Pin It button on image hover

Tuesday, 26 April 2022

Butterfly Wings: Converting portrait stamps for horizontal cards by Natalie


Today's project uses The Phenomenal Butterfly but you could also use Floral Paraphernalia for this approach. These beautiful stamps are stunning in their vertical orientation, but will not always fit your project without a little adaptation. This is where we need to get brave and start cutting into our images. I coloured my stamped image first, which can add to the trepidation. While you are practicing, start by stamping then cutting and finally colouring.

Stamp your image onto stamping card, watercolour card or a smooth mixed media card; it needs to be capable of handling washes. Use a water resistant ink such as Archival by Ranger. A grey ink pad will allow you to layer colour over the top, so the grey becomes more of a shading to your paint.

With this image, I coloured the background first, avoiding all the other details. The two sides of the brushstroke line are handled separately; start with the right hand side first and allow to dry. Working from the top down, wet the background only of the top 7-10cm of the design using clean water, up to the edge of the brushstroke. Drop in a saturated red to the tip of the background brushstroke. The colours look deceptively soft in the progress shot above. This red then blends into a vivid orange on the right. Add a little more red to the right of the butterfly before blending on down to a strong yellow.

The next 7-10cm should then be wet, blending out any lines from the yellow above. This time the brushstroke (beneath the butterfly) will be turquoise blue blending back to the yellow. There is no green paint used in this image at all, it is all in the blending. Add some of this blue into the background of the cog too. Sweep the blend of the yellow and blue down into the next brushstroke section where you will add more blue; this in turn blends into a rich blue-purple.

Under the next butterfly, working from right to left, extend the purple down, blending into the turquoise, then the yellow and finally red along the brushstroke edge. Carry this down into the background behind the dragonfly. Avoid the circle and add the same rainbow order around and beneath it.

Allow the paint to dry: this step cannot be rushed or ignored. This will keep your background lines sharp. Work back up the left of the brushstroke line working to opposites: blue-yellow, red-purple etc; extending the colour beyond the stamped image. Do the same for those elements of the background not yet coloured (circles, cogs etc) but save the butterflies and dragonflies for last. You want to put your strongest contrasts in your focal butterflies. Really make them pop by adding extra saturation by using more pigment.

Score and fold a card base into a zig-zag, a nice simple one is a 4" base which you can create from a 12x12" sheet of card. Trim your stamped panel vertically only so it fits inside the width of 1 panel of your card base allowing for two contrasting mounts. 
Once you have your strip, it is then a case of working out the best cutting points. I let the butterflies dictate this; starting at the top I cut beneath the first butterfly and cog. Then, using your panel as a guide, trim the top edge so you needn't have an even border around this top piece.
The centre panel is made up of two pieces from the strip. The first is a thin section that stops just before the second butterfly; thus showing off the little dragonfly on the right. The next piece finishes just below the second butterfly. The gap between the two is where the sentiment will sit, so don't worry if there's a gap - there should be.
The last panel should be trimmed to match your first in height. Each panel is then mounted onto two contrasting mattes. These mattes should be consistent in size so base all of them on your first design panel. Mount the first and last pieces as normal. The centre two are mounted top and bottom leaving a gap.

The Phenomenal Butterfly sentiment is stamped onto offcuts of the mounting card: the lilac piece is left whole, while the blue and yellow is cut in two. One half is stuck to the lilac piece and the other is left on its own. Mount as shown in the finished card apart from the blue for now.

The "wings" was cut on an electronic cutter using a typewriter style font. Cut this from the same card as your base and use low tack transfer tape to transfer it to your project. Finish with the blue "Butterfly" text piece.

This is my favourite sample from those I have made so far with this collection. However, it is so inspiring I haven't stopped playing yet.

1 comment:

  1. Thank you for the wonderful inspiration Natalie and the idea of cutting the one long stamp up into three sections works brilliantly, and I love your colour choices and the finished three panel card looks fabulous. x


Thanks so much for leaving a comment - it brings a little ray of sunshine into our day when we know our work is appreciated!