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24 June 2016

Binding the Art Postcards

Since May 27 of this year (2016), I have been "upcycling" the advertising postcards that came in the mail at my house. It was a lot more economical than buying cardstock and gave me greater freedom to experiment and make a lot more mistakes without worrying about my money being wasted. Also, I need to use up the craft acrylic paint that have been in storage for too long. When I first started this art postcard project, I didn't realize that I would be producing so many.
As I was enjoying the process of creating them, it became apparent to me that it is getting more difficult to handle loose postcards and keep them in chronological order. I thought up several ways these postcards could be bound or stored somehow until one day I remembered keeping several spent sketchbooks with the perforated pages torn out, hoping that some day I would re-purpose them.

I looked closely at the paper left in the sketchbook, and decided that I could attach the postcards to these strips of paper still in the sketchbook. I cut the 9 x 12 sketchbook in half with a pair of pliers and X-acto knife.
I then pried open the wire binder to take the covers and strips out so that I could glue the postcards to the strips one at a time. I then painted the strips and back of each postcard with black gesso.
The first one took me a while as I was trying to figure out how to make it work.
The second one was a breeze. I used a white wipe-out pen for the cover titles.
I've provided two videos showing the fifty postcards in two books for your viewing pleasure.
The first one shows a set of postcards - no. 001-025:
*Post publish notice (Jun 24 2015 5:10 pm): I've noticed the quality of the above and below videos were not good, so, here's the links to the better quality videos: Book One and Book Two.  
The next one shows second set of postcards - no. 026-050:
With the above videos, I hope I have inspired you to re-purpose the "junk postcards" or sketchbooks instead of throwing them away or sending them to recycling center. 

*Full disclosure: Andrew Borloz does receive compensation in the form of royalties for his own stencil designs from Stencil Girl Products used in this project, however, he does not receive any form of compensation or "free" product from other designers, manufacturers or retailers.

18 June 2016

Newest Stencils from StencilGirl Products

Today's the day when my latest stencil designs becomes officially available for purchase from StencilGirl Products. In this post, I'm showing you a few samples of what can be done with these new designs, plus a mini-tutorial for one of them which can be done in celebration of the Fourth of July here in USA. Let me start with the first one, City Buildings (L443):
After having done several urban sketches in New York City, I was inspired to come up with a stencil where anyone can use to create their own "urban sketch". For the background, I used paint markers with wide nibs and for the city buildings, I used black gesso. If you want the stencil to look more like hand drawn as shown below, you can used white gesso over the background and draw over the white gesso with paint markers:
Or you can use different colors on the dark background as shown below:
The above photos shows a few possibilities. Let's move on to the next stencil which gives you the option to modify the "landscapes" to suit your taste. It's Rural City Mountain Scape (L445) - the cityline's at the top, the farmland's in the middle, and the mountains' at the bottom. I'm showing you two examples that you can create from one stencil (the top and bottom can be used as masks):
The above art work was created with pastel in the pans. It reminds me of the farmlands with New York City as the background. The next one below shows the farmland with the mountains:
The above artwork was done with craft acrylic paint and cosmetic wedges. I have flipped the stencil over so that the barn is on the left instead on the right. You can create your own scenes with this stencil!
The next and last new stencil is Rural Buildings (L444). I've created three samples plus one tutorial:
For the sample above, I used craft acrylic paints in various colors on mixed media paper. The next one below was done with light blue pastel in a pan, and then with the stencil flipped over, dark blue acrylic paint was applied as shown below.
The next one shows how I used the above stencil as a "background" for a "flag".
Here's a tutorial which shows how the above work can be created:
I painted about 1/3 of the mixed media with medium blue paint and the rest with red paint. I put the stencil over the painted paper.
I mixed both colors with black gesso to make them darker and apply them with cosmetic wedges.
This is how it looks after the darker colors are applied:
I then cut two stencils myself - one with dots for placement of stars (done with Japanese punch) and one for strips. I used white index paper for these temporary stencils.
I started with the strips first by placing it down on the red part, and pounced it down with white gesso and cosmetic wedges. 
After the strips are dry, I placed the other stencil and lightly stenciled the dots on the blue part - just enough for me to see the dots.
After the dots are dry, I drew the stars with white highlighter.
I've drawn the stars on all of the dots. After the stars are dry, the next step is trimming it down.
Here's the completed work and I hope you have enjoyed reading this post. I also hope that it has inspired you to think of other ways that my stencils can be used!
May your summer be a GREAT and a creative one!

*Full disclosure: Andrew Borloz does receive compensation for his stencil designs from Stencil Girl Products in the form of royalties, however, he does not receive any form of compensation or "free" product from other designers, manufacturers or retailers.

05 June 2016

Second Art Postcard Marathon 4 - 5 June, 2016

After creating 18 art postcards (shown above) last week which took me between 30 to 60 minutes each plus time for clean-up, I decided that there has to be a better way to produce more within a shorter time. Rather than starting from scratch for each postcard, I came up with a plan for one big piece of artwork that can be roughly cut up and trimmed later.
Last Saturday morning, I set up a temporary table using two sawhorses and four shelves (each shelf measures 11.75 inches wide by 72 inches long). I then rolled out a large white paper (available from art supply stores) which is larger than the width of the table. I also pulled out the acrylic paint, stencils, blocks, carved stamps, paper towel, and all kinds of mark-making tools.
Instead of covering the whole surface with gesso, I would apply gesso (white, black & clear) on certain areas, using different techniques such as stamping, brush strokes, or even stenciling.
After the gesso have dried, I started apply acrylics (craft and artist grade) in light or neutral colors on certain spots.
I kept on adding colors until I had most of the surface covered. Once I was satisfied with the general coverage, I started the stenciling process, usually with darker or lighter colors depending on what color I was stenciling on.
I kept on building layers and layers of colors, paints & stencils until I'm satisfied. I then started gluing the collage materials on the paper with Mod Podge - mostly newspaper and deli paper that were once used as underpaper. I also used paper towels that were used to wipe or remove the excess paint from the artwork.
After they have been dried overnight, I took a quick look and see what needs doing. I decided that I would use some paste paint, water-soluble colored pencils, and paint markers. I also did several block printing in certain areas.
I decided to leave some areas blank so that I can either add more collage, paint, marks or even stencils after the whole thing was cut up into smaller pieces. Before I started to cut the paper up, I took close up photos for digital print-outs so that I can use it as collage materials for other projects.
Here are a few:
 After I took several photographs of the whole piece, I cut a rectangular hole (6 inches x 9 inches) from a large piece of white paper so that I can use it as a "cropping tool" to find the sweet spots on the painted paper.
I moved it all over the place to find good compositions, and as soon as I find one, I draw the lines with black paint markers and then move on to other area for another one. I don't have a fast and hard rule for finding the good compositions, but I just simply keep on moving the cropping tool until it "looks" good or interesting to me. You can see the black lines in the photo below - they don't always lined up with each other.
 Once I outlined all of the areas to be cut up, I used a pair of sharp scissors and happily cut them - I don't even think about whether it was good one or not - I can always make it better by adding another element or two.
I saved and added all of the trims, scraps and small extras to my current collage stash.
I am very happy to report that I have 36 rough cut pieces (approximate size: 6 x 9 inches) that will be later trimmed down to 5.5 x 8.5 inches after more details & finishing touches have been added. It took me only six hours to produce all of them.
The stencils that I used in the above project are from Stencil Girl Products (including mine), Green Pepper Press (Michelle Ward) and Donna Downey Studios. Other stencils were either cut by me or reused from manufactured products or fabric. It was a quick and fun project - I will later show the finished postcards one at a time.

*Full disclosure: Andrew Borloz does receive compensation for his stencil designs from Stencil Girl Products in the form of royalties, however, he does not receive any form of compensation or "free" product from other designers, manufacturers or retailers.