Sunday, July 20, 2014

Art classes

Once a month I take classes with an instructor at Mary Maxim's  in Port Huron, Michigan. One class always features Copic Markers techniques but the second might be a combination of marker and colored pencils or something entirely different but equally wonderful.

Yesterday was class day. I eagerly anticipated going but woke up at 2:30 quite ill from who knows what. By 9 a.m. when I should have been leaving the house, I knew I wasn't going to be able to attend. I didn't truly feel normal again until this morning, 30 hours after that rude awakening. Sulking doesn't do any good and certainly isn't attractive, but unpacking my supplies this morning was not unlike unpacking for a vacation that didn't happen.

Enough with the negative, how about I show you why I enjoy these classes?

Most of the Copic classes begin with stamped images. This first one uses Mo Manning's "Ragged Angel". It isn't clear in the photo but we used two different papers so that we could see how paper influences our results.

These stamps are Penny Black's "Love at X-mas". I enjoyed working with silver and gold gel pens and love how shading the furry areas before adding the fuzzy fibers with white pen make the fur look three dimensional.

The next two are Penny Black and Mo Manning's "Little Elf Finn" and "Little Elf Mim". The lessons on matte metal finishes is something I've used many times since that class.

I am a huge fan of Art Impressions stamps. This one is called "Stayin' Afloat". Objectives included variations in skin color and how to make the water look like pool water.

Sorry about the poor photography in the next two. The first is under glass and the second is washed out a bit due to flash. The tree trunks were cut from Memory Box's "Grand Willow Tree" die. The tree on the left has various Copic marker color applied after Birch like stripes were applied with Frisket, a product known as resist which blocks color. The 3-D blossoms in that tree were paper punched and shaped a bit before attached with adhesive dots. The tree on the right is the same free form foliage shape, but this time the Frisket was painted on to resemble leaves before bands of Copic colors were added and blended. The tree trunk has minor shading added. 


Here is a close up of the shaded foliage that I used in another tree.

Again, I apologize for the photo. I framed it before I thought to take a picture. The trees were cut from Memory Box's "Tall Birch" die and this time we used Tombow Markers instead of Copics. Tombows are water based. We applied some marker color, then added water to paint our squiggles or shade or geometric designs. 

Last month we did more doodling and coloring with Tombows on this three dimensional star. Such fun!

Sometimes the subject of our classes isn't one I would choose, this being an example. The girl is Prima Doll's "Lorena" and the butterfly wings are Memory Box "Butterflies". The photo on the left is a suggested finished project from class. On the right is what I did and photographed against black paper. I later attached it to black canvas and added some of the small butterflies seen on the ribbon on the right, swirling (swarming?) from lower left to upper right. What I did enjoy from this class was learning to use glitter (using Modge Podge) as an accent without over powering a project, and that you can add dimension to a stamped object on a dark print paper with gray markers and white pencil. 

Another example of unexpected paper was this class done on brown Kraft paper. Copics were used before Primacolor pencils added highlights. Stamped images are from Penny Black's "Garden Friends" collection. 

Here is another example of a subject I wouldn't have chosen in this mixed media piece. The birds are Genine Zlatkis for Magenta's "Tweeter". The bird that we colored in class was the blue one. Blue dye was used to stamp the image and also to age the post card a bit. Once home, I decided to color a second bird in shades of red and yellow, not thinking of the image being in blue. Oops! That wing got a bit muddy and I used many more colors than planned to come up with something I could live with. Mistakes make for good lessons though. I like the shading on the pods which I think are Chinese lanterns.  I don't recall the maker of the stamps used on the post card, they were borrowed. 

Last in this description of some of the classes is this one featuring a retired stamp from Stampin Up called "Manhattan Rose".  We used a variety of Copic markers and Prismacolor pencils on this 8.5x11 inch page. I think I spent ten hours working on this. That probably sounds ridiculous if you don't enjoy coloring, but it was both relaxing and fun for me. 

I thought for a while about what I should title this post. Some wouldn't consider coloring stamped images with markers and pencils art, and sometimes I would agree with them. I have attended some classes that were very disappointing. There are teachers in all walks of the craft world who are talented in their chosen field but can't teach worth a darn. Occasionally you encounter one who doesn't seem to have much talent in either their craft or the art of instructing.

I would happily give the name of the instructor that has taught me so much, but I haven't asked her permission to do so. If you live near Mary Maxim's in Port Huron and are interested, call the retail store (not the online store number) and ask about their monthly Saturday Copic class.

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