Wednesday 18 April 2018

2018 #7 Kraft card: Like a fish in water with ESC {by Dounia Large}

2018 Topic 7: Kraft Card

Lets go diving with Dounia. She has some gorgeous fish lurking in among the sea lettuce and grasses. Lots of fun ideas and textures for us, and the fish, to explore!  ~ Leandra

Hi everyone, it's Dounia, sharing with you the joy of crunching kraft paper and an underwater scene.

I know this fortnight theme is Kraft card, but here in France, Kraft paper is readily available and is one of my earliest memories of crafting! I love its color and texture, so I wanted to share a few fun techniques with it.

My main inspiration for this art journal page was the fantastic stamps set ESC10 by ScrapCosy. It has everything you need to create an underwater world: spunky fishes, graphic weeds, elegant seashells and even a starfish!

One of the great thing about Kraft paper is its resistance. You can fold it over and over again, it does not tear. I used it to create a crackled effect, highlighting the raised folds with ink. Then a spritz of water and a good ironing and it's flat as new, but with an amazing pattern! I also love the weeds stamp in ScrapCosy's set. It's so graphic it gives amazing movement to a background.

I love the color of Kraft. I think all of us have memories we associate with it, like surprise packages in the mail or paper bags of pastries. It also automatically feels vintage. I therefore decided to keep that characteristic color, even if it does not particularly evoke the sea, and match the other elements to it. For me that means more of those lovely weeds in tones of sepia and yellow ochre.

Crunched Kraft paper is also great as a texture, here to mimic rocks and coral. I emphasized the creaks and peaks with Freco acrylic paints. Vanilla and Caramel go particularly well with Kraft (and sound like and ice cream combination!). To limit the bulk on my page, I run the piece through my Big Shot machine to flatten it. I love the effect!

I wanted the denizens of this Kraft sea to contrast with the background. I always think of fishes as shiny and iridescent so I wanted metallic colors. I used Treasure Gold in blues and purples on PaperArtsy's Crunchy Paper (an other use of Kraft paper, waxed this time!). I think the metallic/waxy finish and slight transparency are really well suited for fishes.

The blues scallops provide a refreshing counterpoint to the brown rocks an weeds. I wanted to includes the whole sea-floor stamp but couldn't mesh its detailed style with the stylised background. In the end only the starfish made the cut...

Finally I populated the sea with the most striking of my stamped fishes. I added depth by creating shadows with markers and highlighted them with a white paint pen. Against the vintage tones, those catchlights were far too bright so I toned them down with a pale yellow marker. I am quite happy with how lively they look!

Beginning this project, I was not sure how well Scrapcosy's very detailed and vintage stamps would mesh with my art journaling style but I'm thrilled by the result. The French saying translates to "like a fish in water", meaning something that comes easily and naturally, and I think it well describes my experience with this page. I hope this gives you some ideas to play with Kraft paper, as these techniques can be adapted to lots of projects.
Have yourself a very Krafty moment!

Dounia x


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Helen said...

what a fabulous project!! I love your underwater scene and the fish look fabulous against the kraft!

SewPaperPaint said...

What an incredible collage and awesome use of kraft paper. I am crazy over the scrunched kraft sea bed you've created and love love these awesome stamps!

Cheryl said...

What an inspiring idea, thanks.

Susan Battensby said...

What a beautiful card. I love your background and also how you have entwined the fish in the seaweed, gorgeous colours too.

Flo Langley said...

Wow! Stunning project. Wonderfully stamped and created :)

Miriam said...

What a great project! Love your fishy scene

Art By Wanda said...

I love your page, Dounia!!!!!!!!!!

Chris said...

A fantastic scene Dounia and such a great idea with the scrunched up Kraft!

Raquel Burillo said...

Amazing Dounia!! You're the master of Kraft paper and I love the scene you've created! The fish look fabulous!!:)