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Creating Masked Backgrounds for the Inventor

Creating Masked Backgrounds for the Inventor
By: Bea Rosenleaf, Artistic Guide

Butterfly and Definitions (The Angel Company)
Sentiment (Inkadinkado)
Real High Country Wildflowers (Hero Arts)
Solidago Sprig (Rubber Stampede)
90 pound Watercolor Paper (Cranston)
Scrap piece of text-weight paper
Palette ink pads: (Stewart Superior)
    French Lilac
    Reflection Blue
Masking Tape
Butterfly Masks (Heidi Swap)
Flourishes Grungeboard (Tim Holtz)
LePlume II Markers: (Marvy)
    #50 Ultramarine
    #49 Vermillion
    #43 Brilliant Yellow
    #15 Olive Green
    # 8 Violet
Impress Marker (Tsukineko)
    # 5 Carmine
Color Washes: (Stamp Zia)
    Blue Topaz
Masquepen (Cruddas Innovatons Ltd.)
Spray bottle of water
Craft Sheet (Ranger)
Paper towels

  1. Using the masking tape, tear off pieces the same size as the watercolor paper. To decrease the tack of the tape, stick it to your clothing a few times, so that the tape will not tear the paper when removed. Tape the watercolor paper down to the craft sheet.
  2. Spray the sheet of paper with water - not a lot, just enough to get the surface of the paper wet so the colors will blend. Starting with the lightest Color wash, spray across the piece of paper. Let each layer of color dry thoroughly. (An alternative method, which I use, is to let the color sit for a bit and sink into the paper. Then I use a paper towel and blot dry. This not only dries the colors so they won't bleed, but also creates added texture to the background.)  Then spray the next darker color.

  3. Lay the grungeboard flourish, which is being used as a mask, and the butterfly masks around the paper. Make sure they are secure against the paper. Spray a darker color of Color wash over the masks. Use different colors in different areas to give the background interest and depth. When dry, remove the masks and move a few to another area and repeat.

  4. Mask one of the butterflies with the Masquepen and let dry completely.

  5. Replace the butterfly masks to the unmasked butterflies. Spray around and over the masks with a darker Color Wash, or a color already used.  Blot dry with paper towel.

  6. Repeat with a very light spray of Obisidan (black) Color wash. Do this spray a little further away from the paper so that the spray hitting the paper is fine and not heavy. The motive is to create a bit of depth and interest to the background, but not get too much black on it. Let dry.
  7. Stamp the flowers in the lower left corner using the marking pens and lightly spraying with water to blend the colors. (This is a watercolor technique, which can use dye based marking pens, or ink pads). Stamp the image several times until no ink is left on the stamp.
  8. Ink a few flowers with the Palette ink pads, using the green marker on the stems. Directly stamp these (do not use any water) over the previous flower stamps. This give the flowers a layered look.
  9. Create a mask by tearing the text-weight paper. Using the definition stamps and the Noir ink pad, stamp the definitions randomly around the background. For this first layer of definitions, ink the stamp, stamp off once on the paper mask and then stamp over the mask onto the background. (This is called a second generation stamping.)

  10. Repeat with the definitions stamp, only this time just stamp directly onto the background - not in too many places, and don't press too hard on the stamp. You just want a light stamping - nothing overpowering, but a little darker than the first layer.
  11. Ink the Dreams sentiment with the Noir ink pad and stamp where ever the placement looks good.
  12. Ink the butterfly with the Noir ink pad and stamp several times around the paper.
  13. Remove the masks from the butterflies. Remove the Masquepen from the butterfly(flies) by gently rubbing with a finger.

  14. The background piece can be used whole, or cut into several pieces. Create a book cover, or several backgrounds for cards. Or if you prefer, frame the whole background and hang on the wall to enjoy. Be sure to sign your name to your work of art.

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5 Responses »

  1. Thanks Mary Jane!

  2. That is just gorgeous...Thanks

  3. this is a great look. Nice and messy too, that means extra fun to make.
    Suggestion, rather than blotting with a paper towel, try a piece of cardstock
    and when you get done you will have another background!

  4. THanks so much, Melanie. Once I got the idea in my head, the rest just sort of flowed.

  5. Just beautiful... nothing more I can say!