Altenew: Masking Unleashed

Life’s too short. Buy the Hydrangea – Unknown

Glorious Hydrangea

Whether you buy the hydrangea to have in your garden or you receive one in a bouquet you must agree it’s not a shy, retiring kind of flower. Hydrangeas want to be center stage: a mop of flowers to fill two hands to overflowing in a showy cluster of blossoms and vivid colors varying from dazzling white to hues of pinks and purplish blues. Hydrangeas are a real feast for the eyes … and a pleasure to color!

Hydrangeas Times 2

For the Altenew class ‘Masking Unleashed’, I chose two different images of hydrangeas to demonstrate this fundamental of creative card making – masking. Successful masking does take some pre-planning and a little fussing but the resulting image is as unique as you are. Whether it’s simple masking like on the card on kraft card stock or the composed still-life image card which required many more masking steps, masking provides a satisfying, one-of-a-kind result.

Garden Hydrangeas

This first card on kraft card stock,  ‘Garden Hydrangea’, was composed from a single hydrangea bloom image using a mask cut from full-stick Post-it Notes.  When using Post-its Notes as a mask I always cut 2 or 3 layers at a time giving me plenty of masks for current/future use. I also find that with the added thickness of multiple layers it’s easier to cut than a single layer of thin paper – bonus all around! After stamping the central flower image it was masked and the two surrounding images were added to form a cluster of hydrangeas much like the would be in a garden setting. Masking done, trio of hydrangeas accomplished.

My Prismacolor pencils were on my desk from previous project so I decided to use them again. Because I was working on kraft card stock all the flowers, leaves, and stems needed a base layer of white pencil to ensure that the additional colors applied would show up against the darker background as well as stay truer to their original color. All the elements were colored in multiple layers of pencil and then blended out with Gamsol. After the initial blend, additional layers of pencil were added and blended again to provide needed shadows and highlights.

Because the pencils tend to dull the the black stamped line I was careful not to go over the outlines but I did come back with a black pen to re-establish crisp flower centers. A light splatter of black ink and a sentiment heat embossed in gold were added to the completed image panel. The panel was adhered on gold metallic paper and then mounted to card base using fun foam insert for dimension. For a final touch of sparkle, gold sequins were applied.

I won’t detail the masking steps for the Still-life Hydrangea card that transformed 4 individual stamps into a single image but I will show you pictures of the process and the resulting stamped image. This panel was stamped on Bristol Paper using Altenew’s Permanent Black ink and throughly dried before masking fluid was applied. By the way, I needed to use a masking fluid to create a barrier around edge of the stamped images as I intended to use a watercolor medium to add color to the background as well as paint the image.

With the masking fluid dry I could paint the background and the panel was left to dry completely. After removing the masking fluid with an adhesive eraser I used Zig Real Brush Markers to add color blending with water.  I completed the card adding ink splatters and a die cut sentiment. The image panel was adhered to metallic gold paper and mounted to card base using fun foam. Sequins finished this card as well. Please notice I did change up the background from the sunny yellow shown above to a soft lavender which I liked much better for the finished project.

Still-life Hydrangea

Because I had stamped multiple image panels I did experiment a little with the masking fluid. On one panel I masked first, painted the background and then painted the hydrangea and on a 2nd panel I watercolored the hydrangea first, applied masking fluid and then did background. I did find that the 2nd approach resulted in a more muted flower where the masking fluid had been. To remedy that issue I came back and intensified the color. My recommendation? – masking fluid before watercoloring!

Garden Hydrangeas 

Stamps: Altenew: Beautiful Lady, Sketchy Florals
Paper: Neenah Crest: Solar White 80lb.; Neenah Crest: Desert Storm; Holtz Metallic Kraft – Gold
Ink: Altenew: Permanent Black
Polychromos Pencils: Base: White (938); Leaves: Apple Green (912), Limepeel (1005), Kelp Green (1090), Chartreuse (989), Ultramarine (902); Flowers: Cerulean Blue (904), True Blue (903), Chartreuse (989), Light Aqua (992)
Other: Gamsol; Ranger: Alcohol ink Blending Pen, Black Gel Pen; Fun Foam; Gold Embossing Powder

Still-life Hydrangea  

Stamps: Altenew: Garden Hydrangea, Versatile Vases, Beautiful Lady
Paper: My Favorite Things: Dark Lavender; Holtz Metallic Kraft – Gold; Canson Recycle Bristol Paper
Ink: Altenew: Permanent Black; Ranger/Distress: Milled Lavender, Pumice Stone
Kuretake Zig Real Brush Pens: Leaves: Light Green (041), Mid Green (046), Deep Green (044), Ochre (063), Mid Brown (065); Hydrangea: Sugared Almond Pink (200), Light Blue (036), Turquoise Green (042), Pink (025), Pale Gray (097); Vase: Blue Gray (xxx); Vase Water: Haze Blue (302), Pale Gray (097)
Other: Altenew: Versatile Vases Stencil, Jet Black Ink Spray; Inkadinkado Masking Paper; Winsor & Newton: Art Masking Fluid; Silicone Tip Sculpting Tool; Adhesive Eraser; Escoda Watercolor Brushes: #2, #4; Ranger 3/4” Flat Brush

  1. Erum Tasneem

    Gorgeous, Deb!!
    Thank you for entering your wonderful work to the AECP assignment gallery. Super work!

    • Deb Hurtig

      Thank you!

  2. Virginia Lu

    Beautiful craftsmanship and process of masking! I love love this, Deborah! Thanks so much for entering your beautiful work in Altenew AECP assignment Gallery. I love your write-up and descriptions! Please keep up with your excellent work!

    • Deb Hurtig

      Much appreciated!


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