Artist Trading Card Daily - 100 - Air Dry Clay Face Featured Image

Artist Trading Card Daily – 100

Well, who ever thought that I would make it to 100, but I did!

Today’s ATC creation also goes a little darker than previous makes by giving my little impression of what it means to struggle to get to sleep – something that I often go through, and I know that a fair few of you do too.

First up, here is a look at the finished piece.

Artist Trading Card Daily - 100 - Air Dry Clay Face 6

So, to start this ATC I needed to define what it meant for me to not be able to get to sleep.

After losing sleep thinking about it (LOL) I came up with the following description – being unable to get to sleep is like floating at the edge of a dark sea with the gentle ripples of slumber lapping against me but not engulfing me and carrying me off to sleep.

Of course there is the annoyance that the lack of sleep will make me tired for the next day, leave me sluggish and frustrated at not being able to get a decent night’s sleep and all the rest of the negative emotions that go with it however I thought that the simple definition that I have outlined above was probably the simpler concept to illustrate on an ATC.

I knew that for this creation I wanted to use air dry clay so I needed something more stable to work on than 250gsm cardstock. I had a quick internet search and found the US Art Quest Art Canvas ATC Cards and ordered a pack.

When they arrived I broke open the pack and set to work with the clay. I shaped the face first, using my fingers and a pokey tool. I then created the ripples/waves by adding “dabs” of clay and stroking them out towards the outer edge with my finger tip, working out from the face.

This is what I ended up with.

Artist Trading Card Daily - 100 - Air Dry Clay Face 1

Cool eh?!

I let it dry overnight in order for all of the moisture in the clay to evaporate.

Now it came to decorating it. I wish that I could describe every step that I took for this however it developed over time and I used a variety of random titivating techniques so here is a quick synopses of what I did for each area.

  • Face.
    • For the face I used flash toned acrylic paints. I worked from dark to light in layers, allowing each layer to dry before adding the next. I also used a very dilute solution of dirty brush water (the dirty water in the pot that you wash out the brushes in) to highlight the texture of the clay. The final layer added was the lightest colour over which I did not apply a wash. This was intended to give the face a look as if it was lit from above.
    • The eyes consisted of a dry-white glue onto which I placed a seed bead. Once this layer had dried I applied some dry-clear glue to give the eyes a realistic glaze.
  • Waves.
    • The waves again used acrylic paints to begin. I again worked from dark to light. The darker layers were applied with more liquid inks so that they sank into all of the cracks and crevices. The light layers were subsequently dryer so that I could highlight the wave crests. To finish the waves I applied a layer of clear embossing powder and then highlighted the wave crests with a metallic gold marker.

After all of this fiddling and titivating this is the result that I got.

Artist Trading Card Daily - 100 - Air Dry Clay Face Featured Image

I have to say that I am very proud of this one. It was totally from the imagination and turned out exceptionally well.

To close this post I thought that I would give you a few more shots of the finished piece so that you can see it in different lighting conditions (as it can give the piece new feeling).

So, what do you think? Did I give the right impression with this interpretation?

Anyway, I’d best crack on with some more mini makes.

Just curious by the way, are you all still enjoying this series of posts? Things have been a bit busy around here lately but I am hoping to get back on track with some lengthier and more in-depth posts soon on all sorts of subjects but I am grateful for the limited time that I get to make these little wonders so I hope that they are giving you as much pleasure as they are to me.

Thanks for visiting today – I hope to see you again soon.

Bye for now,

J :)

22 thoughts on “Artist Trading Card Daily – 100

  1. Hi John, I am a fellow sufferer. I tend to get up and go and play with my dogs in the kitchen, then when they go back to bed (fed up with mum in the middle of the night), I watch a little taped C&C until I feel tired again. I have previously tried to get back to sleep, but it never worked. Bouts of sleeplessness are horrible, and you have captured it so well with this ATC. Well done, have you thought of entering it in the SAA portraits competition, I feel it would stand a very good chance of winning.
    Keep the ATC’s coming I love them, they’re so inspiring.
    Love and Light Sioux x


  2. Still following you John though not always leaving a comment …. Personally I found this a tad scarey – but you talent reaches
    … in so many varied directions! You’re amazing!
    Keep ’em coming …. pleeeeease :-) X


  3. What an in depth creation today, could feel your anguish and was so glad you turned it into something so special keep sharing with us John you are inspirational xx


  4. Stunning! But my 1st thought of seeing the expression was not of you struggling with sleep, but of how sad or shocked you were to be at 100. LOL I’ve enjoyed your series of ATC’s… thanks for sharing them all.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Hi John

    Being a frequent sufferer of insomnia I can relatw to this little chap on your ATC. It’s a great piece of concept art IMO, the little ATC bases you’ve used are an interesting surface to consider working on. With regard to the project, do as many of these as you are happy doing. I enjoy seing what you can fit on such a tiny scrap of card! Don’t force it though, if it’s not fun for you, consider something different. If you’re stuck for ideas could you do fabric work that tiny? Does crochet, knitting, cross stitch count of its still ATC sized, mixing the aforementioned withe papercrafts/ artist mediums. The choice is yours but whatever you decide I think its quite clear that here you have a little group of dedicated followets who are fascinated by what you do.

    Hugs n’ happy crafting,

    T x


  6. That’s just amazing John, but maybe a little disturbing! I do sympathise though – only had one very stressful period when I couldn’t sleep very well, and I’m glad I’m over that and back to normal. It sort of reminds me of a floating pool at a spa I went to with a friend in Berkshire somewhere – apart from the look on the face!!!

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Well done on reaching a 100 ATC’s. I must admit that when I first opened the email I thought it was going to be a picture of Bob Marley. It wasn’t until I scrolled down and read your piece that I could see what you had created. I think it is absolutely amazing, you could not have described your creation any better.

    I love to see what you have been making, please carry on.

    Andrea x

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Hi John, your ATC today exactly sums up how I feel today, I had one of those nights, was up at 3am at least I did some crafting , your ATC depicts me now.At least I know I am not the only one .

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Amazing,I saw the photo before I began to read and my first thought was,that’s how I feel every night when I am at the end of my tether trying to sleep.
    Love to read all of your posts, please keep it up.
    Thank you. Kim

    Liked by 1 person

  10. Hi John!

    Really enjoying these posts, keep them coming! I look forward to hearing how you get inspired to do all the different techniques & how you achieve your little ATCs.
    This one….. if I’m honest it’s not really my scene but I can still apreciated all the hard work & effort that has gone into it. Well done. I’m sorry you have trouble sleeping, it’s not nice. I am the other way inclined – I could sleep for England!!!

    Look forward to your next post.
    Take care, Happy crafting
    Carole Morgan

    Liked by 1 person

  11. This is amazing, John – you’re best this year. The emotion in the face is so well defines he torture, the frustration and turmoil felt by not being able to get to sleep. Just sums it up perfectly in one little ATC. Any person, who suffers with this problem, would immediately be able identify wwith it.You should have a go at a larger canvas, name it and exhibit it. Brilliant piece. I absolutely adore it. B :-) x

    Liked by 1 person

  12. John this is fantastic and incredibly original. So refreshing to see in the crafting world! Look forward to more of your own creations!
    This is so inspiring and hope gives others the courage and confidence to actually create from own imagination!
    Best wishes Richard

    Liked by 1 person

  13. WOW! John you’ve blown me away with this one, such detail on a small scale! Its amazing. As ever you give detailed descriptions of how you achieved the end result I really enjoy seeing these atcs & the variety of techniques. Thank you for sharing.

    Liked by 1 person

  14. Srill loving the posts. I especially like this one, I can definitely relate to this one after the hot stick night just gone! I think the waves would be welcome!

    Liked by 1 person

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