I wanted to recreate Ariel from the Little Mermaid singing “Under the Sea” with all of her friends, and used many stamp sets and die sets from Lawn Fawn. The coloring was done with a combination of watercolor, colored inks, and Copic markers. I also used heat embossing on colored cardstock and altered some images to create my own custom characters like Flounder and the singing trio.
Step 1: First I cut two panels of Distress watercolor cardstock down to 5.25 x 4 inches in size. Those will be my image base layers. I then found a deep blue cardstock that I knew I would use as the card base itself and the frame. I intentionally chose a color that I knew I had coordinating ink. I smashed the ink pad lid into the ink until I had a very generous amount of ink on the lid. This is what I used for my watercolor. Because it is an underwater scene I wanted a blotchy watery result. I left the center lighter to look like the sun shining through the water. I accomplished this by using a very watery water brush and making a circle of ink in the top part of the panel. Then in a plopping motion I brought the ink into the center. I added more water to my brush as I worked into the center and added more pigment where I felt in needed to be darker. I carried the darker color down the panel and put aside to dry. It will not look good at this point haha. It is messy and like a first coat of paint. As it dries the colors will blend and soften. Do not be discouraged. I also colored the bottom half of the second piece of paper for the sandy layer.
Step 2: While this was drying I cleaned off my work space and got to work on my images. Using a watercolor safe ink, I used Ranger Archival Ink, I stamped onto another piece of Ditress Watercolor Cardstock. I used images from Mermaid For You, You Are Sublime, and Fintastic Friends. For my coral I used clear embossing powder on colored cardstock and heat embossed. I watercolored most of my images using the same technique as explained above. I like to used very diluted watercolor and add in little beads of darker more saturated ink to add shadows and depth. On larger images I w take a copic markers in the same shades and add some dotting once everything is dry. Then I added white highlights with a gel pen.
Step 3: For Flounder and the Trio of singers I had to get creative. I stamped the images in a very light ink then used a pencil to lightly add the little extra fins and details. Flounder is the “goldfish” looking fish from Fintastic Friends. And the trio is the small fish above the eel in the You Are Sublime set. I stamped 3 times vertically and added the fancy fins and faces. Here is where you need a steady hand. I used a #3 Copic multiliner to outline all the lines I wanted. Then you must use all of your patience and let it dry completely before erasing your pencil lines and coloring with Copics since multiliners are not watercolor friendly.
Step 4: I then cut my frame out of my blue cardstock with a Mama Elephant frame die and loosely lined it up over the blue watercolored panel. Lawn Fawn now has stiched scalloped frames that can also be used. I decided how tall I wanted my sand layer, then used LawnFawn stitched hillsides to die cut that layer. I lightly used a pencil to trace the hill onto the back panel and used the same blue ink to stamp some seaweed and also some music notes up top (from the Critter Concert). I layered some diecut seaweed from the Ocean Add-On shadow box set, cut from green cardstock, before adhering my sand layer. I attached my boulder and corals and shells to create the scene and I continued to make sure that my images were inside the borders of the frame.
Step 5: I centered the singing trio loosely while deciding placement for the other fish in the water layer and glued them down using Ranger Matte Medium. Then I trimmed the entire panel to make sure it didn’t peak out from my behind my frame before attaching with foam tape. I cut a banner from a piece of cardstock that I printed “Under The” on, then stamped “Sea” from Mermaid For You. After centering the banner on the bottom I adhered Ariel and Sebastian on the sides and flounder on the sand layer with foam tape. I used a small action wobble to attach the trio and mounted it all on the cardbase with double sided sticky tape then finished with a small sprinkling of sequins.
Whew! Are you exhausted yet. There are a lot of steps but of course you can customize this however you like. Try using all copic coloring and a Distress Oxide ink blended background. Or skip the trio and place Ariel in the center. The world is your oyster.