Today I decided to push my comfort zone a bit and create my own background for this safari scene. I didn’t have any stamps for the trees etc. so I drew them in freehand. It was a bit scary, and took me quite a while! I think it’s something I’d like to play with doing more, if I can get up the courage for it!
My starting point was the sweet little elephant. The elephant comes from Simon Says Stamp’s Cuddly Critters stamp set which came in the Wild and Colorful card kit. I stamped it with MFT Black Licorice Hybrid Ink onto a piece of white card stock.
I pulled out my Yosoo Finecolour Sketch Markers to colour in the elephant. I have the 36 set of these alcohol markers. I chose to use the cool grey markers and coloured the elephant as though the light is coming from the top right of the elephant. I started by laying in the shadow areas with my lightest colour, then worked through from lightest to darkest and back again until I was happy with the look of the elephant. I then used a couple of yellow greys on the elephant’s toenails just to give them a slightly different look. I then fussy cut the elephant and set it aside.
Next I took a snippet of the same white card and die cut it with a Sizzix circle die. I then used a cloud mask I had previously created and sponged on some blue pigment ink all over the white circle to create a sky.
I then decided to find a picture to use as a reference point for creating my background as I was a bit unsure. I did a quick search for a photo of a savannah, and used that as inspiration for creating the scene.
First I started laying in the trees. I used my lightest green and some swirling motions to create the shape of the tops of two trees. I then took my lightest brown to add a trunk and branches to each tree. I went back to the green and added swirls of colour in a couple of darker shades in order to add depth and dimension to the image. I also added darker shades to the trunks of the trees for the same reason.
Once I was happy with the trees I started adding in my ground. I first put a “wash” of my palest yellow grey using the chisel end of the marker. I then went over that with the lightest brown I have. I started adding blades of grass from the bottom of the panel, keeping them largest at the bottom and making them smaller as I got further back. I used several shades of brown and green, getting lighter as I got further back. I then did another flat wash of colour over the whole lot to blend it in a bit more.
In order to give some depth to the grass I made sure to add some shadowing below the two trees. I also added some random darker and lighter areas across the savannah as the clouds would be making some areas darker than others.
I decided to add some more trees on the horizon line, again drawing inspiration from the image I had found. I squiggles in some trees and bushes of different heights using my darkest green marker. I did consider adding a mountain off to one side, but after spending so much time on the card I was worried about ruining it!
With the circle panel complete I worked out where I wanted the elephant to sit on it, and how I wanted to place the circle on the card base. I trimmed the edge of the circle slightly so that it could sit flush against the edge of the card. I then used foam tape to attach the circle to my card base, and more foam tape to attach the elephant to the circle.
The final thing I needed to do was add a sentiment. And this is where everything started to go wrong… I wanted to stamp the sentiment straight onto the card base. I put the card base in my MISTI and lined up my sentiment. The first part is from Altenew’s Halftone Happy and the “Wild” is from the same stamp set as the elephant. I stamped it, then restamped it and… the paper had shifted.
I considered removing the circle panel from the card base but it was very well adhered. Instead I figured I’d stamp out the sentiment on a banner. I die cut the banner, added the sentiment and realised it was just too big to fit on the banner and didn’t look right.
The next plan was to stamp it on a separate piece of paper that I’d trim down with my trimmer. I stamped onto the paper quite close to the top. I then realised I needed to trim the top as it wasn’t quite straight. When I tried to trim the very small portion off in my trimmer it got chewed up…
So, third time’s the charm, right? I took another piece of paper and stamped out the sentiment. Again it shifted before the second stamping and I was about ready to give up. Instead I turned the card and restamped it, and it worked! I trimmed the piece down and that worked fine too!
As an extra bit of interest I cut a slightly larger piece of the white card and coloured over it with the darkest green I had used on my background. I then adhered the white sentiment panel on to the dark green panel. Of course it stuck slightly wonky but by that point I had had enough, so I wasn’t going to redo it! I did go in and add an ombre of green into the letters of the “wild” and the card was, finally, complete!
Despite all the trouble I had with this card I am really happy with it. I am very proud of how the elephant turned out. Hard to believe I only got my alcohol markers a week ago! I really love how dimensional it came out. The colour is a little darker than I would have liked for an elephant, but I’m unfortunately limited by the colours I have available to me.
CAS Colours and Sketches – Sketch/Layout
CASology – Safari
Simon Says Stamp Wednesday – For A Child