Christine says:

“Years ago I developed a Distress Ink technique to create scenic backgrounds for character stamps. This is the perfect technique to use with my Butterfly Fairies stamp series recently released with Paperbabe Stamps.

A fan and a rigger brush are necessary to make the technique work as they're used to create the grasses, but they're a useful addition to your brush collection so worth the investment. A ball tool also comes in handy for creating the lupin-like flowers, it's great to have them in a couple of sizes to build up the flowers with different sized dots.

Have a practice with the fan and rigger brushes if you haven't used them before to get a feel for them. You can achieve very realistic grasses with ease and build up little rural scenes which can work in all kinds of projects. Building up layers of grasses with different shades of colours gives depth. The darkest colours will create the foreground and will be the final layer before adding the flowers. You'll be surprised at how quickly your scene begins to emerge using this method and how satisfying it is mastering the brushes. ”



Stamps Christine used...

  • Paperbabe Stamps: Butterfly Fairy; Musical Fairy; Butterfly Catcher; Butterfly

Other materials...

  • Ranger: Distress Inks; Distress Oxide Inks
  • VersaFine ink: Onyx Black
  • PaperArtsy: Fresco Finish Chalk Acrylic Paints
  • Coloured pencils
  • Watercolour paper
  • Round, Rigger and Fan paint brushes
  • Ball embossing tools
  • Charcoal pencil
  • Fineliner pen: Black
  • Sharpie paint pen: White fine point
  • Seam binding ribbon
  • Lace


Step-by-step... Scenic Background

1 Colour the fairy with Distress Ink and dry. Paint water onto the background and drop green Distress Ink onto half of the paper.   2 Wet uncoloured backdrop with water and drop blue Distress Ink onto it. Create cloud shapes by dabbing with kitchen paper to remove colour.
3 Using watered down inks, drag the Fan brush upwards to make clumps of grass. Repeat and dry.    Use the long Fineliner Rigger brush with dark green Distress Ink. Pull up and flick up and off the paper to create long grasses. Use embossing tools with acrylic paint to create flowers.
5 Use coloured pencils to add further definition to the fairy. Add white dotted flowers with a white marker and doodle a hedgerow with a black Fineliner pen.   6 Add a slight shadow around the edges of the fairy to bring her out of the background and add a sentiment and a few tiny birds flying in the sky. 
To finish the project: As I wanted to showcase all four of the fairy stamp sets, I made a little concertina album for the images from a single sheet of 12"x12"  Kraft card cut in half. I scored each piece at 6" and adhered the right hand panel of the first piece to the left hand panel of the second and folded it in a concertina style. The image panels were stamped with the sentiments and added together with lace, ribbon and doodling with black and white pens to finish. 




This project was first published in the July 2016 issue of Craft Stamper.