Journals & Collaborative Projects

Below you will find a sampling our members' work from previous collaborative projects.  Click on images to view them larger. We hope this will inspire you to come and play with us! If you are interested in joining our group, please visit us at:

Tutorials & Techniques

Below are some of our favorite tricks for adding depth and dimension to your art.  We hope you have fun giving these a try!

Current Group Swaps & Projects

Below is a list of current swaps and projects available to group members. If you are interested in joining our group and participating in these projects, please visit us at:  

For existing group members, you can sign up to participate  in these projects here: Swaps & Current Projects.  

We look forward to swapping with you.  Happy Arting!

Member Gallery for Group Swaps
Below you will find a sampling our members' work from previous group swaps and projects.  Click on images to view them larger. We hope this will inspire you to come and play with us! If you are interested in joining our group, please visit us at:
Come play with us... Join today!

Paper Traders is a friendly online community of artists from around the world. We nurture and value creativity, embrace new ideas, products, and techniques yet also value tried and true methods of artistic expression. Our projects consist primarily of paper arts, mixed media collage, artist trading cards, altered art, assemblages, collaborative journals, mail art, and more.

We are interested in creative individuals of varied skill levels who wish to challenge themselves artistically and help build a supportive community. We are at our best when we can share our creative efforts as well as techniques, resources, feedback, and insights. We encourage conversation about art, the art process, and what it means to be an artist.

Paper Traders is hosted on Yahoo Groups at
We hope you will consider joining us on an artistic journey!

In order to prevent spammers and to insure that all applicants are actual persons interested in creating art, a questionnaire will be sent to all potential members. When applying, please submit digital examples of your work or direct us to a website where we can view your art. The intent of the questionnaire is not to judge the merits of your art but to safeguard the integrity of our community.

Free Images for Download

Below you will find images that are owned by our group members and offered for your personal use as well as images found in the public domain. Images may be freely used in your personal artwork but may not be used for commercial purposes of any kind without written permission of the owner. No images may be used to create collage sheets or image collections for resale.

To download, follow the link provided. In some cases, you may be able to just click on the image to enlarge it, then right-click and select "save image as". Content changes frequently and many images are available for a limited time.  Please check back often for newly posted images to use in your art journey.

Open Art Challenges !

We're changing things up here at Paper Traders. Instead of the monthly challenges of the past, we'll now be hosting special challenges that might feature a specific technique or product and will be rewarded with actual prizes sponsored by our group members.

Our new challenge for 2013 is a year long word prompt journaling project/challenge. Each specific challenge will be open for one month and all art bloggers can participate, whether you are a Paper Traders member or not. Each artist will comment with a link to their blog post that features the artwork for that particular challenge. For each challenge, a winner will be selected whose art best exemplifies the challenge. The winning artist will be featured here and get a "Trader Treasure" blog button to display on their own blog. They also will receive one chance for each entry for the end of the year prize drawing. Watch this page for more details and challenge announcements.

Saturday, March 28, 2015

Color Theory Part II

Creating Color Choices
By Debra Claxton

Even though we have many paper resources, often we do not have the exact color we want or need. What determines this need? Well, it often depends on the images we choose for a project. For instance, I was given the interesting lady in red below. To use this image I know I will start with an interesting background - which is probably where we all begin. I try some plain papers…first in complementary colors (green is opposite red on the color wheel). Then I try analogous colors; related colors around the color wheel (red, pink & purple).

I have decided on a green background. Now my issue is: I do not want just a plain background. I know I can paint something myself and add texture. But I can also alter the color of craft paper, and this is what I choose - because I want an interesting vintage pattern to match the lady’s vintage style. I have assembled my paper choices, and now I need to work with choosing the right tone of green.

I don’t have room to store every bottle of green paint from the craft store! So I stock a few, knowing I may need like to change them a little. There are two easy ways to do this. The first is to make the color less brilliant (or less saturated than the original manufacturer’s hue). And the easiest way to do this is to add little bits of the color’s complement to your paint. You can see below how adding drops of green changes red - and what drops of red do to alter green. In equal amount they make a neutral tone.

A second way to alter your paint color is to change the darkness or lightness - its value. This is done using black and white.

Before you begin: tape the paper down so it does not curl, then mix your colors (I use a paper plate or palette paper), and always use a flat soft brush. You may also need to thin the paint with water to be sure the pattern of the craft paper is visible.

Below are my experiments. For samples on the left of the lady in red: I put about a tablespoon of green paint on my plate, then I mixed a tiny bit (think a cookie crumb size) of red into my green - which should make the green change(if it does not - add a tiny bit more red). Then paint a section of your craft paper. Next, add a bit more red to the same green. Mix, & paint more paper. Then do it a third time - resulting in one pile of very dark green paint. For samples on the right of the lady in red: I put 3 separate teaspoons of green on my plate. To one I added white, to another I added a speck of black, and one was left untouched. I used these values to paint three sections of craft paper. I now have a variety of paper pieces to choose from, which gives me more creative choices.

Each hue on the color wheel can be changed in the ways discussed above. Color complements can be used to tone each other down in brilliance (saturation) and black & white change the lightness / darkness (value). You don’t have to spend a lot of money on craft paint in order to have fun with color and use it to your advantage!


Jo Murray said...

Great post Deb!

artz said...

Thanks Jo - there are always a lot of challenges with color when you work in the arts!