Friday, June 30, 2006

Anatomy of an ATC - Alice

This is a digital card I made for a swap in Paper Traders, my yahoo Paper Arts group. Its all digital. I combined the illustrations of Tenniel and Rackham. The predominat font is Brandywine, the handwriting font is Cezanne. The text says:
`But it's no use now,' thought poor Alice, `to pretend to be two people! Why, there's hardly enough of me left to make one respectable person!'

1. I started with an illustration of Alice by Arthur Rackham.
The word Alice in the Brandywine font was already there. I created a new document in Photoshop, 3.5x2.5x200. I pasted this image into the document and adjusted the size to fit.

2. I duplicated the layer and moved the top layer over to the left to fill in the space. All ATC's must be 3.5x2.5.

3. I duplicated it one more time to completely fill the documents width. I erased some of the vertical lines.

4. I created more layers using a black and white Tenniel drawing of Alice and added text. I linked these layers together and merged them. (menu/layer/merge linked)
Then I created another document in Photoshop of the same size and dragged this layer to the new document.

I printed the first document on Epson Paper and the second one on a transparency. I used grommets to attach the transparent layer to the base layer. Here is the set of six that I completed using the same technique.
Use the comment feature of this blog to ask any questions and I'll try and answer them for you. :-)

The Faery Crossing Series #3

Here's another in the same series. I'm using the same background for each one. I change the hue by adding a layer over the background, filling it with a solid color, and choosing the layer mode "color". It shifts the color of whatever layer lies beneath it.

Wednesday, June 28, 2006

How to wash a bra

I love to read bad translations of English. This one is awesome. Its washing instructions on my bra made in Brazil.
  • DO NOT IRON (what? I can't iron my bra?)
  • NOT CLEAR IN DRY WAY (huh?!)

Tuesday, June 27, 2006

The Faery Crossing Series #2

Little fluttering beauteous fly,
With azure wing of softest dye,
Hither fairy wanton hie,
Nor fear to lose thy liberty:
For I would view,
thou silly thing,
The colours of thy velvet wing.
Its lovely melting tints outvie,
the glories of the summer sky.
Can pencil imitate the hue,
So soft, so delicate a blue

Felicia Dorothea Browne-Hemans

Monday, June 26, 2006

The Faery Crossing Series

I'm working on a series of digital art combining some of my favorite things, John William Waterhouse, fairy wings, and dark woods. I'm taking off from the title graphic I made for this blog. Here's the first. I watermarked it and © it, because I didn't want it to be ripped off and published before it was even on my Faery Crossing website! There's so much stealing on the web. I could tell you stories! :-)

Sunday, June 18, 2006


I'll be gone for a week of howling in the woods to celebrate the Summer Solstice! No blog, no computer, no technology, no work, ...just trees, sky, birds, and an occasional wild boar. ;-)

Click here for some older photos of Hendy Woods...about 20 miles inland from Mendocino. Beautiful groves of 1500 year old redwoods. ::sigh::

Friday, June 16, 2006

Lady of Shallot

I just created a new title graphic for this page. Its a little less scary than the Medusa image. :-) Anyway, I just LOVE it. Its a Photoshoped blend of images, The Lady of Shallot by John William Waterhouse, a monarch butterfly photo taken by my husband, a photo of the full moon, and a crescent moon for her brow. I like it so much that I decided to use it for my Faery Crossing site too.

Willows whiten, aspens quiver,
Little breezes dusk and shiver
Thro' the wave that runs for ever
By the island in the river
Flowing down to Camelot.
Four gray walls, and four gray towers,
Overlook a space of flowers,
And the silent isle imbowers
The Lady of Shalott.

Thursday, June 15, 2006

Anatomy of an ATC - Angel

This is an all digital ATC card that I made for a Paper Traders swap called "Anatomy of an Angel". The theme of the swap was called Tranparencies of Life and it was hosted by Keron Lee of Australia. The theme was very open to interpretation so I chose one of my favorite subjects, angels.

I started with a painting "Autumn" by John Atkinson Grimshaw. Its really a fairy but it could pass as an angel.

I flopped her horizontally so that her posture would mimic the next graphic that I had in mind for the composition. I then layered "Autumn" over a background and erased out most of the lower left with a feathered eraser.

I added another image that I found in a google image search. Its a rosecrucian diagram I think..very alchemical looking. I positioned it over the Grimshaw figure and erased out the background using the magic wand tool and my delete key. :-) The easy way to go if you want to get rid of a background that is a solid color. I decreased the opacity of this layer a tad to make the graphic blend in a bit better.

I then created muliple transparent layers and stamped each with a custom brush. (see June 10th, 2006 entry on this blog for a lesson on making custom brushes) I always use separate layers for each element that I add so that I can reposition each layer.

The layer can be scaled down or up, rotated, color corrected , or the opacity can be changed. On some layers, if the brush was not visible enough, I'd duplicate that layer and then lock them together. This increases opacity. It also works for text that needs more "punch". Its finer looking than using "bold" which I think ruins a good font. But I digress. :-)
So when I was happy with the arrangement I used my text tool to write "Anatomy of an Angel" using a font from P22 Type Foundry called Cezanne. I rotated the text layer 90ยบ CCW. Then I flattened the layers.
Some traders don't seem to like digital cards unless there's some "real" texture to them. So before I swapped them out I added a gold embossed border to my cards.

Monday, June 12, 2006

street painting

Jon and I went to the San Rafael Street Painting Fair yesterday. I filled up my camera card with photos. It was so incredible. We were there at the end when the art was mostly finished. Next year I'd love to go early and watch the work in progress. Some of the work was so beautiful it brought tears to my eyes. The human spirit is so touching. Click here to see the photos.

Saturday, June 10, 2006

Photoshop Art Lesson-Making Custom Brushes

Custom Photoshop Brushes kind of work like rubber stamps. They add background texture or foreground interest to your work. The Prickle Wrath graphic on this blog was made with a Photoshop brush with text layered on top. Here's how to create your own.

1) Find a cool graphic or scan some ephemera. Handwritten text works well, or stains, drops of ink, old ledgers, whatever. I like to use something with white in the background because it appears clear when you use the brush.

Here's the back of a postcard that I scanned. I'll use it as an example.

2) Open it up in Photoshop, select all, and then from the top menu: edit/define brush preset. Name it something and then click okay.

3) Create a new document, I filled mine with black. Create a new layer. Then choose a great color for your "stamp" by setting your foreground color.

4) select the brush tool from the tools palette and find the brush you just created in the brush presets in the top menu bar. Place it and click. Voila.

You can layer brush stamps on your image, play with the opacity of the layers, change the hue of the layer, rotate, scale, erase parts of the "stamp" and use filters to create effects. The brush can be used as an eraser too to erase through an image. Cool trick, no?

If you have any questions use the comments response below. I'll answer what I can. But I have to say, I can't teach you Photoshop basics on this blog. It'd take forever. This tip is for artists who have already mastered the basics. And its well worth the learning curve. Photoshop is an awesome tool.

Tuesday, June 06, 2006

Lesser Saints

Where did these come from. Sometimes I sit back from my work and wonder...what the $#&^?? LOL! From top left to right: Saint Luna, Virgin and Martyr, shown carrying cakes and ale; Saint Petalia, Patron saint of gardening mimes; Saint Phreno, of the golden ray. Bottom: Saint Thymus, keeper of the sacred baton; and Saint Insipid, patron saint of grinning fools. At least that's who I think they are. If I've misidentified any, by all means, let me know .

Monday, June 05, 2006

Garden Faeries ATC's

Over hill, over dale,
Through bush, through brier,
Over park, over pale,
Thorough flood, thorough fire,
I do wander everywhere,
Swifter than the moone's sphere;
And I serve the fairy queen,
To dew her orbs upon the green:
The cowslips tall her pensioners be;
In their gold coats spots you see;
Those be rubies, fairy favours,
In those freckles live their savours:
I must go seek some dew-drops here,
And hang a pearl in every cowslip's ear.

William Shakespeare

Five ATC's, painted metallic backgrounds, collage images, watercolor pens to create depth, gold paint embellishments.

Saturday, June 03, 2006

like this

by Rumi

If anyone asks you how the perfect satisfaction of all our sensual wanting will look, lift your face and say,

Like this.

When someone mentions the gacefulness of the nightsky, climb up on the roof and dance and say,

Like this?

If anyone wants to know what "spirit" is, or what "God's fragrance" means, lean your head toward him or her. Keep your face there close.

Like this.

When someone quotes the old poetic image about clouds gradually uncovering the moon, slowly loosen knot by knot the strings of your robe

Like this?

If anyone wonders how Jesus raised the dead, don't try to explain the miracle. Kiss me on the lips.

Like this. Like this.

When someone asks what it means to "die for love," point here.

If someone asks how tall I am, frown and measure with your fingers the space between the creases on your forehead.

This tall.

The soul sometimes leaves the body, then returns. When someone doesn't believe that, walk back into my house.

Like this.

When lovers moan, they're telling our story.

Like this.

I am a sky where spirits live. Stare into this deepening blue, while the breeze says a secret.

Like this.

When someone asks what there is to do, light the candle in his hand.

Like this.

How did Joseph's scent come to Jacob?


How did Jacob's sight return?


A little wind cleans the eyes.

Like this.

When Shams comes back from Tabriz, he'll put just his head around the edge of the door to surprise us.

Like this.

Thursday, June 01, 2006

prickle wrath

There must be a generator of random words that is being used by spammers to escape the filtering systems of email providers. I've started to collect some. Very bizarre random disconnected imagery.

prickle wrath
drover cookery
booh collarette
lien undertow
yam skilly
manner misbehave
runic dotterel
gents myriad
southwards gainsay
religion pond
acorn explained
airedale repugnance
telekenisis dignitary
emigration tillable
flare housewifely
sensitive icicle
winding seascape
bookstand parboil
mordant puce
boffin fetterlock

The Bedroom

Jon and I stayed at a lodge in Cambria last week that had the most glorious gardens. This is the Bedroom Garden. The mirror is a waterfall fountain. I'm trying to figure out how we can do something like this in the yard. It would be fun to lie in, just once. :-)