Saturday, July 6, 2013


I got myself some Fabriano stationery a few years ago and it is really a joy to paint on.  Once I paint these cards, I have some cool art that can easily be mailed out to friends.  The cards are high quality watercolor paper.  I have used watercolor paints on them many times.  But in this case, with these cards, I focused mainly on acrylic paint and inks, though they are mixed media.  The envelopes for the Fabriano cards are made of a different paper, but they are also paintable.

It is a great way to loosen up and try out some new color combos and try art ideas and tools.  I was just playing.  I feel less pressure doing these than when I am making a painting, say.  I can mess one up and just throw it out.  I like the sense of freedom.

If you don't feel like mailing them out, they're easy to tuck into your art journal too.  You could make some notes on the back, regarding favorite color combos and just what you used on a given card.  

Monday, July 1, 2013

Caution, may cause happiness

I tried a couple of different, for me, art supplies on this mixed media painting, which I call "Caution, may cause happiness".  The text on the piece, glögg is the drug, is a parody of the lyrics to a song by Roxy Music, Love is the Drug.  Video is at the end of the post.

The majority of this painting was done with acrylic paint.  The outline of the bottle I did with a blue Stabillo pencil. I like how it looks.  Almost crayon-like, but a thinner line.

I got in the Swedish flag element, which I try to incorporate into every Viking piece, in the letter g in the word Drug.  This bottle is supposed to be a hybrid of a bottle of glögg and a prescription bottle.

Because I wanted to have a dripping paint look on the sides of the painting, and I didn't like how it was going with acrylic paint, I went out and got some Daniel Smith watercolor ground so I could do my drips with watercolor paint.  I applied the ground like one would apply gesso.  It primes the surface to accept water-soluble media.  I used Daniel Smith watercolor paints, which are my favorites, for the paint drips.  I like the way it turned out.  

The thing I really wanted to try the most was Dorland's wax medium as a sealer.  I learned about it from Juliette Crane in her class, How to Paint an Owl 2.  She has a special process of sealing her art that I replicated as closely as I could.  It turned out great.  It gives the painting an almost, soft-focus feel, as the wax is translucent. Her technique is a 3-step process, the last of which is application of the wax medium.  

It takes longer than just spraying the piece with varnish, which is what I had been doing on my previous pieces.  I think the result with the wax is worth the time and effort.  If you have not tried it, you may want to consider it.  You do have to let the wax medium cure for several days. It's not for you if you're in a hurry.

Because it is a matte finish you cannot put metallic paint or glitter under it because you will lose the qualities that make those things sparkle.  I miss that.  I love glitter.  For this reason, I will not use it on all my art.

This art piece I made for my good friend Scott Martin, owner of Simon's Tavern.  He was nice enough to buy a series of paintings from me.  If you're in or near Chicago, check out his bar.  It's a whole lot of fun.  I wrote about it here.

Thanks for stopping by.