I was recently very intrigued by Melanie Muenchinger's sketchbook shading technique and had to try it. Actually, I had to try it by improvising a wee bit on the paper. And the pencils. Okay, so I improvised to a point that might not even resemble her technique, but the end result is similar enough that I found pleasing. I resisted the urge to darken the flower a little more or, if I am being truthful, I thought that I should just leave it alone. The thing about this technique is that it looks easy enough, but . . . trust me when I say . . . it is certainly possible [easy] to oversketch and overshade. I think if you just lay the pencils down and let it be once you are liking the look, then you will have achieved the making of a pretty focal point for a card. The sketching and shading around the stamped image give it a slight lift off the page and mimic something that I might have sketched from scratch. I used a set of retired watercolor pencils from Stampin' Up! and only had white, gray, and black to work with, and it never occurred to me until I was finished that I might could have tried a regular pencil. Duh! Stampin' Up! products featured on this card are as follows:
Cardstock: Basic Black, Sahara Sand
Stamp Set: Bloom with Hope - the images in this set have a sketchy appearance, and I thought the sentiment was perfect for an image that I might have sketched while thinking of someone special
Ink: Basic Black Archival Stampin' Pad
Sizzix: Happy Heart embossing folder
Punch: Spiral Border (retired)
Accessories: Sahara Sand Lace Trim, Vintage Faceted Designer Button, Project Life 3x4 Grid Card, Wink of Stella Clear Glitter Brush (used randomly on the Basic Black cardstock layer that is embossed with the Happy Hearts embossing folder)
My take on this technique:
1. Stamp the image. Decide from which direction your pretend lighting is coming.
2. Use a light touch with a gray pencil to go around the areas of the flower that would be shaded from the light source. Continue adding depth to the shading by using heavier strokes.
3. Use your finger or a blending stump to smudge the shading a bit.
4. Use a black pencil to add darker shading immediately outside the stamped image lines.
5. Color the image with a white pencil. Add shading to the stamped image (in my case, the flower)with the gray pencil and then the black pencil.
6. Use a light touch with the gray pencil to add background sketchy lines. In some areas, loosely draw lines in one direction and then cross the lines in the opposite direction (creating a crosshatch design). Use your finger or blending stump to smudge some of the sketching and shading.
7. Put the pencils down and stop while you're ahead. ;-)