Saturday, October 1, 2011

How I make my cards from start to finish

Hello I want to explain and offer some help for my readers who are just starting out or maybe are not making as many cards as I do.
I do get here and there emails asking for the Colors iam using .. but fact of the matter is… most of the times I do not take them down because I scribble a lot during the card making process on scrap papers to see how they look and blend with other colors. Of course I do have my favorite combinations and I am going to share all of those tomorrow in a blog posting. For today I thought I would explain on this cute card sample how I would get started with a image like this. I would say this is an easy image – 1 person and a few small items to color in.. it gets more challenging if you have 2 people where coats and clothing connect and you need your colors to make them stand out to each other.

1) choice of papers. I pick a paper pad I think looks nice with the image and I feel drawn to at the moment.
now.. in this specific case I wanted the card look “cold” but my favorite papers of this pad were gone.. the only one left with icy cold blue papers were the one with the people as pattern. I almost never like to combine this kind of pattern with people images. I think we all have lots of papers left with the ones we do not like as much. You can get good use of them if you pick these papers for the bottom layer of your card and choose a sketch with 2 more layers and add your embellishments over those things you do not want to show. See what I mean on my sample? the blue still shows but almost no distracting other “people” images. Try to combine patterned papers like the snowman patterned paper on my recent eskimo card with people images. Lili of the valley has snowman images.. but I think its more interesting if you try not to go too matchy matchy .. if your paper does have flowers on.. the image does not have to be a girl with the same shape of  flowers. You are just creating for yourself borders right from the start which makes it harder on yourself especially if you just start out.
2) I cut my image with a large circular spellbinder – for 2 reason.. I want to cover the blue paper (as said Smile) and I wanted to be able to add zick zack stitching to my focal point image to give it extra texture. If you look at the original LOVT image you will see that mine has some extra snowflakes falling down and I extended the snow ground with my multiliner pen to fill in some of the empty areas, I have created by choosing this shape.

How I start coloring my image in.
1) I always start with skin first.. it does set the image off the white background
2) I color the background in with either blue or grey.. blend with Gamsol. This makes it easier if you go in later with other Prisma pencils.. you will not smear the color into the background

3) I now decide which color needs to be the most dominant on my card –  here it was pink and I colored her coat in pink. I could have done also all the trims of her coat in pink and maybe color the base of her coat brown
3) I colored her purse and shoes in brown – so I have 2 small elements on the image in a darker color
4) the leaves of the poinsettias must be green – so I look on my image what else I can color in green that would balance this color naturally out.. I would look to the right side of the image, so the scarf had to be green and the holly leaves on the basket or container she is carrying
5) the flowers had to be red, so I added a bit of this red to the chests of the birds to pick up on that color
6) the birds got each a different shade of brown
7) I colored the white areas in
8) all what was left was the main area of the container.. You will almost ever end up with one item on your image that has this “problem” for those areas I use neutral colors – since my trim is done in cool grey I picked warm greys for this area although my card is in the cool color scheme.
At this point I can see which areas need "more” color.. the brown of her shoes is pretty dark so I added more blue to the sky area and some more pink to her dress until the contrast of all the color areas work.

I think I try to have my most dominant color in the center of my image and than work my colors outwards always trying to balance them out evenly to the left and the right or top and bottom of my image. I used to have a set of markers in my hand by example pinks and I would color all the pink areas first.. than when the areas became less I noticed that it’s just not right or I ran out of colors. So I recommend to take a few more minutes more.. close your first set of markers, start with the next color scheme and so on and than go back to your pinks and set your other accents with this color. You will notice problems like this also with stripes on scarves and tights Smile
oh an additional tip.. came to mind while reading Ann’s message in my chat box
try to stamp your image fist onto a piece of computer paper – it gives you an idea what shape you want to use on your card.. just roughly cut it out with a scissor and scribble some basic colors on the areas and than use your good paper. This gives you the option to move your image on your layout around and you might want to change your basic shape to something else. I do this almost 80% of the times when making a card.. it does save me time and cardstock.. it is especially helpful with digi images.

Than it is time to assemble all the layers… I picked one of my very wide soft pink colored silk ribbons to soften and brighten the red brocade pattern. Then I choose additional shapes to copy the shapes that are already going on, on the card. In this case I added over the silk ribbon a crochet lace in white with triangle to mimic the ice.  The large snowflake was added as embellishment and of course to hide some of the “people” images of the paper but it still lets the “blue” I was going for shine through. You can of course do this with your flowers or a larger sentiment as well. I like to use in this case the Whimsy seal stamps. They are nice and large and work for this matter very well.
and the rest is pretty much just digging through embellishments bins and containers. Usually I like to combine with a circle a horizontal sentiment. It is rare that I would combine too many circular shapes on my cards.
Stamps: Lili of the Valley “Pretty Poinsettia
Additional embellishments are: Twinkles on the ground, Stickles on the round snowflakes. Some white dots in the center of poinsettia and scarf
Punches: Martha Stewart icicle punch, Spellbinder grand circle – remember you can use your Big Shot with the large dies!
gems to sparkle things a bit up.. every girl likes bling Smile  on and the flakes are by Marianne Design – I got them at Cute Stamps and Cards
well I hope I was able to help some of you. Smile the experienced “card making girls” out there who read my blog probably grin over this posting Smile


Kirsty-Anne (Kitty) said...

Hi wow some valuable tips even if we have been doing it fir a little while ! Thanks for taking the time ! Beautiful card ! Kitty :D

Liberta said...

Wouw wat een ontzettend mooie kaart.
Heel lief ook.

Liefs, Lieb

Marie-Anne said...

It's a gorgeous card. Great to see you explaining how you work.


Juls said...

such an adorable card!! Hugs Juls

Mye said...

These are wonderful tips, thanks for sharing! I was wondering what size do you normally make your cards. I seem to have the hardest time with sizing elements.

Anonymous said...

I'm definitely grinning Claudia.....just because I love how you have gone into so much detail about how you make your cards.........thanks hun!
Your card is adorable!
Carole x

Danielle said...

Very very informative Claudia, I love how you put words onto every thing you do, very generous and helpful. I don't consider myself an experience cardmaker, so I do love having another perspective at building a card. It does bring me "techniques" I had not experienced before. Your card is so very lovely; I will inspire myself with it, I am coloring a LOTV image right now!Thank you so much dear Claudia.

Have a lovely weekend.

Sheree said...

Gorgeous card Claudia! Thanks for the heads up on putting everything together!

Debby said...

cute card ,thanks for all the tips ;)

Shazza said...

it is stunning Claudia!!!!

Annette said...

Stunning card (as always) but some great tips here. Love your colouring tips, your cards always stand out for your style of colouring. Thanks so much for sharing your tips. Annette xx

Christina C. said...

Du machst dein hintergrund mit Prismas.....dass muss Ich mal probieren!!!! Eine fantastische Karte!

Shirley N said...

Beautiful card and wonderful tips! Look forward to your post tomorrow when you share your favorite color combinations!

Tanya said...

Thank you for taking the time, wonderful tips! If only my cards looked like yours. :)

Merry said...

Oh what a wonderful interesting to hear how you put a card together and do your colouring. Thank you for taking the time to share all that info. I always colour the skin last...I am going to try your method and see what happens.

Kelly Neis said...

Thank you Claudia, I have admired your cards for a while now and wish I could color that good. I will try your techniques and still admire your artwork. Thank you for posting all this for us, I appreciate it.

Sol said...

Great step by step.... And the coloring is Fantastic ... -As always!! :o)...
I love your coloring.. and is a Big Fan, though... I will not buy these pencils anytime soon.... I will practice my own coloring though...

Sarah said...

Thank you for such a wonderful tutorial. It's alwasy nice to know how other people create their cards and see the differences from your own style.
Sarah xx :0)

Trudy said...

Hi Claudia,
love this card, just gorgeous as always!
Hugs Trudy

Riet said...

Beautiful card,I love the image and the colours.
So gorgeous papers.

Hugs Riet.xx

Pam said...

Thank you Claudia for explaining the process you go through to make a card. It was very informative. Love the gorgeous card.
Hugs from Indiana,

Anonymous said...

Thanks so much for the great info- I sure do struggle with the process -and am so greatful for some direction here! Love your coloring!

Jacqueline (Sjakkie) said...

This card is stunning Claudia! Super cute and so wonderful!
Hugs Jacqueline

Ribbon Girl said...

thanks for sharing Claudia - I always do the skin last but will try it first as you suggest and what a gorgeous card you have made! Beautiful, hugs Mary G x

Chris said...

Perfection :) xx

jolanda said...

Just came across this post when hopping from one blog to another to get some inspiration for the Christmas cards I am planning to make. It is some time ago you posted this tutorial, but I do want to thank you for your time and effort... it is really helpfull. :-)))
Did you colour the entire image with the pencils?
Hugs, Jolanda