Crafts Beautiful Magazine

Stamp designer Barbara Gray and her team recreate a Tuscan scene using masking techniques

What you need...
  • ClarityStamps: Remountable Tuscany Kit; Frame Set
    Card: Theuva Card by Clarity
    Ink-pads, Adirondack dyebased: bottle, butterscotch, rust, black, caramel; Archival, assorted colours
    Speedball brayer
  1. Tuscan Scene by Barbara Gray - 1 Create a base card and run low-tack masking tape around all four sides. Using a ruler and a sheet of copy paper, tear a mask for the hill from left to right, like a wave. Starting at the bottom of the picture, place the torn copy paper onto the artwork, to expose only the lower hill.

    2 Using a make-up sponge, gently dab bottle along the edge of the copy paper. Build up the depth of colour gradually. In the same area add a little rust with a clean brush.

    3 Move the paper hill up a touch, perhaps reposition the curves, then again sponge bottle along the paper's edge. Try to avoid the hill you have already done. If you can leave a light area along the
    front, this will really add depth to the overall picture.

    4 Keep moving up the artwork, adding the hills. If you sponge on bottle lightly and go over it with butterscotch you'll blend a lovely bright green, as in the third hill.

    5 To fill in the sky, make a mask for the moon by punching out a circle or draw around a 2p coin over the sticky end of a post-it and cut out. Place this mask to the left or right of the sky, bearing in mind this will dictate the way the shadows fall.

    6 Fill the sky with butterscotch, leaving whiteness where it meets the hills. Add depth to the top of the picture with caramel. Remove the mask.

    7 It is better to place all the trees first, then go back and add the shadows. First, stamp the largest tree on the front: ink in black, then mask the hill a little with the torn paper and position on the ridge. Now, add the medium-sized poplars along a ridge and the smallest ones right at the back.

    8 Make sure the shadows all fall in the same direction, away from the sun. For the tree at the front, use the large tree again, but blot the stamp twice on copy paper before you use it, so that it is very faded. For the rest of the shadows use smaller trees. Just remember to ink-blotblot-plot!

    9 Remove the masking tape carefully from the edges. Matt onto white card and then onto a blank. Using the torn copy paper, sponges and the same colours, lightly stretch the hills out into the
    background white.

    10 For a smooth colour-bleed at the bottom edge of the white card, load the brayer with rust, do a wheelie, then bring the colour bleed in from the bottom edge. Practise on scrap paper first though!

  2. Tuscany Sunset by Paul Church - 1 Create your landscape using the masking techniques described previously. Now, to make the gilded frame, take a sheet of double-sided adhesive and remove one side of the backing. Ink-up the large stamp from the Frame set and print twice onto the adhesive sheet; repeat with the smaller one. Carefully place the acetate over the stamped images and cut them out.

    2 Turn over and remove the backing, then apply the gilding flakes. With the acetate face down assemble the shape of the frame. Hold them in place with double-sided tape, placed across corners.
    You can now stick the frame over the designs, making sure it fits neatly. Matt and layer the artwork.

    3 To finish, ink-up a leaf stamp, dab off onto a scrap of paper then create a random pattern around the edge of the base card. Attach the layered artwork onto the card front.

busymitts BusymittsShare your makes