Creating Cohesive ATCs with Gel Press Prints + Hero Arts Giveaway

Creating Cohesive ATCs with Gel Press Prints + Hero Arts Giveaway

Hey everybody! In this month’s Gel press
video I’m just going to walk you through the design process of creating a set of
coordinated artist trading cards. I’m starting with a few different
materials. This first one is just a box of Kleenex from Costco. I thought it had
a beautiful sort of watercolor look, and I have several Gel Press prints that I’m
going to use and that’s how I’m going to achieve the coordination that I’m going
to show you. I’m using this month’s Hero Arts my
monthly hero kit as well as some of the adorable add-ons, and I wanted to just
give you a feel for how I do this. So I find the background prints that I feel
like are cohesive. In this case I decided that what I wanted was a dominant
feeling of pink and orange – kind of warm colors,
and so I cut down the prints to two and a half by three and a half inches
and then the rest of my process is adding all of those elements together
across all of this set of trading cards that will unify them, so if I’m in a swap
everyone will get something similar but no two people will get the same thing, so
that’s what’s sort of fun about doing these swaps, and if you go over to my
blog post at the end of this video I talked a lot about the history of artist
trading cards and it’s really pretty fascinating. I did a little bit of
research and I’m glad I did because I learned some things that I didn’t know,
so head over there after you’re done. I have the winner for my seasons giving
blog hop prize which is more than $300 worth of stamps and dies and I also have
a Hero Arts $50 giveaway on my blog to celebrate this awesome new release.
What I talk about in the blog post too is that ATC’s are sort of like the adult
Valentine! They’re the right size, you give them to friends, and you get
some so it’s just like having that paper sack full of Valentine’s at your
elementary school, which i think is awesome. So after I have the focal points
set up, I’ve colored them, I’ve die cut them, then I’m going to add sentiments and
other elements to each card. Now on the Kleenex box,
I added matte medium at the beginning of the video that’s to make the ink adhere
just give it a little matte surface instead of that slick Kleenex box
surface, and I’m just adding stamp images that
sort of coordinate. I love the white spots on this one Gel Press print (I
actually think this video is on my channel) and it looked like the sun to me,
so I wanted to use a past Hero Arts kit with images that were appropriate for
that. The little coffee cup looks so cute on
the orange background. That’s why I went with green and you’ll see green in this
artist trading card as well. What I try to do is find complementary colors so a
nice bright green is a perfect foil to the orange and pink dominated Gel Press
prints that I’m using. This one is really fun because it has the bright red, the
orange, the yellow but it also has the green already in it. This print was very
hard for me to cut up because it’s one of my favorites but I decided just to be
brave – it’s a new year! I’m using the banner die in the
sentiment from the main kit as well as this beautiful little poppy looking
flower. The kit this month comes with a ton of floral dies and a cute little
envelope die but the floral dies are beautiful classic flowers, so I’m
coloring this with Daniel Smith watercolor,
and what I’m doing is picking up the colors from the actual Gel Press print.
So see how there’s a teal in the Gel Press print? I’m using that for the
foliage but there’s also a lime green so I’m going underneath the flower with
that same lime green. It is echoed in the coffee cup, the little bird etc so
you can sort of see where I’m going about these all having a theme.
Now the little postal cancellation mark has a heart in it that I’ve colored with
a white gel pen to make that stand out a bit – this is a little darker print and
I’m just trimming off the excess of the little pennant the dye comes in the kit
and then gluing that watercolored flower down.
Another thing that coheres them together is just a handheld punch and some gold
glitter paper. Each one of my artists trading cards will get these little DIY
embellishments and that’s another way that they are unified across the entire
set. There is a handheld punch in my supply
list that you’ll see it’s made by crop-a-dile which is one of my favorites.
My punch is old and retired the one that I’m using in the video so I thought I
would just link you to one that’s still available. Crop-a-dile makes great tools.
Again I’m adding white gel pen here – another cohesive element to the artist
trading cards – and I’m gluing down my little bear and coloring his nose black,
and then adding again the white gel pen on the little bee,
then I will finish it off with the gold glitter paper.
And here I’m using the Graphik porous point white pen that I just love, but
for some reason I kept priming this pen during the video I don’t know why I was
doing that, and so I got a couple of puddles of ink like right here,
so I just dab that up. The only thing that I found that was a problem with this and
normally isn’t, is that whatever kind of paint I used on this particular Gel
Press print is highly activated by water, so when I went to dab up the excess
white paint from my pen it actually pulled some of the paint up but it’s no
big deal. I’ve fixed it – I recovered! I don’t cut my
mistakes out, but don’t over prime your pen – that’s just asking for trouble – but
not anything fatal. Finally, the bird from the kit again. I
want that bright green in there to offset all the pink and the orange and I
will add a matching little pink/magenta-ish heart on the postal image. I cannot
get enough of postal images! I decided to edge this circle in these little glitter
paper dots, because it sort of looked like a little porthole that you were
looking at the bird through, and I thought that was cute, so I thought I’d
add some little faux hardware to sort of complete that look, and it’s
really cute! I can’t get enough at these little circles. I’m using both a 1/8 inch
circle punch – again I can’t find one of these – and then a quarter inch circle
punch which I have listed below. So here’s what this set looks like together,
and you can see how cohesive it is. Head over to my blog for my giveaways and
thanks so much for watching!


  • Andrea La Vigne says:

    I double-checked to make sure, but you can get 1/8" hole punches at both Hobby Lobby & Michael's. Both places they are the store brand. The Recollections one (Michael's) seemed to have better reviews. I got mine at Hobby Lobby, and it works great. Anyway, just thought I'd pass that along. I even have a 1/16" punch that I got at Hobby Lobby–again, works great. I love how your ATCs came out. It's interesting that you compared them with the Valentine's cards they make for schoolchildren. I never thought of them that way. In 2009, I had a solo show in Austin of several paintings I'd done of scenes in Yellowstone & Grand Tetons national parks. I also painted little works on ATC blanks I'd gotten, and had them for sale–at a much lower price point, of course. I might have sold one or 2 at that show, but no great demand. Sigh! I'm sure whoever gets your cards will treasure them. Thank you for sharing, & have a wonderful day! 🙂

  • Susan Fontaine says:

    Great video! Love ATC swaps!

  • Maria Nyce says:

    Wow, I love all the backgrounds and the colors are so fabulous! Going to go check out your blog about trading cards! Thank you so much for sharing these wonderful cards, your time & creativity!!! Here's to a healthy, blessed & happy 2020!!!

  • Lesley Taylor says:

    So inspired. Can’t wait to do my first ATC. Odd to do the research on these mini artworks!

  • Dorothy Ayotte says:

    Wow, what a wonderful demo! Can't wait to try. I never participated in swaps, but I have purchased some at garage sales! They are inspirational.

  • Pamela Sertich says:

    Well aren't you just more creative than usual Lydia! Love watching you create is so soothing.

  • Kelli Hull says:

    You are just AMAZING!!!!!

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