Thursday, September 18, 2008

Cowboy Snowman

I had fun making this card with my Cowboy Snowman from High Hopes Stamps. I wanted to show off that pretty designer paper from Basic Grey so I made this card a bit bigger, 6 x 5 1/2 inches. Because of the size, I had to use tabs to join the front of the card with the back. I learned that from Carolyn King, aka Cammie.
I tried to give the tabs a leather look. I first cut them out, trimmed the corners with my small corner rounder, then rolled and crunched the paper in my hands. After a lot of bending and twisting (of the paper, not me! lol) I sponged it with brown dye ink and lightly dabbed them onto the surface of the inkpad.
I have a paper drill that puts holes anywhere I want them (from Lee Valley, its a must have tool!) but I had to press ultra hard to get it through all these layers so I could apply the blue button brads (another dollar store find!). I used mini brads on the back of the card to adhere the back piece to the front.
The finishing touches were a bit of glitter glue on his star badge and the jewels on his hat, and a few highlights with a white gel pen on his cheeks and carrot nose.

I thought I would show you a closeup of the coloring. Cowboy Snowman was stamped onto watercolor paper using Versafine Onyx black ink. I added color using my Tombow pens and spread the ink with water and a watercolor brush, various sizes.
There are a lot of different reds used on the hat. I start with one shade, usually the lightest one, let it dry and then add another. I keep adding more and more color to deepen the shadows. I happen to like strong contrasts, so I usually go from as dark as I can to no color at all, for highlights. You can see where I left the paper show through in places at the top of the hat and on the brim in the center. I even used a brown color for this hat, because I wanted it to look less red and more maroon. Plus it made him look dirtier, like this guy had been riding the range and was dusty from a day of rustling cattle! lol
The scarf started off as a blue scarf. I didn't like it, so I removed as much of the color as I could by wetting it with a clean brush and dabbing with a kleenex, over and over. This got rid of most of it, but not all. When I added the green, I actually liked how the remnants of blue changed the shade of green. See a lot of the time, my mistakes work out for the best!
The snow on the snowman and on the ground is a combination of a lot of different colors. I used a yellow shade, purple, blue, and brown. It is interesting, the things we think are white actually have a lot of color in them, if you really study them. Next snowy day (no, I'm not wishing for that!) check out the colors you can see in the snow where the sun hits it, and then in the shadows. And I don't mean the snowbank snow, but the pristine fresh fallen stuff. It really is quite remarkable how much color is actually there, and yet our brains tell us its white, colorless. Just not true! I have a pastel artist's magazine and it depicts a carton of white eggs. The artist admits that white was never used in the entire painting, and yet the eggs look white! I love interesting facts like that!

Here is a closeup of the technique I learned from Cammie on her blog. She is one of my favorites, and if you haven't seen her blog, you oughtta check it out. She is amazing, that woman!
This was easy, although I didn't do it quite the same way Carolyn did. She had planned hers in advance, so she was able to fold the whole main piece. Me, I didn't plan it. It was a last minute fix, when I realized that the raffia would prevent me from adhering the main panel flat to the card. But I couldn't pop up the whole piece, because I had planned to have the two tabs at the top join my main panel to the card base. So,... I remembered seeing this on Cammie's blog, and thought it was a great solution. I cut an extra piece of brown cs and folded it in two places, and taped it onto the main panel and then onto the card base as you can see here. I love having it 3D like this! It is a technique I will use again I'm sure. Thanks, Cammie!
Thanks for looking today!


  1. Such great coloring! I'm in awe! :) Yes, I see it now - white isn't always white! I've only used blue before, for highlighting, but the yellow/brown tones is gorgeous on this card! Next time I color an snowthemed stamp, I'm surely gonna think of that! :)

  2. Wow--a stunner Crissy! You are an amazing artist! I love the snow---yes, i have to remember that about all the different colors you see on things perceived and just white! I just love this.

    hugs girl--so glad you started blogging...linked u up!

  3. So beautiful, Crissy ~~ your coloring is absolute perfection!! I love the shadows...the highlights.....the tabs...everything!!

  4. Wow Crissy, your painting is absolutely amazing! You really bring that snowman to life with your colors and shading! The tabs with the raffia and brads are fantastic! I love everything about this card!

  5. I was browsing the SCS gallery today and I found this card... which led me to your blog. You do amazing work!!!

    Every Friday on my blog I pick one card from the week's uploads on SCS... I pick a card that "speaks to me" and inspires me in some way. I then get creative and make a card (or something) from that inspiration.

    This week I picked YOURS! I will be posting my blog article tomorrow morning. I add a photo of your card (with a link to your gallery and your blog) and do a short blurb about why it inspired me. I then post my creation too.

    I am in awe of your coloring skills, and your layouts are always sooooo cute!

    So thank you... for being my inspiration this week for me.

  6. Oh I really do want this stamp now! It's an awesome card!

  7. Totally fabulous, totally took my breath away with your brilliant colouring. Am I jealous? Yep! LOL
    Viv xx

  8. Beautiful colours and cute image. I especially love the text.

  9. Will E. LOVE it! (And every time I comment here, I'm going to say "LOVE your coloring.") :)

  10. Crissy, this card is too sweet for words. Your coloring is phenomenal, absolutely gorgeous girl!

  11. Wow this is a lovely card. I have not been on your blog before I am totally in awe of your creative talents!! you have so many lovely cards and projects, truly an inspirational site. I will definiately be returning. Hugs Linda x

  12. Oh my... I think this is one of my favorites. I loooove this card. it's STUNNING!
    Beautiful details and the coloring is just amazing...

  13. My what an amazing artist you are! Your coloring is amazing. I love how you highlighted his hat with the white gel pen, and I love the bling in his badge. Such a cute card and image too! Great job!

  14. Wow, this is AMAZING Chrissy! So...does designing stamps come anywhere close to your childhood dream of writing and illustrating children's books? You certainly have the talent for it!


    PS...Did I let you know the blog candy arrived safe and sound? I love the card...didn't realize it would be included. Heck...I would have been happy with JUST that...but yeah...rubber is a nice added bonus! LOL.