Sunday, August 22, 2010

The Tie-Dyed Effect - Fun Backgrounds for ATC's

A few weeks ago I was in Boone, NC at a funky bead shop where I spotted this great tie-dyed skirt on a rack for sale.  I could not resist it, especially since it was not your typical swirled dye job but a very artistic rendition of that art form. 

 I purchased this skirt at The Bead Box in Boone, NC
The artist is from Winston-Salem, NC - Julie Hardy of

Then this morning I was doing some Internet browsing and came across these very cool pictures of tie-dyed flowers.  The Dutch have created a whole new floral market with their rainbow flowers and I thing they are fabulously fun.  I have to admit I'd love to get a batch of these myself.

Rainbow Roses or Happy Roses
(these are not digitally enhanced but actual roses that are dyed using a special 
process of splitting each stem and allowing each split to absorb a different color 
of dyed water to produce one rose with multiple colors.)

This got me to thinking about my artwork and that I do like to make a lot of backgrounds that have a tie-dyed effect to them.  I achieve this look in a variety of ways but the outcomes are very similar...swirls and mottled groupings in a rainbow of colors.

One of my favorite background choices is the "Polished Stone" effect where I either use sharpie pens on game tiles or re-inkers on glossy cardstock to create a mottled mix of colors that is reminiscent of tie-dye.

A few items I created using Sharpie Pens:

Rainbow Kittie - Domino Pendant
Rubber Stamp is by PSX

Key chain Art using laminate samples
Rubber Stamps are by Lost Coast Rubber

Bookmarks using laminate samples
Rubber Stamps are by 100 Proof Press

I like mixed color backgrounds and most of the decorative paper I buy conforms to this format. When I can't find a decorative paper I like, I often create my own in a variety of ways.  Here are a few ways I create my own fun decorative backgrounds using what I call "blanks".  Blanks are black and white patterns or designs I have created and stored on my computer to become the base layer to which I will later add a mix of colors to get a fun rainbow background.  

The below are examples I created today which 
I will eventually use as ATC backers.
ATC's are Artist Trading Cards for those who are new to this format. they are miniature works of art that are 2.5 x 3.5 inches and stored, traded and collected by artists and crafters.

The great thing about having a digital "blank" pattern is that you can print it on transparency film and then use spray adhesive to attach it to a fun colored background.

Top background -  Created using black glossy cardstock and Faskolor paints.
Bottom background - A polished stone background on white glossy cardstock.

These ATC backers combine two of my favorite elements: 
Tie-dye & Animal Prints. 

The First ATC backer is the polished stone background.
The Second ATC backer is the Faskolor painted background.
(The Faskolor paint I used is pearlescent so in person this ATC looks metallic).

I printed these "blanks" onto watercolor paper using my laser printer.

These are the ATC backgrounds I created from them.

Watercolor Backgrounds
ATC 1 - I used watercolor pencils.
ATC 2 - I used Twinkling H2O watercolors.
ATC 3 - I used only the left over paint already on the paint brushes from ATC 2.

(Layering seems to give backgrounds more depth so once these 
were dry; I sprayed on various colors of Glitz Spritz 
from Lindy's Stamp Gang on each card. In person they shimmer.)

 This is what the middle card looked like after I applied the color 
to the card; but before I spritzed it with water to swirl the colors a bit 
and before the application of the Glitz Spritz.

Decorative Chalk & Pastel Pencil Backgrounds
The Top 2 ATC Backers were done by sponging on decorative chalk.
The bottom 2 were done by coloring the outlines with pastel pencils 
then using a tissue to swirl the colors around.

This is what the bottom two looked like before I used the tissue.

Grins and Giggles,
 Evelyn (EKDuncan)

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