Thursday, October 17, 2013

Stamp Layering

I was rather sick to my stomach this morn so I stayed home from work today and made soup. I got a bit bored of my cycle of pintrest, TV and books.   I recently admired Genine's stamps and had wanted to carve some up for my Christmas cards this year. Last year, I did the water colored scene. I loved those, but wanted to change it up a bit.
I started by sketching designs on to a larger index card since that would be the general size of the overall image. I ended up wanting to make a scene that only could be achieved by making multiple stamps to layer to create depth. I went for a mountain scene with moon and trees. I decided on simple designs that I can use at later times, other than for Christmas cards.
I made the simple triangles stamp first. I free handed the triangles onto the master carve based off the earlier sketches I did. I am not a skilled carver so I started with the basic exact-o knife to cut straight lines into the master carve, trying not to go too deep. I took thin layers of the background off in small sections. I tested it out many times. Cleaning it up as I went along. As seen above, on my test scrap I sketched in the mountains and moon onto the opposite side of the master block from the trees. This master carve block is so thick and expensive ($35 for a 8x11 thick sheet).  It helps me get more stamps and I know it will be the same size to match up the images.  
I used a rollerball carver on the mountain side, trying to do continuous cuts in order to keep the lines smooth. As you can see I don't always keep true to the ball point line. The extra bump in the middle mountain felt natural when I carved and looked great when I tested it. The fine tip helped make the fine valleys. I started clearing the sky with wide curve tip with the intention to take it all out. I kept with the line of the mountain I had cut first and created these great curves. I did a test and loved the effect it left in the sky. Cleaning out high spots until I liked it.
I started layering it up with the triangles. I love the placement. I will say that working with double sided stamp is messy and I now have ink all over. It would be best to have a similar size of cardboard to sandwich between your hand. The ball point ink will come off in the first few stamps but, will soon fade. Also, working with exact-o knives and rollerballs is tricky, always point away from yourself and go slow. The top middle one in the image above was the final stamp.
I am known to mix inks which eventually dirtys the lighter colors. I always lay the stamp face up on the table and apply the ink pad with my hand. I think most people do it the opposite way. This helps me mix colors on the triangles to look like trees in the above image. Also, I could make the moon or half the triangles a diffrent color or achieve shading in the right spots.
Here are some awesome triangles by themselves will make nice wrapping paper. I ended up switching colors and getting kind of purple trees. This can be avoided by stamping off all the ink on scraps. I like when there traces and it creates variation. It also allowed me to see that the triangles in a  non-Christmas color are an awesome pattern to have as a stamp.

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