Friday, 10 August 2012

Oh I do like to be beside the seaside!

On UK Stampers the theme for the August Twinchie swap is “By the Sea”, which is great, because I recently acquired a set of seaside stamps, (free with a magazine, if I remember correctly).

The stamp set includes a beach hut, a couple of deckchairs, a small boat sailing along on some waves, and a rather large seagull.  Luckily the beach hut measures just under 2 inches square, so I decided to make it my main feature and exploit the doors, by cutting them open.  Logically the doors would open to show the inside of the beach hut, but I haven’t got any stamps or images that would be suitable, so I had to use a bit of artistic licence and show a view right through the beach hut to the sand and sea behind.  Since the boat stamp fits nicely in the opening, I decided to use that as the focal point of the view.

As I’m “busy” watching the Olympics at the moment, I decided to do all my stamping (with black Memento)  in one session, then sit in front of the telly and colour everything in with Promarkers.  I stamped the beach huts, coloured them in, and very gingerly scored and cut open the doors, then coloured in the backs of the doors to match the fronts.  Luckily all three worked out first time, even though I’m rubbish with a craft knife!  I stamped the tops of the beach huts again three times, cut out the “10” signs and stuck them onto the huts, to make sure the signs were properly white.  I stamped a boat in the middle of some 3 inch squares of card, to make the backgrounds (plus some spares).  Using the door opening, I decided where I wanted the joins between the sky, sea and sand, then made some guide marks.  I used post-it masks to make clouds, like I usually do, then coloured the sky with Artic Blue and Sky Blue, forgetting just how bad Promarkers are for bleeding through paper!  That was an “aaarrrgh!” moment, but the splodgy result actually looked ok, so I’m happy!  However, it was obvious that masking would not work for the boats, so I decided to colour the sea right over them, then take out the colour with my Promarker blender pen.  I was able to take enough blue out of the flags, so that I could colour them red, but the sails ended up a rather blotchy pale blue, which didn’t look very appealing!  I got round the problem by stamping a load of extra boats in a row, sticking double-sided tape on the back, cutting out the sails and sticking them over the mess.  Sorted!  I gave up with the hulls, and just coloured them a darker blue!

It was interesting colouring the sea, as I haven’t got a suitable blue, so I experimented with lots of scribbling in different colours, until I had a mix that would do (and, no, I can’t remember which colours I used!!!!!).  I tried “shifting” some of the blue with my blender pen, with the aim of suggesting waves, but it didn’t work. (I’m wondering if the blue pigment in Promarkers is just difficult to shift, in the same way that the blue pigment in dye inks doesn’t like being bleached?).

I used Sandstone to colour the sand, then realised that I would be cutting most of it off, so I didn’t bother with any shading!

To assemble the Twinchies, I stuck the huts over the backgrounds using double-sided tape, making sure that the boats were in the middle of the doorways.  Lastly, I cut out the 2 x 2 inch squares, with the huts sitting nicely in the middle, then backed each one with another piece of card, to cover the Promarker mess.