Saturday, 19 March 2011

Stampscape Tutorial - Rocky Mountain Foothills

Good Evening!

It's Friday night and there's a hockey game on so I headed off to my little corner of sanity to play with Stampscape stamps and colour!
I've been asked a few times how I colour different scenes so here's another one we'll play with.  I started out stamping the mountains and then added the pine tree in the foreground stamping it at varying heights.  I have more stamps on order but wanted some trees just a bit smaller to fill in the center of the image so used pines and rocks but used tape to mask off the rocks, ink the stamp, remove the tape and stamp the trees twice at different heights to show depth of field.  The last stamp I used was of the tree cluster and masked off the bottom of that stamp as well.  Once the trees were in order I needed a filler for all the gaps!  My most used and favourite stamp of the set is sedge filler.  This was stamped everywhere there was a space and also behind the trees to make it look like there was even more depth.
 First off I used my clouds stamp and Adirondack Aqua to do the sky. This is the first thing I do for all of my scapes.  For me, starting the sky seems to ground everything I'm doing when colouring the rest of the scene.

This third photo shows where I usually start when colouring.  Everyone has their own way of doing things but I always like to start light and gradually go darker.
I started with Lemonade and using the stylus I tapped it onto the trees, grass and gently tapped a bit in the sky above the mountains.  If you look closely you'll see where I've lightly tapped a tad of Lemonade on the Mountains as well.  Next time you look at the horizon you will see that it's always (from what I've seen) lighter.
The next colour to be added is Willow.  This is a lovely colour for lighter trees.  Once again I tapped it on the trees and on the grasses.  Try and keep the tips of the grass lighter but it you can't... we can lighten that up later on!
Now comes the fun part!  We're going to create our forest!  Using Adirondack Meadow you can tap in colour on the trees.  For the fir trees I load my stylus with colour and tilt the stylus so I'm only lightly tapping on the edge of the foam pad.  doing it this way keeps you from having trees look 18 feet wide!  Once you've given the trees some colour you can gently tap in some colour on the grass as well.  Don't add meadow to everything.  Look for the spaces between the grass tips.  These spaces are the lower end of the grass.  Grass is always a deeper shade closer to the ground (unless you live on the prairies or the desert... then the grass would be shades of brown!).
I love using Distress Ink in Burlap.  Using the edge of the stylus pad again, tap touches of colour onto the mountains.  During late spring, summer and early fall there is definitely snow on the mountains but... enough has melted so you'll see rock faces and greenery.  You can tap touches of Burlap in the grass here and there and especially in the foreground.  Forest grass is very sparse.
 Now we are going to refine everything and work on depth of field along with adding more colour to everything ...
Starting with the Cantelope, Tap in a bit of colour here and there on the grass tips.  Add a touch to the deciduous tree.  The Potter's Clay can be added to the tree, touches on the mountain...lower down, and touches on the grass.  The Cottage Ivy (green) will darken your forest.  Gently tap some on the fir trees, between the trees and on the darker deciduous tree.  On my sample I overdid the darker colours a bit so brought out my Adirondack Lemonade and tapped it over places where I wanted it lightened up a bit.
Alrighty... Now comes the sky and shadows!  Using a Q-tip or pointed sponge nibs you can start adding a little bit of Adirondack Aqua to the sky.  Follow the Aqua that is already on the sky from stamping and just deepen the colour between the clouds.  Once you're finished doing that you can lightly load a stylus with Aqua and gently tap in colour from the top edge downwards to just above the mountains.  I was in a hurry to finish this last night so my sky isn't exactly the way I wanted it.  Sometimes it's a hit and miss until I perfect my colouring!
Lightly load a stylus pad with Pitch Black and lightly tap in some shade around the base of the fir trees.  If your sunshine is coming from the left, then your tree shadow will start at the tree base towards the right side of your scene.  If your sun comes from the right, your shadows will go from right to left.  Depending on the time of day and how high your sun is above the horizon dictates how long your shadow will be.  Add some birds in the sky and voila!

Now, I'm going to show you my MISTAKE!!  I have seen highlights done with a white ink craft pen as dots on objects in the scene.  I was questioning myself prior to adding them and should have stopped there.  I'm going to show you my mistake and you can be the judge.  Myself, I won't use it again unless I'm doing a night or winter scene.  What I do use is... a jellyroll star pen in platinum.  When you look at the scene dead on, you don't really see the highlights.  When you tilt the scene, which is what people do when they open cards, you can see the subtle highlights.

Now you can see what I'm talking about!  Ewwwwww!  I'm not happy with this at all!  Hindsight is 20/20... How true!  Always go with your gut feeling!
One other thing I'd like to mention is... Adirondack inks will fade a bit if not sprayed with a laquer finish.  I let this scene sit overnight and it lightened up to where I really like it!  Too bad about the white dots!!
So, I hope I was able to give you some tips with this post.  If there's something you'd like me to do next just leave a comment!  This is also a learning process for me as well.  I've only been doing Stampscapes since January.

Stamps used in this scene:
023A  Duck trio in flight
267E  Pine & roscks small
196F  Pine tree
188F  Rocky Peaks
244E  Tree cluster
251C  Sidge filler

Thanks for looking!!

It would be greatly appreciated if you leave a comment to let me know how I'm doing on these tutorials.  I'm a newbie!


Pop, Paper, Scissors said...

Wow! You make it look easy. I think the first thing is you have to have an eye for color and you certainly do. I also suspect you are a nature lover. These scapes you do are just breathtaking.

Sherri said...

You may be a "newbie" but your work says otherwise! You do such fantastic things with your coloring & stamping. They are amazing when you are done!

Sheree said...

Thanks for such encouraging words Gail and Sherri! I just signed in and you made my day!!

Gigi said...

Wow such beautiful work! I've just caught up on reading your blog and work for the past 2 weeks....You've been busy and have done some amazing work. Thanks for sharing all the steps - you are very talented. Your scapes designs really make me feel as though I'm right there.

Anonymous said...


Sara I. said...

I think its gorgeous!!! I love how real the scene looks :) Saw your blog on the The Outlawz - now a follower!

Dana said...

Oh my goodness Sharee!! Your tutorial is awesome and I cannot believe how gorgeous this scene is!! The sky is absolutely.. oh shoot.. I already used gorgeous and beautiful doesn't even come close! Love it!!

Dana said...

And shoot!! I misspelled your name.. sorry!!! I never preview!!.. Guess I should

Beth Norman said...

Awesome tutorial. What paper do you use? I'm learning on glossy but wonder if you are using a mat finish. I used a gel roll pen on one of my cards and got the same results. Like you, I wasn't happy and even ended up throwing it out.

Anonymous said...

Wish I had seen this before participating in the mountainscape swap. Great tutorial! Ann

Anonymous said...

I love the setting you made - as for the white dots...anyone who lives in the Rockies knows it's not at all unusual to have snow in June or even July. I'm thinking a few more white dots, scattered all over the picture would make it look like a summer snowstorm!!
dkatty, from the western front of the Rockies