Sunday, July 27, 2014

Printmaking Unleashed: Catch up #1!

Hello creative visionaries!!

If you've been following me on my Facebook Art page, you've noticed that I posted days 15-21 (with the exception of days 4 & 16) without links to the corresponding blog posts.

Why have I done that?!
Well, the answer is simple: because I thought I was gonna have some time to write a nice, juicy blog post for each prompt...however, I received some GREAT news concerning my art biz and haven't been able to stay on track, as planned. (Details about the exciting news will be shared in another post, so stay tuned, OK?)

So, today, I will give you a synopsis of the creative prompts, along a short description. Nothing in-depth like the previous ones, but still something to keep your interest.

I hope you enjoy what I've created! Let me know what you think, down in the comment box.

***** I've included a complete list of all the Printmaking Unleashed prompts that I've completed, at the end of this post. *****

By the way, there's still time to follow along, if you wish :)

Off we go!
Day 15 of 31: Black & white art

This is an actual print I created during my undergraduate studies as a printmaker.

I absolutely fell in love with this particular printmaking process! It was very therapeutic for me because the process is sooo repetitive and demanded my full attention. The technique used here is called a "hardground intaglio etching". (The word intaglio is pronounced as 'in-tally-oh')
Martice Smith II; "Lyrical Dawn" (Intaglio hardground etching); featured on Day 15 of Printmaking Unleashed
Intaglio hardground etching, titled "Lyrical Dawn"
You probably would have never thought that "Lyrical Dawn" came from a place of mental anguish and pain, within me.

Not too long before I created this, my Grand Mama V had made her transition into Heaven. I have healed from this, only by the grace of God. He truly is a Comforter for those who are comfortless...

To make a long story short, the concept behind this is about being entrapped, with the only means to escape being in journey of forgiveness and trusting in God.

Day 16: Stencil Print 
Martice Smith II; Day 16 of 31 (Printmaking Unleashed)
I created this postcard for a tutorial called "Packing Tape Postcard". The flower stencil is from Artistcellar's new Pocket Stencils. Isn't it pretty?

Day 17: Free Motion Stitch
Martice Smith II; Day 17 of 31 (Printmaking Unleashed): Free Motion Stitch
::"Dreaming":: Breathing new life into a pile of baby wipes I used to wipe up paint. Watercolor, acrylic paint, cardboard and machine stitching.
Martice Smith II; Day 17 of 31 (Printmaking Unleashed): Free Motion Stitch; detail
close up of cloud and thread. You can also see hand-drawn stars (blue marker)

Martice Smith II; Day 17 of 31 (Printmaking Unleashed): Free Motion Stitch; detail
This is what the back looks like! I thought it looked very interesting with its natural earth tone colors. Looks completely different that the front, don't you think?

Martice Smith II; Day 17 of 31 (Printmaking Unleashed): Free Motion Stitch; detail

Day 18: Acrylic Skin
Martice Smith II; Day 18 of 31 (Printmaking Unleashed): Acrylic Skin
I applied some pink and white acrylic paints onto a plastic sheet and smooshed them together, let dry and peeled them off. I LOVE the marbled look and the unevenness of the texture!

Day 19: Collage  
Using a variety of my handmade stamps, I played around with patterns and complementary color schemes. 
Martice Smith II; Day 19 of 31 (Printmaking Unleashed): Collage
a collage of vintage and notebook  papers, stamped with unique designs. A leaf shape, ornamental shape inspired by Moroccan textiles, arrows, plants and my graffiti script, all combined to create a visual feast of pattern, color and texture!

Day 20: Foam Stamp
Martice Smith II; Day 20 of 31 (Printmaking Unleashed): Foam Stamp collection
a collection of my new foam stamps; fun, fun, fun! Less time consuming to create these compared to carving the rubber block ones.

*** Here's a complete list of my completed Printmaking Unleashed prompts ***

Day 1: Found Printing Tools
Day 2: Monoprint
Day 3: Hot Glue Stencil
Day 4: Cardboard Stamp...coming soon!
Day 5: Flower Print
Day 6: Carved Stamp

Day 7: Color Palette
Day 8: Studio Table
Day 9: Art Journal
Day 10: Brayer
Day 11: Pattern

Day 12: Collagraph
Day 13: Doodle
Day 14: Printing Plate...coming soon!

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

TUTORIAL ::Chevron Stamp::

Hi everyone! Here's a really simple tutorial on how I created my large chevron stamp.

Just a heads up: This one took a good 30 minutes to carve. Make sure you have time to do this - you will not want to rush doing this project!

TUTORIAL:: Chevron Stamp by Martice Smith II

Here's what you'll need: 
Linoleum (or any soft rubber material)
Linoleum cutting tools
Metal ruler
Utility Knife
Pen / Pencil
Self-healing cutting mat

TUTORIAL:: Chevron Stamp supplies by Martice Smith II

STEP 1:: Cut rubber block to your desired size.
For my large chevron stamp, I cut an 8 inch by 3 1/4 inch rectangle.

STEP 2:: Using a metal ruler and pencil / pen, determine the angle.
Draw a line down the center of block.
Next, draw perpendicular lines (the horizontal ones).
(My lines are 1 inch spaced apart.)

TIP: The further apart the lines are, the steeper the chevron angle.

TUTORIAL:: Chevron Stamp by Martice Smith II

STEP 3:: Use your metal ruler to connect the outside corners on each side of the block to the center, vertical line. These lines will form the letter "V".

STEP 4:: Roughly color in which parts of the stamp image WILL NOT be cut away.
(Do you like your image so far? If yes, you're ready to cut! If no, go ahead and tweak it until you like it.)

TUTORIAL:: Chevron Stamp by Martice Smith II

STEP 5:: Start cutting!
Using your linoleum cutters, trim away everything that isn't colored in.
TIP: use the metal ruler as a guide to help you cut super straight lines

TUTORIAL:: Chevron Stamp by Martice Smith II

STEP 6:: Test printing
Roll out some ink and do a test print of your stamp.

TUTORIAL:: Chevron Stamp by Martice Smith II

TUTORIAL:: Chevron Stamp by Martice Smith II
Look how straight those lines are! All thanks to my trusty metal ruler... :)

~~ Below, is an example of how I used an 
alternating chevron pattern to 
create a unique postcard ~~
TUTORIAL:: Chevron Stamp by Martice Smith II
This postcard features: hand-carved chevron stamp, image transfer using package tape, a stenciled flower (using Artistcellar's new Pocket Stencil), and my graffiti handwriting on brown kraft paper.

See how easy this was?! After this tutorial, I carved three more...I'll update this post with photos of them, so please be sure to come back!

UPDATE: here are three more chevron patterns!

TUTORIAL:: Alternating Chevron Stamps by Martice Smith II

TUTORIAL:: Alternating Chevron Stamps by Martice Smith II

TUTORIAL:: Alternating Chevron Stamps by Martice Smith II

TUTORIAL:: Alternating Chevron Stamps by Martice Smith II
side view of stamp; see how thick the rubber block is?! This is how I could use BOTH sides.

TUTORIAL:: Alternating Chevron Stamps by Martice Smith II
Remember: if your block is thick enough, you can use both sides, just like I did with this one.

I really hope my tutorial has inspired you to create your own! Commercial stamps are fine to use, sometimes, but I love the handmade character from making my own.

Go ahead and try carving one (or three!) and add a link to your photo. I'd love to see it!

Thursday, July 17, 2014

The JOURNEY is the Inspiration

I am so honored to have my work chosen for "The Journey is the Inspiration" feature for the Dan Eldon Project!! Eeeek! How cool is that?!!!

"By Ancestry I was born to RULE" ~Nelson Mandela~

Over on the website, you can see TWO full illustrations and also, I share my thoughts on how I discovered him and his work. Take a look and get to learn a bit more about this extraordinary young man, who presaged the art journaling movement but lost his life too soon, due to civil war in Kenya. His legacy continues to thrive through his mother Kathy and sister, Amy.

Here's a peek at a *NEW* piece that I created in response to my discovery of Dan Eldon, Artist/Activist/Photojournalist.

There's more to come! Stay tuned to this blog or better yet, sign up here: for the EXCLUSIVE!

This is a collage showing some up close areas on my contribution to the Dan Eldon Project.

Oh! To see the full image, you gotta meet me on The Journey is the Inspiration!!

See y'all on the flip side! Peace & love ;)

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

I'm Published in heART Journal Magazine!

Guess What!?!  I was just published in heART Journal Magazine!
Artist Martice Smith II published in heART Journal Magazine, Issue 8!
heART Journal Magazine, Issue 8!
 To celebrate, heART Journal Magazine has a given me a free issue bonus code to share with others.

Get your free issue of heART Journal Magazine today! 

Simply download the app on iTunes or Google Play
Then on your device follow these directions using subscriber code : heartsharing (case sensitive)
•             Install the App on your device
•             Launch the Magazine
•             On the Home Page, Tap on the Yellow subscribe button
•             Tap on the Current Subscribers button                                                                                                              
•             Enter this: heartsharing (case sensitive)

You will now be able to download a free issue to heART Journal Magazine.  Remember, the code is case sensitive.

★★★★★ Please show heART Journal Magazine some love by giving them a rating (there is an easy to use rating link inside the magazine). ★★★★★
For help with the coupon code, email

Sunday, July 13, 2014

A mixed up, doodled collagraph

I've never made a collagraph print before...from my understanding, a collagraph is kind of like a stamp...if you know more about them, please share some info!

here's the approach I took with the collagraph prompt
Day 12: Collagraph of cardboard and foam by Martice Smith II
For both collagraphs, I used a USPS mailing envelope as the base (printing plate). For the first collagraph, I used Mod Podge® to glue on some cereal box (Captain Crunch!) cardboard shapes. (That bottom piece is from yesterday's prompt.)

some close-ups of the collagraph...
Day 12: Collagraph of cardboard by Martice Smith II
I didn't like the look of the yarn when I printed onto the paper. It looked too fuzzy and unintentional. It looks pretty on the collagraph plate, though!
Day 12: Collagraph of cardboard by Martice Smith II
Here's another collagraph I've started. I used a USPS cardboard mailing envelope and glued some heavy-duty cardboard on top. I also added some yarn, which you can see in the lower, right-hand corner.

Day 13: Doodle 
I pulled a few test prints to see if my collagraph would behave properly. Let me just say, I'm glad I went into this with the mindset "Oh, I'm just gonna play around and experiment". Ha! I now have a *new* pile of paper to scrap and reuse in future projects...

HOWEVER, I did not give up! That's the key, here :) Since my collagraph print didn't come out as expected (it looked a bit unfinished, to me), I decided to give it a new life. I combined days 12 and 13 and "a mixed up, doodle collagraph" was born! 

All I did was embellish my print with acrylics and a few dots of metallic 3-d paint. I like it much better, this way. What do you think?
Day 13: Doodle, detail by Martice Smith II
I can't help but ask: don't those two swirls, on the left side of the page, look like googly eyes?!

Day 13: Doodle, detail by Martice Smith II

I hope you enjoyed days 12 and 13!

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