Sunday, July 17, 2011

A Special Birthday & Learning to Airbrush


Today I am in my hometown in Tennessee (a small town near Knoxville), celebrating my Uncle Mark's 90th birthday! He is a thoroughly amazing man - still works out at the local health club daily, researches our family's geneaology, works in his garden, and stays active in the community. We are having a simple family reunion to celebrate this momentus occassion, and I thought I'd share the card I made for this dear uncle of mine!

I am learning to use the COPIC Airbrush System - nothing fancy yet, but I'm really enjoying this new way to "paint". I decided to try something easy - duplicating the brayered or sponged effect of creating a sunset. I saw this card in the gallery of "suen" that inspired me, especially since I have the heron stamp in my stash! Here's the result:

Heron At Sunset


Note: Finished card size is 5" x 7"


More Mustard (SU!)7" x 10"; scored at 5"
Basic Black (SU!) 4 7/8" x 6 7/8", and
3 1/8" x 5 3/8", and
3 1/8" x 3 1/8"
So Saffron DSP (SU!)4 3/4" x 6 3/4"
Not Quite Navy DSP (SU!)3" x 3"
Not Quite Navy (SU!)2 1/2" x 4"
Stamper's Select White (Paper Trey Ink)3" x 5 1/5"


Basic Black (SU!)
Versamark (Tsukineko)


Heron (Repeat Impressions)
Congrats (SU!)


COPIC markers (Imagination International)
COPIC Airbrush System (Imagination International)
Eclipse Art Masking Tape (
Grand Calibur (Spellbinders)
Fancy Tags 3 Shapeabilities (Spellbinders)
Clear Embossing Powder (Stampendous)
Heat Gun
ATG (Scotch)
Rotary Trimmer

embossed heron



Stamp the heron on the eclipse tape, and carefully cut it out. Ink the heron stamp with Versamark ink, followed by the black ink. Stamp the image in the lower center of the white cardstock panel. Heat emboss the image with clear embossing powder.

embossed heron

Put the mask over the image. The cool thing about the Eclipe "tape" is that you can use the masks over & over - you can see I've already used this mask during my practice sessions.

embossed heron

Use a post-it note in a straight line to mask the lower half of the image (this creates the horizon).

embossed heron
My work area looks like this before I start airbrushing. I have a magnetic cutting mat, covered by a teflon craft sheet. Then scrap paper held down with magnets. I use removable adhesive on the back of my image panel to hold it lightly in place, and the post-it notes over the image. In this case, I've even used a little bit of clear tape to hold the post-its together - remember everything blows in the wind of the airbrush. You'll enjoy the whole thing more if you're not worried about losing your work!

embossed heron
The sunset is created by airbrushing 3 colors of COPIC markers, starting with the lightest color. Airbrush the yellow (Y04) right around the heron's head and body - since it is masked, you don't have to worry about messing up the image.

embossed heron

Then, airbrush the YR02 marker on the outer edges of the yellow, all the way to the outer edge of the panel.

embossed heron

Finish up with the YR09 marker, around the outer edges of the card.

embossed heron

To do the water, reverse the post-it note mask - put it over the sky you just created, right along the line created by the sky airbrushing.

embossed heron

I used 3 colors again, and painted lightest to darkest. Starting with the B02 marker, airbrush around the heron's body, then use the B05 marker just outside the light blue, and finish with the B06 marker to the the outer edges of the card. I'm only showing you one round of blue - I think you get the idea!

embossed heron

The final airbrushing is to create the "mountains" on the horizon. To do this, re-mask the water with a post-it note just below the original line. Now, tear a post-it to create a "mountain-shaped" mask, and place it above the water-line mask.

embossed heronUse the E09 marker to heavily color the narrow strip that is uncovered.
embossed heron

That's it! Remove all the masks and you will see a beautiful scene. Now you can color the heron and the cattails. I used these colors:
  • Heron: C03, C05, YR17
  • Leaves: YG93
  • Cattails: E37


Cut and emboss the tag from the solid blue cardstock. Using the stamp positioner, stamp the sentiment across the tag, using the versamark-black ink combination. Heat emboss with clear embossing powder.


Now it's just a matter of mounting all the layers:
  • Black mat layer (4 7/8" x 6 7/8") - mounted on the front of the base card
  • Yellow patterned background layer : 4 3/4" x 6 3/4" - mounted on the black mat
  • Horizontal black mat: 3 1/8" x 3 1/8" - mounted 1 1/2" from the top, and 3/8 from the left
  • Blue patterned mat: 3" x 3" - mounted onto the black horizontal mat
  • Image black mat: 3 1/8" x 5 3/8" - mounted 1/2" from the top, and 4" from the right
  • Image: mounted on the image black mat
  • Sentiment: mounted at the bottom of the card front, centered

Final Thoughts

So, I hope you are all having a good Sunday, and give airbrushing a try if you get the chance! And, of course, if you have a minute, say a happy 90th birthday to my Uncle Mark!

Thanks for stopping by!


Kerrie said...

90 years of age and still working out!... Happy Birthday Uncle Mark!... I'm sure he loved your card, as its stunning, and wow love your airbrushing.. one day will give this ago!

Regina aka Mrs. Ham said...

Happy Birthday to your Uncle Mark...Great job. I love your airbrushing.

Helen said...

Wow what a great card and a wonderful tutorial by you. You make it look so easy. Thanks!

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