Daily Art Challenge: July 16

Our challenge today is to use a black background for our art project.  This can be black paper, black gesso, black paint.

The use of a dark background can give you an entirely new perspective on your project.  Often we use the same light or white paper or canvas for each project, forgetting the possibilities of other, more dramatic options.

The use of pastels on a black background can have truly spectacular results.  A painting of a treasured landscape becomes entirely different when seen in the shadowy twilight of an evening sky.  A portrait stands out proudly from a dusky backdrop.

Use chromatic blacks when possible over straight black from a tube.  The richness of these blacks will bring a liveliness to your work which is lacking from straight blacks.  (My not so humble opinion is true black deadens a painting and makes the other colors flat, which is why I mix my own.)  Here are a few simple recipes for chromatic blacks for you to try-one part to one part of each:

  1. Ultramarine blue and burnt sienna.
  2. Phthylo blue and raw umber
  3. Alizarin Crimson and Ultramarine blue
  4. Dioxazine purple and Phthylo Green
  5. Dioxazine purple and sap green

Obviously there are many different options for color mixing.  These are just a couple very simple recipes anyone can mix.

Many artists take great pride in their color mixing abilities and guard their color recipe books like they’re the Crown Jewels.  I have several books of my own recipes, and when I have no inspiration for creating anything, I’ll mix colors for my books.  It’s a very relaxing thing for me to do and I have discovered some truly delightful hues along the way.

Give a “black” background a try and see how you like it.


Daily Art Challenge: July 14

Our challenge for today is to use our finished adult coloring pages.  If you enjoy coloring but don’t know what to do with your finished pages, here are a few ideas:

  1.  I’ve mentioned several times I use my pages in my art journals.  I cut out individual images to use as a focal point on a page.
  2. I collage my colored pages to chipboard or card stock and cut out images for embellishments.
  3. I collage them onto deli paper, cut into strips and use as washi tape.  I add double sided tape to the backside before attaching to a project.
  4. Once you’ve collaged the page onto card stock or chipboard, you can use a paper punch or your scissors and cut into larger circles.  Glaze with diamond glaze, triple thick gloss glaze, glossy accents, or any other hard drying varnish.  Then poke a hole in the top part of the circle to make really unique holiday ornaments.
  5. Cut into small teardrop, diamond or round shapes.  Add your favorite varnish-I like the triple thick stuff from Hobby Lobby.  Poke small hole at top and now you have earrings or pendants.  Make the shapes small squares and you have charms.
  6. Use child friendly images, and using the same collage to card stock technique, combine and hang from a plastic coat hanger above a crib for a quick and easy mobile.

Obviously there are many ways you can use finished coloring pages in your art.  Use your imagination and have fun!

Daily Art Challenge: July 10

Our project for today is to make fabric embellishments for art journals.  Here’s how:

  1.  I begin with my scrap fabric container.  I grab two pieces, similar in size.
  2. Cut a piece of chipboard into the size tag you want.
  3. Sandwhich the chipboard between the two pieces of fabric.
  4. Stitch around the chipboard.
  5. You’ll have excess fabric all around your chipboard.  I use a pinking shears to cut the fabric into a decorative edge, but that’s not necessary.  You can just trim the excess neatly with regular shears too.
  6. Now you have an embellishment you can stamp with images or words, add flatbacked gems, add 3-D things like flowers, metal, beads, broken jewelry…

You can use the fabric tags as a mat for photos or journaling.  Combine several for a mini-journal, use as ATC’s or inspiration tiles.  Use as seating cards for parties.

You can make these in holiday fabrics or colors and make ornaments or a garland.  I made two sets of these, one says Merry Christmas the other Thanksgiving.  Each tag is one letter of the word.  I decorated each with vintage images from that holiday.  I used two eyelets at the end of each tag, threaded them onto twine, and they hang from my shelf in my dining room.  Charming!  This would work for your Christmas tree garland too.

You can make these in different shapes and sizes.  They lay flat, can be stored easily in ziplock bags in a small plastic tote.  This project uses up all sorts of tiny fabric scraps, if you’re feeling overrun with them.  You can make them in larger sizes and use as a pennant with the letters of your kids name on each one.

This is a very cost-effective project that uses up lots of scraps and cereal box chipboard.  The end result is fun, fast and frugal!  How much better can it get?

Daily Art Challenge: July 9

Our challenge for today is to make your own face stamp using twine.  Here’s how:

  1.  Get a sturdy piece of chipboard, foam core or plastic.  Cut into the size you want, about 3” by 3” is the size I used.
  2. Sketch out your simple face.  I made the face shape, then added eyes, the brows, a nose and mouth.  You can include ears and hair too, but I left those off to add after I stamped the face.
  3. I used Aileen’s Tacky glue and drew over the image with that.
  4. I cut the twine to the sizes I needed and added it to the glue.  Press firmly for good adhesion.
  5. Once your face is dry, press onto a waterproof ink pad and stamp onto your paper.
  6. Fill in with paint, pastels, markers or  colored pencils.

Our techniques challenge was to make a spirit doll.  Barb Owen used a stamped image for her dolls faces.  This is an inexpensive and quick way to make your own doll faces without having to purchase anything.

This technique works for all sorts of simple images.  Flowers, birds, animals, holiday images like candy canes and Christmas trees- the possibilities are endless.

Carving stamps is also a lot of fun, but you need the tools and material to do it.  Using those large erasers you can purchase from the Dollar Tree is an inexpensive carving material, should you want to give it a try.








Daily Art Challenge: June 21

Let’s use glue in our artwork today.  This could be liquid glue like white school glue, Mod Podge, or Aileen’s Tacky Glue.  Or you can use gel medium, paste, or glue sticks.  Of course, there is also spray adhesives and clear gesso.  There are so many options for glues out there, with many different uses for each.

I use a glue stick to adhere my elements to my pages.  Then I go over everything with clear gesso and make sure any loose bits are secured.  I do this with my gift card scraper.  Gel medium also works well for attaching things to a page.  I have used this on canvas to add 3 dimensional stuff to it.  Spray adhesives have their place, I just really recommend you spray it outside away from your work area.  That stuff gets everywhere and you need to wear a mask.

Liquid glue is probably my most used.  I water down PVA glue to make a “gloopy glue” which I use to make my art journal covers.  I also use it for making gesso and mod podge.  I do add liquid varnish to my mod podge, so it is actually like the stuff you purchase in the store.  Check out the link for several recipes and ideas for using PVA glue in your art practice.

Daily Art Challenge: June 16th

Our challenge for today is to use stencils in our art.  Use store bought or homemade stencils (DIY stencils, DIY stencils and Templates, DIY Stencils, Stamps and Washi Tape) for this challenge.  It doesn’t matter which.

Stencils are an inexpensive, but very useful, item to have in your work room.  I purchase my stencils only when they are hugely discounted.  Normally I just make my own.  Check out the links and have some fun with stencils today.

Daily Art Challenge: June 10

We are creating a Tim Holtz inspired art piece today.

As you know, if you’ve been with me for any length of time, I love Tim Holtz.  I love his products, his creativity, he’s an inspiration to me and so many others out there.  My only concern with Tim and his creations is the cost of the products he uses.  I am on a very tight budget and have no extra money to spend on the latest and greatest of everything.  Which is why I try to duplicate the look for less.  Please follow my links and choose one of the many Tim Holtz inspired projects.  Once you’ve decided which project you want to make, include it in your daily art.

DIY Tim Holtz Quote/Words

DIY Tim Holtz Inspired Flowers

DIY Tim Holtz Faux Die Cuts

DIY Printed Tissue Paper

DIY Tim Holtz Inspired Resist Spray

DIY Fasteners

DIY Fragments

DIY Ephemera

DIY Hanger embellishments

DIY Mixed Media Tags

Remember, don’t let cost keep you from creating.  There are many, many fun and frugal projects which will give you all the creative satisfaction you desire at little or no cost.  My site is filled with them.  Take a look around and you’ll see.