I'm a prompt! I'm a prompt!
OK, so here's the story: In one of the groups I'm in on Facebook (M3 shout out!!!), we were having a discussion about layers. They are awesome! Yes...BUT they are not the easiest thing to learn! So, one of the ladies was asking about how people in the group do layers. And as it turned out, we all had layer issues! I'm so happy, because I thought I was the only one! Layering has been on my ever growing list of things I need to work on for a LONG time. But I have been practicing...
I am DEFINITELY NOT an expert (at anything...besides maybe practicing...), but I mentioned that one thing that is helping me is to start out with things I don't really like. I mean, you don't want to cover up beautiful gorgeousness, right? Because then you could mess up your totally awesome whatever-it-is and be really sad! However, if you start out with something you're not really a fan of, and you mess it up, it's not really a loss, because you didn't like it (and, let's be honest, if you don't like it, you'd never use it anyway). So, to my shock and glee, they made that into a prompt, to work on layers by starting out with something you don't like. (I actually can't leave my craft room because my head won't fit through the door!)
What I thought I would do is take some pictures to show how I arrived at the end result...so here you go:
|This is a piece of scrapbook paper from one of the first paper pads I ever bought. The rest of the paper from this pad is pretty awesome, but this page has always made me gag. I don't know why, but I REALLY dislike it. |
For the first step I glued this (HIDEOUS) paper to a piece of thin cardboard (think cereal box weight).
|The next step was to apply a thin coat of gesso to try to tone down the brightness of the paper (did I mention how ugly the paper was to me...oh lawd, so ugly!) After the gesso was dry, I used a large scroll stamp I had and some Dove Gray Stazon ink for the next layer. Then, I used Jet Black Stazon and a few different scroll stamps over that.|
|In this step, I used several different colors of Distress Stains to add some color to the gesso. For the record, Distress Stains are REALLY awesome, and one day, I will own all the colors. At this point, I decided I was going to do a girl (because what do I make besides girls, really?)...|
|So, since I decided I was going to do a girl (something I do A LOT), I thought I would change her up a little bit and try some things I don't usually do...and that's where this scrap piece of paper came in...|
|First, I embossed some stamps onto the page...well actually I cut out the shape first...but then I embossed with clear UTEE. Then, I used some Dylusions spray inks to color in the piece. Because of the embossing powder, the stamped images resisted the color, and so the images really stand out. Then I added some more stamps (there's a heart one that blends into the background and then the white scroll thing). (This is the point where I took the above picture.) But, this looked too bright for what I had in mind, so I toned it down with some of the White Linen Dylusions.|
|While waiting for that to dry, I set about adding paint to the background, followed by the heart stamp, and then followed by the white stamp as well. I kind of wanted to stop here, but seeing as how this was about layers and all for practicing, I went ahead with my plan to put a girl on the page.|
|I made a quick sketch of a girl face outline, took a little bit of gesso and painted her in. I only put gesso on the actual face/neck part, because I was hoping to preserve some of the background (which makes me super happy!)...|
|While waiting for the gesso to dry, I kept looking at this piece of scrap and decided that, even after I added the white Dylusions, I STILL didn't like how it looked in relation to everything else, so I went over it with some Inka Gold Metallic Rub in Gold. That stuff is pretty darn awesome by the way... I ended up liking this part much better after adding the Inka Gold. This is the point where I got REALLY into it, and forgot to take anymore pictures until I was done...but you didn't actually miss that much craziness...or at least none that you really need pictures of for explanation...|
|After the gesso was dry, I lightly drew in some features in charcoal. I used some Letraset Aquamarkers to colorize. Those things are so amazing it HURTS!!! I will TOTALLY be having all the colors of the Aquamarkers...I know I said that about the distress stains, and one day I will...but the Aquamarkers...I will be owning all of those REALLY soon! Basically, Aquamarkers are watercolors in marker form, but they are so amazing that I think they are actually made up of fairy dust and love from puppies. I LOVE THEM!!! ...ok, I'm good now. I digress. After I finished the face (and the Aquamarker celebrating...it was the first time I used them, I just got them yesterday), the hair looked a little flat and so I took some of the Inka Gold in Gold and added some hair lines. I also added some Aquamarkers to the embossed areas of the crown because they were sticking out like a sore thumb...the Aquamarkers tamed them a little. Then I added some Inka Gold in Gold around the edges and in random places on the page. But I wasn't happy with that, the gold was too overpowering by itself, so I added some Inka Gold in Steel Blue as well. Then I thought I'd really like to have a sentiment. "Be Gentle" popped into my brain. I was having trouble deciding which set of letter stickers to use for this: a set of shimmery black ones or a set of light rose color ones. I chose the light rose ones...I chose poorly. They REALLY blended into the background, and NOT in a good way. So I went over them with some Inka Gold in a couple different colors...and I still wasn't happy with them. Then I thought 'what about using the Silks acrylic glaze?'...because is there anything a little Silks can't do? I used the Jasmine color and that was definitely the right answer. I love those things (and yes, one day, I will have all the colors of Silks as well...)|
|Here's another finished photo, just to show the shiny of it. I am pretty impressed with the end result... While I was looking at this, I realized that I am kind of like Alice from Alice in Wonderland. 'I give myself very good advise, but I very seldom follow it'. Starting out with something you don't like is pretty good advise...but I get lazy and don't practice it as often as I should. Then I look at this and realize that I need to do this kind of thing more...I love how it turned out! I really like that you can see pieces from every layer. There's the hideous scrapbook paper, which you can see on the left side (there are little dots that come through). There's the stamps in Dove Gray and Jet Black. The paint, the white stamps, the crown with the embossing. The Inka Gold in Gold and Steel Blue, and the letter stickers colored in with Silks. I love that you can see some of the stamps coming through on her face and in her hair!|
All in all, I am really happy with the way this turned out! It's significantly better than that (UGLY) scrapbook paper I started out with in the beginning. And since I started out with something I didn't like, I wasn't worried about messing it up. This gave me some extra freedom to experiment and not worry about the end result too much. And I think that made the end result much better. I really feel like I am a successful prompt! I can't wait to see what the other ladies have come up with!