Wednesday, October 5, 2016

Bond, James Bond: From Russia With Love
This was for a James Bond tracker.  I am big fan of all things Bond so this was a no brainer.  Although i liked the image, the carve came out a little on the uneven side.  There were some shadows that could have been eliminated from the face but sometimes removing areas from one part may change the look in another.  So even though i was not happy with the outcome, i think it still is pretty close to Sean Connery.  The lettering was carved out from his jacket area and i just colored the area red after i stamped it.  This was a pretty much straightforward carve.  It could have been cleaner but for the swap, it still came out as a good card.  The card stock was a light grey color with black ink stamped on top.

Sunday, March 16, 2014

Movies Of A Different Color: Jackie Brown
This was for my annual movie themed swap that i host.  This year i decided on movies that contain a color in the title.  There was obviously so many choices but i settled on Jackie Brown because it was a movie i really enjoy by one of my favorite directors but also because the color brown was not one of the popular choices of colors picked.  I wanted to have a variety of colors in the swap so this seemed like a good choice.  I ended up doing an overlay card on top of the main one with a die cut and an embossed title.  I had found this interesting embossing powder that had a mixture of browns and golds.  It was like rusty copper or something like that.  I also had a bunch of this blue card stock that i wanted to use since printing on darker colors sometimes does not work as well so i thought embossing on it and using a die cut would work.  The main card i ended up putting together my own collage of images pieced together.  If you have seen the movie then all the images make sense but it was a challenge to piece them all together and get the right mix i wanted and to also have Jackie Brown show through under the die cut.  I think this card came out exactly as it looked in my head.  I wish some of the colors i used worked a little better but i think that it depended on what type of card stock i used for the main card and so even though i tried quite a few, i'm not necessarily pleased with the color palette.  But overall it did come out fairly well and was a nice addition to the swap.
We Didn't Start The Fire Round Three: The Bridge On The River Kwai
This is for round three of the WDSTF swap.  I again chose a movie themed card because i love movies and this is a classic film.  I tried to mix and match some items i found from different posters made in the past.  I really liked this collage and i ended up swapping out one of the characters for one of the more main ones.  It really came out the way i wanted although i would have liked the bottom portion of the bridge scene to be a little more clearer.  The people and surrounding scenery was a bit muddy and unclear.  I think if i would have had a better transfer then it might have really been better but the lettering came out well and the overall faces were pretty spot on so i was happy with that.  And then i added some red pastel chalk to give it some color and pop.  

Thursday, March 13, 2014

We Didn't Start The Fire Round Two: Peyton Place
This was for the WDSTF second round swap.  I picked Peyton Place because it was a movie and a book.  I thought this image was kind of haunting and striking.  I wanted to give a cold chilled feeling than one with a brighter outlook.  I knew the subject matter of the material was rather shocking and dour so I wanted to kind of isolate the colors to just the center and then surround the rest of the card with greys and blacks.  I was pleased with the carving of the two characters but the small town below them didn't come out as well as I had hoped.   There was a muddled look to it and it wasn't as detailed as I had hoped so it looked lost.  You could make out some trees and shapes but wondered if the look of a town came across as well as it could.

Saturday, November 23, 2013

Multi-Layered Stamp: 
Boy Wizard
This was for a Multi Layered swap.  When going through images to choose from, i had always wanted to do another Harry Potter card and once i saw this design i really wanted to attempt it.  This was a tricky one for me.  Unfortunately i didn't have a better plan to align two stamps and use the card stock as the third.  The Orange and Brown were the stamps and colors and the Mustard Yellow was the card stock. Getting all three to match up perfectly took some time and was not the correct way of doing it.  I think my initial transfers weren't lined up right.  So when i laid them down i had to vertically get them straight and then make sure the background color and shirt top were just overlapping, i really had to do some manipulating to get it somewhat straight.  I have had much better success doing layered stamps but this one didn't turn out as easy as i had hoped.  When it did work, the card came out fairly well.  Overall it wasn't a bad image.  It was just how it was executed that could have used some work.

Sunday, November 17, 2013

Big Bang Theory: Howard
This was for the Big Bang Theory tracker.  I chose Howard just because no one was picking his character and i wanted to make sure all the main players were added to this tracker.  Plus, Howard is such a funny character that it wasn't hard picking him.  This was a pretty much straight forward carve.  Other than a little bit of grey markers to highlight a couple areas, the rest was just black ink on a tan cardstock.  I was pleased with how this one turned out.  Trying to get a person's facial features correct is a challenge.  But overall this card turned out well i think.  
We Didn't Start The Fire Round One: Brando
This was for the WDSTF tracker which was created to commemorate the song by Billy Joel. There were a lot of choices to pick from but i chose Brando because of my love for movies and his coolness as an actor.  I tried to go with a simple approach but it could have been cleaned up a little better.  It was tough to make it interesting with such a stark black and white image especially since he was wearing a white shirt.  I chose to add a splash of color by making another stamp of his name.  I thought it would be good to identify the image with something.  I also added a little bit of grey tones in his skin with markers.

Monday, August 5, 2013

School Mascots: Demon Deacons of Wake Forest
This was for the School Mascots tracker.  This one was a quick carve.  I just always liked this mascot.  There were so many great ones to choose from but i wanted to do something simple and striking.  I ended up using markers on the skin tone and band.  I used a rounded edge for two corners and then left the other two alone.  I added a "W" and "F" from the letter set that i have.  This was stamped on an ivory card stock with a slight texture to it.  There wasn't much to this card but i thought it came out well.  Nothing too elaborate but it would be cool to see an entire stamp series devoted to just mascots.

Sunday, August 4, 2013

The Hobbit: Smaug the Dragon
This was for the Hobbit swap.  I had recently read the book when this tracker was released and knew the movie was coming out but it was a difficult task to choose what "item" I wanted to carve.  But knowing that Smaug is such an interesting character and villain, it was something that drew my interest.  I searched for a lot of drawings and interpretations of Smaug but settled on this one.  I was not thrilled with the decision to do a darker version of his lair for the background.  I thought of trying to do some thin line work and maybe just use a neutral color for the background and black ink but overall i was not pleased with how it turned out.  I liked his face but wished i had done something different with the overall card itself.  The red of his skin was done with marker.   

Sunday, July 28, 2013

The Golden Age of Hollywood: James Cagney
This was for the Golden Age of Hollywood tracker.  I love anything to do with film so this was an easy choice to sign up for but picking one icon was very difficult.  I had so many choices in mind but ultimately settled on James Cagney because of his place in cinema history.  This was a pretty simple carve of one color.  I used a grey card stock to keep with the black and white era which he was in.  I think it helped keep it from being too stark and overpowering if say i had chosen bright white stock.  The carve wasn't bad but could have been a little cleaner with the shadowing along his face.  But i do like the way his face turned out.  I put a bio about his life on the backing.  
Holy Grail, Monty! : The Holy Hand Grenade
This was for the Monty Python Holy Grail swap.  There were so many funny moments in this film that it was hard to decide what to carve.  I loved all the characters and had a few others in mind but i decided to go a little simpler this time.  I always thought the idea of a hand grenade that was blessed to be hilarious.  I used a brown ink to do all the outlines and lettering then i  filled in the grenade with a medium brown marker and a grey marker for the metal.  I used a darker brown pencil for the shading and a red pencil for the crystal.  I used a marble card stock for the background because i thought it was kind of older looking and invoked that regal type feeling to it.  I was pleased with how the lettering turned out.

Monday, July 22, 2013

Music Artists <3: The Black Keys
This was for the Music Artist tracker.  I picked the Black Keys not only because they are one of my all time favorite bands but because they are from my home state of Ohio.  It was pretty difficult to find a great image of both of them together that worked in the smaller context of an LTC.  I eventually got one after scouring hundreds of pictures.  I really wanted to do something just black and white with their name predominantly on  the front.  This was a pretty simple carve with some light shading used with pencil and marker on their hair and jacket.  The back of the card had some info about the band.

Monday, July 15, 2013

How I Met Your Mother:
Ted Mosby, Architect
This was for the HIMYM swap.  I chose this image because i wanted to do a main character and this episode was one of my favorites.  I thought of doing sort of a magazine cover for Architect Magazine and have Ted Mosby be the star.  There are actually two stamps.  The lettering and Ted.  They were pretty much straight forward.  The only thing i added was some colored pencil to the shirt and for his flesh tone.  I used a grey marker to shade his face and fill in his hair.  

Sunday, July 14, 2013

Movies By The Numbers:
United 93
I ended up adding another card to my tracker since a couple people dropped at the last minute.  I always thought this image was so striking and since the movie is so powerful and sad, that i thought I might never be able to do something like this again.  So I decided it was fitting since the movie did have a number in it and i wanted to do something to honor and respect the victims of this terrible tragedy.  I wished the transfer though had been a little better.  The lines weren't as clean as i had hoped but in the end it still turned out well.  I stamped the image in black on a powder blue card stock.  I used green marker to color in the Statue.  
Movies By The Numbers: 
3:10 to Yuma
This was for my second tracker that i hosted.  I had done a similar movie themed swap the year before for the Oscars and i thought i would do another since the first one went so well.  There were so many great choices to choose from and i narrowed it down to about five before finally settling on Yuma.  I just always loved western movies and the new version with Russell Crowe and Christian Bale was such a great remake that i ended up picking this title.  I love trying to do stylized poster renditions of my cards.  I want to make them either look like little posters or covers to books.   I ended up finding this great old textured paper and I used a roller edger to make it look like an old WANTED poster of that era.  Then i used a darker brown ink edging pad to do all the borders.  The title was a separate stamp.  I thought the line work wasn't too bad except that the train and the tracks could have been a little more thinner and cleaner but overall this was one of my favorites to do.
Downton Abbey: Mr. Carson
This was for the Downton Abbey tracker.  The funny thing about this swap was that i signed up for it because i heard it was a great series and it was getting a lot of buzz but i had not watched one single episode yet when i did this one.  I pretty much picked blindly among the characters based off of how many episodes they had done on the series.  I looked up the episode listings and found Mr. Carson was among one of the main characters so i chose him based off of that.  I ended up finding a great image on the web site and just went with it.  Months after sending it in, i finally watched the series and got hooked.  And looking back on it, i would have still chose Mr. Carson even after watching all the episodes up to this point.  I ended up adding a regal sort of corner punch to help make the card a little more interesting.  It was a simple b & w stamp with a little grey marker for some shading.
Marvel Universe Heroes:
Iron Fist/Danny Rand
This was for the Marvel Universe LTC tracker.  I have always loved comics and the Marvel Universe is my favorite publisher.  Choosing a superhero from this field was particularly difficult.  I decided to go with a little lesser known hero and go with Iron Fist only because i always liked the martial arts and mythical background of this character.  I thought i originally had a good transfer for this image but in the end, i was a little disappointed in the line work and some of the shaded areas.  I liked the color choices but i think it could have been cleaner and crisper with the carve.  This was a simple black inked image and then i used colored pencils and markers to fill in the rest.
Sherlock Holmes: 
A Game of Shadows
This card was for the Sherlock Holmes tracker.  There are so many variations and incarnations of Sherlock Holmes nowadays and one of my favorites was director Guy Ritchie's take on the sleuth.  I love Robert Downey Jr.'s portrayal and there were many images to choose from.  I was happy for the most part in how the face turned out but his vest and scarf underneath his coat was a bit of muddled mess.  There wasn't a good clear contrast in the transfer and it was hard to discern from the original image but it still came out fairly well.  I found this great paper which had all sorts of old writings and blotchiness to it.  Each card then had a unique look to it based on the area of cardstock i chose.  It's just black inked image with the paper coloring coming through underneath.

Sunday, March 31, 2013

LTC Book Club - Graphic Novels: The Dark Knight Rises
This card was for a Graphic Novel swap.  I have always been a fan of graphic novels as well as just a general all around fan of comics.  So when this one came up, I had to pick from one of my favorite graphic novels of all time - The Dark Knight Rises.  I have been such a fan of Frank Miller's work since I was a teenager and the iconic image from the first issue of this series was so cool.  There wasn't much to the carve itself however trying to get the lightening correct was a bit of a challenge.  Originally I was just going to stamp the bolt with a separate stamo but the white just didn't come out right on the darker blue card stock and i wanted a brighter white.  So in the end i just used a white colored pencil to draw in the lightening.  I had a template to try and get it just right to how it looked on the cover.  
Game of Thrones: Tyrion Lannister
This card is from the Game of Thrones tracker I joined.  Both my wife and I are huge fans of the T.V. series and she has read the books as well so it was fun to host a tracker honoring the second season of this fantasy drama.  I love the character of Tyrion Lannister so I immediately gravitated to him as my image.  Unfortunately, we are all our own worst critics and I don't think this one came out as well as I had hoped.  I know if i was to do this again, it would have come out much better than it did.  I was trying something different with the card stock and going with a more old ancient weathered look.  The coloring I did with Prismacolor markers.  The only thing i did enjoy with this card was the way it was presented.  I had found some small brown envelopes and also found a lion wax seal online.  I ended up enclosing the card in the envelopes with this seal on the back and i also carved the Lannister family sigil on the front of the envelope.  So overall it was a fun piece.  I just wish the carve turned out a little bit better.