Inspiration Station: Made with Paper (by 53)

Stumbled upon a great new app this week (the basic version is free, the paid version with all the bells and whistles is $7.99 and SO worth it).  Paper, by 53.

Paper is, simply, one of (in not THE) easiest, most intuitive art app’s I have.  I love it’s ability to just have 5 tools, 9 colors, and pinch-and-zoom interaction.  The pen action and watercolor brush are so expressive and fluid.  Here’s a few examples of what I’ve made so far:

And here’s the link to their blog, where you can see artwork made by lots of others using the Paper app.  I love sites like this.  They give a great assembly of different artists and styles.  I always see techniques and new styles I want to experiment with.

Also, 1.5 million downloads of the app in two weeks? I’m impressed! And looking forward to seeing what Paper drums up next!

Back to Melty Goodness… Part 2

Having finally figured out where my photos go to when I sync my phone, I was able to recover some more photos of the melted crayon art I posted in Melty Goodness.  So, for those of you who were wondering what happened to the rest of that post… here it is!

So. When last we’d left you, I’d pointed out the importance of using a new glue gun and not one that had already had glue in.  I’m going to assume you’ve procured such a glue gun.  Now, a note on temperatures:  Low temp glue guns will work, but the process will be slow. You will have to wait for the gun to melt the crayon and then apply it to the canvas.  This is the “hurry up and wait” method, because once melted, a crayon goes really quickly.  But you have to wait to melt it. When these crayons come out of the glue gun, they are *just* melted.  They will drip and run a bit, but overall they keep a decent amount of viscosity.

Hot temp glue guns will work just fine too, but they will be extremely quick.  The crayons practically liquify in it, and that makes for almost an ink-like consistency of the crayon coming out of the glue gun, to the point that if you’re not careful, you’re going to be flinging hot wax where you don’t want it.  However, hot temp glue guns will make the project go much more quickly.

Which is better? I have used both, and it just depends on what kind of mood I’m in.  For the project pictured here, I mostly used the hot-temp setting on my glue gun, because I’m impatient. 🙂

On my project, I used a Cricut to cut out letters to spell the word “CREATE” and stuck them on the vinyl prior to using the crayons.  They acted as a mask, so after the crayons cooled, I used an Xacto knife to cut around the letters, peel them off, and voila! Negative space focal points, ready made.

So now you’re ready to melt some crayons!  This process is really simple.  Insert peeled crayon into glue gun, wait for it to melt.  Prop your canvas up at an angle, so the crayon will run down it.  (You can also draw with the glue gun, have the canvas on a turn-table and spin it while you drip wax… use your imagination.)  Apply the tip of the glue gun close to the top of the canvas and hold it there while using the trigger to let the melted crayon out of the gun.  Keep it in the same spot, and the crayon will run down itself.

and after a while, you’re going to have this.  This shows the vinyl letters after half of them have been peeled away.

Keep in mind when you’re switching colors between crayons that it’s easier to go from lighter to darker than from darker to lighter.  A little bit of the melted crayon from the past color will mix with the current color at the beginning, so while it’s interested to get a yellow to an orange, going from a orange to a purple might not work so well. 

But feel free to experiment! You really can’t mess this up.

Anatomy of a Photo

In this post, I am going to show the process I go through when I’m using my cell phone to take an artistic photo.

I use two apps to take my photos, if I know I’m going to be trying to take an artistic shot and if I have the luxury of time. (Some photos I’d like to capture are split-second, so I don’t use this full process.  But, if I have my druthers, this is what I do.)  The first app I use is the regular Camera app on my iPhone.  This lets me quickly take the picture, check the composition, do any tweaking with still lives / location if necessary, and basically arrange my photo.   The second app I use is, of course, Hipstamatic.

Today’s photo journey is sponsored by Happy Hour at my local martini bar, the beautiful early summer weather, and their outdoor patio.

First, here is where I was:

Just a plain shot of the location.

Then, I tried a few shots to get a more pleasing composition:

Composition attempt #1

Composition attempt #2

Now that I know I like playing with the angle of the fence and the reflection in the martini, I use Hipstamatic to fine to the shot:

Option 1 and 2 use the Adler 9009 lens, which creates lovely washed out photos. I tried two different films: Salvador and Ina’s 1969, but they still look too light to me.

Final Shot: Option 3.  Libatique 73 burns the shadows in the photo more strongly, which I like, and Ina’s 1969 film keeps the colors in a pleasing range. The fence forms a strong lead-line down to the other beer bottles and the hanging flower pot. Overall, it just feels the most balanced (to me) and has the color contrast I was going for.

The final shot – lights and darks have great contrast, the fence gives a nice lead line, the martini shines against the shadows. All in all, I’m pleased!