Thursday, April 26, 2012

COLOR Online in June

As promised, here are a couple of images from my color workshop at Studio Place Arts a few weeks ago.  My online version is "Unlocking the Secrets of Color", and consists of a six-lesson class with online discussion covering color relationships, vocabulary, and loads of exercises in using color.  As a one-day live workshop I sometimes call it "Color Theory and Practice".  We don't get through as much material in a single day, but students do come away with a framework for thinking about and using color.

Beginning a color wheel
Angela making a color gradation

Student work from Unlocking the Secrets of Color online
My next online color workshop begins on June 6. Read the description here.

I'm leaving early tomorrow morning to go teach Scribble Collage at AVA Gallery in Lebanon, NH.  They have a great facility, beautiful classrooms full of light, and an awesome gallery with really interesting and inspiring shows.  The class is pretty full so far.  After class I'm driving to MA to see my parents for one overnight (and get in a Trader Joe's run), then teaching Fabric-Paper at Ink About It in Westford, MA.  That class is full plus a waiting list.  These both should be fun, as I will see old friends and meet new ones.  Thanks for visiting the blog!

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Photoshop Tutorial

I got several requests for a tutorial on how to make an image montage in Photoshop, as I did for my post "Sketchbook in Progress".  This is a little different as it is on a white background with a drop shadow rather than on a black background.

 I did create the tutorial, and am offering it as a download.  If you are new to Photoshop and want a fairly simple project to begin with, this may be for you.  I use Photoshop CS3, but the tutorial is adaptable to Photoshop Elements as well.  It covers:
  • Re-sizing and image
  • Selecting with the Marquee tool
  • Using the grid for layout
  • Using the Move tool
  • Working in Layers
  • Cropping an image
  • Creating a drop-shadow
  • Flattening an image
  • Saving as a JPEG file for optimal web viewing
Image Montage Tutorial $5
(My link software seems not to be functioning right now, so if you click on "Buy Now", I will e-mail you the tutorial as an attachment).

I find that, not being a computer wiz, I learn new software best by acquiring the skills for a specific project, rather than learning all about each tool.  So I'm planning a short series of tutorials in Photoshop that approach it that way.

I use Photoshop a lot to format, size, and color correct images for my website and blog.  I use it to make flyers, postcards, greeting cards, and other print items.  And I use it to "knit together" an image that I've scanned in parts, one that is bigger than my scanning bed.  I occasionally use Photoshop to audition colors or collage elements, but I don't use it to make "digital art".  I'm addicted to the materials themselves.  How do you use Photoshop or other image editing software?  Would you be interested in other project-based tutorials?

Sunday, April 22, 2012

Workshops at Studio Place Arts

I just did a really FUN workshop at Studio Place Arts in Barre, VT last Friday.  We did Mono Print Collage, using the GelliArts gel plate.  I haven't had time to scan anything yet, but I'll post some photos.

Here are some of the papers we made:


Sally working on a collage-print:

A finished collage-print:

Marianne Mullen, the Creativity Maven, working on several collage-prints:

A couple of weeks ago I taught a color workshop at Studio Place Arts, but more about that in another post.  Thanks for visiting!

Monday, April 16, 2012

Sketchbook In Progress

Thanks for all your comments on the gel plate work. It is fun fun FUN, and I'll be doing more.  Meanwhile, I am totally blown away by the work that's happening in my Sketchbook Practice class!  Check this out:
This is an exercise in exploring line.
And this is about circles.
Who knew you could get such fabulous variety from fairly simple exercises.  I will be offering this class again in the fall, date to be determined, but will definitely incorporate some of the exercises in my Collage Journeys in Vermont workshop this summer.  Thanks for visiting!

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Mono Prints with Gel Plate

I am VERY busy with my two online classes, Sketchbook Practice and Text and Image, so I'll be posting a little less frequently for the next six weeks or so.  However, I couldn't help sharing this with you.  I'm sure many of you have heard of GelliArts' gel printing plates.  They are like very firm clear jello, but they are permanent, and you don't eat them.  For more information and video tutorials, go to the GelliArts blog or web site.  I've always wanted to try gelatin printing, but never got my act together to make trays of stiff jello.  This synthetic gel plate has been a blast.  I've added it to my vocabulary of scribble painting tools, and I'm exploring ways of making prints.  Here are a few images from recent explorations.

 This was made by pressing texture plates into the paint before printing; masking with sequin waste, and using my spritz-blot technique.

I had the idea of using string and thread as masking tools, and here is what I came up with:

This one is the "ghost prints" of another string paper:

On these next two I used "Plan B", described on GelliArts' blog.

In my Mono Print Collage class, which I'm offering at Studio Place Arts in Barre, VT on April 20, we will focus on making richly printed papers, and then use those papers in collage.  I am, however, also figuring out ways of making prints, and I have a couple of early attempts to share with you.

I start with a sheet of printmaking paper cut to 8"x10", which is the same size as my printing plate.  I mask off the edges with 1.5" low-tack artist's tape.  Then I start printing, masking, collaging, and printing some more.  I have yet to get a handle on this technique, but it seems to offer loads of possibility. Let me know of your experiences with mono print, gel plates, or anything else!

Sunday, April 1, 2012


Every once in a while I come across some art on the web that absolutely blows me away.  This morning it was a comment from Uber Luciano Gatti on one of my flickr images (well, he added it as a favorite) which sent me to his flickr site.  Here are a few images from Uber's "Faccio Facce" set:

I was reminded of Tina Bering's "100 Girls on Cheap Paper".  I refer to her book a lot for inspiration, even though I don't draw faces very often, and it is one I recommend for my Sketchbook Practice class.  Not a how-to at all, just pure inspiration.  A  couple of images:

What I love about these pieces, both Uber's and Tina's, is the degree to which the process and material are evident.  The abstract aspects of them are as in-your-face as the expressive quality of the faces.  Learning to draw a perfect likeness of a face is as skill that can be learned with practice.  But this individual, idiosyncratic interpretation of a face is so gut-wrenchingly expressive.  I think it comes with just working and working and working, and gradually finding your own way with materials, techniques, imagery, and ideas.