Tuesday, October 15, 2013

A Walk in the Fall Leaves, Made Possible with Rubber Stamps

It's a beautiful time of the year for a walk in the woods, and the changing leaves make the perfect backdrop for a glorious fall wedding!

My nephew and his bride were married in upstate New York in late September, and their reception was held in a picnic pavilion near a lake.  This card was inspired by that unique venue.  It's been a while since I did any rubber stamping, but a stamp set I picked up a year ago was perfect for the theme.

Designed by Kittie Caraccido, "Kittie Kits - Cause a Scene" are manufactured and sold by Rubbernecker Stamps (www.rubbernecker.com).   This kit was Scene 9, and contains 43 stamps.

Some of them are what I call a "micro-stamp," a single image that is very tiny, like one falling leaf or an ear of corn.  The kits are designed for scenic stamping -- creating a 'picture' using the various bits and pieces.

Obviously, for a wedding card, I needed a bride and groom, and found the happy couple in my binder of cling mounted rubber stamps.  The stamp is by Another Stamp Company, and came in two sizes (www.anotherstampcompany.com).  I used the small size for this card.  (By the way, most of the stamps I buy now are cling mounted...they store in binders and take up less space in my studio.  I have acrylic blocks in a variety of shapes to use with them.)  I also found a couple more stamps to incorporate into the scene in my stash.

To begin, I stamped out the scene on scrap paper to determine what would be in the foreground and what elements would be in the background.  Then each image was stamped onto a post-it note or masking paper (a thin, white paper that is covered with the same low-tack adhesive as post-it notes) and trimmed out carefully.  These 'masks' will allow me to stamp over an image, without having the lines of the second stamp show up on the first image.  The image in the foreground is stamped first, then masked, and the images in the background are stamped next. (For more on masking go to http://simplydevinecrafts.blogspot.com/2012/09/a-tutorial-on-rubber-stamp-masking-i.html )  Using black ink, I stamped the bridal couple and the farm stand first, layered the masks over those two images, then overstamped the walking path, trees and pumpkins.  The grass, leaf piles and sand were added next, and to finish the scene, I stamped a cluster of leaves over the trees several times, using an 'Autumn Leaves' Kaleidacolor ink pad.
The scene was stamped on a half-sheet of 8.5" x 11" cardstock.
Now comes the fun part -- coloring!  I worked a rubber stamp show for a company last year, and asked them to 'pay' me with Copic markers.  I have 56 colors, and I'm still playing with them, trying to improve my technique.  I decided to use them (instead of Prismacolor pencils, my other favorite coloring tool), and started with the leaves on the trees.

Ultimately I used six different colors for the leaves.  The farm stand and pumpkins were colored next. The grass created a challenge, because most of my green markers are pretty vibrant, but I discovered that lime and light olive, together with grass green, looked pretty good.
Copic markers blend well with each other. You can go over the same place with a different color
to achieve a realistic look.  
Without a sand colored marker, I opted to use the Prismacolor pencils to color the walking path.  Here's a technique I learned just last year -- Gamsol, an odorless mineral spirit, is great for blending pencil coloring.

'Before' using Gamsol

In the first picture, you can see the 'scribble' lines of the three pencils I used.

Using a rolled paper stub, I applied Gamsol to the coloring, rubbing it in a circular motion.

It blends the colors and brightens them somewhat.  I was happy with the way the path looked when I was finished.

'After' using Gamsol.

The final thing to color was the sky.  For some reason, coloring skies always trips me up.  It's hard to come up with the right shade of blue, and I debate whether to put in some clouds for good measure.  Coloring a sunset a bit easier, but that's not the look I was going for here.

Thankfully, Copic has a color called 'Cool Shadow.'  It falls on the blue-green spectrum, but it was just perfect for the sky on this fall scene.  

To finish the card, the panel was trimmed to 4.25 x 6.25 inches, mounted on a patterned paper, and then affixed onto a 5 x 7 inch card.  I added the sentiment "...and they lived happily ever after...' to the inside of the card (stamp by Another Stamp Company).

Doesn't it look like a nice day for a walk in the falling leaves?