Sunday, September 25, 2011

One Step Closer

I've been busy this weekend. After throwing myself a pity party for not having enough stuff done, I worked my butt off the past two days. Cover art is complete, I finished editing all 172 pages of Walk the Red Road (revisions still need to be made to the actual document), and I made my posters for the festival this coming weekend.

I love art--painting, drawing, you name it. With work and writing I haven't had time to paint much of anything lately, so I was very excited to sit down and make some posters. They started off like this (the box is full of acrylic paints and brushes):

And turned into this:

You just have to have a book now! I'll be selling Beyond the Western Sun at a discounted price of $10, as well as my second novel, The Iron Fist: Legacy of the Helping Hands simply because I have extras and want to get rid of them. I'm hoping to really play up the 'local author' aspect, as Family Days is in the town where I grew up, and I graduated high school there. As I mentioned before, I also have participated in the Streetpainting Festival there for the past 11 years so hopefully I can drive traffic to my booth by getting my artist friends to spread the word. I still need to make some business cards, and my super awesome aunt is going to make copies of an article I was in to hand out, since it features my book and website info.

In case you're interested, I figured I'd share some art tips. I don't normally work with acrylics since I prefer oils, but oils take like 50 years to dry and I don't have that kind of time. So, cheap acrylics it is! I used regular poster board from Michaels and their small bottles of paints (mine are probably 5 or more years old, so I can't be entirely sure I got the paint from Michaels, though I just bought the boards the other day). I used these for the "$10 Each" lettering:

Honestly, I don't recommend them. They are super hard to work with because you have to peel everything off separately, and because the paper is so thin they curl and are almost impossible to glue down. I think I ripped every other letter/number. If you have a kid's science project or something not all that important then these are a great solution, but for making posters with paint you'd need something stronger since glue doesn't stuck to acrylics (I had to paint these down).

For the lettering, I used a variety of brushes. This is the main one:

Because it's angled, I get a better line and can make the swirly designs I'm so fond of.

For the blended backgrounds (both the brown/white and red/black, I used a sponge brush:

It's pretty simple. Just put the two colors you are using side-by-side, then dip the brush in, making sure each side is coated in the separate colors. Then paint in a side-to-side motion on the poster board. For the black-and-red board, I let it dry a bit then went over it lightly with red to give it a rougher, more unique pattern compared to the blended look of the brown and white.

So, that was my work for today! I didn't use anything for the lettering and got lucky that the words were straight. That doesn't usually happen. Maybe being a lefty helps, since you have to be more careful about where you place your hand to avoid smearing. Or not, I don't really know. I just want to find ONE THING that lefties have that we can lord over you right-handed folk.

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