Sticks and Stones—that was an interesting prompt for our April heARTist Trading ATC exchange. http://heartisttradingcards.blogspot.com/ I really had to put on my thinking cap. I googled internet images for all kinds of things made of stick or stone, mulling over crystals, all kinds of wooden items and even puttered with photos of the bands Styx and the Rolling Stones.
Then I remembered an old textile design I had painted with gouache on oatmeal paper. It had hunters and cattle, and was done in a style reminiscent of ancient cave drawings. I googled more images and reignited my love of cave paintings, so I decided to use the old design as my starting point.
I covered watercolor paper with recycled tea bags, and then printed ATC sized images from my inkjet printer onto the 8.5x11 paper. The texture was pretty good, but the tea bags absorbed a lot of color making the image less distinct and the color more muted. So, I punched it up by using one of my hand-carved stamps with Tim Holtz distress ink in olive and sepia. Better, but not great.
Next, I pounced gold acrylic onto them randomly with a round, flat top stenciling paintbrush, which helped give it some magic and mystery. It was still a little blah, so I tried adding color with markers, mostly because I was too lazy to pull out my paint! The markers absorbed into the teabag in some places, but not in others. I added some dark brown Portfolio water soluble oil pastels, and then finished the cards with white Portfolio water soluble oil pastel to make the colors pop as well as add depth and contrast. The sides were dipped in gold acrylic paint.
For comparison, here is the fabric I output from my inkjet printer directly onto cotton that shows the color and texture of the original design.