Sunday, July 28, 2013

Zetti Turn of the Century Bathers Paper Dolls

For the Roses On My Table Paper Doll art group’s July challenge, the theme was Zetti, which was right up my alley. But wait—the twist was that it had to be a couple in turn-of-the-20th century bathing costumes. That threw me a bit of a curve ball. So, I researched turn of the century fashions and old postcards from the seashore to get an idea of the clothing style, and then started rummaging through scrap boxes madly for the right elements.

Usually I gravitate to female dolls, but this time I started with the man. I used a face from a Graphics Fairy   image called PartyPeople, altered the top of his head in Photoshop, and added color. A moustache seemed very 1900s, and I couldn’t resist some faux tattoos (from one of my fabric designs) on his skin. The female doll also uses a Graphics Fairy face, this one called the ArtNouveauLady; I added color with watercolor pencils and markers. The end result for the male bather is rather Freddie Mercury meets James from the 1970s version of Upstairs Downstairs.

Both dolls use paper printed with my original textile designs, “skin” made of teabags stamped with assorted commercial and hand-carved stamps using white printmaking paint, wild-west style words stamped on with Distress Ink, and some harlequin b/w patterns from Adobe Illustrator. The butterfly accents are also from Graphics Fairy images.

Thursday, July 11, 2013

Vintage Typography

Typography is one of my favorite themes, so I don’t know why it took me weeks to decide on what to do for my heARTist Trading ATCs. There were so many directions within typography that I tried three or four approaches, but nothing was really working. 

My family has been watching the old 1970s PBS show “Upstairs, Downstairs”, so I wanted to do something with the Art Nouveau style. I puttered for hours with Nouveau-inspired fonts and played with letters, words, and fabric designs in Photoshop and Adobe Illustrator without too much success. Next, inspired by the work of artist Lisa Occhipinti, I used portions of the swoop of a Q, Z and M Art Nouveau backgrounds, an antique beach, and my own designs—without success.

So, I went back to my old favorite—vintage advertising, and layered Graphics Fairy and other antique images in Photoshop to create this month’s ATCs. I tried about 50 different ideas, and printed the five styles I liked best. I surrounded a Pears Soap ad with text about cleanliness and beauty in an old west-inspired font. The Monaco-Monte-Carlo card was the only one in an Art Nouveau style; I layered a Mucha poster on one of my own designs. The beehive/rose, bird in an envelope and French advertising all multiple vintage images that were layered and softened in Photoshop.