How did I make those recycled art cards, you ask….

22 Sep

Last time we met, I introduced you to my recycled art cards. And I bet you’ve been wondering all week exactly how I made them (indulge me, please). So here goes.

Recycled art cards begin life as magazine subscription cards.

I cover the subscription cards in a good coat of gesso. Currently, I’m using a White Acrylic Gesso by Artist’s Loft from Michael’s. It fine for this type of artwork, but I’m not in love with the way it coats the paper.  I recently found a sweet gem in Nashville called Plaza Artist Materials and when it’s time to buy new gesso, I’m going to try their brand.

Make sure to cover both sides.

Once I’ve covered both sides, I paint the background. Sometimes I have a vision of the finished product, sometimes, I let the colors I mix shape the direction of my art.

Like my fancy pallet?

This card was for my favorite red-head so I was thrilled to find a red-headed model in a magazine ad.

The wings are from a greeting card (also from Michael’s) and of course the woman is from a magazine ad.

Getting there, but not quite finished

She needed a bit more before she was finished. I added a tag from my favorite Tazo tea (India Spice in case you are wondering). And of course, a note to my sweet cousin on the back (which I won’t share). I do paint the back and cover it in various papers (mostly whatever I have at hand). Right now, I’m using the packing paper from a shipment of books. Love when they use kraft paper!

Her dress needed some bling, so I added gold paint. I also softened it up a bit with a gesso wash that I rubbed off with paper towels. This way, it looks more like it’s part of the card instead of sitting on top of it.

It’s that simple. Each set of cards I make for my cousins tend to reflect what I’ve been working on in my art journals. I love the challenge of painting 4 at a time with each different girl (and personality) in mind. But the best part for me by far is when I open my mailbox and have an envelope filled with their artwork in reply!

Leave a comment and tell me what you think!



8 Responses to “How did I make those recycled art cards, you ask….”

  1. Nancy September 22, 2012 at 8:07 pm #

    Love the photos & the narrative–practical/how to but also nice why as well. Looking forward to future posts!

  2. studiobukowski September 23, 2012 at 12:38 am #

    Thanks Nancy! Appreciate the feedback

  3. Susan Murphy December 20, 2012 at 2:31 pm #

    Your work is really neat, Michelle! I came to this posting because I had a serious problem with Michael’s Artist Loft White Acrylic Gesso, and I was googling to see if anyone else had that problem. I had my students coat watercolor paper with this stuff, so that we could practice painting watercolor on a gessoed surface. Two of them had serious cracking of the gesso after it dried, in one case all over the paper! The gesso was applied a little thicker than you are doing here, but no more than 1 mm or so. There is something wrong with that stuff and I am going to return it. But they will probably keep on selling it, so I just wanted to warn other people out there!

    • studiobukowski December 22, 2012 at 3:36 pm #

      Yeah, it’s not my favorite gesso over, but it was affordable at the time. I’ve noticed now that I’m at the bottom of the container, it’s getting a bit gooey. I’m going to go for the good stuff for my next purchase! I’m glad you like my cards!

    • studiobukowski January 4, 2013 at 4:51 pm #

      Susan, if you have a Plaza Art Materials by you, I recommend their brand of gesso. It’s fantastic!!!

  4. havenofinspiration March 27, 2014 at 11:19 pm #

    Reblogged this on Haven of Inspiration.

  5. Eszter March 30, 2014 at 9:00 am #

    WOW, amazing piece of art!

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