Hello friends! Today I have a card for the My Favorite Things sketch challenge, featuring an adorable raccoon from the Raving Raccoons stamp set from MFT. How adorable is she?? (The answer is: Very.)
Techniques used for this card:
- no-line coloring
- colored pencil
- ink blending
The first thing I did to make this card was google raccoons to get a sampling of reference images. This helps to select the appropriate color palette, and also ensures I capture a touch of realism in my coloring. How are raccoon eyes shaped? What’s the order of stripe colors on their tails? Are they warm gray or cool gray?
Then I grabbed a circle die and traced around it lightly with a drawing pencil. I also die cut the same circle in some scrap paper to use as a mask later on. I thought it would be cute to use the raccoon that was sitting and position her at the bottom of the circle, with her feet and tail hanging off, kind of like she was sitting in a window. I stamped her in Grout Gray ink for the no-line coloring technique, and then, with the mask in place, stamped the two little flower stamps around her and slightly up the sides of the circle.
Side note: people always ask what’s the best ink for this. I like a light gray, personally. For pencil, it doesn’t matter if it’s dye ink or hybrid. Experiment with what you like. Some people like a darker gray, like Cement Gray, because it’s easier to see but still disappears behind the color. I have a harder time blending it in with my images. Grout gray is pretty light – I usually stamp at least twice to get it to a point where I can actually see the image, and even then I still need my reading glasses. But it is much easier for me to blend in, regardless of the medium.
Raccoons are sort of a dirty gray – a bit of brown mixed in with their salt and pepper fur. So I grabbed all of the warm grays from my set of Polychromos, along with black and a couple of browns, and my white Caran D’Ache pencil (much better for fur than the Polychromos white – you can actually see it!) and set to work. I first drew in her eyes, deliberately making them larger than they should be to keep the image whimsical and safely out of the uncanny valley. I then laid down a medium warm gray base, coloring in line with the fur. I find that it’s good to get some shading in place at this point too, so you don’t lose your (no-)lines or details (like tiny raccoon hands) completely. Then, with sharpened pencil tips, I added additional layers of color, alternating dark and light, always going in direction of the fur (this is where reference images are key). It’s very appropriate to color outside of the (no-)lines to give the appearance of texture. Then I moved on to the flowers and grass to finish the stamped portions of image. I used a white gel pen to add some extra highlights to her eyes, nose and fur, as well as polka dots for her little dress.
To complete the scene, I grabbed my oft-used mini cloud edge stencil, Broken China distress oxide ink, and a mini dauber and blended in the sky with a very light hand. I went over the blue with a coordinating pencil just to cover up some unevenness. Then I stamped a sentiment from the set onto some scrap cardstock that coordinated with her dress and trimmed it down to a small flag. At some point I trimmed the panel down with a stitched rectangle die and adhered it to a top-folding A2 card base using craft foam. I added some Nuvo jewel drops in Strawberry Coulis for embellishment.
I am playing this card in the My Favorite Things Wednesday Sketch Challenge (#381):
Thanks so much for stopping by and have a great week! Hope to see you next time!
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