‘Tis the season for card-making! The holidays are a great time to create and send your own unique, personalized holiday greetings.
Take a look at some fun holiday cards that were created on different types of Strathmore Blank Greeting Cards by a few different artists, and maybe you'll be inspired to create your own!
These beautiful cards were created by Artist Lesley Riley with a variety of mediums on Strathmore Mixed Media Cards.
Joanne Sharpe created these bright and colorful holiday cards for our 2013 Online Workshops. Her how-to video lessons for all sorts of whimsical cards are still available, so register and check them out for free today if you haven't already!
Last year we shared Marian O'Shaughnessy's holiday cards that she created on Strathmore Watercolor Cards and we thought we'd share them again! Her online lessons for creating these and other beautiful holiday cards are still available. Check them out here.
These two pieces were created by our very own Strathmore folks! The card was created on Strathmore's Recycled Fiber Cards from the Greener Options Line. A mix of cut up wrapping paper and hand-lettering was used. The inside of the envelope was also lined with the same matching wrapping paper - this is a super easy way to create your own holiday greeting card.
The second piece was created on our new Watercolor Artist Tiles. Check them out and try your own holiday inspired tiles!
We understand that artists work in a lot of different mediums, and we know having choices is important.
Strathmore partnered with General Pencil Company to support community art and art students from Dickinson High School in Jersey City, NJ. General Pencil hosted the Community Mural Drawing Art Event and provided drawing pencils and charcoal chunks to be used on Strathmore Bristol and Toned Sketch rolls.
The Dickinson High School Senior art students were in attendance, along with Street Artist Gary Wynans, and Art Educator Jenn Tiongson. Check out some photos of the event as they work on their collaborative murals!
| News |
Every year the Center for Cartoon Studies presents an award for work that exemplifies excellence in cartooning. This year’s Cartoonist Studio Prize, presented by the Center for Cartoon Studies and the Slate Book Review, is sponsored in part by Strathmore!
Two cartoonists will be awarded with $1,000 and $250 worth of art supplies from Copic for their comic creations. The two award categories include Graphic Novel of the Year and Web Comic of the Year.
To enter your submission for either category, go to the Center for Cartoon Studies website: http://www.cartoonstudies.org/index.php/studio-prize/
Submissions are due by December 31. 2013.
The following blog featuring Toned Paper is written by Artist Earnest Ward:
Toned paper -- a faster way to sketch form and volume
On October 29, I'll be wrapping up the series of workshops I'm doing for the Fort Worth Central Library with one of my favorite sketching materials: toned paper. So, I thought it might be a good time to visit the subject with a focus on the techniques of working on toned paper.
For those of you who are new to toned paper, or who haven't worked with it for a while, a little review might be in order. First, you may recall that the majority of most tonal (i.e., volumetric) drawings is middle tone. Second, if you are working on white paper (as most of us do) you spend most of your time in any given tonal drawing getting rid of (covering up) the white of the paper. Third, if you begin with a middle toned paper most of your "toning" is already done for you. (That is, drawing on toned paper is faster than drawing on white and involves less "drudge" work.)
But, if the majority (or all) of your drawing experience has been on white paper it is easy to overwork a drawing on toned paper. So, here's a step-by-step demo in colored pencil, and a few sketching suggestions, that you might find useful.
First, if you usually sketch in graphite feel free to do your preliminary sketch in the same. (Just make certain that you use a light pressure.)
Be sure and erase any excess graphite before proceeding to the next step.
Once you have blocked in your subject lightly define the shapes with a colored pencil. (Here I'm using a Prismacolor Verithin to avoid excess pressure, which would result in getting too bold too soon.)
This visual reminder that your paper isn't white will help avoid fall back on "habit" and overworking your drawing.
When the shapes have been established with outlines, you depart from the working practice you normally use when working on white paper. On white paper we are working from the white of the paper toward our darkest dark, passing through middle tone along the way. When working on middle tone paper we work from the tone of the paper (middle) toward BOTH our darkest darks AND our lightest lights.
So, as a "visual reminder" that the paper is middle tone, begin to identify and lightly build up those areas that are lighter than the tone of the paper. (Beginning with light pressure will allow you the luxury of making errors in color pencil that can easily be corrected with an eraser. Bold areas of white or black will usually be far more difficult to erase.)
Reserve an area of middle tone between areas of light and shadow, and let your lights and darks fade away toward the edges of curved forms.
Next, begin to identify those areas that are darker than the tone of the paper and, again, begin to build them up with lightly applied color pencil.
To create the greatest volumetric allusion place your boldest highlights and core shadows away from the form's outer edge (on the other hand, the strongest cast shadows should be against the object casting them).
Once you have established your three tonal areas (and begin to become more familiar with the tonal details of your subject) you can also begin to identify and apply your boldest highlights.
Don't overlook the secondary or reflected highlights -- areas (never actually white) where light reflecting off neighboring surfaces "softens" a shadow.
Identify and apply your boldest core shadows (the shadows within the shadows.)
Increasing the contrast along the near edge of the cast shadow (by making the edge darker and adding a bit of "highlight" just outside the cast shadow) will help place your object on an advancing/receding ground plain.
The arrows show where outline has been eliminated or judiciously weakened.
Finally, to maximize volume in the drawing we want to eliminate (or at least downplay) the outlines*. The easiest way to eliminate outline is to simply take the tone of the line and blend it out into the neighboring dark area. (Outlines almost always define the border between a darker and a lighter area.) Alternately (if, for example, the "darker area" is merely a middle tone and the lighter area is white) erase as much of the outline as is practical and then apply additional white to the highlighted area.
... And you're done! (See, I told you it was a faster way to sketch tonally.)
*Outlines define shape and are generally an invention of our creative imaginations. (If you don't agree, look for the actual line painted on your subject before you begin that next sketch.) Outlines are excellent at conveying 2D shape and are the fastest tool for that job. However, a dominating outline is like an exclamation point that will often compete with -- if not cancel out -- your efforts to convey 3D volume. By integrating the "tone" of the outline into your volume-building value patterns you move the exclamation point from Shape to Volume.
A few "rules" you may find useful --
- Never blend your light and dark pencil together when drawing on middle-toned paper; this would only create a middle tone and THAT is the job of the paper. (Don't overwork your drawing.)
- Light and dark are only found next to one another when one form overlaps another, or when one plain meets another at a sharply defined edge. In rounded forms lights and darks are separated by middle tone (i.e., the tone of the paper.)
- Avoid placing your strongest highlights and your strongest (core) shadows at the outer edge of rounded forms; doing so will flatten out the volume.
- Look for, and include, secondary highlights in your shadows. (Secondary highlights are ares where light is reflected of nearby surfaces and soften shadows. This, in turn, adds a sense of curving form and spacial allusion to a drawing.)
- Light/dark contrasts will generally be weaker in the background and stronger in the foreground.
- If you tend to be "heavy handed" or want to straighten out the lines in your hatching, try holding your pencil farther back and "underhanded" (as opposed to the way you hold it when you're writing.) This will result in less downward pressure on the pencil and a longer, straighter stroke.
- laying the lead on its side also allows you to use the pencil in a less linear, more tonal fashion
The Toned Tan paper has a warm color that is flecked with darker red and blue fibers rather like a very up-scale version of the brown paper bags we use to wrap our school books in (although those bags never had such a seductively smooth surface to draw on!)
Mushroom cap -- w/c, pen & ink, color pencil
Mushroom - more mixed media
The paper is heavily sized and handles repeated erasures with ease. It is also receptive to a wide range of media and techniques, and even handles modestly wet watercolor washes with a minimum of buckling and no "show-through."
Pen & ink (3 plein air sketches on a humid afternoon and no buckling!)
Highlights can really sing on toned paper
For more information on Strathmore Toned Sketch: http://www.strathmoreartist.com/product-reader/items/400-series-toned-sketch.html
Take a look at this fun, fall-inspired greeting card made by Instructor Jane LaFazio in the Week 2 video of our Artful Card Making Techniques Online Workshop.
Here are Jane’s steps for creating this perfectly in-season card:
Use the page of an old book as the background, and draw your chosen object in pencil over the page.
Redraw the object with a permanent, waterproof ink pen once you’ve got it just the way you want it.
Starting with the lightest colors, add the first layer of watercolor and let dry. Gradually add more layers of darker watercolor, and let dry between each layer.
Cut the book page down to fit your blank greeting card. For this project, Jane uses Strathmore Photo Mount Cards.
Use a stencil (or your own block lettering) and a pencil to outline letters. Paint the background of the card, let dry, and erase pencil marks.
Glue the finished piece to the front of your blank greeting card.
Check it out and maybe you’ll be inspired to create your own fall greeting cards!
To see this video lesson, or to see other video lessons demonstrating a variety of artful card-making techniques and ideas, sign up for our free online workshops here:
The videos will remain open for viewing until December 31, 2013.
Fall is upon us and the Autumn Issue of our Artist Newsletter is here! In this issue, read an inspiring story that details the journey and inspirations of British artist Paul Knight. Read how Paul was discouraged from pursuing his passion for art at a young age, and how many years later he finally got the push and inspiration he needed to pick it up again. Then see how a knock back with a magazine competition gave him the confidence to enroll in the adult Fine Art Program at Nottingham University and seek a new direction of blending traditional style with modern conceptual thinking. Read the full article.
Also in this issue:
Featured Product: Skill Series, Paper for Practice
Learn about our new Skills Series: an affordable, recycled paper line that features high sheet counts, convenient sizes and formats, durable construction, and a heavy-duty chip board backing that stands up to frequent use and lots of PRACTICE, PRACTICE, PRACTICE.
Questions from our Website
Discover the true history of the origins of paper and get a glimpse of what goes into the paper making process today in our FAQ section.
Artwork Submission Request
We are accepting artwork submissions for our 2014 Product Catalog cover and our Facebook page cover image. Get all the details and submission information in this issue!
Read the full Issue: Autumn Newsletter
We are looking for artwork submissions for our 2014 Product Catalog Cover and our 2014 Facebook page cover image!
The artist selected for our Product Catalog will receive $300, and the artist selected for our facebook cover image will receive $100 worth of Strathmore product!
The style of the artwork, subject matter, and mediums used is up to you! We just ask that it’s created on Strathmore paper!
Submissions are due by Friday, November 15. For more details and to submit your artwork: http://www.strathmoreartist.com/catalog-cover-contest.html
INTRODUCING Strathmore Artist Tiles! For Pattern Drawing and Meditative Art
Join the growing number of artists who are finding pattern drawing or meditative art to be an approachable and emotionally beneficial art form. The process of creating patterned drawings by combining repetitive marks, circles, lines and forms to make small works of art can be a fun and relaxing way to clear your mind.
Strathmore is now making it even easier to get started with our new Artist Tiles. The affordable, pre-cut square tiles come in a range of appropriate paper surfaces and sizes suitable for common techniques and media used in patterning and meditative art.
Paper types and formats include Bristol in 4x4 packs and 6x6 glue-bound pads, Watercolor in 4x4 packs and 6x6 glue-bound pads, Strathmore Artagain® Black in 6x6 glue-bound pads, and Recycled Sketch in a 6x6 journal-style pad.
For more info on our new Artist Tiles: http://www.strathmoreartist.com/artist-tiles.html
Here are 5 different technqiues that may be useful for flattening fine art paper that has come in roll format:
Technique 1: Unroll the entire roll and re-roll it in the opposite direction it was previously rolled. Let it sit for at least 20 minutes before unrolling it again.
Technique 2: Cut the paper to the correct size that is needed and roll it in the opposite direction it was previously rolled in. Let it sit for at least 20 minutes before unrolling it again.
Technique 3: Cut the paper to the size that is needed, leaving a half inch to an inch extra on all sides, and tape along the edges so the paper lies completely flat. Complete artwork while edges are taped.
Technique 4: Another technique involves placing the rolled paper in a plastic container which sits in a larger plastic container that is ¼ filled with water. To complete this technique, the following materials will be needed:
- Plastic container large enough to fit the rolled paper
- Plastic container with lid large enough to fit the plastic container that is holding the rolled paper
- Tissue Paper
- Plastic wrap
- Heavy board or thick, heavy book
- Place the rolled paper into the smaller, clean plastic container.
- Place a piece of plastic wrap over the top of the small container.
- Fill the larger container ¼ of the way with clean water.
- Set the smaller container with the rolled paper in the larger container with the water. It is okay if the smaller container floats, but do not let any water get into the smaller container or touch the paper.
- Put the lid on the large container and seal it.
- Let the paper sit in the container overnight.
- Open the large container and lift the plastic wrap off the smaller container.
- If the paper feels soft and pliable from the humidity, remove the smaller container from the water and leave the plastic wrap off. Let the paper sit in the smaller container without the plastic wrap for about 10 minutes to let the air hit it.
- Place a sheet of clean tissue paper on a flat table. Unroll the rolled paper and place on top of the tissue paper.
- Carefully lay a heavy board or a thick, heavy book down on the unrolled paper.
- Let the paper sit under the weight for 24 hours. If the ends still start to curl after the weight is removed, let the paper sit under the weight for another day.
Technique 5. For Watercolor Rolls, Mixed Media Rolls, or any other types of paper that is designed to handle wet media, the following technique can be used:
- Cut the paper to the size that is needed
- Lightly mist the paper with clean water using a spray bottle (do not soak the paper - only a light mist is needed)
- Place the misted paper between 2 sheets of parchment or tissue paper
- Carefully place a board or heavy book over the paper and let sit for 24 hours