Thursday, May 26, 2016

How To Make A Cabinet Card Collage

I’ve been having fun creating cabinet card collages.  Cabinet cards are vintage photos taken by professional photographers in the late 1800’s.  They are extremely thick which makes them perfect for mini collages as they absorb paint without wrinkling or warping.  To make a collage using cabinet cards, you use the same collage techniques you would use on any other project.  Just a reminder, you must use transparent paint so that you can see the layers underneath.  I used watercolor paint. 

You can find cabinet cards on eBay, Etsy, antique stores, estate sales and flea markets.  If you’re looking for cabinet cards in an antique store or flea market, they can usually be found in a box of vintage photos.    This is where you can get them for the best price. 

The best cabinet cards for this project will have a white background.  If your cabinet card has a dark background, the project becomes more difficult.
I purchased this cabinet card because I fell in love with the angelic faces of these children.  Unfortunately I didn’t pay attention to the background.  I’m going to paint the background white and see if I can make it work. 

Tuesday, May 10, 2016

How to Build Layers for your Background

I love the look of depth from layered backgrounds.  When trying this technique, you must use transparent versus opaque paints.  How do you know if a paint is transparent or opaque?  Several paint brands, such as Golden, make it easy to see how transparent their paints are.  On their label, they have a brush stroke of paint coated over black lines.  If you can see the black lines through the paint, the color is transparent.  If it’s hard to see the black lines, that paint is opaque and you won’t see any layers underneath.  Learning about the black lines was an “A-ha” moment for me.  Very handy to know.

This orange paint is transparent as you can see the black lines through the paint stroke on the label.

The blue pain is opaque because it's hard to see the black lines on the label.  You don't want to use this paint to build layers as you won't be able to see any layers peeking through.  Your background will turn into one color only - blue. 
I created the background above by using a circle stencil.  I paired the stencil with different opaque paints (orange, red and yellow).  I built up layers by stenciling on top of previous layers.

Saturday, May 7, 2016

How To Make A Perfect Dot

I’ve started the layering process on my backgrounds and wanted to add some white dots using acrylic paint.  Just in case you haven’t heard of this trick, there’s a simple way to create those perfect dots.  You simply use the end of your paintbrush instead of the bristles.  Dip the end of your paintbrush into your paint and start dotting away.