Monday, October 20, 2014

Personalized Gift Idea

There are several blank readymade calendars available online; here's one that's 12"X12" and has cardstock pages --

Or you can download free printable calendars -- lots of online sources exist for that option; but I think many of us would rather skip the challenge of printing generous-sized calendar pages on cardstock. 

Why blank calendars?  Because it's fun to make a gorgeous calendar to give as a special personalized gift!  At Christmas, especially.

Below is a start of a layout that still has far to go till completion; my next step will be to lighten selected areas with layers of paint.  Then I can add words and/or photos to work toward creating one page of a brand-new calendar.

The starting layers above were created in a workshop I took in Oct. 2014, in South Orange, NJ, where a roomful of us had the pleasure of learning under the guidance of the energetic, entertaining and very knowledgeable Jane Davies

After a first layer of collage, I brushed areas with a mix of Golden Fluid Acrylics in Manganese Blue and Titanium White.  Immediately, while the paint was still wet, I pressed down my 9"X12" stencil FacetsUsing the reductive/subtractive technique that I've shown in earlier posts, I quickly rubbed off color in the open areas of the stencil.  Then I lifted the stencil, turned it over and applied pressure, creating the reverse-print which shows faintly in the lower left of the layout above.  (Click on the image to enlarge it.) 

To apply that pressure, I covered the stencil with a sheet of scratch paper and rolled firmly over the scrap paper with my hard rubber brayer.   The scratch paper has a dual role:  It keeps paint off the brayer, and it protects the stencil from the possibility of damage as the brayer's pressure is applied.  The stencil I used, Facets, has no unconnected/unanchored lines, so there was really no need to protect it from the brayer. 

But other stencils, such as Branching Blossoms Silhouette, were designed to have some fragile areas which are not connected to those anchoring lines that we designers call bridges.  This creates a more attractive stencil but also a more fragile stencil.  Ya can't have your cake and eat it too!

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