Love is in the Air

Dear friends, I’m so excited to share this Valentine’s Day project with you, generously prepared for you by artist and friend Deborah Thoden

Have fun, and we can’t wait to see what you will create – please share with us in my FB group called Olga Furman and Friends and don’t forget to tag Deborah Thoden to your posts! CLICk here to join our creative community.

Hello everyone!

    I was so honored when Olga invited me to create a Valentine’s Day project for you! We all love love, don’t we? And Valentine’s Day is a great day to celebrate love of all kinds, but especially of our fellow man—or woman, as the case may be! I decided to do a 3 part challenge (Photo 1) using a simple drawing inspired by a photo I found online (Photo 2).

 I have taken photos of every step and the supplies I used. I hope to make everything clear and easy—and fun—so fingers crossed!

 I used my simple drawing to do:
1) an ink drawing on a 5” x 6.5” card
2) a mixed media piece using collage on an 11” x 14″ wood cradle board
3) an art journal page.

All 3 projects use different supplies, colors and patterns, and were so fun to create! You can, of course, do all 3, or just 1, or whatever strikes your fancy.

    My first step was to flip the inspiration photo (Photo 2), crop it tighter and print it out in black and white on copy paper (Photo 3). Than I drew her freehand onto the wood panel board in a simple outline and changed her hair to the “big hair” I like to use in a lot of my work (Photo 4). Finally, I used the copy paper print to transfer my drawing onto my journal pageusing Saran paper (go to Photo 21). Saran Paper is kinda like carbon paper and it comes in several different colors. I like the charcoal and the blue.

I photographed that with my iphone, and printed it out reduced to fit onto my card. Next I traced the print onto the card using my lightboard (Photos 5, 6 and 7).

Now I had the simple sketch applied onto all 3 different substrates and I was ready to go go go!

Part 1: “Listen to Your Heart” Card

    I completed the card first, as it was the smallest and easiest IMO (Photos 8 and 9). I love using all sorts of colored inks and just playing. This is a fun and freeing project. You can make several cards in different colors and patterns, or copy your finished art and paste it onto as many blank cards as you wish. The sky —or should I say heart?!—is the limit!

Part 2: Mixed Media on wood cradle board “Looking for Love”

    After I completed the drawing, I coated the board with clear gesso. I used an old hair dryer to dry the gesso, and than I painted the background in 3 coats of red acrylic paint (Photo 10).

In Photos 11 and 12, I have enhanced the face using charcoal, a Micron pen and pink acrylic paint. I also went over most of my pencil lines with a fine tip red Posca paint pen. The heavy outline helps as a border to the different papers I use in the collage process.

After picking the collage papers I want to use, I trace each section of my piece onto tracing paper (Photo 13). This is a slow, tedious process, but it’s worth it, imo!

Next I adhere the tracing paper on top of my collage paper, and cut out each section (Photo 14).

In this piece, there were 15 pieces to cut and collage, with 5 different papers and a piece of old lace. One learns precision and patience, that’s for sure! For me, it feels very meditative (when it’s not making me crazy!) Photos 15 and 16 show the teeny scissors I use to cut out my sections. They are fantastic; I love them! (Got ’em on Amazon…).

In Photos 17-20 the pieces are being collaged on.

I have tried Yes paste, and Golden gel medium, but I’ve come to prefer Liquitex Matte Gel. It is silky and light and I find it the easiest to work with. As always, I love using handmade papers and these are from Italy, Nepal and elsewhere. They’re not cheap, butthey are sooo worth it. The pink paper for the gloves has a gorgeous iridescent sheen to it. Anyone who knows my art knows I love using gold and silver in my paintings and in my collages. (I also love that piece of lace I attached to her bodice!) Photo 21 is the finished mixed media piece.

Part 3: Art Journal page (Hearts on Her Sleeve)

    I used a page in my Nomad art journal (from Rajasthan!) for this project. I love the thick handmade paper with the rough edges, splotchy aged look and the buttery soft leather cover. It feels like you’re working in a journal Da Vinci might’ve used! Here, in Photo 22, I have gone over my original transfer lines with a black Prismacolor pencil.

I used two different stencils on this project with acrylic paints, Posca paint pens, and Prismacolor colored pencils (Photos 23-26).

The last photo, Photo 27, is the finished piece.

I hope you enjoyed doing some or all of these projects as much as I did creating them!!

Thank you so much for being here and happy creating!

Much love,

Deborah Thoden