Friday, 22 January 2016

Art Class - Charcoal drawing

Still Life - Puma
Another term started and I am already a week behind in putting up my work.  We are starting off the term with oil painting. Not having any oil paints I decided to buy myself a beginners set of water soluble oils to have a go at.  My thinking was this would be easier to clean up etc.  No oils this week but charcoal to get us back into drawing before painting next week.

Evidently this big cat was donated to the Art department many years ago by a Department store in Norwich, where it had been used in a window display.  It is about three feet tall and looking a bit battered now but it must have been great in that shop window.  

Working in charcoal was very messy and I found it very difficult to get the detailed edges even with a plastic colour shaper. It was only when I got home and wrote some notes on the back that I realised the paper used had a textured side and I had used the smooth side. I did cheat and add a few highlights with a white pastel as my rubber didn't lift the charcoal very well.

Looking forward to getting back to painting next week as I haven't done any at all over the Christmas period.  

Lesley x

Friday, 15 January 2016

Claritystamp Challenge - Say it with Flowers 2

Another example for this month's Clarity Challenge 'Say it with flowers'. For inspiration I got out all my NDC flower stamps but couldn't make my mind up which ones to use so in the end I just used all of them!  I hope my card will remind you of some of the wonderful flower stamps and inspire you to enter this month's challenge. 

Stamps:  Clarity NDC 67 Lupin, 71 Pear Branch, 72 Mistletoe Sprig, 77 Cow Parsley, 82 Cherries, 84 Rose, 89 Edelweiss, 93 Lady's Mantle, 95 Flower stem, 99 Daisies, 101 Agapanthus, 104 Potted plant, 109 Acorns. (Put NDC in the Search box on the Clarity site and you will find all of these and more)
Stencil:    Wonky Boxes
Inks:        Adirondack Lettuce, Butterscotch, Peach Bellini, Pitch Black
Other:      Clarity stencil brushes, Black pen, Spectrum Noir pencils

Sorry no step-by-step photos for this one

  • Fix stencil to card at top to make a hinge and then brush on colours until you are happy with the result.  You can lift the stencil to have a peek. 
  • Use a makeup sponge to wipe the ink off the stencil and define the edges.
  • Using copier paper to mask the edges, stamp a flower into a box.
  • Press hard because of the stencil. Any little bits missed can be added later with a black pen ("How do I know this?") 
  • I used a dye based ink because I didn't want to stain my stencil.
  • Put some scrap paper between the art work and stencil and with a dry cloth wipe the stencil clean.
  • Repeat until all the wonky boxes are filled.
  • Remove the stencil and draw wiggly lines around the boxes.
  • Colour in flowers with pencils.
  • Cut around artwork with wiggly scissors and mount on yellow paper.
  • Fix to card blank and write on sentiment. (All my sentiment stamps were too big for my gap)
We would love to see more entries this year so why don't you have a go.  Entry is free and you might be the lucky one to be picked at random to win the £50 Clarity voucher.

Lesley x

Sunday, 10 January 2016

New Baby Card

I got the best ever Christmas present this year.  Christmas Eve saw the arrival of my first Granddaughter and this is the card I made for my daughter and son-in-law. This is their third child the other two being boys and I have tried to represent their growing family with the bear stamps.

The stamps I have used are some very old rubber foam backed ones plus some of my own design.
(a) Mum, two boys and baby from a set of Teddy bear stamps.  I can't remember the maker.
(b) Pram was a Freebie stamp from CraftStamper magazine (May 2008).
(c) Dad from a set of bear stamps I drew and made with my Tessa Collins Stampmaker kit. This was a Christmas present a couple of years ago and I must start using it more.

It is only when you go back to using wood or foam backed stamps that you realise how much easier it is to position clear stamps.   The photo above shows some of my scrap paper where I was trying to get the bears in the right places.  I did  manage it in the end but it took a lot of time and effort.  (Many thanks to Barbara Gray and her moment of clarity in coming up with the idea of clear stamps.)

Lesley x

Friday, 1 January 2016

Claritystamp Challenge - Say it with flowers

Happy New Year to all.

I can't believe it's a year since I was asked to join the Claritystamp Challenge Design Team.  Where has the time gone? I still feel very privileged.

Another month, another challenge. This month's Challenge is 'Say it with Flowers' and my example was inspired by a Japenese Print.  If you follow my blog you will know I attend an Art class once a week.  Just before Christmas we were doing monoprints and for research had to look at Japenese Woodblock prints.  I really liked one of a single Chrysanthemum so when I saw the challenge was flowers I just had to have a go at my interpretation using Clarity stamps.

Stamps:  Claritystamp Chrysanthemum and Filigraphy Foliage
Ink:        Archival Watering can, Adirondack Lettuce and Cranberry
Other:     Spectrum Noir Pencils

  • Make masks for the leaves by stamping on post-it notes

  • The stamping is done using 'Watering can' as I didn't want it too dark.  Stamp the flower and then lightly sketch where you think the stalk should go. This will help in placing the leaves.
  • Using the leaf masks where necessary stamp the leaves. For the small top left leaf I masked some of the stamp with masking tape before inking. Then removed the tape before stamping .
  • Draw in the leaf stems and flower stalk with a fine black pen.

  • Now just use your colouring pencils to add the colour.  Start light and gradually add darker colours until you like the result.

  • Trim to size and then brush the edges, first with Lettuce ink and then Lettuce with a bit of Cranberry added.
  • Mount on Gold card.
  • Add 'LOVE' sentiment.  I tried to draw it in a pseudo Japanese style to go with the Japanese Print inspiration.  Apologies to any Japanese readers. 
This is a fairly simple card. The only tricky bit was working out the order of stamping the leaves. I hope this inspires you to have a go at this month's Claritystamp Challenge and I look forward to seeing your entries.

Lesley x