Here is the next part in our series on Stamping Basics - Everything you wanted to know about stamping but were afraid to ask!
So you have the paper, the inks and the stamps and now you want to get stamping. In this article we will have a look at the basics of actually creating a stamped image. If you haven’t already read our previous articles on papers inks and types of stamps, you might like to read them first.
Firstly, you need to ink up your stamp. The aim is to get a good even coverage so that your image is clear and not patchy. You don’t want to overload the stamp with ink as this will result in a blotchy and messy print, so bring the ink pad to the stamp and just tap the stamp carefully with the pad.
When you are confident with stamping, you can put the stamp directly onto the pad but even confident stampers can end up with ink all over the wood block and too much or too little ink on the stamp.
Decide where you are going to stamp and then press the stamp down firmly onto the stamping surface. You need to apply an even pressure over the whole stamp. With large stamps you will need to apply a bit more pressure to avoid a patchy result and with smaller more delicate stamps you will need to be a bit less heavy handed. With practice you will get used to the type of pressure you need to apply to each of your stamps to get a good impression.
Tip: Make sure you are stamping on a good even surface. Any lumps will mean that your image will end up being patchy. Personally, I ike to use a firm surface like a craft mat but many stampers swear by stamping mats which are foam and have a little bit of spring in them. I have even seen people using Phone Books!
Do not rock your stamp on the paper as this can result in a blurred image, particularly if you are stamping onto a glossy cardstock, when the stamp is very likely to slip. It is a good idea to do a test stamp first to see how the stamp, the ink and the paper behave, before doing your final stamped image.
Now let your stamped image dry before starting to colour it in. We’ll look at colouring techniques in the next article. When you have finished colouring your image you can mount it directly onto your card or cut it out first. If you want to stamp another image, you will usually need to re-ink your stamp first, or else the impression will be patchy.
Tip: If you are using a new stamp, the ink may not adhere to the surface very well and this will result in a patchy image. This can be particularly true for acrylic stamps. You may need to just condition the stamp before use by rubbing over the surface with an eraser or very fine grade sandpaper (be gentle if you use sandpaper!). Read other tips about conditioning stamps in our article rubber v acrylic stamps.
Fading Out Technique
Once you have mastered basic stamping, you will want to move on to other techniques. Fading out is a very simple technique which can be incredibly effective. With some images lighter and others darker, this gives the impression of depth and dimension.This is a good method to use to create your own backing papers to use on a card, especially if you use lighter ink tones.
All you have to do is ink and stamp in the normal way and then stamp your image several times without re-inking the stamp. You can overlap the images to give the impression that they are behind each other. Carry on building up the stamped images until you are happy with the result.
I am making a piece of paper that will be used behind another embellishment, so I have stamped a quite a few times to get the coverage I want and although the photo could be better, you can see that already there is almost a 3D effect going on.
Tip: Try rotating the stamp a little each time you stamp, so that each impression is not exactly the same, this adds interest.
Tip: If you are using this technique to make a piece of backing paper, stamp a few images off the edge of the page, so it looks more natural.
This is as exactly as it sounds. You stamp an image repeatedly in a line or pattern. Use this technique to produce a border or to make a piece of backing paper. If you want to keep the stamps equi-distant, you can use a ruler and mark with pencil where you need to stamp each image.
This is an important basic technique for stamping and allows you to create neat overlapping designs. Firstly, ink up your stamp and stamp onto your paper.
Now stamp this same image onto another piece of paper. A post it note is the best option as the sticky edge comes in handy.
Now cut out the stamped image on the post it note and place it directly over the first stamped image.
Next you can take the same stamp or another stamp and stamp over the masked area.
When you remove the post it note, it will appear that the second stamped image is behind the first.
This technique is a very useful one if you are trying to build up a scene containing several stamped images or a combined design.
Getting a 3D effect with your stamped design
You can get a really nice 3 dimensional effect with your stamped image by this simple technique. This works best with a larger size simple design stamp, with a clear shape that you can cut around.
Just stamp your image as before and colour it in if you want to. I haven't done this in the demonstration as I am doing it quickly.
Now stamp another image on a separate piece of paper and colour this one too.
Cut this second stamped image out and place a piece of sticky foam behind it before sticking it directly over your first image. You can just glue it as I have done here and fold back the top image to give dimension. Simple but really quite effective!
I hope you have enjoyed our third article on basic stamping techniques. In our next article, we will take a look at colouring your stamped image.
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