Saturday, February 1, 2014

Man up! challenge and how to mask......

It's a new challenge at the A Little Bit Crafty blog, and this month the theme is Man Up!

There are some fabulous prizes up for grabs from

Here's my take on the theme- using the fab Visible Image sets- Edward is Immortal and Free your Imagination.

I thought I'd show you how I went about masking and colouring with this gorgeous stamp set. This is very picture heavy, so get yourself comfy now, you may be here for a while!!!

Firstly I stamped Edward onto white card. I have to say, Visible Image stamps give such a gorgeous, crisp image. I've used Versafine Onyx black ink.

Stamp again onto a post it note to make your mask, I don't even bother to re-ink the stamp. Try to stamp it with as much sticky on the reverse of your image as possible for maximum stick! Cut it out- this is where you start to question masking off fiddly stamps- this one was fine. Try to cut on or slightly into the stamping line, as this will allow for a neater finish when you stamp over the top.

Position the mask over your stamped image and then stamp over the top of it with whatever you'd like to appear behind Edward- I went for a swoopy bird in the sky.........

.......and some spooky bare branches. I'll be trimming the edges off later, so don't worry about the borders.

Take the mask off and voila- Edward is still pristine! You can see that by making the mask as neat as possible and cutting on or within the stamp lines, I've managed to stamp really close to the image in the background- no white gaps!

If your mask is still sticky, keep it to use again, lots of my stamps have post-it masks stuck to them.

So that's masking, a really, really useful technique, simple but very effective. Now onto the colouring.

I adore my watercolour pencils, and I use a mix of Derwent Inktense and a few Faber Castells. First step- put some colour onto the edges of the block to be coloured. I try to start with colour where I want it to be darkest.
Step 2, use a paintbrush and a little water to draw the colour out and cover the whole area. I use a waterbrush for preference, with a little water reservoir built in, but that's mainly because I'm too lazy to keep trundling to the kitchen tap!
OK, so now I have a first layer of colour, but I'd like it a lot, lot, lot brighter. On we go to......
Step 3, enhancing the colour. Put a little blob of water onto some scrap paper or card- this is much easier with a waterbrush- I just squeeze the reservoir until a bead of water drops out.

Next dip the pencil "lead" into the water and have a little squiggle around in it, so that the water reacts with the pigment in the pencil and softens it somewhat.

Step 4- go over the coloured section again with your softened pencil. It will put a thicker layer of colour onto the image. The softened tip will be used up really quickly, so it usually takes me quite a few dips into the water bead, and often several water beads to complete a section- persevere, it's worth it.
After step 4- the colour is much more vibrant, but still a bit blocky.
Step 5- go over the image again with a minimal amount of water on your brush. The card will be getting quite soggy by now, so go gently and try not to pill the surface. If you do- just gently rub off the pill and go over the area again.
Then repeat for the rest of the image- It tends to dry quite quickly, so there's not much bleeding between colours, but if that's a worry, get a heat gun on the image between colours. I also usually work from light to dark colours, to minimise cross colour contamination on my brush.

It's easy to blend colours using this technique- I've done that with Edward's hair in this case- 2 colours of brown from the start.

You can also add extra colour by scribbling hard on some scrap paper, then picking up the colour on the end of a wet brush.I did that on this image to add a few orangey highlights to the hair.
The eagle eyed amongst you will have noticed that I have gone over the lines a teeny bit at the bottom of Edward's coat. Not a problem with this project as I hadn't intended to keep the background white, but if that happens to you, consider adding a touch of a shadow round the image to blend out the mistake. Or...... you could stick the mask back on do some strategic over stamping!

I replaced my mask and sprayed lots of inks over the top- just being careful that they didn't seep underneath my mask- again, using the heat gun regularly works well.
This version has a different colour way, and a sponged ink background. Oh, and added bats..... This is the one I made into my DT card- as for the other Edward, well I have plans for him too, watch this space!
And finally, my poor little mask looks like this. Hmmmmm, quite interesting looking really, I may have to find a use for it......

Hope you found this interesting, and don't forget the Man Up! challenge, hop over to the challenge blog now for the details.

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