Tuesday, October 20, 2015

Progress of my Canal Street Painting

Canal Street Trolley, NOLA

10" x 8" Watercolor

Above is the final painting. Below, you can see the progress as it is completed.

This is the progress of a painting I have been working on for the last few weeks. (In this busy world, I set aside Friday mornings to get together with some friends and paint. So, some paintings that could probably be finished in a day or two, take me a few weeks.)

In September, my husband and I vacationed in the city of New Orleans. What an amazing place. The history, architecture, music! My husband, a budding photographer, took his DSLR everywhere, and I have been helping him "process" the 2000 + photos using Lightroom and Photoshop. One of my favorite shots was a photo of the Canal Street Trolley in the distance. The sun was starting to set, and casting pink and gold glow on the buildings. The famous street lamps of New Orleans where just coming on, and the city was becoming more active after the daytime heat.

I decided to paint that scene.

I originally posted it on my Facebook page, here...www.facebook.com/KimMcCarronArtDesign

But to my shock, I found out that some of my friends (yes, people my age) still don't have a Facebook account! So, I was asked to post them on my blog too.

Canal St. Trolley New Orleans painting -01
Perspective Sketch of the trolley, buildings and lamps. I used masking fluid to protect the light points.

After drawing this composition out, I made the mistake of starting with the lamp posts since they were such a prominent feature in this painting, So I am forced to work the background around them. Not an easy task in watercolors. the black/indigo keeps bleeding into what ever I paint around it. However, I just learned a cool "hack" around this dilemma. Carefully coat JUST the lampposts with Modge Podge! It will repel water and watercolor once it dries completely! HOWEVER once I did this, I can not CHANGE them, i.e. fade them out, or add additional color to them. Such is the price for not planning past the initial sketch!

I added the tops of the trees, and people getting off the trolley. I also underpainted the shadows of the storefronts on the right hand side.
More details to the trees, and storefronts on the right.
Next time I hope to finish up the left hand side buildings, cars and people. Stay tuned!
.... DONE... See the finished painting at the top of the post.

Thursday, October 15, 2015

New Embossing Machine

I am so excited! Here's why...

I had been wanting an embosser for a while and had done the homework.

There are 2 big name competitors when it comes to (folder) embossing. (Not to be confused with powder/heat embossing.)
  • Sizzix - 
    • Big Shot
    • Texture Boutique
  • Cricut
    • Cuttlebug
I didn't need anything fancy. I already have a Silhouette Cameo cutter (which I absolutely LOVE, by the way), so I didn't need it to die cut...just give some texture to some of my cards.

The Sizzix Big Shot has a wider opening that lets you use larger embossing folders like the 5" x 7" size, and it also is big enough to take large die cut dies, However it was too large for my tiny crafting space and limited storage space. It also came with a fairly big price tag too.

The Sizzix Texture Boutique was small and simple. It uses the standard A2 embossing folders (4.5" x 5.75" (Large enough to do the entire front of a note card.)

The Cricut Cuttlebug can accommodate the A2 and the larger 5" x 7" folders like the Big Shot, but it is not quite as big and bulky.

I had decided that for my needs, the Texture Boutique would work just fine. So, I had been keeping my eyes peeled for holiday sales.

A few weeks ago, I saw an e-mail from my local  Stampin' Up! demonstrator mentioning the sale going on to make room for all the new holiday scrapbooking and stamping kits. And the Stampin' up version of the Sizzix Texture Boutique was on clearance! I got a SWEET DEAL - less than $25 even with shipping!

But, when my Boutique arrived in the mail a few days later, I realized that I had no folders to test it out with. Thankfully a friend and fellow crafter, Liz Carlin, let me come by her craft studio, and "play" with her folders and die cuts. I brought paper scraps and my embosser, and she had a huge storage bin of folders!

I am going to use this one on a flip card I'm putting together for Halloween. I tried adding some black sparkles but then changed my mind. (I haven't removed them all in this picture, as you can see.) I think it might look really cool with BLACK card stock as the base.

Well, that was 2 weeks ago. Since then, I have been scouring the the internet for deals on A2 embossing folders. My eBay find just arrived from Canada today.

It is a two folder set: Dots/Zigzags and Flowers.

I tried them out on a few different papers that I have. The first is a heavy 140 lb professional watercolor paper. (I had some small pieces that I had used to "practice" a wet into wet blending technique before applying it to a large painting. They were completely dry and had been sitting there just waiting for me to figure out what to do with them.)

The other two are Canson 98 lb mix media paper scraps. One is plain the other I used a chalk pastel to emphasize the embossing image.

Unfortunately, embossing does not make for good photography. You can't really see the texture here. Especially not on the thicker painted watercolor paper. Take my word for it, they are great!

I also found another deal on eBay a few nights ago. That one should get here early next week.

I'll post more pics then. Please be sure to check out Liz's crafting blog too. (CraftItWithLiz.wordpress.com) She is so creative with so many different materials! Until next time...Keep Calm and Keep Crafting!

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