Once upon a time, a few months ago, I decided it would be an awesome idea to buy a deck of cards and transform it into a mini art journal.
I hurried over to the local Target and got my supplies all in line…
Deck of cards? Check. Hole punch? Check. Binder rings? Check.
The moment I got home I immediately punched little holes in all 52 cards plus the instruction / branding cards and put them together in a loosely-bound mini journal.
Then I set it on my shelf along with my other “future” blank art journals, thinking “one day…”
Actually, I was feeling the urge to use this mini journal a few days ago and finally decided to act upon it.
I really wanted to do a painting, but not a large one, and the mini art journal came to the rescue.
I’m enjoying this approach of working in small scale. It feels like I can complete something quicker this way – work out my urge to paint or do a quickie particular layout all in my limited time in this busy life I have at the moment.
This was pretty simple to do – most important was gessoing the surface. I’m pretty sure I will really need to gesso every surface for every future layout in this little guy, since, as you may know, playing cards have a slick, non-porous surface. For this particular layout I used Liquitex white gesso.
I’m not going to use white gesso on every single card (or “prep” them all ahead of time) since I think there may be a few times where I want the background art of the printed cards to play a role in whatever layout I decide to work on. If that happens to be the case, I’ll use clear gesso.
To note – one thing that did surprise me when I gessoed the first “page” in this journal was how floppy the card stock became. I really thought it was made of stiffer, heavier material, but it seems it isn’t. So just be aware of that characteristic popping up if you should choose to make one of these yourself.
That said, the rest of this particular layout was simple watercolor painting using a mix of my Winsor & Newton and Grumbacher Academy paints. I dried the surface several times, as well. One special note is I did mask out the area where the leaves were going to go first with masking fluid (or “liquid frisket”). I used some from a brand called Grafix. I need to remember my masking fluid more frequently. It really did create a nice clean area for me to paint the leaves after I finished up the background.
I started off with a wash of the blue paints, dabbed in yellow and orange here and there, dried it, layered on more color, dried it, repeat.
I’m thinking I may try another approach with the same layout in acrylics on the next page. Not sure yet, however.
Hope you enjoyed the layout. Leave a comment below or like the page and share with your friends. :) Thanks for reading!
List of materials:
Bicycle deck of playing cards
Liquitex white gesso
Grumbacher Academy watercolors
Winsor & Newton watercolors
Grafix liquid frisket