Sandy Allnock posted an amazing video tutorial on her YouTube channel yesterday. She showed how to create a frame of trees around a stamped image using only Copic markers. If you enjoy all types of coloring (alcohol markers, watercolor, colored pencils, etc.), you should definitely subscribe to her channel if you aren’t already. She’s amazing! She also offers great online classes at art-classes.com and they’re all on sale this weekend. She’s even doing a giveaway drawing for everyone who signs up this weekend during the sale. You can find all the giveaway details here.
So, back to her video tutorial… I knew immediately as I watched the video I wanted to give the technique a try, but the thought of jumping in on a full size card was a bit intimidating. I decided to try it on a gift enclosure card (2-3/4 x 4-1/4″) first since it’s much smaller. It didn’t turn out perfectly by a long shot, but I learned a LOT and now the thought of trying it on a full size card isn’t quite as scary.
I started by stamping the adorable little snowman image from the Seasonal Chums stamp set by Stampin’ Up!® I stamped him on a 2.5 x 4″ piece of Neenah Solar White card stock using Memento Tuxedo Black ink.
Since this was my first time trying this technique, I followed Sandy’s advice and colored my scene first before investing time coloring my focal image. I started creating my scene by using a C3 marker to create my snowy landscape. I blended it out toward the bottom of the card using C1 and C00.
I then used the YG91 Copic marker to sketch out some very rough triangles of where I wanted my trees to be then filled in the sky using B00. To give the sky a bit more depth, I went over it a second time using B21 but left a bit of the B00 peeking through near the top of the card.
I wish I had actually made the sky a bit darker. I would have helped the trees “pop” a bit more on the finished card. This is one of the things I learned during this process, but it’s still OK.
For the trees, I scribbled on my “branches” using YG93, YG95, and YG97. I used the darker greens on the trees in the foreground and the lighter greens on the background trees. This helps give the illusion of depth since objects closer to us appear darker than things in the distance.
For the snowman, I wanted him to remain white, but he needed a bit of dimension. I shaded him very lightly using C1, C00, and the 0 Colorless Blender. I used E35, E37, E59, and 100 to color his hat. His carrot nose was done using YR16 and E07. The holly was colored using YG95, YG97, R27, and R39. I used the same R27 and R39 for the red stripes on his scarf and mittens. The blue strips were done with B66 and B69. Since the bunny is so tiny, I didn’t do much shading on him. He was colored using E33, E35, and C0 for his little tail.
Once I had my coloring done, it was time to add a sentiment. I used one of the sentiments from the Hearts Come Home stamp set from Stampin’ Up. To help it pop a bit more against the background, I stamped it using VersaFine Onyx Black ink then heat embossed it with clear embossing powder. Doing this gave it a bit of shine and dimension which really helped it not get lost against the trees.
I created a card base by cutting a piece of Real Red card stock from Stampin’ Up to 4.25 x 5.5″. I scored it in half at 2.75″ and burnished it with a bone folder. I adhered the colored panel to the card base using tape runner. For a bit of embellishment, I went over all the snow parts using a clear Wink of Stella pen. Since I wasn’t 100% pleased with how my trees and sky came out, I took another bit of Sandy’s advise and just covered everything with LOTS of falling snow created using a white Sharpie paint pen.
Since this is not a typical size card, I used my Envelope Punch Board to create a cute little coordinating envelope. I selected a piece of DSP from the Quilted Christmas paper stack because I thought these little stitched holly leaves would be perfect since the snowman’s hat has holly on it. I started with a 6″ square piece of paper and used 2.5″ for my first punch guide measurement then just followed the normal punch and score method of using the Envelope Punch Board. For a final touch, I used the corner rounder on the punch board to round the corner of the flap.
Speaking of holly, we have a new holiday card challenge kicking off today over at StampNation. The theme is … holly! If you’re a StampNation member, be sure to head on over to the challenge forum to check it out and play along. If you’re not a StampNation member, we would love to have you join us!
Until next time …