Friday, February 24, 2012


   At first, because I was very busy and because I could not think of a legitimate reason for our Bookseller to get an ok to travel to Cuba, I was not going to do this week's postcard. The pull was irresistible, however. :) 
  Week 8 does NOT find our Bookseller in Cuba.  He had wanted to meet his friend Nick there, but Americans are restricted from travel to Cuba unless they have a special license. He had no legitimate reason to travel there, so he stayed on in Dylan country, Wales, for some relaxation and exploration.
   Hank calls every day but is sure to send a post card from each place he visits. Wifey, who loves the postcards and adds them to her personal collection, decided to send him one, for a change, since he is missing out on a trip to Cuba.


I forgot about the generic postcard I created last week, but finally did use it for 'age' color. I found a vintage Cuban card online for inspiration and one for postage. As you will see in the 
next picture, it is Cuban postage,but sorta authentic (VINTAGE.) 

 My handwriting is almost as bad as Hank's, so here is a translation:

Dear Hubby, 
   So glad you were able to get a room at The Dragon! Enjoy! Too bad you could not meet Nick in Cuba.  Thought I'd send you a vintage Cuban pc I found in the store, stamped and all.  Altho in an envelope, I pasted your temp. address over original. 
   The calls are good, but I do enjoy the postcards!

I copied this postcard from a vintage Cuban postcard I found online, including the Saying on it. I used Derwent's INKTENSE Outliner pencil to draw and then the color pencils to watercolor. I used them DRY and then used a wet brush to make them truly watercolor.
Using INKTENSE before learning how to watercolor was not smart for me because it is as I always used to think of watercolor-unforgiving. Once the wet has dried, it is permanent! One is left to cover the mistakes with layers or live with them. I did a bit of both.
I finally uploaded the pic and that is where I copied the lettering and edited it to fit. Otherwise, I tried to not cover over the INKTENSE so you could see how much of a beginner I am. :) Most of it is original color except where I overlaid the lettering. That required editing.


Friday, February 17, 2012

Yikes, here I go again for the umpteenth time.  I nearly lost all my WALES stuff here, but Clare, Jen, and Tanya helped me get most of it back and encouraged me.  Thanks!  Jean, they filled in for your tech help whilst you slept.

SO, all I lost was:

   everything else is below

 This is a GENERIC postcard template I did to save time in the future. I added correct postage, more than necessary, because I wanted to use both the Roald Dahl stamps and the one issued for Wales this year. I even hand cancelled the final one because it was easier than looking for correct AND cancelled stamps. I even copied Hank's address/writing to save him time. All of the next postcards will have fronts done this way. Lazy, eh?

Week 7 finds our Bookseller in Wales. He sends a postcard from a town full of bookstores- Hay-on-wye! How great is that? Wifey and he have both wanted to see that since forever, and now he has. The book he mentions is A MARVELOUS 2 Volume set, leather bound, with more than 90 plates of The Border Antiquities of England and Scotland; Comprising Specimens of Architecture and Sculpture. (Gotta love those castles, for example!)

Translation of Hank's words:
Dear Wife,
Wales is beautiful, but could use more sun. Visited Hay-on-Wye. Bought there a stunning copy of Walter Scott's Border Antiquities 1818.  A hard sell in the US but I fell in love with it. Still dying for a slice of pizza.  Hope all is well at home. "Wish you were here."
Luv, Hubby Hank


I saw a wonderfully angry sky photo of a castle in Wales. It motivated me to start the picture below with the dollar set of watercolors. I found Neocolors II in my stash and my daughter gave me more loose ones. I finished this as best I could, using the Neocolors II and uploaded. It actually looks better in person for some reason.

I must say, I didn't need many colors for this. Sure felt dark and stormy with these few, but hope springs eternal and a bit of clearing up is going on (more so in the digitized version than my original, where colors are darker.) BUT I do love the Neocolors II and hope to get better using them.

Darcy, thanks for all the fun and learning this challenge has meant! See you next week.

Thursday, February 9, 2012

Apologies to poor Hank. Last week he did delete the salutation Dear, and thought he had written Wifey, which has always been ok with me.  He never did leave out LOVE, I just thought he did even though it was right there on screen. Two old codgers!  Someone suggested maybe he was distracted by the maids.  Not sure how he took that comment.  LOL!
Week 6 finds our bookseller in Belgium.

The above, almost not there drawing, was a #2 pencil drawing based on a lovely miniature of  the scribe Jean Mielot, 2nd half of the 15th century. He did illuminated manuscripts, amongst other things. It is at the Brussels Royal Library.

After using watercolor (a kid's set from the dollar store) I still needed color, so I used markers again, but this time BIC. I uploaded this as yet unfinished picture and used a graphic program to continue working.
I deleted the little bench in the original drawing, manipulated the image to fix the window, and called it complete, even though I see a touch not colored in near the edge of the right wall.
Watercolors? Guess I need something more than the dollar set, and/or more patience. Markers are not blendable and although the Bic set had more than the Sharpies set I have, neither were adequate.

This is the final ADDRESS side to the postcard. OH, my! Color again did me in. The TIFF file I saved this in came out in horrible color and resolution, so I put it into graphic program and resaved it as a .jpg file. Much better, although I just cut and pasted the text sections with the old colors and one never knows what it looks like on someone else's screen.
Dear Wife,
Belgium is nice, quaint. Bought Sir Haig's WWI battle maps in original box. 100th anniv. is coming up. Lots to celebrate here. Hope all is well at home. "wish you were here." Love, Hubby Hank

NEXT week maybe I will try some of the watercolor pencils I dug upin my stash of art supplies from decades ago. Some have never been used, so we shall see what, if any, improvements they can make with the next postcard.

Friday, February 3, 2012

I thought i'd show my first steps in making my post card this week. First I decided on another costume card and found some online to use as motivation. 
I drew the girl with a #2 pencil and took a picture of it with Photo Booth because I was unable to use the scanner at the time. I sent this as email and saved it to my desktop. I uploaded the picture of the drawing to two basic graphic programs because neither do all that I'd like to be able to do. I have to switch back and forth, changing from .png to .jpg and vice versa as I work on the drawing.

LOL! Sorry, could not help it when I saw this staring out at me. It is the drawing uploaded to the graphic programs and it shows the first 'painting' steps using both programs, going back and forth between them. (Despite what I called it, it is NOT scanned.)
This is the postcard after I finished painting the costumed girl and added and manipulated the other three images (from three different sources.)
  Finally, I filled in the background with various cuts and pastes of painted swatches I did pixel by pixel by pixel.  I can only imagine in horror having to fill the whole background in pixel by pixel. Texture or variations in color are  not 'fillable'  in one easy step, to my limited knowledge of both these programs.

The Bookseller finds himself in France and remembers to send his wife a post card with a costume.
The postcard address side was found online, and manipulated to add appropriate postage and cancellation. Hubby then wrote the card. Translation below. Card was then scanned and uploaded.

Wife, (did he really leave out the salutation Dear?)
Paris is like a wonderful dream, very beautiful and interesting. Charming places to buy books.  Picked up First French illustrated edition of the Count of Monte Cristo, 1846, exquisite gold tooled full leather binding. May not make much money on it, but I fell in love with it. Could not resist.
"wish you were here"
(hmmpff, forgot Love, ?)
OOPS!  my mistake, it is there-Love, Hank