Hello, Altenew friends! Norine back with you today with a card that’s almost more artwork than stamped, colored image! I love the Altenew stamp sets that let you look like a legit artist and Bird of the Woods is a great stamp for that purpose. It looks beautiful in its outline stamped and layered format, but I’m going to show you how to make it look even better with a few clever tricks!
To begin, I cut down a sheet of watercolor cardstock from the 9×12 pad into 4 quarters. I stamped the bird outline image using Moon Rock Crisp Dye Ink. I stamped again onto some masking paper and cut out the bird shape.
With the bird mask in place on top of the first stamped image, I positioned the branch to look like the bird’s feet were sitting on it, and stamped the branch with Moon Rock Crisp Dye Ink again. Then I began adding the layered colors.
I added the first layer with Sand Dune Crisp Dye Ink, stamping twice to cover the texture in the paper, and then painting over the shape with a wet paint brush to give the appearance of a watercolor painted layer. The next two layers of color on the bird’s body are stamped with Almond Butter and then Mocha Crisp Dye Inks. After stamping each color layer twice, I smeared the ink on the inside of the MISTI lid and used my wet paint brush to pick up more of the same color and paint with it on top of the stamped area.
I repeated this technique with the two layers of the bird’s head and wing, using Misty Morning and Nimbus Crisp Dye Inks. I worked purposely slowly to let the previous wet layer dry before adding the next color layer on top.
The branch with leaves doesn't have color layer stamps to add, so I simply painted it in with the Altenew Artists' Watercolor 24 Pan Set, shading slightly darker on the underside of the branches and painting with clean water along the top to suggest highlights.
I painted in the stamped leaves – the stamped image has only a dozen leaves or so – and then I added more with simple brush strokes and a variety of shades of green paint. The best way to describe the brushstroke is to use a fairly small tipped brush loaded with wet paint, touch the tip lightly to the paper, then lay the brush down against the paper and in one fluid motion, lift the brush tip up and draw it down towards the tip to create one part of the leaf. Some of the leaves I left like that; for others, I added another stroke beside the first, adding a small backwards C stroke to suggest another half to the leaf.
The next step of “artistry” is my favorite technique! I used the Altenew Fine Liner Pen Set to add fine inked outlines to the bird shape, redefining the bird’s eye, and adding more feather details but using a very loose scribbly hand. I added some outlines to a few of the leaves, drew other leaf outlines where there were none, and added more hashmarks for the shading on the branches.
At this point, I stamped and hand cut another mask for the branches not bothering to include the leaves. I put the two masks in place over the image, and ink-blended some color onto the background – Cloudy Sky Crisp Dye Ink behind the bird, and Forest Glades Crisp Dye Ink behind the tree branch.
Next, I added paint splatters in shades of black, brown, and green and let them dry. Some of the paint splatters are lighter in color than others, the result of adding more water to the paint puddle.
I stamped a dual stamp sentiment from the Bird of the Woods set, inking with Obsidian Pigment Ink and filling in where the ink didn’t reach on the textured paper with one of the Fine Liner pens.
Lastly, I used the Fine Liner pens and a straight edge ruler to add some pen lines in two corners of the card. I trimmed the panel slightly smaller than A2 and matted it with a soft gray colored cardstock before adhering both layers to a folded card base.
I love how a few simple techniques like these can elevate a stamped image to an art piece, beautiful for a one-of-a-kind card, and suitable for framing if desired! Thank you for stopping by and have a wonderful day!