It is time once again to be making a birthday card for my youngest grandson, who will be six on 9/11. I knew exactly what card I wanted to make as I made a similar one, once before at a workshop, and gave it to another grandson. (Probably one of the two who are just approaching eighteen now!). At the time I used stamps from the shop where the class was, and I now have nothing suitable. What I wanted was a dragon, but not a scary one, and not a too cartoony one. It was to go with a well known quote that perfectly appeals to the sense of humour of a six year old.
So I went into google and searched for a 'Friendly dragon digi stamp', but after visiting loads of sites, I still hadn't found what I wanted, so I turned to Google images. There, straight away was a perfect one, so I clicked on it to find it's origin, and - lo and behold - it was on a tutorial of "How to draw a friendly dragon"!
Now I am one of those people who is convinced that they can't draw, mainly due to a very discouraging art teacher. I attended a very old-style grammar school, where art was very low on the curriculum priority list. I was a good scholar and not used to failing at things, so when my initial attempts to produce what I was asked for were not very good, and a disillusioned art teacher told me I was no good, I believed her, and didn't try any more.
Fortunately I now at least have sufficient confidence to have a go at things, so pencil in hand, and a blank sheet of paper in front of me, I followed the tutorial. It was excellent, very clear, and took you a tiny step at a time through to a finished image. Here is the initial sketch, then with the all the details added in, and the final image with the main lines inked over, and the pencil rubbed out. (Sorry they are an odd colour. I took the photos under a strong artificial light last night).
Once I was happy with the image I scanned it into the computer and used 'Paint' to tidy up a few lines. Then I went into my photo editing program and flipped it, because I wanted him facing in the opposite direction. I then took a photo of a bottle of ketchup, cut it from it's background, and fiddled around until it was the right size to go in his hand, and I cloned out the fire-stick that he was originally holding. I saved them together so I could resize them proportionally for my card. Then I printed it out and coloured it with my copics. When I had cut both out, I used a knife to make a slit around his fingers and thumb and curled them around the neck of the ketchup bottle. I didn't think the puddle of ketchup was very convincing so I didn't use that.
Next I worked out how much space I had left for the words and typed them into a suitable text box in Publisher. I printed them out and cut them to vaguely resemble an old parchment document, and distressed the edges with walnut stain and black soot DI inks.
Then I chose a base card and backing paper from my stash and assembled it, leaving a space at the top for the sentiment. This was done with a very ancient clarity stamp set, heat-embossed with gold powder, and the number is a peel-off.
The 'splat' of ketchup in the lower right corner was cut with my first ever sissiz die, one of those old really thick ones. When I passed on my old sissix cutter which weighed a ton, so I couldn't keep lifting it in and out of the cupboard, I kept a few of my favourite dies and this is one I have used quite a few times. It cuts with my cuttlebug using the sandwich B plate, die, card, B plate. So I guess the die must be about the same thickness as the A plate.
Anyway, here is the finished card. It turned out pretty much how I wanted it to, and although it was quite a lot of work, I now have my own digi stamps, and everything I need to reproduce it should I want to. If anyone is interested in the tutorial you will find it here. There are tutorials there for drawing lots of other images too.I am entering this card in:
A Gem of a Challenge 54; A Boy Thing.
The Secret Crafter Challenge 201: Animal Antics.
Inspire me Fridays Party 74: Always Anything Goes.