Thursday, April 9, 2009

Cutting a Sketch with an Inked Background aka "Cut Then Ink Technique"

OK, here is the long awaited tutorial. It's gonna be long so get comfy! I used the Harley on the Beach card from yesterday with the SCS Sketch Challenge # 223 throughout this tutorial just so you have an idea of where I'm going.

Many of you have commented on the beach scene itself and how I created that. I learned it from....Michelle Zindorf in this post. (can't wait to take a class from her in August! Woo Hoo!). This is a definate must read blog for me. I really feel that I totally got my start from that blog. Now, I tend to sponge where Michelle Zindorf tends to brayer but everything else in creating the beach theme is the same.

Now, I'm going to present this as a narrative of what's going on in my brain as I think thru this too so hopefully it isn't too goofy! Ha!

On Wednesday mornings, my alarm clock goes off around 4:15. I quickly look on my iPhone to see what today's SCS sketch challenge looks like and if I could work with it. (phone is next to bed with page for the sketches already open so I just have to refresh) Yep, looks like a good one so I stagger downstairs half awake to my stamp area.

I look thru my stack of already colored images to see what I have that might fit today's sketch and inspire me for the rest of the scene. I come up with 3 possibilities (excuse rotten pictures...its a dark basement at 4:30 am!). I like to put some element of the image in each of the boxes of the sketch - more interesting. So, the monster idea gets thrown out because I didn't want just his tail in a box. The little girl image could have the cat in another box....but she's kinda big for the sketch. So I decide to use Harley and put the sun in the box. Hmmm...shall I put him in the garden or at the beach. BEACH! Haven't done of those in a while.

I like to cut the main portions of the sketch FIRST! I am MUCH more likely to make a cutting mistake than an inking mistake. This is my personal preference-could be the opposite for you!

Now, I need to draw the elements of the sketch onto a piece of Whisper White cardstock cut to 4" by 5.25" (so I can use my cardbase as a border later). I use my paper cutter to help me with this by putting the paper guide down and inserting a pencil into the slot to draw a line (forgot where I saw this idea). The paper cutter also helps me center my pieces as I use the built in ruler as a guide. You can see that I place my cutout main image there too to guide me in the size of my squares (I hope to have some Nesties soon so I can make this a little easier).

NOTE on Circles and ovals: The only method I currently have to cut large circles and ovals is my Cricut. I haven't really figured out exactly how to place my cutout where I want on the card so I just cut my base too big (like 5 x 6), cut the circle or oval with my Cricut, and then see where I need to trim that base to get it to 4" x 5.25" with the cutout in the correct location. See why I don't like to do that shape! Gotta get those Nesties!

Now there are also two horizontal lines that go all the way across the sketch. Those are pretty simple cuts I prolly won't mess up so I'm gonna do those later. Often times, I will cut the small straight lines out later so I don't have a bunch of small pieces to work with. Here's an example of a card where I did just that. NOTE: I actually remove 1/8" of the scene. I do not just cut the part out and spread my pieces apart to get the 1/8" in gap. This keeps everything lined up. NOTE2: The red you see showing in those 1/8" gaps is the actual card base peaking thru.

So, here is what my piece looks like with the squares drawn on.

Now on to cutting. I cut out the center square first (I pick this one first as it will remain a full square on the card - no cutting into it). Be as accurate as you can in the corners so you don't have any little cut parts showing later (need Nesties).

Next I cut the outter square. See it isn't really a full square's missing its middle. Sometimes if the squares were offset like on this card, the second cut is more of a "C" shape than a square. In any event, your first cut will always be whatever shape is WHOLE on the finished card. Here's what you end up with:

I'm about 30 minutes into this project now.

I put my little "puzzle" back together on an old Cricut mat (this holds it in place. You could also put just a bit of adhesive on the backs to hold your elements in place on your stamp table) I use a good white art eraser to erase any pencil lines that are still visible. Don't use a cheap pencil eraser - it will leave little dirty marks!

Now I use an old & favorite piece of torn Georgia Pacific 110 cardstock as a mask. (The Cricut mat helps hold this in place and also has rulers that help me keep this straight. A sticky note mask and a piece of grid paper would work also!)
I sponge Cool Caribbean ink all over the "sky" area. When I remove the mask, I end up with this:
Next I sponge the River Rock ink into the "beach" area. I add a little more Cool Caribbean ink over the River Rock (didn't use a mask this time-just "winged it"). I think this looks like really shallow water rushing up onto the sand. Love this look!
Next I use some sticky notes (Post-Its) to mask off my horizon line. I sponge some Tempting Turquoise across this line. Remeber when sponging, go half onto the post it note and half onto your scene. As you run out of ink, work downward which fades it into the Cool Caribbean. Again, my Cricut mat helps me keep this horizon line straight.
Next I remove the sticky notes and sponge a bit of Tempting Turquoise in the upper corners. To finish off my beach, I stamp a few "grains of sand" using Itty Bitty Backgrounds in Creamy Caramel and sponge a bit of Creamy Caramel into the lower corners. I like to darken my four corners a bit - kinda acts like a frame and tells your eyes "Stop here" and points them to the middle. I'm 40 minutes into my project so far and here's what I've got. Now its time to to mat my squares. Sometimes I have a color already in mind but today I didn't. I placed my main image and my beach scene onto some Taken with Teal cardstock. It's ok, but not quite the "pop" I'm looking for.....kinda blah.
Inspired by the sun portion of the image, I try some Pumkin Pie cardstock. That's it!
So I cut some Pumpkin Pie cardstock scraps to mat my two little squares on. I cut a full sheet in half to use as my card base. As this 1/2 sheet is a little bigger than my beach scene, I'll get a nice frame around my scene. I put all the pieces in place to make sure everything is ok before I adhere it all down. I also think that I need something else on the outer most square. Maybe a palm branch in the upper left corner (as the sun is kinda drawing me to the right side). I'll figure that out at the end.
I start from the outside and work in. First I adhere the big outter most piece of the beach scene. Then the matted middle square and I have this.
Finally I adhere the matted center square.
OH NO! I just realized that I forgot a part of the sketch! Remeber there is supposed to be two horizontal lines that go all the way across. I meant to cut them out before I adhered everything down. The orange that I planned to have showing thru would have been from the card base. So, plan "B" for those is cutting some thin strips of Pumpkin Pie and glue them into place. Here you see the thin strips cutout.
And now they are glued in place. Shew, I'm saved! This really cost me some time tho...I'm 1 hour and 10 minutes in now.

People have asked me if I just cut out 1/8" frames to place on top of my all one piece scene. I've considered that but I hate working with those tiny pieces!

All that's left to do is glue ol'Harley on. I still think I'm missing something in the upper left corner so I decide to add some palms. I quickly stamp them in Momento ink and get to coloring. I'm running out of time before work and I gotta hurry. I know I'm gonna cut these branches out so WHY COLOR IN THE LINES? I just scribble real quick like this: (NOTE: This pic is BEFORE I blended my Prismacolor pencil)

I do this all the time and it drives my Kindergarten age son CRAZY (since he's trying to learn to stay IN the lines!).

I put the palm branches on and I'm done. I could have kept on going here adding a cool drink next to Harley and some seashells in the sand but I'm outta time! I take my final pics in my light box and head upstairs to write my post (this takes me another 30 minutes).

From the time I woke up until the time I get this posted on my blog and SCS is just under 2 hours. My goal this year is to find some ways to shorten that time some more (maybe Nesties, airbrush system, getting a little more organized about my supplies used list as I always have to look up the name of something!, etc.)

Did you make it all the way to the end of this? Took me all day to write! I hope that helps you!

Michelle B.


Anonymous said...

Thank you so much for the tutorial. It all makes more sense to me know. I'm in the same boat you are...cricut no nesties. I'm tempted to try this. Thanks again for taking the time to do this.

Lindastamps at gmail dot com

Julie said...

ok, you need to go to your dh and tell him how desparately you need the nesties! I can't believe the time you put into your are such an artist. This was a fabulous tutorial! Thanks Michelle.

Terri H. said...

Michelle, this was a fabulus tutorial! Thank you once again for all your help. This has really been a fun technique to try. I really loved doing it and now have a greater appreciation for all your creative projects. Lots of work! TFS

Lisa Foster said...

Wow! This tutorial was fabulous! Thank you for explaining everything! I LOVE your Harley & Beach! I am looking for some short cuts too...seems like it takes me forever to make a card and post it. The Nesties do help a little (Keep them all out shere they are easy to grab though) I got one of those corkboard thingies and hung mine on push pins...that way I can see what all I have and grab it quickly). Hope you have a great Friday! {hugs} Lisa

"Tillymint" said...

I've just been led to this tutorial its fantastic -- I'm totally in awe of how you work too up so early to get such a great result in a couple of hours - truly amazing thank you so much for sharing.

Melodie Hoschek said...

Thanks for the fantastic tutorial!! I used my nesties and it really was easy!! Here is a link to my card inspired by your beautiful example!!