Saturday, August 31

Welcome To Judy's Place

It's no secret that I LOVE wreaths, so I'm really thrilled to be sharing this fabulous project that the lovely Judy VanZandt has created. Wouldn't it look just beautiful on your front door or hanging in the kitchen to welcome your guests? Judy has very kindly included a colouring guide at the end of this post for those who would like to have a go at recreating her project. There is also a link to her blog so you can head over to see even more of Judy's beautiful work.

Judy constructed the wreath using a set of three nesting wreath rings that she bound together and decorated with a selection of greenery and pretty white flowers. She added a gorgeous cream coloured ribbon bow and the water-coloured image from the new Welcome Home set.

Thursday, August 29

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Tuesday, August 27

Colouring Old Wood

Today's tutorial is all about colouring old, painted wood and I'm using one of my favourite stamps as an example - the rock framed door from the new Welcome Home set. You could use this technique on any wooden object from old furniture to painted row boats. 

I stamped the image in a light coloured ink on smooth card stock, then added a very light layer of brown pencil to the wooden door. Even though my door won't end up brown, it will give me the undertone I'm looking for and provide me with a base for additional colours.

I'm using the same brown pencil to accentuate the knots in the wood and some of the larger cracks.

Now for the first layer of "paint". I want to end up with a lovely aqua door, but I also want it to be aged with time, use and the effects of the weather. If I simply colour the whole thing in one colour it will look flat and won't tell a story... so like a delicious parfait, we layer.

Working one plank at a time will give a more realistic look to your door. Each plank will be slightly different, tricking the eye into seeing them as separate pieces, which is exactly what we're after. I'm using a light aqua pencil to add a layer of colour to the first plank, avoiding the area around the knot. You often see old wood with lots of discolouration around knot holes, so I'm going to keep most of the "paint" away from that area and allow the under colours to show through. Don't be tempted to colour the wood brown though... old wood is actually more grey than brown.

Adding a bit more pressure with the same pencil will add more vibrancy to the colour. The paint will be more intense at the top of the plank where it has been shaded from the effects of the sun by the overhanging rock, so that's where you want to intensify the colour.

A darker shade of aqua adds even more intensity to the colour, but add it in light layers until you get the effect that you're after.

I'm going to colour the second plank in the same way, being mindful about weathering and human interaction. The paint around the door handle would have been worn away by decades of people opening and closing the door. Similarly, the paint around the bottom of the door would be a lot more worn from sun and water damage.

Intensify the colour with a darker pencil, applying less and less pressure as you move outward. Remember, blending pencil is all about the amount of pressure you use - less pressure will give you less pigment and therefore a lighter colour.

Work through all the planks in the same way until your door is coloured. Don't be afraid to leave lots of patches to give your door an old, weathered look.

I'm using a very dark brown pencil to add in some of the detail in the knot of the wood, around the door handle, between the boards, at the bottom of the door and in the cracks of the wood. Sharpen the pencil constantly to keep a nice fine tip for thin, sharp lines.

I'm adding more dark aqua between each board where the paint wouldn't be as affected by water and sun.

Again with the dark brown pencil to reinforce the cracks and gaps in the wood.

The door handle and hardware are coloured with dark greys and black to give the impression of metal. Add shadows to help define the ring on the door handle and the screws in the hardware.

And that's it, your door is done! Here's a colour chart of the pencils I used to colour the door. I'll continue using these same colours throughout the rest of the project to help bring everything together. Keep scrolling down for a step-by-step photo sequence of how I coloured the rest of the scene.

Here's a photo sequence for the remainder of the colouring:


Sunday, August 25

Old Farm Door

It's no secret that pencils are my most favoured colouring medium. They are versatile, simple to use and will go on almost any paper surface. Most of us started using pencils when we were in primary school so there isn't the mystique and confusion around them that some mediums tend to have. And if that isn't enough to convince you of how fabulous pencils are, then just take a look at the rainbow of colours that are available to us. Ahhmazing!

Today I want to share a mini-colouring tutorial about adding extra little details to your coloured images. I'm using the farm door stamp from the new Welcome Home set.

I began by stamping my image with light coloured ink that will virtually disappear once the colour is applied. This gives a painted, rather than stamped, look to the finished piece.

I applied a layer of medium grey pencil around the door frame, and then gradually built up the colour with lighter grey and eventually some white. Using grey, rather than white means that I've still got somewhere to go if I want to lighten (or darken) areas of the frame. Be cautious of using lots of bright white on anything. Bright white usually implies a high shine, such as you'd find on clean glass or polished metal. Very few "white" objects are actually purely white.
Similarly, the cracks in the wood have been accentuated with dark browns and reds rather than black. Always keep in mind what the item you're colouring is made from as it will help you to choose your colour palette.

When colouring doors, furniture and buildings in general, keep in mind the effects of weather and handling. For example, you might notice that I've started to accentuate the cracks in the wood at either end of the wooden beams. These are places that water would normally pool, where dust would fall and where moss and moulds would grow. I've also thought about human interaction with the object. In this case, years of handling the door bolt would have worn away the red paint, as would pushing the door open at the bottom with a foot. It's these added details that add interest to your finished piece.

Don't forget to add shadows. Little shadows on things like cracked plaster and raised bricks are virtually invisible... unless you don't add them. If I had not pointed out the fact that I've added tiny shadows throughout the brick and plaster work you wouldn't have noticed. However, if I had just coloured them without the shadows your eyes would register a completely flat wall. You'd be thinking "wall paper" instead of old bricks covered by cracking plaster.

You don't have to stop at the lines the stamp artist has given you. Use your creativity to add your own additions to the scene, being mindful of what overall feel you're trying to achieve. I've added some green pencil around the flagstones and bottom of the wall to resemble moss. That gives the viewer subconscious information about the scene, such as the weather, how much moisture is present and how often people pass through the door.

It's a good idea to keep track of the colours you're using. You'll start to learn what combinations you like, which pencils shade or highlight well and what doesn't work together.

Lastly... practise! Not everything you colour has to end up on a card, layout or other project, so just play. Colouring books are a great way to practise without feeling you need to do something with the end result, and there are lots of free digital images and colouring pages you can download from the internet and print at home. Colour the same image in a few different ways. Play with shadows and light, change the combinations just to see what happens. Enjoy!


Friday, August 23

Deanne's Studio

Fussy cutting is a fabulous technique that can give your images a neat die-cut look. Some people cut right up close to the outer line of the image for a seamless fit with the background. Others prefer to leave a little white border all around, which frames the image nicely. 

Deanne has been hard at work fussy cutting her way around a couple of the images from The Slow Lane digital stamp set. In the image above, she has even paper pieced parts of the little scooter to add more dimension to her project.