Sunday, August 16, 2015

The Plan: Stamping text on the Gelli Plate

This worked so well, I wanted to share it with the Gelli Printing world. I was originally planning to do this with self adhesive foam letters that you can buy in bulk at Michael's, but I hated the font. Then I found these cork letters for $5, and they worked like a charm.
First I put Velcro on the back of the letters I needed. I'll do the rest as I need them. Then I put the other half of the Velcro sticker on the back of an old Spellbinders packet (I compulsively keep packaging materials).

I lined up my letters, and loaded my Gelli Plate with acrylic paint.
Pressed the letters on the plate, and pulled them off.
Now I had a plan to make the text quite subtle, so I printed pink on pink for my first print, and then I pulled the ghost print on white paper. The first one does not show up all that well because of my color choices.

I also did a blue one blue.
When I was putting things away, I noticed that the Velcro is a bit stronger than the cork, so you have to be careful when removing the letters from the holder. I'm thinking of just using felt instead. Velcro doesn't stick all that well to the felt, but we don't need it all that stuck, and I don't want to break the cork.

Thanks for looking!

Saturday, August 1, 2015

Home made foam stamps

I want to make some foam stamps to use on my Gelli Plate, for texture. The rubber stamps are not fabulous for the acrylic paint (it's too thick maybe?), but the foam works well. Cutting it is a bugger, though. So I googled "tool for cutting fun foam" and found a lot of information about cutting styrofoam and that flower arranging squishy foam. The tool was a heat wand like a wood burning tool.

The wood burning tool we have actually came with a knife blade for cutting foam core boards. So I gave it a try on 1/4 inch thick fun foam. It worked well, but was a bit on the stinky side. I have a well ventilated spot with a big window and an exhaust fan in the ceiling, but I think I'd rather be doing this in high wind. I'm going to get a big fan for my next go at it. 

The tool sort of squish/melts the foam, so it is not precise. I tried each of the tips I have, and didn't love any of them. What I think I want is a short knobby tip like an embossing tool. I think if I had the right thing, I could get a pretty deep detailed impression.

In other news, I bought this old out-of-print book on Folk Art by Jerry & Jo Sonja Jansen. It's got great inspiration for me. I think I'll get Volume 2, as well.
Here's a progression, sans noxious fumes.
Inspiration from the Basics of Folk Art Volume 1
Optimistic design
Final product!
And here's a pig. Thanks for looking!

Saturday, July 25, 2015

Gelli Prints

I made some new stencils to Gelli Print though. On this one, I drew on the print with black and white pen.

I like the tree stencil, but I'm enjoying using the cut-out portion of it as a mask more.
And last, here are some birds.
I know many people use their Gelli Plate prints for collage, so this isn't revolutionary, but after printing with my stencils for a while, I notice that the masks look like they'd make great collage elements. Does anyone cut and then print on the little bits? Or does everyone print and then cut?
I make my stencils from overhead projector slides. These are the masks
Thanks for looking!

Tuesday, July 14, 2015

Carving Rubber Stamps!

I did a web search for Ukranian Folk Art, and had great fun sketching from what I found there. Inspired by my sketches, and this post from Julie Fei-Fan Balzer, I carved some rubber stamps.
 Then I went to town! Stamping is so satisfying.

And then I put my elbow into the ink pad. Time for bed! Thanks for looking.

Sunday, July 12, 2015


Inspired by a little trading rack at Studio 626, in Corvallis, Oregon, I made some ATC's to trade. I didn't take a photo of the ones I traded there, but I was on a roll so I made some more. The background is a Gelli Plate print on multimedia paper, and drawings are done in ink, and colored with Prismacolor colored pencil. Thanks for looking!

Mean Fish and Barn
Mean Fish and Barn (front)Mean Fish and Barn (back)
Lip Fish and Orchid
Lip Fish and Orchid (front)Lip Fish and Orchid (back)

Saturday, April 11, 2015

Not all Warriors Make Wars

Once again, I decided to participate in Illustration Friday, and again, I didn't finish my image until Saturday. The topic this week was Warrior.  I call my painting "Not All Warriors Make Wars."
Not All Warriors Make Wars, by Florence Turnour
Here is last week's illustration for the Illustration Friday topic "Outside."
Thanks for looking!

Saturday, April 4, 2015

Go Outside!

This week, I decided to participate in Illustration Friday. The organizers give a topic illustrate, which this week was Outside, and participants can post their entries. Of course I didn't get mine done until Saturday, so I didn't get to submit it.
Go Outside! by Florence Turnour

Here's why it took me forever, other than that this kind of thing always takes me forever.
First I drew a bunch of sketches.
Not all of them made the final cut.
Then I scanned them in and arranged them into my composition.
Then I decided that I should paint the pieces separately, and assemble them in Photoshop. Why? I don't think this particular project really called for this, but I was a little afraid I'd screw up when I was 90% done, so I did it in bite sized pieces.
Of course, I painted the background image much larger than my scanner, so I had to scan it in in four, count'em four pieces. Once the background was assembled, though, the rest came together quickly enough (except that it was a day late).

Thanks for looking, and do go outside!

Sunday, March 1, 2015

Benjamin's Squirrel

A short time ago, Colby Sharp (@ColbySharp on Twitter) asked illustrators how big they make their drawings. He used #IDrawThisBig to share the results on Twitter. (Follow the link, to see the feed.) I learned that some artists draw small at first, and then enlarge their drawings to produced more detailed illustrations. Recently, I read or heard a picture book artist with a background is in animation talking about the importance of having a clear silhouette. I thought I might have an easier time getting my silhouettes clear a very small drawing. I also got to look through a sketchbook belonging to Illustrator Barbara Malley (@BarbaraMalley on Twitter) which had densely packed pages of tiny detailed images.

So with these ideas in the back of my mind, this morning I watched my children draw tiny little pictures in their drawing books. I always want to tell them to draw bigger, mainly so I can see what they're up to, but this time I thought the better of it. I enlarged one of Benjamin's drawings on the photocopier, and he used the light table to transfer it to watercolor paper. Here is the finished result.

Squirrel Highway by Benjamin Turnour

Here's Benjamin's progression of images.
Thanks Colby, Barbara et. al. for the inspiration!

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Interviews and presentations by picture book illustrators and authors

I have been reading and listening to interviews by picture book authors and illustrators for several months now. Here are some favorite things I've encountered.

The Let's Get Busy Podcast by Matthew Winner
Matthew Winner is a Maryland Elementary School Librarian who interviews picture book authors, illustrators, kidlit notables and everyone in between. Matthew has such a genuine enthusiasm for picture books that the folks he interviews are instantly at ease, which inspires them to talk freely about their work, inspiration and experience. I follow him on Twitter. @MatthewWinner

Watch. Listen. Connect. Blog by Mr. John Schu
John Schu is an Illinois Elementary School Librarian who shares interviews with picture book authors and illustrators of new picture books. He often features, and sometimes debuts short video trailers, which are charming introductions to the up and coming books. I follow him on Twitter. @MrSchuReads

Seven Impossible Things Before Breakfast a Blog About Books, by Julie Danielson
Julie Danielson blogs about illustrated books, including interviews with amazing illustrators and picture book artists. Here is her list of people she's interviewed.

Picture booking Podcast by author, illustrator Nick Patton features interview with "Picture book people." Nick's own experiences as an illustrator inspires him to ask questions ranging from techniques in producing finished artwork to coming up with story ideas and strategies dealing with publishers.

I've watched two TED talks by picture book authors, which are fun and inspiring:
Mar Barnett

Jarrett Krosoczka
Also the acceptance speeches for the Newbery and Caldecott Awards are among the most inspiring presentations about writing and illustrating books for children that I've enjoyed. Here are two of my favorites:
Jon Klassen 2013 Caldecott Medal
Kate DiCamillo 2014 Newbery Medal
Do you have any recommendations for me?