This card took me quite a long time to make, and I’ll explain why in a moment! It’s my interpretation of the current layout from CAS(E) This Sketch, combined with DRS Designs‘ challenge to incorporate sun rays, and The Paper Players request for a source of light.
I started by planning out my layout with the help of my MISTI. The unicorn and rainbow stamps come from Avery Elle’s Be A Unicorn (I also used the raindrops from this set, though they don’t really show in the photo). One of the clouds is from Avery Elle’s Pixie Dust and the other (the bigger one, if I recall correctly) is from Panduro Hobby’s Balloon. The sentiment is from Lawn Fawn’s Lovable Legends.
I wanted to try no line colouring. From what I understand the idea is you use a very pale ink that will “disappear” once the colours have been added to the image. I picked a pale blue, as that was the palest I could find. I stamped all the images with that, and the sentiment in black, and then got started on my colouring/painting.
I’ll skip forward in time a bit here… I ended up ruining it. The blue was a pigment ink, which of course is not waterproof. And I was getting frustrated at the blue showing through, and being less and less careful to keep the water away from the ink and…. Well, it got messy, and I got annoyed.
The problem is, I really wanted to use my watercolour pencils (because you know how I love to make life hard for myself!) but I don’t have any waterproof inks. I really should get one…
Anyway, I had an idea and decided to give it a go. Basically… I used my embossing stamp pad (which for some reason I bought with me even though I don’t have the powders or heat tool here) to stamp the images. As the ink is clear it really did give me no lines to colour! Or at least, the lines are so faint as to be nearly invisible. It still doesn’t work amazingly with water, and I had to be careful because it wanted to go splotchy if I got it wet, but once dry it wasn’t really noticeable. I was happy with the decision.
I coloured the rainbow first, applying most of the colour to the outer edges and then bringing it into the centre with the water, giving the nice shine effect as a result. I then went and drew in my sun rays with a light yellow, colouring the tops of them and drawing the colour down from the cloud with water. For the clouds themselves I didn’t want to add to much colour, just give the impression of shape. I very lightly shaded around the “puffs” with a grey pencil, pulling the colour out and around with water to really emphasise the fluffiness. For the clouds on the rainbow I added a bit of yellow where the sun would be hitting. Can’t decide if I like it or not…
I started colouring the unicorn and then realised that it wasn’t going to work with the no line thing because I wanted it to have a white body. So I went back to my MISTI to restamp the unicorn in black. I had anticipated this possibility and left all my stamps on the MISTI for this exact reason, so I was able to get a perfect restamp.
Or… I would have, if I’d actually properly pushed my paper into the corner. Yeah, you can imagine how annoyed I was at myself! Thankfully the embossing ink underneath really is pretty clear, so the double image only shows if you look closely (it can just about be made out in the picture below). I decided to stick with it, as I really didn’t want to start over a second time! (Especially as I was meant to be in bed already at that point…)
Colouring the unicorn was fairly straight forward. I added some light shading to the body with grey. A bit of pink for the nose and inner ear. More grey to shade and give shape to the horn. The most complex part was the hair, which has multiple shades of blue. If I’d had more time I would have kept going at it longer to try and get more texture in it. I also shaded the hooves in blue, and then added a light sweep of grey across below the unicorn to help ground it.
I added some raindrops coming from the second highest cloud. They don’t show brilliantly though… I used the embossing ink for them. If I’d had clear embossing powder (and my heat tool!) I would have clear embossed them which I imagine would have looked fantastic. But never mind!
I debated for a while whether to go back and restamp the rainbow and all the clouds so that they would have a black outline to match the unicorn, but eventually decided not to. (Still not sure if that was the right decision!) I think having only the sentiment and the unicorn with the black helps draw the attention to them, and makes them look like they are more in the foreground.
Finally I added some shimmer to the unicorn with Wink of Stella.
I’m pretty happy with how this turned out in the end. If I was going to change something it would be… doing it properly the first time! And of course clear embossing the raindrops. Possibly doing clear embossed lines for all the upper images actually… I think that could look interesting. I’ll have to try it sometime. Once I’ve bought clear embossing powder. And have my heat tool…
Also I guess just-got-home-from-work is not the best time of day to take photos, lighting-wise. Problem is, the light isn’t good in the morning before I leave either. Best time of day for lighting is whilst I’m at work! And I can’t exactly leave in the middle of the day to come home and photograph my cards! Isn’t it a hard life, being a crafter..? 😉