Tag Archives: Copic markers

Using Old Book Pages as Backgrounds


I often use pieces or parts of old books as the backgrounds for my ATCs. Some people don’t like the idea of tearing up perfectly good books, but the books I use are hardly perfect! I like to go to yard sales and thrift stores and find books that are falling apart. The oldest books with pages torn are perfect for my artwork. One of my greatest finds was an old, old nursing, manual. I got it for $3 at an estate sale. The cover was falling off and the pages were so crisp they would crumble, but the content is so great and the faded color so rich that I loved it.

Sometimes I find children’s books that have been scribbled in or pages torn out. They are no longer fit for a child’s library, but I can still salvage some great illustrations from them for ATCs.
When swapping internationally, I have received some fantastic pages from books printed in a language other than English. I have no idea what they have written on them, but I love the look of it nonetheless.

I recently joined a swap in which we were asked to draw or paint a bird onto a book page. When drawing on pages, the medium you choose will determine how much text shows. In this first ATC, I drew a black stork using Copic markers. The text is not visible behind the bird.


Since this text appears to be Arabic, I decided I wanted to paint a bird that would be present in the Middle East. That is why I chose to draw the stork. I like to let the book page dictate the art that goes on it.

In the other ATC, I used Copic multi liners to draw most of the picture, and just used some lighter Copic markers to color the birds. Most of the text is still visible on this one. Since this is obviously Asian text, I tried to create the style of traditional art of the Orient.


On both ATCs, I used watercolor paints to just add color and highlights to the backgrounds. The watercolors allow the text of the book page to show through.

Before tossing those old books, decide if there are parts that can be reclaimed from them to use in your art. You may be surprised at the direction the book pages take you!


First Post!


Welcome! To start the blog, I have posted just a few recent ATCs that I have made and traded. I chose these to show the variety of methods that I use in creating ATCs. Some, such as Odie, are entirely hand drawn using Copic Markers.


With others, such as Dory, I draw an image, but then attach it to printed scrapbook paper.


Some ATCs incorporate ephemera, such as cancelled postage stamps or old book pages, as can be seen in the nursing ATC.


The fun with ATCs is that you are only limited by your own imagination and creativity.

The good news is that even when your own creative juices are at a standstill, there are unlimited resources online. With this blog, I will be linking to the sites of other artists’ who share great techniques. I will also be posting pics of ATCs that I receive in trade from other artists around the world. I swap on Swap-bot so you may see some of your art here someday, too!

It is my hope with this blog to share with others the joy I have found in creating ATCs, inspire others to create their own mini works of art, and teach a few interesting techniques for ATC art. Come back often to see what’s new!