Jaycee Gasper’s class on Floral Composition has a host of information from laying out card designs to stepping up simple items. He covers seven steps in composition:
- Color — the basic element, use a 60-30-10 rule to color pallets
- Value – brightness, darkness, contrast, luminosity, evoke feelings
- Line – actual and perceived
- Shape – geometrics often, triangular is most common
- Form – third dimension going with line, shape and form
- Texture – literally felt or only perceived
- Space – Rule of Thirds where lines of a grid like a tic tac toe board intersect become the focal points of the card
Some of these elements I was very familiar with but learning to put them together and how to use them to their fullest were strong lessons in this class.
I chose to focus on line, as using line to show dimension was the newest concept for me. I was impressed with some simple lines Jaycee emphasized to see how much depth could be achieved. I struggled with what stamp set I would use since I did not have the one, he used and I wanted not to copy his work, but to use it with other stamps. I tried two stamp sets – the Simple Rose and Pen Sketched Flowers. The Pen Sketched flowers were easier to do but I ended up liking the Simple Rose as it was more dramatic. My main tool became the Altenew Fine Liner Pen Set. These are archival lightfast and waterproof pens of different stroke widths…from thin 005 to 02, then BR for a small brush.
Since the pens are black, I was working with the overall black and white theme. I first stamped the flowers on Neenah Classic Crest Solar White paper (110lb.). I then just started drawing lines to accentuate the stamps. I really didn’t know what I was doing much but could see the Pen Sketched Flowers coming to life with the 02 Pen. I tried the brush but I didn’t feel I had as much control over where the shading went so, I returned to the 02 Pen. When I switched to the Simple Rose stamp set, I found just the opposite. These were larger florals, thus, the larger brush pen worked best. Practice makes perfect and I found I really didn’t like some of the first ones I did so I stamped the flowers again and redid them, comparing to my practice session to help me decide how I wanted the florals to look. Here is a short video clip of my process:
After I had my florals completed, I die cut them out and worked to arrange my card. I created templates for the Rule of Thirds to help with the layout of the florals. To do this I took some vellum and cut pieces similar to a slimline card, square, and A2 card size. I drew lines dividing the horizontal and verticals in thirds…basically different size tic tac toe boards. By using vellum, I could put this Rule of Thirds piece over my cardstock and figure out the most pleasing way to lay out my individual pieces of the card. It’s difficult with slimline cards and although I wasn’t perfectly on the intersections, I was close and the rule still applied.
Since another item of composition was texture, I decided to use the new Altenew Ribbon Waves embossing folder for the background piece. Because the embossing folder is square, I needed to adjust it some to create a longer piece of embossed paper. First, I embossed as is then I moved the paper withing the folder so that only the unembossed section was inside. This way by running it through die machine it didn’t flatten out the first part. This particular folder lent itself well to this need.
I arranged the flowers along the left side of the card and coming to the right at the bottom. Testing it with the Rule of Thirds as I went along. When I was satisfied with the layout, I covered it with Glad Press n Seal to hold the design in place, pulled it off the background. To add a bit of color I added some Ruby Red metallic shimmer splatters on top of the white background. I then added liquid glue to the bottom pieces of leaves and flowers and attached them to the card front. I used one layer of foam tape to the small bud and leaves in the center to pop it up a bit and a double layer of foam tape to the largest flower to make it stand out the most. In addition to popping, it up more, I also edged that flower in the same Ruby Red by using the Altenew Artist Marker to fill in the white space normally showing from die cutting.
At this point, I adhered the card front to a black card base 8.25”x4” — just larger than the front. Inside the card I took a white piece of cardstock and framed it with a red piece of cardstock measuring 8”x3.75” and attached it to the area for an inside note or sentiment.
On the outside, the sentiment I wanted for this had to be LOVE. I looked and tried different dies that I had and also some different red papers to find the one I was most satisfied with. I cut the Circled Greetings: Love Die out of red glitter paper but using only the word. I then cut it twice out of other paper, stacked it with the glitter on top to make it stand out more. I also used some foam tape to “float” the word above the flowers. To do this I cut vey thin strips of foam tape and doubled it over then conformed it to the letters. When doing this, it is best to take off both sides of the liner paper from the tape. It is then easy to curve and manipulate it around in small places. To finish off the card I cut out some heart embellishment from the glitter paper and added them to the card front.
This is a complicated lession but so well worth it. Altenew’s classes really teach a lot. And stretch us to make blogs we never did before, and videos never done before. This is my first video for a blog –how’d it come out? I even did a voice over. So the beautiful card deserves some extra attention. I hope you like it and would love to hear your feed back and constructive criticism. Have a wonderful day!!!