Friday, November 14, 2008

How To Build An ATC

I was re-creating an ATC for a personal swap when I had the idea to photograph each step along the way. I thought it might help some of you with the layering that goes into a pleasing design. You may ask... how do I know this a pleasing design? Well I guess because a lot of people wanted to trade for it. (And also because I have had many years of practice.) A degree in graphic arts doesn't hurt either.

As you watch this you may also notice that even though there are a lot of layers on this card that some of them are almost completely covered up. That may be so, but if the underlying layer were absent the design would feel lacking in something. Design and placement is such a hard thing to teach but we all seem to know it when we see it. Hopefully by exposing yourself to more art you'll get to become familiar with why something is pleasing. I plan to do more of these step by step photographing on other ATC's in order to show the creative process.

The particulars of this card are the following in case you are interested in recreating it.

1. The background is page from a phone book and then it is painted with a special iron particle paint. It is then painted with the accompanying oxidizing solution to make it rust. They are called "Sophisticated Finishes" and are made by Triangle Crafts. (You can buy them on-line from Dick Blick.)
2. The stamps are by "Hot Off The Press" and "Martha Stewart". The white ink is a solvent based ink called "Staz-On" and it is made by Tsunkinenko.
3. The silver leafing is done by first applying a glue called "sizing" that becomes tacky after about 15 minutes. You then apply the silver leaf flakes over the sizing and rub off the excess with a stiff brush. (The silver leaf only sticks where the sizing is applied.)
4. The mica flakes are applied with a clear glue that is called "Diamond Glaze" and is made by Judi Kins. I use a good pair of tweezers and apply the flakes one at a time in layers. (It's not as hard as it seems if you use the larger flakes.)
5. The "pearls" are called micro beads and are applied with the same "Diamond Glaze". Simply squirt on a line of glue and dump a bunch of beads over it. (Tap off the excess and let it dry.)
6. The lettering is made with an everyday office supply labeler by Dymo. I simply cut the titles down smaller so they would fit.
7. The butterfly is made glossy using the "Diamond Glaze" straight from the bottle. (It has a fine point tip to make it easier.)

1 comment:

Elena said...

This is SO great Val! Thank you for taking the time to photograph this step by step! I'm running out the door to buy the Sophisticatd Finishes!!!