Sunday, February 2, 2014

At the Sea Scenic Stamping Tutorial

Hello stampers! A new month and a new challenge at Craft a Scene, Favourite Techniques. I am not good at picking favourites, usually having too many. One of my favourite scenic stamping techniques is to do black and white scenes.
I like black and white photos, which is perhaps also partly the reason for why I enjoy stamping and colouring black and white scenes. Colouring with just one shade is also a great exercise since it really makes you focus on value (the lightness or darkness of a colour). The importance of light, value and contrast becomes more apparent than when you work with a variety of colors. It is also fun to see how much you can achieve by using only shades of black ink. For other examples of black and white scene check these out: Night Sea, Evening in Central Park, and Neverland.
I started by planning my scene on scrap paper, then I stamped it on glossy cardstock (5.5 x 8.5 in).

You can use only black dye ink to colour the scene, but I think it is easier to start with a first layer of a light grey. Here I used Jenni Bowlin Weather Vane, but any light grey dye ink should work fine. I applied the ink with a Colorbox Stylus Tool, dragging and dabbing it from the outside of the scene towards the centre. You can use other inking tools, but I like the precision I get with the Stylus Tool. Move the paper around, so that you always ink from a comfortable position. To make the horizon line, I just used a piece of paper to mask off the sky. The glossy cardstock got a little fold in the sky, you can see the inking isn't perfect there, we'll cover it up later.

It is a good idea to plan where the light is coming from already on an early stage, so you know where to leave the white of the paper.

Next, I added a little bit of Adirondack Slate, which is a warmer grey. Make sure not to cover up all the lighter ink. Starting with a light ink, makes it easier to apply the darker inks smoothly on top.

Most of the work is done with black dye ink, darkening many areas of the scene. Here you can start to see how the dark ink makes the areas that are left lighter really stand out. As you can see, the little fold in the paper in the sky still messes up the inking there.  At this stage, I often put the scene aside for a while, and return to it later, often making some of the areas darker. I used a Ranger Craft Nib to make some of the areas on the islands darker, such as between the cliffs and under the trees.

You can leave the water still, but I wanted some movement, and used the great Stampscapes Water Pattern stamp for that. It was stamped first with Weather Vane, using both first, second and third generation impressions, and then with black ink, only on the really dark areas.

I stamped birds in the sky, to add life and to hide the inking mistakes there. Some branches were stamped in the foreground and a canoeist in the water. I normally stamp people or animal images on my stamp positioner sheet first, so that I can move them around over the scene and make sure the proportions are right. I was in a bit of a hurry here and skipped this step; you can see that the canoeist looks a bit too large.

Add highlights with a white gel pen. Pick up white pigment ink with a Q-tip, dab off some of the ink on scrap paper and apply in very thin layers here and there on the scene to add shine and mist. Spray with a fixative and your scene is done.
Happy stamping!


Stamps: Stampscapes: Lakeside Cabin 147F, Migrating Birds 152D, Solo Canoeist 159A, Water Pattern Sm. 231C, Prickly Branches 272G, Beaver Sm 316A, Beaver Lodge 317C, Rocky Waterside (left) 324G, Rocky Waterside (right) 325G
Ink: Ranger Jenni Bowlin: Weather Vane; Adirondack Slate; Distress Ink Black Soot; Archival Ink Jet Black; Colorbox Frost White
Surface: Kromecote glossy cardstock


  1. Lovely card, Anna-Karin. I quite agree with you about starting with a pale ink, which is why I tend to use Juniper and Cloudy Blue. They just help to set the scene. I love the way you do your monochrome pictures, they are so atmospheric. xx Maggie

  2. Beautiful work. The tutorial showed me just how much labour of love went into the making of this beauty.

  3. stunning piece of work Anna Karin - wonderful xx

  4. Hi Anna-Karin, I always love visiting and today is no exception. This scene is absolutely stunning. Love it. Can you give me an idea as to where I can purchase Stampscapes stamps? I can't seem to find an online store in North America where I can purchase them.
    Hoping you can steer me in the right direction.
    Hugs, Carole xox

  5. I really love your work! Just wish I was talented enough to even know where to begin.

  6. This is absolutely FANTASTIC. I can't wait to try. Thanks so much for this tutorial.

  7. Wow, Anna Karen, I am in love and completely mesmerized with each of the techniques that you so beautifully demonstrated. You are so masterful with your ability to play with light!
    You truly have given me a new perspective on how to use my stamps to complete an entire composition as well as the challenge of experimenting with gradation.

    Thank you so much for the much neede inspiration,

  8. Very nice. Love the way you showed each step of inking. Love the scenic cards. Edna

  9. I love your Black and White picture Anna-Karin and this one is gorgeous. Thanks so much for the tutorial too.

    Sue xx

  10. Wow! Beautiful. Thanks for the step x step, too.

  11. Really stunning! Thanks for your tuturial


Thank you so much for leaving a comment! Happy Crafting!