Wednesday, 18 December 2013

Spread your Wings by Alan Scott

When it comes to crafting there are what they like to call trends. These are when something is brought into the market and it just explodes and everyone wants to join in with the latest thing.

Over the past few months there has been this trend towards a set of 'Art Dolls' and a series of stamps designed by Julie Nutting. These are a series of stamps ranging from that younger girl, up to that Party Diva. To help make the best of these stamps, Julie has also designed and produced with the help from Prima a block of pre-designed tags. These fit the dolls perfectly and are designed to work hand in hand.
Now then WHY AM I DOING WORK WITH THESE STAMPS? I hear you all ask... After all it's not my normal cup of tea is it? Well when I see something that's popular and available, I like to say... Okay how can I fit it into my 'STYLE'. I guess this is something we all ask when we see something that's not normally associated with what we do. So I said to myself I'm sure I can make it fit into an Altered Art project and make it 'Grunged-Up'.
So this project is my first attempt at this. I have since this project, placed an order for the other Art Dolls as I want to explore where they can take me on a creative path. The highest compliment I could pay them is 'Will they work just as well as the Imagery from Dylusion designed by Dyan Reaveley'? Time will tell but I have my fingers crossed that they will all step up!

An Old 5 x 7 inch Canvas (not quite but if you're looking to experiment here is a 6x4 inch canvas)
Fiskars Stamp Press
That Special Touch - Winged Dress Form Mask
Moulding Paste and Spatula/Palette Knife (here is a set that will sort out most Altered Art Techniques for the starter)
Collection of Letraset FlexMarkers (as I used an ink pad that is usable with Alcohol pens any alcohol pen can be used, if not use a ink pad that's able to be used with a water based colouring product)
Spectrum Noir Bright Pink Pen and a set of 3 Skin Tones FS1 ~ FS3 ~ FS4 (I also used a mid Range Blue Grey for shading afterwards)
Tim Holtz Distress Ink Pads - Vintage Photo ~ Old Paper ~ Festive Berries
Martha Stewart Paints (wonderful paints does right what it says on the tube - high recommendation if you're on a budget and want a collection of paints) Warm Dark Red and a Rich Gold
Post-it Notes and a Sharp Craft Knife
Hot Off The Press Flight of Fancy Stamp Set (use any stamps that you have that will give a detailed winged impression)
Ranger Emboss It Dabber
Background Stamp - I have used Lost Coast Designs Stamp ~ Bubbles Background
Spellbinders Fancy Edge Stamp Set (they work with the metal dies that Spellbinders have produced) - any Lace stamp would work for example: Hot Off The Press Lace and Doilies
Stabilo Mini Pens [fine 04]
Faber-Castell Pitt Artist Pen Big Brush ~ Cold Grey V235*** and M Black Nibbed Pen
80gsm Printer Paper
Print out of some text using a font called 1942 Report (free Font - looks like an old typewriter ribbon that's almost finished)
Mod Podge Matte and a Large Brimmed Soft brush


To make things easy and as the figure stamp is quite large in size (this stamp is just a little short of 7 and a half inches) I used the Fiskars Stamping Press. I wanted to use alcohol based colouring mediums  - Memento ink pads are very good and give a nice crisp clean image.
It's been a while since I last used this type of pen. They do give you the feel of painting with a brush and you're able to get into that mind set. Sometimes this is a lot easier to do. Alcohol pens can and do scare crafter's, however put a brush in their hands and they are happy. So this type of pen is a very good compromise.

When we start to explore using canvases, we build up a collection of them that are half finished or just plain did not work. So this project gave me the opportunity to dig one out and give it a new lease of life. At first I covered it with White Gesso but it just wasn't going to go with the project I had in mind, so a covering of Black Gesso sorted that problem out!


The idea I had in my mind was that the Art Doll would be standing against a brick wall. Prima have hit the crafting world with a great big bang over the past few months. They have invested a lot of time and design in producing some wonderful stencils/masks and stamps. This is one of them! Here I am using the 6 inch version.
Using a moulding paste and a pallet knife, I put a layer onto the canvas. Tip No.1 - if you look carefully at the photo, you will see that there are some places where the moulding past has merged into the section below/side. This was because I did not put something under the canvas, so that the canvas its self was at the same level as the side's. When pressure is placed onto the canvas it will dip. So dig out an old book or something and make sure that the front of the canvas remains level and saves having to scrape it all off and starting all over again!

The feeling was that by using a deep rich red, the Art doll would go from Angel to Vamp. I have over the past few months become so impressed with the paints that Martha Stewart's company is now bringing to the crafting table. Not only are they slightly cheaper and larger in volume but they also do what they say on the tube! I may be speaking to the converted but I can't sing the praises from this company who have given us paints at a price that's not going to cause problems. There are now some wonderful rich glossy paints and I am waiting with a lot of eagerness to see what else the company brings us.
You know, you would have thought that I would listen to what I say on my blog posting's... OH NO I DON'T!  Armed with a wonderful Steam-Punk style stencil, a pallet knife and some deep rich gold paint, I started to lay down some colour. Yes you have it in one - I didn't support the canvas layer. The paint went almost everywhere but where I wanted it to go. The saving grace was the blending sponge. As it happens, it was a very lucky accident as the way it turned out was just as I wanted it to. Also by using the sponge you're able to leave the colour in what ever strength you're after. Here, in parts it's very strong yet in other places it's faded as if it's aged.
To finish the base layer of the project, I used a Metallic Gilding Wax by Creative Expressions. The rich vintage plum worked perfectly with the red, each colour complements each other. The background was finished apart from the text, which I still had not thought about.

I always have the mind set that you're able to mix and match stamps from all sorts of manufacturers. For example, the boots on this set of stamps would be just perfect to 'Steam-punkeyfy' (my made up word!) the stamped image. I want to take it from sweet to vamp. As they say - always start with the shoes lol.
The top right photo shows a little bit of trimming and colour.......
Secure into place.... then give them some gloss. The boots have arrived!

Lets' now start on the outfit. Taking some post-it notes and then stamping out the skirt, legss and the top. We are able to start to build up paper masks so that we can start to embellish. The skirt is cut out using a sharp crafter's knife on a cutting mat. Placed onto the figure and any other areas that might get inked are also covered. Using the Distress Ink (it's a wet one so will not dry quickly) this when stamped, will give us enough time to put our selected embossing powder on to it. Then with the heat gun, just watch the magic happen.
If you're lucky enough to have a set of ultra small font stamps, it comes in perfectly now for the next part. I want to stamp the word 'VAMP' onto the vest. This can be done with a black fine nibbed pen, so don't think you HAVE TO use these stamp sets you don't. Just practice a few times before you put the word on the project for good.
The next step is to give the figure some legs. I opted to use a stamp that looked like it was lace. Instead of using a black, which I thought might be a bit to strong, I selected a dark blue that wouldn't fight the red colour below.

Then it was time to start on the wings. Using a wing stamp from another collection, I was hoping to over stamp so that the wings would have lines and some sort of definition. I could have used a pen but that just would sit right with me, as I didn't want it to stand out but be something that was spotted maybe on the 2nd or 3rd visit to the project when it was finished.
When the ink was dry after a quick blast of the heat gun and allowed to cool down, the next step was to give the wings a back ground pattern that was a clear gloss look.
The bottom photo shows the wings with the embossing powder and then after the magic had happened.

I went back to the figure after I had done the wings thinking it was about time to start to build the image up - the vest looked flat. With all the embossing that had happened, I didn't want to do more as I felt there was enough already. So I dipped into my pens draw and selected some fine nibbed felt tipped style pens. Then with 3 colours, just did very small circles as if I was doodling or as it's now known, Zentangle. This just finished the figure off and all that was left was to give the figure some shape.
I selected 3 colours that fitted well and were a darker shade of the first one. Not being ultra careful, I just went round the arms and the face trying to give the feel of light and shadows. You don't have to be ultra careful, its not a major science. The only thing to remember is start light and build up. Practice on the same card stock as the one you're using. It's pointless using some photo copy paper when you're working on 300gsm card stock. When you're happy with the results, transfer that skill you have just learnt over to the main project. Don't beat yourself up over it. Relax and it will happen.

Using double sided foam, place parts onto the figure where it is going to be in contact with the surface you're going to stick it to. A helpful tip is place a little wet glue onto the pads. This will give you time to move the figure about till you're happy with placement.

When you're happy with the placement, take a broad nibbed pen and just go around the figure where you think there is a shadow. To help you, switch on a table lamp, hold the canvas up to it and just go where the shadows are falling naturally. 

This last step before the canvas is fully finished, can be for me, one of the longest parts. Finding the right words. Sometimes it happens just like that, other times I'm looking at books, visiting pages on the Internet or watching telly listening out for that phrase or few words. When I found them, I printed the phrase out using my printer and computer. The font I have used is a free one and if you're into Altered Art then it's a font that will give you lots of help when it comes to words. The wrong font can ruin a project. Pay as much attention to that as the rest of your canvas. There are lots of sites out there that will allow you to download and use. Just be careful and read the conditions - some sites will let you use for personal but not when it comes to selling work.
I took a black pen and just drew a box around the words, didn't use a ruler as that just wouldn't look right. Then using 3 colours, I started to build up colour. I opted to use a red as the main background was red, so a hint of red in the wording banners would just tie them in. 

Finally, using some Mod Podge I glued the wording onto the canvas.

There you have it, I hope that I have opened up the options when it comes to using these stamps. You don't just have to make the cute, you can bring out the Vamp in them.
Any questions please send me a message and I will get back to you a.s.a.p. 
Have a wonderful crafting holiday, I hope your gifts are well received that you have made and the gifts you receive are perfect and are ones that can enable your crafting to go on a new adventure.
Take care enjoy and see you all in 2014.


1 comment:

  1. Am not sure about the doll, but I love the fab backing.


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