Monday, February 14, 2011

Paper Craft Planet Sketch Challenge

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When I was first becoming a part of the online stamping community I used to participate in many swaps and challenges. As my life became busier I had to pull away from swaps in order to free up some time. My life hasn't become any less busy...if anything it has become busier...but I decided to try my hand at the weekly challenge posted this week at Paper Craft Planet. The layout couldn't be any simpler and I thought this would be a great way to showcase a focal stamp. I've chosen the same pensive mermaid stamp I used in my underwater ATC series. I really have a good time coloring in her beautiful tail and long hair.

Mermaid Stamp: Seaside Dreamer-  Faerie Song Art Stamps FS-10SD
Seaweed Stamp: Me and Carrie Lou Stamps
Versafine Onyx Black Ink (for stamping mermaid image)
Versamark Watermark Ink (for stamping the seaweed image)
Gold PearlEx (lightly dusted over the Versamark stamping)
Krylon Gold Paint Pen (for gilding the edges)
Krylon Matte Low Odor Clear Finish (to prevent smudging and loss of PearlEx dusting)

Ballo ergo sum
- Gitana, the Creative Diva
Design team member for About Art Accents

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Underwater Fascination

(Click on any photo to see a larger image.)

I was so taken with the ATC's I created in my last two posts (Siren of the Sea and Snowball Koi) that I continued the underwater theme and created two more.

The Purple Betta presented a challenge to me because of it's orientation. It is a long, relatively slender stamp measuring only one and a half inches across. The fish's tail is effectively cut off giving the impression that perhaps I did a poor job of trimming the image. I didn't know quite where to place it on an ATC and finally settled on a centered orientation within a golden gothic-style arch, flanked by seaweed images dusted with two colors of PearlEx.

The beautiful Pensive Mermaid is my new favorite. I am particularly proud of my rendering of the light flltering through the water from the top of the frame and the resulting shadows. As opposed to the Siren of the Sea, I chose to make this mermaid a uniform color from head to tail so you can't necessarily see where the woman ends and the fish begins. The richly colored shading is done by careful layering and blending of Prismacolor pencils. I know I'll be making more images of this stamp and playing with different color combinations for the hair and scales.

I would really like some constructive criticism on these ATC's. I would also like to find a source for beautiful mermaid images like the two I have used in this series. If you happen to know of any, by all means drop me a line and let me know. Thanks.

Ballo ergo sum
- Gitana, the Creative Diva
Design team member for About Art Accents

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Continuing a Creative Experiment

(Click on image for a larger view.)

I enjoyed creating the Siren of the Sea ATC  in my last post so much that I decided to  create another undersea ATC, this time featuring koi fish.

I'm still playing around with the theme of light and shadow. In the Sea Siren, the light source was very obviously from directly above. Here the light source is much more subdued and subtle, coming in from the upper left in barely discernible rays of pale blue and yellow.

Starting with a slightly mottled cream colored base, the focal image is stamped in Versafine black ink which really brings out the details in any stamp. It is then masked and the background is sponged in various shades of blue ink from dark to light. The large seaweed to the lower left is also stamped in Versamark black, then the mask is removed and the fish are colored in with Prismacolor pencils and highlighted with glittery gel pens for a little sparkle. The seaweed is over-colored in dark green pencil.

The original image was ATC sized, that is to say 2.5 inches by 3.5 inches, but it looked a bit dull and uninteresting. I had the idea to trim it down by clipping the corners with a decorative corner slot punch to create the curves and notches and cutting from one corner notch to the next with a craft knife. The result is the lantern-like shape you see above. I placed it on a dark blue base card and gilded all the edges with a gold paint pen.Gold stickers in the corners highlight the edges and the sparkle in the scales and fins. The contrast with the navy blue base card and the shine of the gold brought a dull card to life and made the image pop. I'm happy with the way this ATC turned out and I am already looking for the next image with which to play.

2 Snowball Koi - About Art Accents
Seaweed Foliage - Magenta Rubber Stamps
Gold Stickers - Starform Stickers
Corner punch - EK Success Paper Shapers Card Creator Decorative Corner Slot Punch
Dye inks - Vintage Blue (Whisper Ink), Baby Blue (Memories), Denim (Adirondack), Onyx Black (Versafine)
Prismacolor Colored Pencils - various

Ballo ergo sum
- Gitana, the Creative Diva
Design team member for About Art Accents