for myself with the intention of creating something everyday i was so taken by the ATC/ACEO (Artist Trading Card or Art Cards Edition or Original) format as an easy way to slip into the discipline. they're the size of basic trading cards (2.5" x 3.5") and while some can be very elaborate and intricate mixed media works of art, some are simply mini prints or reproductions of larger works.

i started by cutting index cards down to the required size and then eventually bought several types of pre-cut cards as soon as they were available in my local craft stores. i focused less on mixed media and more on illustrations with some collage elements. last summer i probably created close to two dozen and one of the first was this stripey stocking gal. the dress shape was cut out from the card and then a heavy, double-sided, patterned cardstock was adhered behind it so that one pattern showed through the front dress cut-out, with a different pattern on the back.

the rest of her body was colored in with staedtler lumocolor markers, pens, and colored pencils. she was cute, she was a concept, and i had no idea that almost a year later, she'd turn into this digital painting.

one of my favorites, one that i pulled from my etsy shop almost as soon as i listed it is a watercolor of a bird in a tree. i bought a sampler pack of blanks with a few cards made of watercolor paper and experimented with watercolor pencils that had collected dust over the years. it's not my favorite medium but i do think this turned out okay and i could just never part with it.

i don't even remember what i was trying to accomplish but at some point this became the first thing i turned into a digital painting. as a result, it occurred to me that i could turn all of my little awesomuffins into bright, cheery, streamlined prints and keep the original ATC-sized illustrations because it was hard to let them go. (they're now being slowly added to an art journal/scrapbook!)

the digital process takes forever. in six months i've greatly improved my technique, felt my way through photoshop and inkscape, and like the results more and more. the conversion and refining process can take upwards of 6 hours and in some cases, i'm sure i've spent more than 10 hours on one piece. i don't know if i'll continue to create new sketches and whatnot for this single purpose but i still have at least a dozen to convert.

anyhow, i was recently invited to participate in an ACEO art show at a local bookstore. i had lots of "original" cards already made, obviously, but some of them could never be offered to the general public because, like the striped stocking gal up there, they were just ideas put on paper and, as mentioned above, many of them are so dear to me that i couldn't possibly sell them. i thought about simply working with what i had available and making small prints of my digital paintings and cutting them to ATC specs but that was pretty uninspired, i have to admit.  

when i sat down with a vision i thought of keeping it simple and sweet and working with the double-sided cardstock and papers with pretty patterns on them but it evolved into a process that allowed me to work with each image in a completely individual way.

quickly my table became over-run with supplies and i tried not to become overwhelmed with it all.

however, the results were worth every second of frustration.

the show is a month away and because of one distraction or motherly duty or another, this is all that i managed to finish in one day. i have some lofty goal of having at least 24 cards completed between now and the show but i know that may not be realistically possible.

i painstakingly completed another that day, one that won't be included in the show because i didn't think it through much. it was a trial and error sort of experiment with gel medium. i ended up happy with overall appearance but not the way the gel medium dried. i thought it would settle and dry to a smooth, flat surface much like it seems to when used to adhere things. instead, it created a bumpy, textured surface that looks sloppy at best. so. another one for my scrapbook :)

No comments:

Post a Comment

thanks you for making a connection. all comments and feedback are like little sprinkles of starshine!

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...