I recently participated in an ATC swap with a Valentine's theme. I love making ATCs because it's a small piece of art (2.5" x 3.5") and yet in that small amount of space you can create some wonderful details.
I've discovered that rather than paying a lot of money for blank ATC's (they sell them at the art supply store near the art paper and canvases) playing cards are exactly the right size. Buying decks of playing cards at the dollar store for two packs for a dollar gives you a LOT of ATCs to play with. In the past I would painstakingly sand them down to give some "tooth" to my art. It was a pain in the tush and I didn't really like doing it (plus it created a lot of dust that got everywhere). I discovered from my art teacher that if I just used a better quality glue I didn't have to do the sandpaper thing, so no more of that.
I forgot to take pictures before I sent these off to my swap partner. Luckily she took a picture and share it with me (thanks Cat!).
When working with the small space of an ATC it's really wonderful to see how many layers and how much detail you can get. I love watching the richness of detail develop as I'm working on the page. And with these, because I needed to make three for the swap, I wanted them to coordinate but each be different.
Here's how I made the layers:
I'm really happy with how these ATCs came out; I'm having a hard time deciding which one I like the best. But I love this as a Valentine and will probably make some for loved ones.