As the month draws to a close, I've finally (and not as last minute as sometimes) done my Berkhamsted Creative Challenge entry.
The theme for this month is Far Away Lands.
In keeping with my personal challenge to use something I've had for ages and not used before, I brought out my elephant stencil from Clarity.
I wanted to capture the feel of the holi festival, with all the clouds of coloured pigment. I started in my favourite place, messy backgrounds. For these ones, I used fired brick, mustard seed and peacock feathers distress inks. I applied them to my blending mat, then added water to them, and to some Clarity stencil card, and then pressed the card into the ink. I used varying amounts, and moved the card more or less, to get different effects.
I used the two on the left for this project, the others have gone into the stash.
My plan was to use texture paste through the stencil, to contrast with the background. But one of the backgrounds had such a gorgeous mix of colours I wanted to use them, so a second approach was born.
I did a trial run with the texture paste. I wanted to try stamping into it to give texture. I tried it a couple of times - this is the second attempt.
I wasn't happy with it, so gave up and didn't stamp into my "real" elephant.
However, when I came to try out the gilding waxes on my scrap piece, the pattern really came to life.
So I wish I had persevered with the stamping. One for another time!
For now, I added the gilding waxes - mainly gold but with touches of green, red, bronze and silver in different areas.
To add the texture that I wanted, I stamped with archival ink, in potting soil.
I also wanted to add more texture to the background, so I used the same stamp (a swirly corner from a Japanese set from Clarity) to over stamp the coloured "clouds". I used second generation stamping so it was subtle.
I also added a bit of shadow under the elephants feet, to ground her, using faber castle polychromos pencils.
To finish off, I trimmed back the image and edged it with a blue sharpie pen. I mounted on blue, with a narrow border, then red. I used my perfect layers rulers to cut the mounts.
For my second background, I applied versamark ink through the stencil, with a make up sponge, then heat embossed in clear powder.
Unfortunately, my versa mark isn't as clean as it could be, so the colours have been dimmed a little.
To make the elephant stand out, I used a makeup sponge to apply adirondack ink in slate. The heat embossed areas resisted the ink, so just the lines stood out. Originally, I very careful went round the edge to give a narrow border. However, I then realised I needed a bigger contrast with the background, so went back and added a much bigger graduated shadow.
I used a black polychromous pencil to add definition under the feet, again to ground her.
Having trimmed back the card, I felt that the bottom left corner was a bit empty. So I was brave and added more ink, again adding water to ink on the blending mat and dabbing the wetted card into it.
Once this had dried, I edged the card with a black sharpie, and mounted onto red then yellow to finish.
Two colourful elephants, ready to celebrate holi, and I hope evoking some sense of the exotic.