Oh my GOODNESS! She lives and breathes and here is another Pencil Crayon TIplet. You didn't think I'd run out of ideas did ya? Never. I just got side tracked by the many, many different kinds of media out there. But, here you go - Pencil Crayon Tiplet #9.
Everything old is new again. WHY is this one called that? Well, this is a little throw-back to hand tinted photographs and all things in that warm-fuzzy direction. Step up, step up - let's play a little and get the creative juice flowing. START BY: first, saying 'I AM A GOOD ARTIST AND PENCIL CRAYON WIZARD' and second, find a photo that needs a little old-timer treatment and some kind of delicious papers. Let's GO.
Step 1 - Find a great shot to work with. This is NOT entirely that important because seriously THIS kind of technique BREEDS beautiful things. My inspiration was triggered by this beautiful picture of Carmen. Meet the effervescent Carmen -in a RARE moment of slow when she looked at me and I swear I could hear some scratchy, old-time record playing lady jazz in the background.
Step 2 - Convert said GREAT SHOT to black & white. Again, you don't HAVE to - but, starting from a desaturated image helps the pencil crayons perform to their BEST potential. You can START with a Black & White shot if you're so inclined or you can convert it digitally and go from there.
Step 3 - Soften, soften, soften. I realize that those of you who do not have a digital photo editor are CURSING ME right now. But, wait! This is not a necessary step and the results are AS BEAUTIFUL without this softening as they are with it. I like to do this because I am a spoiled-brat and I want to. I felt like the background in this particular image was a little heavy and too distracting. You might not. It's all good - just keep on keepin' on. PRINT IT on regular paper when you're
done happy. Why? BECAUSE PENCIL CRAYONS WILL NOT COLOUR OVER PHOTO PAPER.
PENCIL CRAYONS WILL NOT COLOUR OVER PHOTO PAPER. PENCIL CRAYONS WILL NOT COLOUR OVER PHOTO PAPER. Please do not email me saying this technique is piss because your pencil crayons will not colour on your photo paper. I know this. Your complaint will be swiftly forwarded to my customer service agent (aka CRASH) and he doesn't give a rip about what you say unless it's accompanied by a trip to the park and a T-bone.
Step 4 - pick some GREAT paper. Scrapbook papers are magic with this technique. The stuff I'm working with today is from Basic Grey and it's called Sari. It's pretty dreamy. LOVE THOSE PAPERS. I also really liked that this sheet was full of pinks and retro-feeling goodness. You can pick whatever paper you want - the sky's the limit so go for it.
Step 5 - Stick it to the Man. Yes, do that. Cut out your printed (on regular paper) photo to WHATEVER THE HECK SIZE YOU WANT and stick it to your paper. I cut this out with garden scissors, but you can be classier than that and use an Xacto knife or a fancy scrapbook trimmer thing. If you've got a layout in mind - plan for that. If you're just guerilla-creating today like I am - then throw caution to the wind and JUST PASTE AWAY. I use Golden Matte Gel Medium and it's delightful. I put the medium on the BACK of the photo print AND THEN I put Gel Medium all over the front and the scrapbook paper, too. WHY? It leaves a funky texture that I feel really adds to the pencil crayon application. Again, YOU DON'T HAVE TO if you're not into that messy-mussy looking stuff. Do what feels good.
Step 6 - find your
weapons pencil crayons. Remember three important pencil crayon tips: 1. Pencil Crayons = coloured pencils. 2. I use and LOVE Prismacolor Premiers which are softer than most other cheapies and should be sharpened and treated with SOME CARE. 3. DO NOT use pencil crayons to harm others - eventhough it is very tempting sometimes.
Step 7 - TAKE THE PLUNGE! When your gel medium (or whatever glue you used) is completely dry - just pick up your socks and GO FOR IT. I am normally a pretty rough applicator, BUT in this case I'm moving slowly and lightly over the print to TINT it like an old fashioned photograph. I hold my pencilon an angle to maximize the colour tip and I work very, very gently. If you blur your eyes - you can see where you have left inconsistencies in your coverage. You might go blind after a while, but I cannot be help responsible for this. Add as much or as little colour as your comfortable with. Feel it out. Go lightly and add lots of layers so you can maintain your feather-weight touch.
Step 8 - KEEP GOING. It's usually at this point when whatever I'm doing - just isn't looking like I thought it would. DON'T GIVE UP. Seriously. This is the testing point to see if you're committed to the piece or not. Keep going. Keep adding colour. Keep in mind that there's NO SUCH THING AS WRONG and it's all good. I started working in the background to try to match into the scrapbook paper... you can see the vertical lines starting to appear in my pink sections.
Step 9 - STILL KEEP GOING. Just keep adding light layers of colour. Try different colours. I'm using three different pinks and a dark purple here to create some depth and texture. You can see the texture and weirdness that the gel medium has contributed to. Don't let it scare you. Keep going. Don't forget YOU'RE GOOD AT THIS - you're a wizard!
Step 10 - Finishing Touches AHOY! Okay. Work with me on this one... I forgot to take a step picture (I was so excited!). I pulled out my Permapaque WHITE PAINT PEN (from Pencil Crayon Tiplet #5) and blended the background a bit (this won't work with a Sharpie - go figure!). You don't have to - I just like the liquid + pencil look. Then I grabbed a Fineliner (any black marker will due... Sharpie is great for this par, too!) and inked in some lines, a border that echoed the scrapbook paper, and the WORDS. WORD hint: I think in scrapbooking they call this Journaling. I just call it Words. Close your eyes, block out the noise around you and just write what comes to you... It doens't have to be pretty or even make sense. What would you say if you were this piece?
Step 11 - Add what makes it YOURS. Add your signature pieces. I like the date stamp. I also like signing things, but you can add whatever you like. What makes your stuff YOURS? Embellishments? WHATEVER - just take this moment at the end of a piece to OWN IT. You made it and it's beautiful.
Voila & bravo! This works GREAT in the corner of a layout, as the FOCAL POINT OF A LAYOUT, as a greeting card, as a gift that you through in a cheap frame, as a masterpiece. It's all good. Now go get creating!