Today is my younger brother's birthday, and I'm sharing with you the techniques I used to make this adorable card for him. DIeCutCrazy has added some new contributors, and one of my new peeps, Deepti, recently shared a card made with a little monster. I had to grab an old set from CloseToMyHeart that NEVER gets used. Now, I'm in love!
My little brother is a lot bigger than me, now. I laugh a little whenever we are introducing each other, becuase he literally towers over my 5'3" short self. But to me, he'll always be little, and he'll always be the monster that irritated me to no end as a teenager. Fortunately, I now realize there isn't anything that doesn't irritate a teenager, and I've learned to respect him and admire the man he's grown to be the last decade.
For my first technique, let me tell you how I gave my little monster such depth. I've been watching a lot of copic marker coloring tutorials, (even though I don't have any!) and decided to try my colored pencils at creating a similar 3D color look. Start by stamping your image in a light color. With your lightest color desired, lightly color in the entire image where applicable. For me, this was the light pink body of my space buddy. Now, grab a watercolor pen and, with small circular strokes, blend the color until it looks smooth.
Next you'll want to go for your darker colors. I chose to go for the darkest shading color of the dark purple in the creases and shadowy places. Again, blend with the watercolor pencil. Then fill in and blend with your mid tones, repeat until your are pleased with how it looks. Accent areas can be colored and blended with less color applications if you desire. I guess it depends on the sharpness of your pencils, or how many colors you have!
My brother is such an amazing guy. He can find the silver lining in any situation, he's a terrific friend and coworker, is always willing to lend a hand when he can, is a terrifically loving uncle, and in our house, is known as "the perfect movie date EVER," much to my honey's chagrin.
For an out of this world effect in the background, I stamped stars with clear versamark ink, then heat embossed them with clear powder before painting over with some regular blue crayola watercolor paint. To acheive a constellation effect, I sprinkled salt on the wet paint! Once dry, I just brushed it off. Try layering a dab or two of another paint color over the salt for a really cool spacey look.
As I mentioned before, my brother's influence on me has taken on nicer significance the older we get. He taught me to share, how to recognize when winning is more important to another, and how to fart on command. Well, I never really got the hang of the last one... But who would I have been able to take out my teenage angst on? Who would I have screamed, "Get out of my ROOM!" at all those times, my parents? yeah right.
On the other hand, who would have accompanied me on all those unapproved drives to go swimming with my friends, who would have lived with me for years (and never asked me to clean my room), who would have taught me that family can be friends too? I remember vividly the day we brought him home from the hospital. In retrospect, my life changed for the better, and our household dynamic was made even stronger.
To make your image really pop after all the color treatments, stamp over the image again with a darker ink, or for a more subtle look, use the light color you started with. Clear stamps make this really easy to do, but you can use a stamp-a-ma-jig or other stamp positioner too. I even colored in the speech bubble and the monster's eyes with a white pen to make them extra bright, then went back with my colored pencil to darken the pupils.
On the back panel of purple paper, I stamped a repeated calendar image. Then I overlapped that back panel and the card with a die cut star, to bring the layers together. My cropodile punched out the little circles from a multi-colored polka dot print by SEI. Here's a tip: apply little dots of glue where you want your small dots to go, and you won't end up with glue all over your hands. Or at least not as much glue :-) You can put all the glue down at once like I did, but I recommend doing it one dot at a time if you're a little more fastidious.
My brother is really one of my best friends, and my life would be seriously lacking if I didn't have him around to bring a smile to our faces on a regular basis. A simple Happy Birthday stamp on the inside doesn't express that, but my happy little monster can hint at what a delight he is to have around, as he is pretty smile-inducing too. I hope you enjoyed some of the techniques I shared today, and feel inspired to try them yourself!
Happy Birthday, Jeremy!