Thursday, 22 April 2010

Creating your own Unique Backgrounds

Inspired by the scrapbooker/artist Ashley Calder I have been experimenting with creating my own backgrounds for my layouts and loving having a page created around my photographs to put in my albums. And, the fun thing is - it's so much easier than it sounds! Armed with the new found confidence that creating a background design for my scrapbooks, even for a watercolour and doodling novice like myself, is perfectly doable, I taught a class at the ATDML retreat doing just that. Well, all I can say is we had a lots of fun (and maybe 1 or 2 tantrums) but everyone created a completely unique page to put in their scrapbooks!

In this class example (above) I used a combination of stamping with Staz On and doodling with an American Crafts Fine Slick Writer to create my design. I then used Artists Masking fluid to mask my designs and waited for it to dry before colour washing the background. Once the colour wash had dried all I had to do was rub off the masking fluid and fill in the details with my paints. Some of the stamped flowers I duplicated onto scraps of watercolour paper in order to layer them up on my layout to add some dimension to the page.

Above are two more examples of layout backgrounds using stamps and doodling before colour washing.

We'd love to see any unique backgrounds you create ... just pop a link in the comments box so we can take a look.


  1. these are gorgeous!! I want to abandon work now and go and try this!

  2. This is a fantastic idea and your pages are wonderful. Unique and they fit the photos so well !
    Susan, Cyprus

  3. I hope you're not referring to me when you say there were "one or two tantrums". I was pleased with what I the end (after you helped me out and rescued my disaster). Or maybe you're referring to Helen and her background that needed fixing! At least I now know that I need to step away from the watercolours and brushes!

  4. I'll have another tantrum if you mention that background which I painted so carefully.

    Beautiful layouts though Debbie

  5. Ooh these are fab Debs! I bought some masking fluid (erm years ago now!) and haven't been brave enough to try it yet.