Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Making note cards from your art -Part 2

There are different ways to go about making note cards from your artwork. You could order them from an online service, where you send them your digital image(s), design the cards online, and receive your cards in the mail. You could also have them made at a local print shop, or you could make them at home. After doing quite a bit of research and weighing my options (and prices!), I decided to make mine at home. I knew I was in it for the long haul and that making an investment in the beginning would save money in the end. Plus I never have to worry about minimum orders or other hassles of dealing with another company.

The printer I had at the time was not up to the job, so I purchased a new one. There are many suitable choices in printers, but I eventually decided on a nice home inkjet printer: an HP Officjet Pro 8500. It is a multipurpose printer, which means I can also use it to scan, copy, and fax. I find these additional functions very useful.

The next decision to be made was what kind of paper to use. I have experimented with several choices, and my personal favorite, and type usually use is a glossy white cover stock in standard 8.5 x 11 inches. I find that the glossy paper gives a more professional look, and the cover stock is nice and heavy. Another thing to consider is whether you will buy paper that is pre-perforated and scored for card making, or if you will cut and fold your own. If you choose to do your own, as I have, you will need a paper cutter ( you won't get professional results with scissors!) and a bone-type paper scorer/folder. (Available online or at most craft stores) You can shop around at your local paper suppliers, and there are tons of online suppliers, as well. A couple of online paper sources with large selections are paperworks.com and thepapermillstore.com. (These are suggestions based on my own research, and I am not being paid to name them!) I have ordered from paperworks.com several times before and was pleased with the service and product.

Once you've decided your printing method(s) and paper choice(s), you are ready to move on to the fun part: designing your notecards! More on that in Making note cards from your art- Part 3.

See more cards on my website.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Making note cards from your art -Part 1

Something that many artists decide to do is to make note cards from their artwork. I decided to do so because I wanted to offer a very low-cost way for people to be able to purchase my artwork, when something larger or more expensive is not in their budget. Also, people always need note cards to send as thank you notes, sympathy notes, etc. and it's a good way to "get yourself out there" in quantity. After the customers purchase the cards, they send them out to people, which is almost like free advertising for you, (if you're smart and put something about yourself on the back of the card)!
If you decide to make note cards from your art, there are many choices along the way! I will continue the discussion in Making note cards from your art-Part 2!

See more cards on my website

Monday, November 9, 2009

Keeping a Sketchbook

One of the best decisions I have ever made as an artist is to buy a sketchbook small enough to fit in my purse, and start carrying it with me. Whenever I find myself waiting somewhere with nothing to do, I sketch whatever I can see.

This same advise can be found in many books, but I had to read it a number of times before I finally purchased a small sketchbook of my own. You should shop around to find a sketchbook that suits your needs. My choice is a Handbook, sized 5 1/2" x 8 1/4". It has a strap that keeps the cover closed, to which I can attach a mechanical pencil and a couple of pens. It also has a nice weight of paper, with a little tooth to it. It is perfect for pencil or ink sketches, and also handles light watercolor washes just fine. You can probably purchase a similar one at your favorite art retailer. I got mine from Cheap Joe's Art Stuff. (The best place I know of! CheapJoes.com)

What do I draw in my sketchbook? The answer is, anything! I draw the objects on the table at restaurants, or the view outside the window, perhaps. However, my favorite thing to sketch is the people around me. Sketching people in my sketchbook has improved my portraiture skills dramatically. Drawing in my sketchbook is different than drawing anywhere else. It's just for me. There's no pressure to "not mess it up", because I don't have to ever show it to anyone if I don't want to. Also, the people I'm drawing usually don't know that I'm drawing them, and may move at any time! This causes me to draw more quickly. I don't waste a ton of time thinking about it; I just do it, and therefore get a lot more practice because I'm not spending so long on one little sketch, just trying not to "screw it up"!

Whatever you draw in your personal sketchbook, the most important thing is to remember that it's just for you. Use it to your advantage to practice your drawing skills, and pass the time, too!

A recent drawing from my sketchbook, my grandfather, Frank, while we were waiting at the doctor's office for his appointment.

Sunday, November 8, 2009

My first blog

Welcome to my blog. I have never created a blog before, so this is a new experience for me. The purpose of this blog will be to discuss art, in different forms. I will post and discuss my own art, including works in progress, sketches from my private sketchbook, and finished works of art. I also hope to include instructive content and discussions of art-related topics. I'll try to keep it interesting, informative, and hopefully entertaining.

To start with I'll introduce myself. My name is Laura. I'm an artist in North Carolina. I love North Carolina because it has the beautiful Appalachian and Great Smokey mountains to the west and the Atlantic Ocean to the east. I live in the middle of the state, in the hilly Piedmont region, with my husband and son. We also have a dog, 2 cats, and 3 chickens.

I love the outdoors, and especially water. My watercolor paintings reflect the fact that I love the outdoors. I paint mostly landscapes, but I also enjoy portraiture, flowers, and still life. In addition to my watercolors, I also do a great deal of decorative painting. I use acrylic paints to decorate a wide variety of gift items, such as birdhouses, signs, and small furniture. I also make greeting cards and note cards and do custom picture framing.

I hope you enjoy the blog. I welcome comments or suggestions. You can comment to the here, or email me at lauraposs@yahoo.com. You can also visit my website at lauraposs.com