Monday, July 09, 2007

My ATCs: Gold Leafing Pen Resist Technique

I made the following ATCs for an ATC swap centered on the challenge to make ATCs using the technique of gold leafing pen resist with watercolor paint. I learned this technique from a book called “Artist Trading Card Workshop” by Bernie Berlin. The book is fantastic and I highly recommend it.

Before I share the finished product, I will share the trials and tribulations first. This swap had many starts and stops before I was able to finish it.

First I had trouble getting the Krylon gold leafing pen to make splashes. I finally figured out that I needed to push down on the pen on the paper then to flick it upward and the paint would splash out. Also I took the pen and flicked it downward toward the paper. However once that resulted in the pen flying apart, whoops.

The first time I put the gold leaf on the paper. A little while later I thought it was dry. I painted it and the gold leaf smeared everywhere and it was ruined.

The second time I put the gold leaf on the paper and let it dry for two or three days. I then used a cheap set of watercolors and used green and blue. The colors looked muddy and horrible. I did not use that sheet.

The third attempt was that the deadline was approaching and I was going on vacation. I took a new sheet of white watercolor paper with the gold leafing already splashed on it. However when I got to my destination, I could not find the sheet. I had taken other art materials with me so that I could spend time making ATCs but was unable to work on this swap. I was very frustrated.

When I got home, which was less than 48 hours before the deadline, I was faced with unpacking the luggage or working on the swap to get it out on time. I decided to work on the swap! I made a new splashing of the gold leafing pen and I used a heat gun to dry it. I will say it bubbled up a bit kind of like what embossing powder does.

I made just one sheet. I used old paints I had from the days of doing Waldorf-education inspired preschool at home, using the liquid watercolor paint made by Stockmar. I used yellow and red. The colors blended well and made lovely shades of oranges and reds and yellows. So all the ATCs in this series are with the same colored backgrounds since I ended up with just one sheet of decent painted backgrounds.

“A Sign of Summer”
I made a packing tape transfer of a butterfly image from an old field guide. Hand wrote the words onto the background using a Micron pen.

“Summer is here.”
Made a packing tape transfer of a butterfly image from an old field guide. Hand wrote the words onto the background using a Micron pen.

“Columbian Coffee Pickers”
Cut out image from a Berkley and Jensen coffee bean package and adhered it. Edged with an embossing pen and black embossing powder.

Cut out image of the Pilobolus dance troupe and adhered it to the background.

“Fantasy Stamp”
Collaged used postage stamp onto the background. Rubber stamped design in black ink onto the edges. Rubber stamped and red embossed image from Nick Bantock line at the top.

“Breast Cancer Fund the Cure Find a Cure”
Used several used postage stamps to make a collage onto the background. Note that I chose to cut them up as the postal worker used a thick Sharpie marker to “cancel” the stamps with which was ugly and cutting the stamps inspired this abstract design.

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