Monday, May 9, 2011

2nd Thursday Tutorial: Masking for Dummies 101


Back in May, 2011, I created a post that I never published.  It was all about masking, something I talked about earlier today when I participated in Rain's TAD this week.  Those of you who follow my blog, know I'm not a stamper. If you are a stamper, this post will probably be of no interest to you because this is really rudimentary stamping. Actually, it's masking, a stamping technique I never fully understood until I went to Roni Johnson's Ink Stains. She has the first masking tutorial that makes sense to me. She calls it "collage stamping" and you can see her tutorial here. So of course I had to try it for my Birds in Hats ATC swap. This is my first ever piece of art made entirely using rubber stamps.

I apologize if these are rather blurry, because it was late at night when I did this. And I did this more for ME than anything. At least now, when I want to mask something using rubber stamps, I can refer back to how I do it.  Remember, too, these photos were taken with my old worthless camera.

Supplies clockwise from upper left:

Acrylic blocks for UMs ((unmounted stamps)
Scratch paper
Undecorated ATC backs
Rubber stamps of your choice
Unmounted rubber (the red rubber stamp has just been treated with Wacky Tac not shown in this photo)
ATCs, cut to size with completed/colored backgrounds using Staz-on reinkers and 91% alcohol
Acrylic block and stamp
Flower petal that is not used in this technique
Various stamping inks

Following Roni's excellent tutorial, stamp your focal image first, using black ink. This is not an intuitive step to me. Seems the first thing to stamp would be the background. But that is not the case.

Stamp your first image, then stamp a second image on a sheet of scratch paper. Note: this was a scratch pad and made an excellent base for cushioning the stamps.

Stamp all focal images, then clean your stamp and return to stamp drawer.

Cut out the image you stamped and apply some kind of repositionable glue to the back. I used Wacky Tac, roll on liquid that dries after a few hours. Well worth the wait. While I had the Wacky Tac out, I did the same to a rubber stamp and a silk flower petal.

Again referring to Roni, cut the mask a tiny bit smaller than the actual image. That way the next stamped image will be against the edge of the focal image.

When your mask is dry, position it over the focal image.

Stamp your second image, once on your card, then again on your scrap paper. Cut out the second (mask) image and apply repositionable glue. Allow glue to dry before preceding.

You should leave your mask in place, but since this was my first masking attempt, I became a little kid and had to see if I did it right.

Once your second mask is dry, place it over the image.

Be sure the first mask is also in place.

Using a different color ink, stamp your next image.

Remove masks and appreciate what you've accomplished.

I thought the hats looked a bit plain and faint, since I used some children's SU ink to stamp the hats. I got out a couple of gel pens and colored them in.

Using the same technique, once again placing the mask over the focal image, I stamped the "perch" the bird sat on.

So when is a piece complete? Well, I should have stopped with this step, which I was very happy with.

Instead I had to take it a step further and possibly ruin the ATCs by adding that silly sentiment. At least I liked the stamping part of it. I know you probably never thought you would hear me say that, but I thought these stamps just fit the swap theme so well. And yes, this is the most stamping I have done in my life! Now why do I think I cheated when I did nothing more than stamping? Was that why I felt compelled to add the sentiment I feel ruined the piece?

Today there is no doubt in anyone's mind who my blog pick of the day is. Yes, it is Ink Stains Roni. Talk about a tutorial, technique, and tip laden blog. You will be there for days, especially if you are a stamper. Of course, Roni, who lives in Indiana in the US, does much more than stamp. She makes altered books, collages, and mixed media art that will blow you away! She is a stamp designer and is on several design teams. She has written a book called "Teach Yourself Visually: Collage and Altered Art." There seems to be no limit to her love of stamping and sharing her knowledge with others. I want to thank her for sharing this masking technique which I will use over and over again.


18 thoughtful remarks:

Zue said...

Very clever, a really impressive technique and what a wonderful result.
I do stamping, but simple stamping... I have not tried masking properly. You have inspired me to have a go.
Continue to have fun experimenting!!!!!
Sue xx

Marfi-topia said...

Elizabeth this turned out lovely!!!!
and i dont think it's ruined at all, i love how it says birthday made me smile.
you have a wonderful day,
great job!

Unknown said...

Thanks for this, Elizabeth! I never knew about the masking technique- I too would have assumed to start with the background and work my way forward......and you know what they say about assuming :)
These turned out GREAT by the way- and I like them both ways, with and without the words!

Karen said...

YAY!!!! you have been stamping!!!! Brilliant!!! XXX

Healing Woman said...

After reading your tutorial, I immediately went to check out ink Stain's Roni's site. I too, have been reluctant to do much stamping but between the two of you, I think I may give it a whirl.

I love the crow theme and I'll refer back to your blog when I start masking. Thanks so much.

Esther said...

Hi - came by to snoop at WOYWW but just had to leave a comment here - I love Roni's blog and am very excited for your venture into masking/stamping ! Stamping is not cheating - it's a tricky business and your ATC's look great !! Long may you continue to stamp!!

Estehr xx

Darla said...

Very impressive job. I'll check out the link. I really don't do stamping either but someone gave me a bunch of stamps that are just languishing is a box. I will have to give them a workout.


Caterina Giglio said...

nice tutorial E, love the crow, been thinking that I should make a crow stamp... in my spare time!! lol!

Mary Helen-Art Saves Lives said...

I needed your tutorial to spark my renewed playtime with my deluxe stamps. I also think just sharing our processes helps other let go of the Fear of a mistake. Imagine and Live in Peace, Mary Helen Fernandez Stewart

Liverpool Lou (Anne) said...

Hi Elizabeth, great job on the stamping. I love the ATCs. I kind of know what you mean about the cheating but still though someone else provided the image, it's how you use it - colours, composition etc.
By physio I meant physiotherapy; I think you may call it physical therapy?
Anne xx

Cynthia Schelzig said...

Nice end result...thanks for the review. I had to laugh when I saw the title of your I have "Blogging for Dummies" here on my desk at all times and my husband makes jokes about that are you still dumb? or what? that book hasn´t helped you very much yet has it...jokingly of course:)

Terri Kahrs said...

Love your little birthday bird, Elizabeth!!! Great job of illustrating the process. Hugs, Terri xoxo

Ink Stained Roni said...

Hey your ATC looks great Elizabeth!! You did a super job and congrats on all the stamping! Wasn't so bad was it? ;)

Thanks so much for the feature and you're all welcome there anytime!

Marilyn J. Rock said...

Elizabeth; this is amazing! Great masking technique! xxoo

~*~Patty S said...

you are fearless
Love how you dive into projects
stamping suits you E!
great birdie stamps
masking is such a great technique
thanks as always for giving us the details!

~*~Patty S said...

oh and your Seed and Feed paper is fab too!!!

margaret said...

yaaaaaay you go girl! boy did I smile when I read this post! a stamper in the making, hee hee... I'm most impressed with the outcome! and I love that stamp,imagine all the projects you could use it on!

Victoria said...

This one is pretty cool, especially since I love birds! I must say, I have never considered stamping, perhaps I should give it a try? Thanks for your wonderful comment on my harvest piece as well! Enjoy your day!