Thursday 30 March 2017

2017 #5 Under the sea {by Chris Dark}

2017 Topic 5: Blue and Ochre

Chris has gone bright with her version of blue and ochre using Tracy Scott's lovely flower/coral stamps! What a fantastic idea to create a watery flower garden! 

Hi everyone it's Chris Dark here and it's lovely to be here on the PA blog tonight.  I've chosen to share with you a pocket letter I've made for a friend, it's such a lovely way to pass on a few crafty bits and pieces and gift some artwork at the same time. I find that these are great as keepsakes too as they can be stored in a ring binder which is easy to get out and pour through when you've built up a little collection from friends.

Being quite a colour driven crafter I'm always drawn to the colour topics and this one immediately made me think of sea and sand. Looking through stamps the accessory circles stamp in Tracey's gorgeous ETS06 stamp set (stockist info here) reminded me of coral and from that came the idea of an undersea scene with the stamps as underwater florals. 

Here is my finished pocket letter in it's segmented binder and I love how these work with 9 ATCs (ATC = artist trading card). I created mine from a single scene but of course they could be made up as different individual ATCs.

I find it easier to work on a single sheet of card and cut it down later therefore I create a grid marked out with the ATC size X 9. An ATC measures 31/2 X 21/2 inches. This grid helps when placing the stamps too.

I didn't want the flowers to be cut right through the middle so tried to place the majoriy of the bloom inside one or the other ATC. When using character stamps I check the placement so that I won't have to cut down through a face for instance.

Accidentally I discovered something nice when painting the flower petals as I'd added pearlescent glaze instead of paint drying retarder to my Fresco Finish Chalk Acylic paint. As I dropped the paints into each other they took on a bit of a marbled effect.

If you have a fan brush you'll know how versatile they are, I use mine a lot and here I've used it to create some movement in the sea, it's great for painting grasses too. 

As I wanted to add decorative writing this is when I pencilled in some wavy guidelines

Here's a close up of the decorative writing, I wonder if you know the song? Yes, it's 'Under the Sea' from the Disney film 'The Little Mermaid'. it's burned into my brain actually from having to watch it several hundred times when my sons were small! Song lyrics are my favourite way to make journal pages, great if you don't want to put your life on your pages and there are so many to choose from I never have a problem finding something suitable for the stamps.

I was very happy with how the undersea beach turned out by mixing several colours and adding a few layers with brush, baby wipe and dots of paint on the end of a paintbrush together with a couple of lovely new Infusions colours (infusions stockists here). I've also added doodling for some bubbles and coloured in the stems with black and white pens which always helps me with completion.

Here is the artwork cut down into the ATCs and it was a bit hard to cut it up I have to admit but after re-combining them in the binder I was happy again.

Masking tape is my friend for this part of the operation and covering up the ugly punched edge of the binder, it takes paint well too and was pretty good to stamp on. I did miss a few areas with the stamp on uneven parts of the edge but they are easily touched up with a black fine liner pen.

Here is the reverse of the binder with crafty odds and ends tucked inside, it's surprising how much can be fitted in. I still have some charms to add and then it'll go off to the recipient.

So in conclusion I had a very enjoyable play with the bonus of creating something nice for a friend using Tracy's lovely whimsical stamps, they make such happy compositions. This idea could also work as a journal page if you can't bear to cut it up, and the colours of blue and ochre have such a huge range of tones within them you can get a different result every time. 

Extra interest can be achieved in your backgrounds with different brushes, I can highly recommend investing in a fan brush, it's one of my most useful.  It's also fun to bring in different effects with matte against shine which can help to lift your focal stamped images a bit. I hope you'll join in with the challenge and show us your version of ochre and blue..

Thanks for joining me tonight and have a wonderfully creative week!

Instgram: @chrisd999
Find my classes at The Craft Barn

This really does make me feel all spring-like Chris! I love how you planned the grid for the stamps to be positioned appropriately, and so many great creative-tips within your post. Can't believe I've never bought a fan brush either! must do so! ~ Leandra

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Helen said...

wowser, Chris, these atcs are stunning. I love how you made them as one big piece of art and cut them after, so much easier!

Kirsten said...

Gorgeous ATCs!!

Artmadnana said...

A great idea for a pocket letter Chris. I love the way the pearlescent glaze helps to create a marbled look in the paint. Wonderful. Great tip.

Lucy Edmondson said...

This is so incredibly clever and artistic, chris and so many clever hints and tips!

Lucy x

craftytrog said...

Fabulous project!

Etsuko said...

Stunning idea and beautiful pocket letter Chris. Fabulous your blue and ochre colours scheme!! xx

Mac Mable said...

Wow...absolutely amazing and stunning...lots of hard work, great techniques and love it! x

Craftyfield said...

Beautiful design! And the pen work adds so much to the page, well worth the effort.

Lauren Hatwell said...

Love it! So creative! Lx

Ruth said...

Very creative and such detail, beautiful! x

Art By Wanda said...

Gorgeous pocket letter, Chris!!!