New to Altering, Where to Start?

Custom Cards forum

Posted on Sept. 8, 2017, 6:58 p.m. by tlhunter07

Hey guys. I've been looking into altering cards, and I'm not sure where to start. Can someone tell me a list of supplies I need? I think I'll start by altering basics, but if there's something else I should start with please let me know. Thanks guys!

abby315 says... #2

fluid acrylics are important to get as soon as you want to paint cards that can be sleeved, because other paints will be too thick. You can get a set of 8 Golden Fluid Acrylics for like $50 ish at a craft shop and that's enough to get you started. If you aren't sure you'll like painting, though, I'd recommend pickin up a cheap set of regular acrylic paint and trying a few, so you don't waste money.

A wet palette is also pretty important, but you can make your own. Homemade they're significantly worse at keeping your paints thin, so you just have to paint fast. Usually I take a plastic plate, turn it upside down, take a fairly wet paper towel and put it on top, then tape wax paper or parchment paper on top of that.

You'll need very thin brushes, like 20/0 and 10/0 as well as some round tip ones for broad background base.

You can look into a setting spray or gloss as well. I don't use one because it can add to the thickness of a card, but some people prefer it.

That's all I use right now, but serious folks use a lot more haha. It's definitely enough to get you started. I can't link you to anything because I'm on mobile but feel free to ask questions!

September 8, 2017 7:11 p.m.

Qolorful says... #3

abby315 you do Alters???

September 8, 2017 8:15 p.m.

Qolorful says... #4

Also, if you want to dabble in foil alters there is a technique for that that you can look into. It uses acetone to wipe ink from the card, and some other chemicals to allow you to print over the foil while keeping the look. It's a pretty cool process

September 8, 2017 8:25 p.m.

TheAnnihilator says... #5

Honestly, basically what abby315 said -- using acrylics is typically best due to the fast dry time, and obviously you need a pallet.

To add on, you'll need paper towels to put the card on when you paint on it so it doesn't make a mess, and if you use a white paper towel you can also paint onto it to check your colors. You'll need more black and white paint than other colors, in my experience, and you'll want a flat-tip brush about a cm wide for painting a base layer over the borders with a few round-tip brushes varying from very small (detail brushes) to pretty average (for blocking in colors). Another thing is toothpicks! Make sure you have them so you can clean up the text box edges after you're finished painting (if you wet the tip of the toothpick it makes cleaning off stubborn paint a lot easier). I don't actually know a whole lot about brush sizes or anything super in depth, I literally got into painting by getting card alters a few years ago, and just picked up some smaller brushes along the way.

September 8, 2017 8:30 p.m.

abby315 says... #6

Oh yeah! You'll need a LOT of toothpicks. Qolorful I CAN do alters. I don't do them often haha. I also do foil peels, but I don't bother with acetone because foil peels are rarely tournament playable anyway, so I just glue it on.

If you are new to painting the hardest thing will be learning to mix colors, especially because you need to be precise to match the color on the card (unless you're painting totally over). There's a lot of tutorials on YouTube about how to mix paint using the basic acrylic colors and I highly recommend watching a bunch! Good luck!

September 8, 2017 9:48 p.m.

tlhunter07 says... #7

Okay thanks a lot, guys.

September 8, 2017 10:06 p.m.

Xica says... #8

Or you cloud try - if tournament play is not a concern - the acetone + GIMP + one side sticky transparent print paper method.

If your alter involves changes to the picture on the card, or stuff extending into the textbox, there is a not insignificant chance that it won't be deemed legal by the head judge, so if you are more familiar with digital you may as well use that.

September 9, 2017 6:44 p.m.

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