Artist trading cards are 2.5 inches by 3 1/2 inches (64mm by 89mm). These cards are used with any medium you would like, such as acrylic paint,water colors, or markers. Collage elements can be added to the cards or drawings. The ATCs are small pieces of art that can be traded with other artist. I also think they are a great way to try out new techniques and experiment with ideas. The Artist Trading Cards also provide a place to create some art when you are short on time.
For this article I concentrated on creating backgrounds using an Artist Trading Card sized Gelli plate. This size Gelli Plate is a good size to try to find out if you would enjoy creating prints.
I used Golden Slow Drying Acrylics and Dina Wakley Acrylics. You can use any acrylics you have on hand. The only thing you have to be aware of is drying time. If you are working with an acrylic paint with a quick drying time you will need to have all your supplies ready to make your print, so that the paint does not have time to dry on the printing plate.
I used a combination of two colors. The paint can be placed on a plastic sheet and rolled out before rolling it on to the Gelli plate. You also can put a small amount of paint directly on the plate and roll it out there. You will want to cover the whole plate, but you do not want an excessive amount of paint, as you will not get a clear impression when using stencils.
There are other methods of making a marks on a Gelli Plate, but for this article I will be describing how to use stencils to make a print. You can use one stencil or a combination of more than one as pictured above. You can get two different prints from this set up. The first pull is with the stencil left on the plate. In the second pull you will remove the stencil(s) and then get the next print from the impression that was left on the plate by the stencil(s).
A pull happens as part of the process of placing a paper over the Gelli plate and then rubbing the backside of the paper. The pull is when you remove the paper and see the magic you have created. You can use copy paper, printing paper and watercolor paper when making a print.See the below photo and text for more information.
The photo featured above shows the type of impression you get when a print is pulled with the stencil still on the plate. The object next to the plate is a Speedball Baren. This baren is used on the backside of the paper to help you get a good impression when you are printing. You can also use the palm of your hand.
The photo above shows the type of print you achieve when the stencil has been removed from the plate.
This print is an example of a double print. One impression is created using the Gelli plate. By placing another stencil on the plate you can then print over the first impression achieving a double impression.
For a final touch Pan Pastels can be rubbed onto the surface using a tissue or a cotton pad. Pan Pastels also sell special sponges and tools to use with the Pan Pastels.
These cards were made with the Tim Holtz ATC Sizzix Die. It is a great way to create the ATCs as you can use any type of paper you want for the backgrounds.