Tuesday 26 April 2011

Tutorial - The Country Cottage

I thought I'd show how I broke down the colouring of the country cottage scene as it's such a daunting image to approach.  My friend Jean sent me the image and asked for help in colouring it, so for her and for anyone else that is interested, I hope you find it useful.  the actual stamp is from a Papermania set called Gardenia.

Just to say before I start that it's simply my style of colouring to use a lot of shades to colour anything, I'll never use 2 shades if I can fit in 3 or 4! You don't necessarily need to use as many different colours as I did; as long as you don't colour anything in just one shade you'll achieve some depth without getting overly fussy. I'm not a certified copic teacher or anything, this is just to help Jean get started.....don't shoot me if I don't do it very well! lol.

I've listed the pen colours that I used at each stage, but if you just want a rough idea of the differences between these shades, or if you use something other than copic sketch markers and want to find an equivalent colour in your chosen medium, you can look on the many copic colour charts available on the net and compare with a colour chart for your own markers.....here is one, but bear in mind that the colour reproduction on screen isn't always accurate: http://www.copicmarker.com/products/markers 

Basic planning:

Because the scene contains a lot of different areas of foliage next to each other, I began by thinking about the greens that I would use. I didn't want the green areas to all merge into each other so I needed some contrast between the different areas of foliage. I decided to make the bushes and grass more yellow-green and keep the truer greens for the leaves in the trees.

It seemed best to concentrate colouring efforts on the cottage as it is the main focus. After the cottage, the eye seems to be drawn up to the tree on the left behind the building, so I wanted that to look good too. The other areas I felt would be Ok as long as the different green areas were distinct from each other, but I wasnt going to be overly concerned with them.

Another thing I did first was to determine my light source....I don't know why I decided to have the light coming from the right side but I'm glad I did, it worked out well and created nice shadows on the lawn and with the far left of the building (where the little room is on the end).

The Cottage Roof & Walls:

Roof and walls of the cottage
So the first step was to do the roof of the cottage......I didn't know what colour a thatched roof is, so I just went with a black colour as I felt this would give a lot of contrast with the surrounding areas. So I used 4 shades of grey C3, N4, N6 and N8 for this, colouring in the direction of the lines in the drawing. Having my light source from the right meant that the lightest areas would be on the top and right side of those bumps in the roof over the windows, and the left side of the bumps would be in shadow. So I put my lightest shade C3 down first over the whole roof, then went in with my next lightest shade, N4, covering all the roof except the parts I wanted to stay the lightest (the top and right side of the bumps), then my next shade N6 into the darker areas. Then the darkest shade N8 in the shadows of the roof bumps and the shadow side of the chimney. There's no special reason that I was combining neutral greys with a cool grey, I just didn't have a paler neutral than N4.

Next I coloured the walls of the cottage which I did in warm greys W1, W3, and W5. The lightest shade, W1 went over most of the wall at the front of the cottage except where the light was likely to hit, and the darkest shade, W5, under the roof area and to shade the very left side where the little room is on the end. The gable end would be lit by the sun from the right, so I only used a little W1 where there might have been a little shadow - just up under the roof. I used W1 and W3 on the chimney: W1 and a little W3 on the side facing away from the sun, and just a little W1 round the edges on the side facing the sun. This doesnt show up so well in the photos though.


Stippling in some G21 and G24 over athe first layer of ink (G20)

I built up colour on the trees in the background by using about 6 or 7 shades of green. I took a very pale shade (G20) and covered all the leafy areas with a fairly solid layer of ink. Then I took 2 slightly darker shades (G21 and G24) and kind of stippled these colours over the leafy areas by dabbing with the very tips of the pens to make dots over the whole tree.

Darkening parts with G85, G94, G99

 Then I used the same method of stippling with a darkish green (G85) over just some areas of the tree where I wanted a bit of shadow. Then I took 2 even darker shades (G94 and G99) and further darkened some of the areas where I'd used the G85.

Darker areas blended in, and YG00 added for sun-lit parts

 After the G94 and G99, I went back in with the G85, G24 and G21 (in that order) and stippled over the whole area again to blend these darker areas in a little, and added some stippling in a pale yellow-green (YG00) over the parts that the sun would hit....this yellow really brought the tree to life.

I used the same colours and method to colour the tree behind the chimney, just added a little more yellow so that it wasn't quite the same shades as the 2 tall trees.

The tree at the gable end on the right of the cottage is more sparse and less bushy than the others, so I simply dabbed and dotted the various greens and yellow-greens on without too much care.

Not sure how clear this is in the photo, basically, I just dotted on G21, G24 and YG00 randomly over the leaves.

Next, I coloured some of the bushes in the garden, starting with the one on the left hand side of the cottage. I used various shades of green and yellow-green (YG00, YG03, YG63, YG67, G99 plus a dark grey to add further shading low down in the bush). I started by scribbling roughly with the palest shade over the whole of the bush, and worked down the bush using a darker shade each time in my trusty dabbing technique rather than scribbling as this won't overload the paper with wet ink and also gives a mottled rather than smooth look which is good for leafy areas. With each shade, I covered less and less of the bush. Then I did the same sequence but backwards to smooth the blending and deepen the colouring. Using the yellow-greens means that the bush is a different type of green to the tree right next to it, adding a bit of contrast there.

With the bush on the righthand side of the cottage, I used the same shades of yellow-green and green (YG00, YG03, YG63, YG67) to give another yellowy green foliage.  First I laid some YG00 over the whole bush, and as I moved to the left and into the shaded area I used the other shades over less and less of the bush, until my darkest shade was used only on the shadow areas. 

The Lawn:
I did the lawn in the same shades as the bushes as to me grass always looks yellow-green in the sun. I covered the whole lawn area with YG03, then added YG63 and YG67 to form the shadows that the bushes would cast over it.....for me, this gives a realistic look which is one of the first things the eye is drawn to

More Bushes
There are a couple more bushes on the left hand side of the garden, one to the left of the front door, and one at the far left of the image, both coloured in the same shades I used for the other bushes and the lawn. For the one by the door, I used the palest shade over the whole bush, and the darker shades as I moved to the left away from the light. I added a bit of pale yellow to the right hand side where the sun would hit it. For the other bush, the palest shade covered the whole bush, and the darker ones were used lower down where less light would hit the leaves.

I added some colour to the flowers in the garden next. For the 2 tall foxgloves, I used one shade of orangey-red on the side facing the light, and a slightly darker shade on the left side where less light would be hitting the plant. The other flowers in the garden were coloured in pinky red, with a darker pinky red dotted on here and there so that they didn't look so flat. For the flowers in the planter under the cottage window, I used the same pinky reds, the lighter shade on the side where the light would be hitting them.

The foliage around the garden flowers was first given a layer of YG00, then some YG03 was dotted into that, and then green G21 and G24 were dotted in to darken. Any individual leaves on the bushes in the foreground were coloured with YG63 and then some YG67 was added for a bit of depth.

Details on the cottage
I then took some brown shades - E34, E29, E49 - for the wood above the windows, using the palest shade where the light would most hit them. For the door and planter, I used E31, E34 and E29, again using the lightest shade where the light would touch them. I can't remember what shades I used for the curtains, but I wanted quite muted colours. Two tips for details in this picture such as the flowers and the curtains: there is so much green in this picture, so use the complementary colour to green, which is red, to make them stand out and give maximum contrast with the greens. Other tip is to make the curtains quite a muted colour. Even if you imagine brightly-coloured curtains hanging in that cottage, they wouldn't look so bright from this distance...vibrant colouring would look wrong. If you feel the colour is too bright, try toning it down by adding some pale grey over the top.

Nearly done!

The path is simply some warm greys dotted on top of each other....the darkest shade near the door and to the left of the patch of flowers as it rounds the corner, and the middle shade at the edge of the lawn and borders as the foliage would cast a little shadow at their base.

I was at a loss to know how to colour the windows, as leaving them totally white was too stark. So although I am sure there is a better way to do them, I simply scribbled a little C1 over them in a diagonal scribble. Anyone with an idea how to do windows, please let me know!

The tree trunks were simply E31 and E34, with some YG95 added for shading (I like wood to be a bit greenish!).

Sky was added very simply with just BG000.

For a final touch, I used pencils just to deepen any shadows where I felt it was needed, such as on the bush at the right side of the lawn, and at the corner of the lawn where this bush casts a shadow.

The finished image
There we are! If you do have a go at colouring this image or something similar, I'd love to see it so leave me a message in the comments for my latest blog post, whatever that is, and I'll pop along to visit you.

Carole x

Friday 22 April 2011

All my eggs in one basket

Hello everyone, I hope you are all well and looking forward to a pleasant Easter weekend. I have just typed out my whole blog post, inserted all the photos and then managed to make the entire thing disappear! So this is my second attempt.  I don't make many Easter projects, just a couple of things for challenges, and that is how I came to make this Easter basket. My friend Sheila (Docrafters may know her as DippyDog) challenged a few of us to make a basket, and I used Lena Katrina's tutorial over at Just Magnolia as my guide.  I have to say that although it is not the type of thing I'd usually choose to make, it was really enjoyable and then of course there was the fun of decorating it. 

It took a whole sheet of 12x12 double-sided paper to make the base and the handle, so no wastage. It was all cut up into 2cm strips which were inked at the edges and then woven together. I used an image of Tilda that I'd coloured up last year, added some punched border strips, ribbon, seam binding, leaf diecuts, scalloped circle, lots of pearls and flowers that picked up the colours from the paper. Although there is no pink in the paper, I inserted a pink napkin into the basket simply because it was a pretty spring-like colour and then happily realised it matched the pinks in the sugar-coated eggs. They were purchased specially for the photo, so now I get to enjoy them as a treat!

Also used in the basket are some recycled bits....the rose leaf diecuts were made from some of that card that you get between sheets of NCR paper to prevent the writing from marking too many sheets. And all the white punched borders were made from some letterhead notepaper that a company was throwing away (shock! boxes of them chucked in the bin when the company went bust). It's textured and pretty and I use it a lot in cardmaking.

I couldn't decide which photos to use, so I've include ones of every side. Hope you like it.

The opposite side looks the same as this one

The inside of the basket showing the pattern on the other side of the paper

Image: Magnolia Wrapped Up Tilda (with her bow cut off)
DP: K&Co
Flowers: Wild Orchid, Prima
Magnolia Doohickey rose leaf die

This is being entered into these challenges:
2 Sisters - Bingo (I've gone for Ribbons, Pearls and Flowers)
Kaboodle Doodles - Thoughts of Spring/Easter
Lexi's Creations - Anything But a Card
Creative Card Crew - Recycle Something
Top Tip Tuesday - Open Challenge
Try It On Tuesday - A bit of upcycling
Belli Challenge - Eggs/Bunnies (my old forgotten item is the ribbon, for which I had to search through boxes until I found something in the right shade of green. A happy find because it's silky and so pretty)
C.R.A.F.T.. - Flowers
Pile It On - Smells like Rubber
Magnolia Down Under - Easter challenge

Wishing you all a peaceful and happy Easter.

Happy crafting!

Carole x

Sunday 17 April 2011

Dream Valley Challenge #5 - Easter

Hello everyone and happy Sunday to you all. I hope you are all enjoying your weekend so far.

It's our 5th challenge at Dream Valley, and this fortnight the theme is EASTER. Nice and easy, so come and join in the fun. Our sponsor this time is Stitchy Bear Digital Stamps. and you can win a $10.00 voucher for their store.  Many of the Design Team have used images from them on our cards this week. 

This is my DT card: as you can see, my love affair with box cards continues, lol. I thought I'd be a bit more adventurous and adapted the design to make an octagonal window, which wasn't as tricky as it looks. The image you can see inside it is one from our sponsor, Stitchy Bear; it's called Easter Lillie with Tulips and the designer is Lexis Creations. If you are very sharp-eyed, you might notice that the poor creature's feet have been paper-pieced on! I made such a mess of them first time round, but I liked everything else on the colouring so didn't want to start again.

Image: Easter Lillie with Tulips, by Lexis Creations, available from Stitchy Bear
DP: K&Co
Colouring: Copic markers
Flowers: Prima and Wild Orchid
Computer-generated sentiment, font is LT Nutshell Library

I am entering this in these challenges:
Kaboodle Doodles - Cute & Cuddly Animals (I hope my easter bird counts!)
Ooh La La Creations - Happy Easter
Pollycraft Craft Challenge - Easter
Papertake Weekly - Truly Dimensional
Spoonful of Sugar - All Creatures Great and Small
Aud Sentiment Challenge - Anything Goes
Crafts and Me - Ribbon
Creative Inspirations - Easter
Penny's Challenges - Easter
The Paper Variety - Add flowers to your creation
C.R.A.F.T. - Easter
Little Claire - Animals
ABC DT Challenge - Easter card
The Crafty Pad - Easter
Creatalicious Challenges - Easter, including pink, green, yellow and blue
Bee Crafty - Easter
Craft Your Days Away - Easter
Daring Cardmakers - Spring or Easter
Delightful Challenges - Easter

Happy Easter and happy crafting!
Carole x

Friday 15 April 2011

Colouring Skies challenge

Good afternoon, bloggers. Has everyone got that Friday feeling?

Staying up late on a Thurday to get my card finished for the Make It Colourful challenge has become something of a habit now, I usually only manage to get it done at the last minute. I nearly didn't make a card for it this week as I wasn't at all happy with my work, but it has grown on me and the cunning placement of Tilda to cover the bits where I really messed up has turned out well.  The theme this week is Colouring Skies, and I decided to try and make stormy clouds with the sun just emerging at the end of all the rain. This meant I could use this adorable Tilda with her umbrella. A simple card today as I was short on time and energy.

I paper-pieced Tilda's brolly, coat and wellies using the same paper that you see in the background, and added some shading to the paper. The sky was coloured on a narrow scrap of paper because I was only practising, and with the fence in front of it made an overall image that wasn't deep enough, so to make the picture longer I hand-cut some paper and coloured it with copics to make the hills. Then I used a Make It Colourful digi image of the garden fence, and placed Tilda in front of this on 3d foam pads. I made up the sentiment as I felt it suited the fact that the sun is emerging from the clouds and would make the card useful as either a Get Well or a Thinking of You card.

Copic Creations this week is asking for projects with your favourite paper for using with Copic markers. My fave is Bristol Board which is what I've used on this card. 

Images: Magnolia Tilda, Make It Crafty Petals & Palings
DP: K&Co
Colouring: Copic markers and Polychromo pencils
Computer-generated sentiment, fonts 'English' and 'Essays1743'

I am entering this in these challenges:
Make It Colourful - Colouring sky
Copic Creations - favourite paper for copics (Bristol Board)
Papertake Weekly - Truly Dimensional (Tilda is raised up on 3d pads, the fence stands a little away from the background scene)
Aud Sentiment Challenge - Anything Goes
Crafty Creations - Paper Piecing
Cute Card Thursday - Weather Inspired
Digital Tuesday - Little Women (digi stamp of fence, and computer-generated sentiment are the digital elements)
Partytime Tuesdays - April Showers
My Partner in Crafting Crime - Layer it up (4 layers here: the sky, the hills, the fence stamp and the Tilda image)
GuyLou's Inimitability - April Showers, include an umbrella

Just quickly to share with you, my balloon chair card was voted one of the top 3 at Make It Colourful, which is the challenge I created that card for so I am ever so pleased about that.

And I recently won a challenge prize for my Mothers Day card - a voucher for Joanna Sheen's shop! Never actually won a prize before so this is great. The voucher arrived in the post this morning, complete with a lovely handmade card. When you think that they could simply have emailed me the voucher, this is such a nice added extra, don't you think?

Finally, Anne from Stamps & Paper recently awarded me this: The rules for this award are:

1) Post about it on your blog and link over to the sender (thank them as well) 
2) Pass it on to those who visit your blog and leave comments regularly.

Anne, thank you for thinking of me for this award. There are many lovely bloggers that regularly visit my blog and leave very welcome comments, so I'd like you all to pick up the award with my thanks.

Hope you like the card. Happy crafting!
Carole x

Friday 8 April 2011

Another box card, and some wins

Firstly, I want to say thanks so much for all the lovely comments left for my last couple of cards, I was bowled over by reading such nice comments.

Today have 4 wins to share with you: firstly, my Tilda Box Shadow card was a top 3 winner at the challenge that I created it for, Make It Colourful and also a top 3 at Delightful Challenges.  The Mothers Day card that I made as my DT card last Sunday came in the top 3 at Delicious Doodles, and my Tilda In The Frame card was one of the ones chosen for the Artist's Choice Award at Sundays With Crissy. That's the second win for that card!

Here is the card I finished today: it's for the Make It Colourful challenge which this week is to colour in bright colours. I thought this Balloon Chair digi image from Make It Crafty would be perfect, partly because I'd not seen it used yet so I could work out the colouring myself, and secondly because I love colouring balloons! This image is from the new Carnival range of stamps, so I tried to get a carnival/fair/circus theme going with stripes, bright colours and bunting. I imagined a little corner of a field at some carnival with a chair like a throne, all plush, gold-trimmed fabric, polished wood and beading, where you could pay your money and sit in a magic wishing chair, so this is what I tried to colour. That's the thing with these MiC images, they really fire your imagination. And as this little Tilda is holding a balloon I thought I'd use her again. I was going to have a sitting Tilda on the chair, but after spending so long colouring it I didn't want to cover it up!

It's another box card because I enjoyed making the last one that much, but I elongated it to accommodate the longer image. The wording at the top was made in Word, printed out and coloured (hastily and badly onto non-Copic paper I'm afraid) to look a little like carnival and circus posters.  The bunting is attached to a thin gold rope as this looks a bit like the gold trim on the chair. A golden corner die-cut finishes it off.

It's also my card for the Copic Creations challenge, which this fortnight is to use your favourite technique. My favourite colouring technique right now is to blend from one colour family to another, which I've done with all the balloons.....green to yellow, deep violet to blue, orange to yellow, blue to green, and red to yellow-red. My favourite card-making technique is the box card, I'm going to be making more of these.

Anyway, photos:

The inside is decorated too

Images: Balloon Chair by Make It Crafty, Tilda with Balloon by Magnolia
DP: K&Co
Colouring: Copic markers and Polychromo pencils
Sentiment: computer-generated
Marianne corner die cuts and oval deckle-edged Nestie

The card is going in these challenges:
Make It Colourful - colour in bright colours
Copic Creations - use your favourite technique
iCopic - colour a fancy background
Papertake Weekly - Anything Goes, optional extra something new (the digi image of the chair is new)
Creative Inspirations - Punches and dies (diecut corners on the front and inside, oval diecut on the inside)

Happy Crafting!
Carole x

Sunday 3 April 2011

Dream Valley Challenge #4: Things With Wings

Hello and Happy Mother's Day everyone, I hope the mums among you have been spoiled rotten and that those without their mums have some happy memories to keep them company today.

It's another challenge at Dream Valley, and this time the theme is a delightful one of Things With Wings. Well, winged creatures are a favourite among us crafters so this is sure to bring us some beautiful creations. This fortnight we are sponsored by OSCC, and the lucky winner will receive a £10 gift voucher for their store!

At One Stop Card Crafts we have a big range of ever changing discount making and card making craft supplies.
We are always adding to our range of craft supplies which are ideal for making handmade greeting cards, do-it-yourself invitations scrapbook pages, altered items and much more.
Our card making craft supplies include free UK postage, our popular discount scheme and quick service means our customers keep coming back for more.
Our prices are very competitive and this & makes us an ideal place to buy your card making supplies online. Some of our new products include Petaloo flower layers, Ranger Glitter Glue and Martha Stewart Punches.

This is my DT card which I've made for a special lady in my life. It's a bit different for me and I think shows the influence of all the Less Is More cards I've been spotting around blogland lately. There's a sense of inevitability for me when I see these inspiring cards by the Less Is More ladies - I feel very drawn to them and know I'll be having a go very soon. So this is me dipping my toe in the water but not giving up the fussy and fancy altogether, lol.

I dug out this pearlescent white-on-white cardstock specially for this card (it came from Osbournes I think and you may have seen it on a card of mine earlier in the week) and I layered it onto silver mirri card. The flower is adhered to a white Nellie circle and a glittery lilac nestie, with a few pearl strands and rose leaf die cuts.  I added some pearly butterflies, pearls, a white ribbon and a computer-generated sentiment to finish it off. It's the first time I've made a card of this size....8 x 8" which feels HUGE.

Rose & pearl fronds: Wild Orchid
Rose leaves: Magnolia Doohickey die
Butterflies, white Nellie diecut circle and lilac scalloped circle, all gifts from lovely crafting friends
Pearls & ribbon from stash
Sentiment printed from computer, font is called 'English'

I'm entering this in these challenges:
Cupcake Craft Challenge - Flowers for Mum
Allsorts Challenge - Blooming Blossoms
Secret Crafter - Butterflies
Corrosive Challenge - Pastel Colours
The Crafty Pad - For the Mums
Pixie Dust Studios - Fluttering Wings
Just Us Girls - Sketch
Delicious Doodles - Something for Mum
Wags N Whiskers - Ribbon & Pearls
Papercrafting Journey - For the ladies in your life
Paper Play Challenges - For Mum/Mom

Be sure to check out the other DTs cards, I've seen them and can tell you they are simply great. Have a lovely weekend everyone.

Carole x