Friday, January 3, 2014

Different background techniques

Not all backgrounds I make for my layouts are photographed and most are not even blogged. Today I am going to share lots of backgrounds that I have made the last year (some you might have seen before on the blog)

Some of the bacgrounds are also shown in an article about different background techniques I have made for the Norwegian site  Scrappeland. 

Hope this will inspire your to try out new techniques.

When ever the inspiration to work with paper isn't there, it is fun to sit down and play with inks, mists and other medium. I don't always know what I will use the background for when I make them. Some I save for a long time before I use them, others I make with a purpose.   The backgrounds are however never the main thing about my layouts - I want to showcase the photos, the backgrounds are just backgrounds - something that is meant to build up with the layers of papers to add some extra fun to the photo.  I like to work with contrast - that is why you will see a lot of black ink.

Edit 1. I got a question in the comments about the difference between white gesso and the clear gesso. I use Liquitex white and clear gesso and I have to say there is a HUGE difference  both in color obviously but also in texture. Where the white gesso is smooth and mist also just runs off the areas covered in white gesso (and if you are also using just plain white cardstock the areas will look yellowish compared to the white cardstock) the clear gesso in a way invites the colors to mix the gesso and is much rougher in texture - the areas covered in clear gesso will not be smooth to touch.  There is however one downside to using lots of clear gesso and that is that a lot of adhesive doesn't stick much to the paper anymore. You can therefor see me staple the layers to the white cardstock. 

Edit 2. If my pages have gesso, sprayed ink or water they are buckled - just try to adhere as much as you can of the page to something hard when you photograph making the buckles less visible.

1. Here are some backgrounds using first distress ink with stencils with stamping on top
(Here is a step by step tutorial I have written for - only difference is that gesso is added on top)

2. For these watercolor effect backgrounds I have covered the cardstock with cleargesso and then made the colored background with a waterbrush and drops of mists which are smeared out. On top are distress ink/stencils and stamping and drops of mist on top. 

3. More watercolor backgrounds, this time I only used stamps and drops of mist (first clear gesso and drops of mists smeared out)

4. For this background I have added a lot of water to the green acrylic paint - in several versions (but first clear gesso)  On top  stamping.  If the paper isn't dry the paint drops will be quite large even if you just put a tiny bit.

5. For this background I have used a resist technique. I used a gel medium with a stencils. When dried I used distress ink over in pink and then added distress ink together with stencils and then stamping on top.  Then drops of mist.

6. Here you will see the difference between just using distress ink and misting. The blue parts are misted with the stencils and for the rest of the stenciling - I just used distress ink. Then stamping and drops of mist.

7. More stenciling using a mist together with distress ink/stencils and stamping.

8. Here I started with clear gesso, then in the same color I used distress ink and stencils, then some stamping and on top white gesso with a stencils

9. Colored background with distress ink/stenciling, stamping and white gesso with stencils.

10. What I don't often do is use gesso and stamps on the background and on the different layers of papers and keeping it flat.

11. Distress ink and a waterbrush used with stencils. 

A couple of more backgrounds


  1. Cool backgrounds, thanks for sharing!! I absolutely love your work :) Creative New Year for You!!

  2. This is so cool! Can´t wait to try out a few of your tips.
    Thank You for sharing!

  3. Loving these pretty cool backgrounds! Thanks so much for sharing them :)

  4. wow, awesome! thanks for sharing this, I love to see how you make your backgrounds!

  5. holy CARP. these are AMAZING, lady! i feel like i'd need DAYS just to do one - would love to see a step-by-step if you ever shoot while working... super gorgeous backgrounds!

  6. Wow! I really don't know if I could make these pages - but they are beautiful!!

  7. Godt Nytt År Christin ! :)
    wow...så utrolig kule bakgrunner du har laget....skikkelig tøffe :)
    Men du..den clear-gessoen.....har den samme "virkning" som vanlig gesso bare at den er blank ?

  8. I agree would love to see a step by step!!! These are amazing. One question, I find when I smear out the gesso, with a credit card thingy, when dry, my paper buckles? Yours dont seem to do that. What am I doing wring?

  9. Thanks for sharing! Great overview of backround techniques and really beautiful backrounds, too! I think I need clear gesso now. I had no idea it existed in transparent, too;)

    Best wishes
    Moni /penny

  10. Super cool. Love your backgrounds.

  11. Thanks for posting this. I want to try it.

  12. Oh wow thanks for sharing!! I loooove all your backgrounds and techniques!!!!

  13. Thanks for sharing your ideas, I love them all

  14. Thank You very much for this post. I'm starting with LO's and having problems with backgrounds. Every time I try hard and your information helped me very much to improve myself. Thank you again!

  15. so awesome and inspirational! TFS!!!!