I was happy to read in the comments that I am not the only one who hasn’t sent all their Christmas cards yet. I am making progress; I’ve written 67, sent 60 and have 12 left to write. The card I’m sharing today shows a little sentiment splicing; I’ve taken the ‘wishing you’ from the festive snippets set and added it to half of a stamp from the festive cheer set. The lettering in the two sets combine nicely along with the small capitals on the little words. You can get more from your stamps if you take a look at which sentiments might mix and match with each other. A stamp positioning tool makes this kind of thing easier but partial inking and masking works if you don’t have a handy dandy tool.
The landscape for this card was definitely a brusho experiment. I sprinkled blue and green brusho on my watercolour panel then moved water around with a paintbrush to create some hard edges and feather out other areas. After I’d created my misty mountains I did partial inking on the little tree stamp from the prancers set to fill in some forest on the mountain sides.
Stamps: prancers, festive snippets, festive cheer
Inks: versafine onyx black (Tsukineko)
Paper: hot pressed watercolour papers (Fabriano),green linen textured cardstock
Also: brusho watercolour crystals (Colourcraft)
I recently taught a card class where we created Christmas cards featuring the northern lights over snowy landscapes. Everyone’s scenes looked different as there was a variety of inks to choose from. Back in the planning stage for the class I created a few different scenes as I worked out what would work in a class setting. (I have to make sure I can reproduce my own techniques if I am going to have any chance of teaching them to others.)
The top card and the bottom card were experiments that didn’t become class samples and the middle one was a variation I did during class. They all happen to use the blue and plum colour scheme. The two above have masking fluid snow flakes and the one below a bit more definition in the mountains. Sometimes my experiments end up as class projects, sometimes they become recycling and, sometimes as the case was with these three they join my stash of cards to use as needed. These ones really should have been sent already to arrive at their destination by Christmas.
Have you sent all your cards yet? I’m not even half way there.
Stamps: woodland beauty, yuletide wishes, joy filled
Inks: versafine onyx black (Tsukineko), chipped sapphire and seedless preserves distress stain (Ranger)
Paper: hot pressed watercolour papers (Fabriano), blue and plum shimmer cardstock
Also: masking fluid
I wish I could tell you the beauty of yesterday’s snowfall inspired this little snowscape but the reality is having this photo edited and ready inspired this little post! I made this card months back but misplaced it somewhere in my spotless workroom!
The ‘nature’s silhouettes’ transparent set includes two long birch trunk stamps. One is a little slimmer than the other so when stamping them you can shape them, turn them upside down, ink them partially and add branches to get a range of different ‘birchy’ looks. I also discovered a little trick you might like. The wider of the two trees just happens to be the same width as narrow painter’s tape which makes masking a snap.
I inked the birch trunks in versafine onyx black for this panel as I didn’t want the watercolour painting to blur the trees at all. Before stamping I splattered some masking fluid and positioned some hill shaped post-it masks at the base of the panel. I stamped the trunks so the base overlapped the post-its. I used the narrow masking tape to mask two of the trunks and cut a narrower mask for the other trunk. I removed the masks from the base of the trees but kept the trunks masked while I painted snow banks and sky with a couple of blue brusho paints. To get the shadow of the snow banks I paint a curved line then soften it with water above but keep it fairly sharp and unblended below. Once the paint was complete I removed the masks from the trunks and add a line of grey down one side of the trunks with a marker.
Even though this particular card wasn’t inspired by my backyard, the beauty of a fresh snowfall is what keeps me creating these snowy scenes.
Stamps: Nature’s Silhouettes, Hello Winter, Into the sky (PB)
Paints: Brusho powders (Colourcraft)
Inks: Versafine onyx black ink, London fog memento marker (Tsukineko)
Cardstock: hot pressed watercolour paper
Also: masking fluid
The tree from the ‘woodland beauty’ set has definitely become a favourite of mine. (It features in my next Christmas card class this weekend and one spot just opened up) I started by painting a blue and purple sky over some masking fluid specks. I used the same blues to paint shadows over the mountains.
To create this little winter scene I stamped the tree in a mix of two greens and added water to blend the greens and add the shadow to the snow. To make the snowbank below the trees I partially inked the trees so the trunks weren’t stamped then painted some blue ink around the branches and as a sharp edge below the branches.
I painted some more pale blue snow banks then used part of a sentiment stamp to finish the panel. I’ve been back in Canada for over a week now and the snow has indeed come to Ottawa!
Stamps: woodland beauty, festive cheer
Inks: versafine onyx black (Tsukineko), forest moss, pine needles distress markers (Ranger)
Paper: hot pressed watercolour papers (Fabriano), green cardstock
Paint: brusho watercolour crystal paint
Also: masking fluid
As you might know I use hot pressed watercolour paper 90% of the time because it is smooth and takes stamping so well, giving me a complete images. Occasionally, however, I like to pull out some cold pressed or even more occasionally some rough watercolour paper because the texture gives a whole different look. The labels hot, cold and rough, when attached to watercolour papers refer to the way the paper is pressed. Hot is flattened with heat and pressure making it the smoothest of all three. Cold is flattened with pressure but not heat and rough is flattened with less pressure than cold, making it the most textured of the three types.
I stamped the ‘snowy grove’ stamp on cold pressed paper in vintage photo ink. I then used the image as a starting point for painting some of the trees more distinctly. In some cases I joined a few trunks together with extra ink to create wider trees. I painted some foliage plus the forest floor with crushed olive and peeled paint distress stains and spritzed with water to blend and blur both the ground and the canopy. I cut the ‘serenity’ die from brown cardstock to add some framing and give the impression of looking into a grove of trees. The tiny tag is cut with the ‘gift card pocket’ die.
The trees around here still have plenty of green on them but we are beginning to see gorgeous colour too. Have a great weekend and Happy Thanksgiving Canadians!
Stamps: Snowy Grove, Snippets (PB)
Dies: Serenity, gift card pocket
Inks: vintage photo, crushed olive, peeled paint distress inks & stains(Ranger)
Cardstock: Cold pressed watercolour paper, brown cardstock, green textured cardstock
Some times watercolour paint does the work for you. I added a few stamped branches to turn this pretty sky into a scene but really, the blended colours were almost enough by themselves.
I did have a basic plan but the blending was magic that happened when I walked away. I positioned a frisket film mask in the top right then sprinkled four colours of brusho on the panel of watercolour paper. Using a wet brush I blended the colours creating a hard edge at the bottom and adding water to the upper part of the panel. Once I had wet the whole upper area I tilted the panel so the colour blended from yellow to pink to purple and blue. At this point I had to go and teach a mini class so I was gone for an hour.
When I returned my panel was dry and all blended in the pretty pattern you see above – magic! I added the berry branches here and there, an extra shadow for a snow bank and a sentiment.
Stamps: Woodland Beauty, Nature’s Gifts, Festive Cheer (PB)
Ink: Versafine onyx black ink (Tsukineko)
Paper: hot pressed watercolour paper, Neenah epic black paper
Paint: Violet, ultramarine, crimson, yellow brusho powder
As this tree is one of my favourite stamps from the new Christmas release I decided to create a day scene and a night scene as part of my ‘Top Three’ feature on the Penny Black blog this week. For the night scene I painted the sky before stamping the tree, on this panel I did the opposite.
I began as I often do by splattering some masking fluid on a piece of hot pressed watercolour paper. I did some partial stamping with the tree stamp so I could make the base of each tree look like it was stuck in a snow bank. To do partial stamping or ‘faux masking’ I ink the stamp then remove some of the ink with a wet wipe, in this case I removed the base of the tree so no trunk showed and the bottom edge was a little different each time I stamped it. I chose memento northern pine ink again because the colour separates when I spritz a little water over it (which I did each time before stamping).
I let the trees dry then painted the sky in three blue stains blending and removing colour to make it look like there were clouds. I used a small round watercolour brush and painted right up to and sometimes over the edge of the branches so there would be some blending of colour as well as some white spaces which end up looking a bit like snow.
Once all the sky was dry I stamped a single tree in the foreground and made it darker by re-stamping in the same colour. I painted a snow bank either side of the foreground tree with stain then added some shadows at the base of the trees using diluted northern pine ink as my paint. To finish I removed the masking fluid, added a sentiment in brown then popped it up on a cream card base.
If you didn’t catch my night time scene with this stamp, you can find it here along with a video tutorial.
Stamps: Woodland beauty, Nature’s Silhouettes (PB)
Ink: memento northern pine (Tsukineko) tumbled glass, broken china, salty ocean distress stain(Ranger)
Paper: hot pressed Fabriano watercolour paper
Also: Daler Rowney masking fluid