I will here show you a couple of tips on how I work with layers to make dimension.
For my layers of paper I chose just a few colors, white, grey/black, aqua/teal and yellow. I don’t like mixing too many colors when I work with a black and white photo. I actually don’t use a cutting machine when I cut the layers for my layout. Since I work with a lot of layers it feels good to not be forced to be accurate and precise when I work, the lack of straight lines is what’s adding some of the dimension.
First you cut your papers in the sizes you want – make some smaller than your picture and some larger. The more layers you choose – the less it matters how you cut your layers. When just working with a white cardstock – I feel like the transition between the patterned papers and the white cardstock is too hard, so I like to add some color. So I like to add both a softer transition and more dimension and structure to my page.
Here I have used the same layers, just added color, I started up with white cardstock. You might ask why, but for me it’s the best way to showcase the photo by giving the layers and the picture some air around so you can rest your eyes. I then make add colors to my cardstock, I usually work with mists to create a watercolor effect. I start with a base of clear gesso and add drops of mist together with water.
The colors on the cardstock eases up the transition between the layers and the cardstock, but I want to add more dimesion. Then I usually add distress ink with stencils and for the top layers I add drops of mist and stamp with different stamps. I often drop the mist in different colors – either picking up some of the colors in the photo or in the papers. Some of the same reason why I have a white cardstock for my base goes for the reason why I use grey/black for the added layers of stencils/stamps. They make for great contrast. If you feel like your background is to hard colored - add a layer of white gesso together with stencils – that will soften the background a little.
For a watercolor tutorial you can see in the June issue of Inzpira magazine.
There are several ways to add even more dimensions to you layers – which I will not show here but you can try for yourself. You can spray your papers with water – crunch them- then layer your paper- staple them together and use a heater to dry the papers. The papers will stay in the shape you put them. This style is great if you have a style where you love to distress the papers.
Another way of adding dimension to your papers is by just crunching them, but not adding water. You will get some dimension, but you layers will not be super thick. Again I chose to staple the layers only in the middle so it doesn’t get flat on the sides.
If you don’t like to crunch your paper so much the best way is just to add more layers, BUT you could bend the corner on the layers a little. It’s not much, but it makes a difference.
When I have chosen my layers, stapled them together, I am not really finished. If you leave your layers this way it will sometimes look like it’s lacking something. The layers may look a little hard on top of each other.
Then it’s a good idea to add small borders in between the layers of paper – or stickers, tabs or anything. I love to use ribbons or a border punch for this. This you can do also after you have added your photo(s). It’s also a good idea to use a white border on your papers – that way they don’t drown in your layers. Then add embellishments than pop up. That can be thickers, chipboard or anything that doesn’t just lie flat on the paper.
Material & Tools
Cardstock: Bazzill Basics – White
Patterned papers: Fancy Pants Design – Superp, Awe-Inzoring, Enchanted, What a Wonderful Day Strip; My Minds Eye – Sweet, Amy Tangerine Plus One 6x6 paper pad
Stamps: Wycinanka, Sodalicious, Denim Tampons, KaiserCraft
Paints, inks & effects: Liquitex – clear gesso; Tattered Angels – Trunk Bay, Turquoise blue, Sea glass, Patina; Studio Calico Mr Huey – Sky, Buttercup, Leaf Green, Warm Calico; Shimmerz – Jeni B Bleu; Versafine stamp pad – Black, Smoked Grey; Distress Ink – Black soot
Embellishments: Echo Park Paper – stickers; American Crafts – thickers; Pink Paislee – tag; Jenni Bowlin – tab; Simple Stories– tabs; bag, flair, chipboard heart, tags
Tools: Ek Success – large scallop Border punch, Crafters Workshop stencils – Tiny Rings Bits, Stacked Triangles, Chevron, Triangle, Herringbone; Kelley Purkey stencils – Triangles