Saturday, July 22, 2006

Artist Trading Cards

Also known as ATC's. The idea behind them was to make a card the same size as a baseball card to trade, only to have it be original art. An ATC is 2 1/2" x 3 1/2". Some people actually use playing cards as the base. This is a repost of some art tips I made to an ATC group on Flickr.

Useful tecniques:Whenever you are getting paper wet, it will want to curl up. The solution is to use drafting tape to tape it to a drawing board first. The tape will leave a clean border around your card. Or if you don't want a border, cut the paper big to begin with and trim off the border later. I find it easier to start with a big sheet of watercolor paper (like 11"x14" and tape it down. Then make many cards at once (however many will fit on the sheet). When dry, remove the tape and cut to size.
Improving the base:I can't imagine using white-out when acylic gesso is so much more efficient and less expensive in the long run. Check the prices...sometimes the bigger bottle is a lot better deal than the smaller sizes. Save time by adding paint to a small bit of gesso to avoid the white background phobia. I barely mix mine so that each stroke is a different shade. I find it more painterly that way.
Don't waste paint:When you have all that excess paint on your pallette and you are done for the day, you can cover it with foil or plastic wrap. If you have no use for it because you finished your project, grab you sketchbook with the heavy weight paper that you use for your artist book/journal and flip to a blank page and use the excess paint as a background for a future art page. If you lay the book flat you can paint two pages at once. I always slip a piece of thin cardboard under each page so the paint won't seep through to the other pages. Leave open until dry. Or sometimes I use the extra paint to put a background coat on stones for gypsy stones (the found art I give away). I have a box full of clean stones ready to go. Have fun.

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