A few posts ago, I featured a halloween card with a background technique I was trying for the first time. I had a few people ask how I created the background, so when I thought about what I’d like to do with this adorable image, I thought it would be fun to give a tutorial a try. Video isn’t really a medium that I’m familiar with, so this is more of a photographic step-by-step. I would love to get feedback! Here goes!
When using digital images, I start my layouts in Microsoft Word. I opened a new project, adjusted my paper size and margins, then inserted 2CuteInk’s image “Penny and Her Pup”. I have a layout in mind for the snow underfoot (more on that below!), so I decided to edit out the snowline in the image. I used the remove background tool to mark the areas that I wanted to keep (like the copyright mark) and which I wanted to remove.
Here I’m using Spectrum Noir Ultra Smooth Premium White Cardstock, which I have cut to size and printed two copies of the image. (I’ll explain the second copy shortly.)
I’m starting with the hair because hair is my nemesis- if I completely stink it up, I can start over without having invested a lot into coloring the image. I’m going brunette here because it’s the color combination I feel most comfortable with. I’m using Copic colors E31, E33, E35, E37, E39. I promise I’ll practice my hair skills.
For the clothing, I’m using BG10, BG11, BG32, BG53, BV00, BV01, BV02, BV04, BV08 and for shoes, T3, T5, T7 and T9. The cute little pup is colored with E41, E42, E43 and E44. I’m pretty pleased with the coloring so far, but see that blooper under the boots? Yup, I dropped my marker, which means the layout I had in mind is probably not going to work. The marker I dropped was on the darker side of the spectrum, so even though I doused it thoroughly with Colorless Blender, it’s not budging. Sometimes Colorless Blender can clean up mistake enough so that I can work around the blooper easily. In this case, not so much. Since that area is intended to be snow, I can’t really camouflage the mark unless I cover it with a darker color. I really don’t want to do that, so I’m going to have to be a little more creative.,,
I’ve decided to keep true to the picture I had in my mind, but just go about it a little differently. I’ve decided to partial die cut a snow line using the “Stitched Hillside Border” from Lawn Fawn. I’ve cut a bit around the shoes and the pup so I can nestle the die in there to give the impression that Polly and her pup are standing in the snow. I ran this through the Cuttlebug exactly as it is.
Remember that extra copy I printed? I have cut in the image lines to create a “mask”. I’ve cut this into two pieces because the leash is colored black and really doesn’t need to be masked in this case.
I use Stencil Magic Stencil Adhesive to paint the back of the masks. It’s repositionable, doesn’t harm the colored image, and the masks are reusable if they are stored on a transparency sheet. I line the masks up over the colored image and now it’s safe for airbrushing.From bottom to top, I’m using BV23, BV20, B00, B01, and B02 to create the gradations in the sky. A tip I’ve picked up along the way: you’ll use one hand to steady the page, it is much easier to clean up if that hand is gloved.
My next step was to clean up my die cut line. I happened to have some pearlescent paper on hand that I cut to size and attached to the back of the image. It made for a pretty decent solution to fix my marker drop boo-boo. Once I had the square secured, I started embellishing the sky background to create a snowy scene. I first made dots with the colorless blender to subtly remove color, creating a transparent effect. I then went in with my Uniball Signo to add in bright white dots, followed by using Marvy Liquid Applique to add in some 3D ‘flakes’. To finish off the background, I glued on few white and iridescent sequins in different sizes.