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  • Writer's pictureKaaren Poole

Mice in a Maze

A marketing postcard I’d saved got me started on this spread. I like the colors and the florals and the vintage look – all in all, very pretty. Just the thing for a change of pace.

First, I added a bit of collage, mostly to cover the seam in the middle of the spread, but also to add a bit of visual texture and a few areas of light color. Then I glued the postcard in place.

Using craft acrylics in the colors in the postcard, I dabbed paint randomly over the whole thing (except for most of the postcard). I was sparing with this, as I could always add more if I found I wanted it. I wanted all the colors to be similar in value. I spread the dabs with a brayer.

Then for the fun part – drawing the mice! I enjoy working on them until I can get them cute and happy. It’s like they gradually come to life with pencil – and eraser!

I fixed the pencil with a spray of Krylon Workable Fixatif then ripped them out of the piece of paper, leaving as little margin as possible. After gluing them in place, I decided I wanted more white, so I brushed white paint on some bubble wrap and used it as a stamp. I also painted white swirls here and there. In both cases, I avoided painting over the mice.

Now for the hard part – but no stress allowed! I decided to use pencil rather than pen for the scrolls and florals for two reasons. First, black or brown pen, which are the only two colors I have, would be too dark. Second, and equally important, I’m a lot more comfortable doing precise work with a pencil than a pen, maybe because the pencil is erasable!

I sketched in the main scrolls very lightly, then added the offshoots, again lightly in case I had to erase. Finally, I went back over all of them, darkening them a little bit.

My next step w be to add color, but I need some time away from it first. I’ll probably finish it up this weekend. I hope you enjoyed seeing it so far.

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