- Seal the Wood
First apply wood sealer to your wood. We recommend Jo Sonja's All Purpose Sealer. Lightly sand your wood if needed. Then use a large flat brush to apply the sealer evenly over the entire surface (front & back). Let dry, sand and wipe clean. We have several wood choices available HERE >
- Choice of Glue
When gluing artwork, it is best to use an acid free/neutral ph glue. PVA glue fits this criteria and works great! This strong permanent adhesive dries clear and remains flexible. Perfect for artists! We carry both 4oz and 8.8oz choices of PVA glue HERE >
- Preparation of Artwork
Make sure your artwork is completely dry and is set and ready to glue (your paper should be set with barrier coat of either a fixative spray or Jo Sonja's Fast Drying Glaze Medium). It should also be free of any embellishments like rhinestones, buttons or other added items. If adding embellishments, add them after your piece has been glued to the wood. The size of your artwork should be the same size or slightly larger than the wood surface you'll be gluing it to.
Use an old credit card to spread an ample amount of glue over the surface of the wood (it should be enough to spread over the surface but not so much that would cause a lot of oozing when the paper is adhered). Completely cover the wood area to be glued. Place your artwork over the glued area and position it where you want it. Place a piece of wax paper over your artwork and press your artwork in place. Firmly roll over your artwork with a brayer to to remove any air bubbles and smooth out the surface.
- Cleaning up
Use a cotton swab damp with clean water to remove any glue that might have oozed out the edges. Make sure the artwork is free of glue and the edges have been cleaned well.
- The Weight
Place heavy books over your glued piece and let it set overnight. Make sure the weight is larger than your artwork. You can place a clean piece of plastic wrap over your artwork as a barrier to protect it while it sets. When you check it the next day, if your artwork feels cold or moist, you'll need to let it continue setting until the moisture of the glue has completely dried.
- Sanding Edges
Once your artwork has been glued to the wood and is nice and dry, you'll need to sand off any paper hanging over the edges of the wood. Use sand paper or a sanding pad to carefully sand off and smooth the edges. You can find Edge Sanders HERE >
Now that your artwork is nicely adhered to the wood, you can finish your piece as a whole. It is important to paint and finish all sides of the wood because the wood could warp otherwise. Choose a color that matches your artwork and basecoat the sides and back of the wood with a large brush. Now completely varnish your piece (all sides) with several coats of varnish. (Before applying varnish over the top of your artwork, make sure you have a barrier coat of fixative or Jo Sonja's Fast Drying Glaze Medium previously mentioned in "Preparation of Artwork" step.) Let each coat of varnish dry before adding another. Then glue any added embellishments (rhinestones, buttons etc) to your artwork with tacky glue or hot glue.
8 Gluing Tips for Artists
1) Weed Out
Go through your art book and magazine collection one-by-one and weed out what you don't need anymore and can give away. You could have duplicates or your style has changed. Either way, it's important to clean out what you don't need.
2) Mobile App Help
Use a mobile app to catalog your collection. There are a variety of cataloging apps available (Library Thing, Libib, Book Buddy etc).
3) Within Reach
Display your collection where you can get to them easy, preferably on shelving near your painting/art area.
4) Currently Using
Put the few of your favorite books and magazines, that you are currently reading, in a separate area where you can clearly see them and reach them comfortably.
There are a variety of ways to organize your collection. You can arrange them alphabetically - by title, author, subject, or even by color.
6) Display Options
You can group your collection in magazine holders, notebooks, and just vertically on a shelf using book ends if needed.
A great way to preserve your collection is to cover your favorites with clear book jackets. This can be especially helpful in keeping your books and magazines nice when painting around them <wink!> or when loaning them out. Also, keep your magazines & books dusted and out of direct sunlight which can be very damaging.
8) Quiet Enjoyment
Find a quiet place to sit and take time to enjoy your lovely collection. Use book marks or sticky notes to keep track of your favorite projects and articles.
Happy Collecting & Organizing! Ta Ta for now! ♥ ~ Erika Joanne
Sharpening colored pencils is actually one of the most challenging things about using them. Once you understand the basic principles of sharpening and have a few skills in your pocket, you're off and running!
1) Know What They're Made of
You can lengthen the life and better care for your colored pencils by knowing what they're made of. The Prismacolor Premier Colored Pencils have a soft waxy core that is surrounded by a wood casing. Although the wood casing is hard, the soft waxy core is vulnerable to breakage and can be surprisingly fragile. It's very important to be gentle in the handling of your pencils since the core can break on the inside of the wood casing and cause all kinds of frustration when sharpening. With that said, there are huge benefits from working with a soft waxy core - albeit fragile. The highly pigmented soft core with superior blend-ability gives you a smooth lay down of color without much effort.
2) Starting the Point
Prismacolor now sharpens their pencils so they come to you pre-sharpened straight from the factory. This is very handy since one of the toughest things about sharpening is starting the point. There are still some un-sharpened pencils floating around out there so here are few good tips if you run across any. I've found you can reduce breakage in your pencils, that haven't been sharpened yet, by sharpening them as soon as you purchase them. Create the point with a gentle and smooth electric or battery operated pencil sharpener. This will get you off to a good start in sharpening. Then you can maintain the point using a hand-held sharpener. Try and avoid long periods of sharpening by doing your best at keeping a nice point on your pencils. This is done with shorter stints of sharpening which equals less pressure on your pencils.
3) The Art of Hand-held Sharpening
Always keep in mind that extra pressure on your lead can cause breakage. The way you hold the pencil when sharpening can literally make a good point or break it. If the pencil leans a bit while sharpening or if you push the pencil too hard into the sharpener, you can break it. Holding the pencil straight into the sharpener with steady gentle pressure is ideal. A trick that can be used is to switch up the way you would normally hold your pencil while sharpening. Instead of turning the pencil into the sharpener, change it up and hold the pencil in your opposite hand and turn the sharpener with the other.
4) Don't be a Dull Sharpener
The metal blade in your sharpener can start out sharp but then over time and use, become dull. The wax from your colored pencils is especially hard on a sharpener. Have you experienced short pencil shavings or the ripping and tearing of your pencil while sharpening? Most likely the blade in your sharpener is dull and it's time to replace it OR the sharpener. Some pencil sharpeners have replacement blades available. You can also look closely at your blade, it could be that the small screw needs tightening. However, when you consider how much you use your sharpener, It might be time to bring in a new one with a new blade. To lengthen the use of your sharpener, always keep a no. 2 pencil in your tool kit. The graphite actually conditions the metal blade, so sharpen it often to clean off the waxy build-up and bring longer life to your sharpener.
5) A Lead Stuck
If your pencil lead breaks while inside the sharpener, you can gently remove the pesky broken piece with the tip of a graphite pencil. If it just won't come out, you can sharpen the same graphite pencil (which has a harder lead) through the colored pencil lead. Be SUPER careful though, you don't want to push too hard and ruin the balance of your sharpener. No one wants a wonky sharpener.
6) The Sanding Block
The sanding block can be used as an alternative to using a traditional sharpener. It is basically fine sandpaper sheets stapled to a small wooden paddle. To sharpen your pencil, gently rotate it across the sandpaper as you shape it to a point. It gives you total control over the shaping of your pencil, although it does require a bit of work. Once the sandpaper is full of wax, just discard the top piece revealing a new fresh piece of sandpaper underneath. Having a sanding paddle in your tool kit is not a bad idea, they are especially convenient for travel.
7) The Long Vs. Short Point
There are many varieties of sharpeners available and you'll notice that not all sharpeners are alike. Some sharpen your pencil to a long tapered point while others sharpen them to a short stubby point. Then there are sharpeners that have several point styles built in. The general opinion is that since the Prismacolor leads are fragile the short stubby point is a better choice when sharpening. Going against the grain... I've actually found that I enjoy working with a long tapered point and don't have too much of a problem with breakage. So the long and short of it is, you'll have
to experiment with this to see what point style works best for you.
8) A Tip Saved = Happy Penciling!
Have you found yourself happily penciling along only to have your beautiful lead tip drop right out of your pencil? A quick solution is to glue the tip back into your pencil with a drop of nail glue or super glue. Hold it together for a few seconds till it hardens and then you can resume your happy penciling. Keep in mind that when it comes time to sharpen your pencil again, you'll need to sharpen through the glued section since that area of the pencil won't produce color.
9) Warm Solutions for Broken Lead
There are rumors out there that heating your pencils in a microwave can melt the broken core together. My advice is, "Don't do it!" Last time I tried this the metallic lettering caught on fire leaving a burn spot inside my microwave! Luckily that's all the damage it caused. It is true that heat can soften the wax and actually "weld" the broken core inside. A safer solution is to set your pencils in a warm, sunny spot for a few minutes. Try placing them inside a warm car or on a windowsill on a sunny day. If you don't have a sunny day to work with (often my challenge living in WA state) an alternative is to set your pencils on a heating pad for a few minutes.
10) Getting More Mileage
There are a few things you can do to get more mileage from your pencils. If your pencil is getting short, you can pop it into a pencil extender which creates additional length so you can get the last bit of use from it. Another way to add length to a short pencil is to tape the end of your pencil to the end of another pencil (blunt ends together). Also, while using your colored pencil, be conscious of the tip and rotate your pencil every few strokes. Using this motion is a great way to keep a point on your pencil reducing the amount of sharpening needed. Lastly, make sure to store and organize your pencils in a nice case or other storage option so you can protect them and get to them easily. You can avoid duplication when you know what you already have.
Here's to Happy Sharpening!!! Till next time ♥ ~ Erika Joanne
Quite frankly I didn't know what a fraktur (frahk-toor) was until I stumbled upon photos of them eight years ago in my reading about early American folk art.
The need to explore this type of art quickly became a craving that launched me into a whirlwind of research. I was blissfully charmed away into the Fraktur world you could say, as I became aware of this unique and primitive art form.
In my studies I learned that the word "Fraktur" means broken or fragmented. It is a gothic style of "broken" decorative calligraphy that was used to record and preserve history. It can be found on early American documents such as birth, baptism and marriage certificates.
In addition to the elaborate lettering, these documents also included hand-painted decorative artwork. Whimsical Birds, flowers, hearts, angels, and historical figures (popular for the day) were painted with reds, blues, greens and yellows in a watercolor effect.
Introduced to the new world by the Pennsylvania Germans, the "Fraktur" represented a unique and lively expression of early American folk art.
These charming folk art fraktur’s were mostly created between the years of 1740 and 1860, but continued into the 1930’s. Today, Fraktur’s are highly sought after as an interesting look into the essence of early American religious culture.
After scouring through articles and books on Frakturs, devoring anything I could on the subject, I had the opportunity to visit Williamsburg, VA....
This is where I saw Frakturs for the first time - up close and personal! I was enchanted to say the least.
During my visit, the museum even had a little Fraktur art project to try. They must've known I was going to be there! Without hesitation I sat down among the rest of the youngsters and colored to my hearts content with the best of them.
Yep, I admit it, I had become a Fraktur ART NERD for sure!
Inspired and ready to try my hand at this new found love, I created my first Fraktur pattern packet called "Fraktur Fancy".
Next came "Fraktur Earth", "Hummingbird Fraktur", "Unicorn Fraktur", "Bee Fraktur", "Vintage Blooms", "Summer Blossoms" and 'Nantucket Natty".
The creation of each art piece has been such an adventure! I love creating scrolling effects with the twists and turns of the various elements. Most commonly working on watercolor paper, I like to build the colors with a series of painted washes and colored pencil layers.
There is yet more to come - so be watching... My love of the Fraktur continues to grow and expand in my heart. ♥
The patterns mentioned are available for purchase. Just click on the links above.
I'm Erika Joanne, an artist who enjoys sharing innovative ways to paint & create. Paint and learn with me though my pattern packets, videos & workshops. Enjoy!
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