“Hand-Made” Stationery

Posted by James Tanner on

Suppose you are the Creative Director of a business and you get tasked with making some Thank You cards for an upcoming art show. It doesn’t even have to be that complicated. I’ll show you how I used a photo of some interesting concrete that I took while on a Texture Tour to make a unique set of stationery. So let’s jump in, shall we?

Here is my photo of the concrete from my favorite local fast food joint, Pete's Fish & Chips...

Now, my preferred art program is Autodesk’s Sketchbook. It’s free to use and very intuitive. Opening the program, I’ve set my dimensions of the work to match what I need for the stationery. Now we paint. My preferred technique is called “sueding”, it’s a fast wet-on-wet application of paint where you pick 2-4 shades of color and add in 1 contrasting color in quick brush stabs. You’re almost folding the paint on itself. Digitally, I opted not to use the contrasting color, since we’ll get that from the concrete (you’ll see what I mean later). I used a number of different brushes to achieve a random, yet cohesive pattern.

Now we add the concrete on a layer above our sueded pattern. Set the blending mode to Hard Light which will screen out heavier grays while multiplying lighter ones. The effect is very similar to that speckled pattern you get on that really nice hand-made paper.

It is a good idea to experiment with blending modes and layer opacities to achieve the perfect look and feel for your work. Don’t be afraid to make lots of mistakes at this stage.

Once we have the perfect texture blended into our painting we can add the text. While Sketchbook does have a text tool, it isn’t very robust. For more control, you’d be better off using something like Photoshop. I moved my file over to Clip Studio Paint to edit the text. I was also able to apply a white outline which enhances readability.

And now we’re done! Feel free to use this “hand-made” stationery with speckled concrete texture for your own personal or professional projects! I’d love to see what you’ve made with them! This stationery makes the perfect save-the-date or ransom note!!!

Feel free to download the stationery at my DeviantArt page here: https://www.deviantart.com/disturbancecomics/art/Hand-Made-Stationery-842180470

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