Wednesday, May 13, 2015

Hand-made cards

I've really gotten into making my own cards for special occasions. It gives me a good impetus to get creative, it keeps costs down and its a chance to give someone a one-off piece of art.

For my Christmas cards this year I experimented with masks. Not the kind you wear over your face, but the kind that help keep areas of your page clear.

I used very low adhesive scotch-tape for my masking. For this batch of cards I just used the one thickness of tape, but placed the tape in different configurations to get different compositions. I also cut circles into paper so I had a stencil I could make round shapes with.

I did a few quick initial sketches to get some ideas for compositions, and then just went for it straight onto the cards. Each card was different for the other; and most were abstract and improvised on the spot. But the general feel I was aiming for was candy cane, so lots of stripes. And some circles to represent baubles or holly.  Soant for water colour paint.

Colours were typically Christmassy - greens and reds. I wanted to keep the colours simple, but alternate them on each stripe to get the candy cane effect. I used a mix of felt-tip pens of different thicknesses. The nibs of some of the pens were a little worn, so lines weren't always solid and even. But I quite liked this as it gave the cards a hand-printed feel.

Some were more successful than others. They tended to be the ones I didn't overload with elements; leaving lots of white space. The scotch tape worked very well as a masking agent and was very easy to work with; though it did get grubby after a few uses and smudged the pen work a little (I actually didn't mind this as it just added to the hand-printed look).

This was actually a birthday card I made for my mum about the same time as the Christmas cards. I masked the edges of the card, but did the rest freehand. I sketched the contours of the peony in pencil first, using an image form the web. Then used markers to add hatching to give tone. Same card stock as the Christmas cards.

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