As many of you know, I use hand carved stamps to create the lush layerd patterns in my paintings. They add a richness of texture and design to my work. Here is a short tutorial of carving stamps, Hope the tips are useful and you find a way to incorporate some stamping into your paintings.
I use Speedball Speedy Cut rubber pads for my stamps. Its made in several densities. Some are more flexible than the others. I like the pink material. It is slightly rigid and holds the edges of my carving very well.I also use a speedball carving tool. It comes with a variety of carving blades.
I cut the stamping material to a size I like for my stamp. I draw my images with a pencil. They can be as a complex as you like but remember you must carve around shapes so tiny details can get lost. I stamp with paint more often than ink, and that is a thicker material that will fill up tiny spaces.
I used the small carving blade to cut my interior flower designs. I used a wider blade to carve around all of the flowers. As you can see, it takes several rounds of carving to remove all the unwanted material.
This is roughly my carved design. I always test the stamp before calling it completed to make sure I've cleared away any material that might interfer with my design.
I rolled out a small amount of red ink on plexiglass with my brayer. I then rolled the brayer across the top of my stamp to see the ink pattern. I can see any areas where I missed carving away unwanted material in my design and can go back and remove it. Can you see some of those small random red spots? Those would be spaces I missed and had to go back and lift them out with my carving tool.
Once I'm satisfied I just flip the stamp over and make an image. This is a big stamp and as you can see, I moved the stamp slightly on the right. It creates a shadowed image. I don't want that, so I need to be careful when placing such a large stamp on my painting. These errors are often not fixable, so be careful.
Finally, as Sister Robert Ann used to say in our vocabulary class, it is not enough that you memorized the word and can spell it, now use it in a sentence. And so friends, you must use your newly carved stamp in a painting. Below is mine. As you can see, it's a dominant pattern in my painting. I'll bet now when you look at my painting you can see many other stamped images. There are 6 other stamps I used. See if you can pick them out.
Things I've learned.
- Keep the shapes simple.
- purchase the correct tools for carving.
- large stamps are flexible and can move around on the surface when stamping. Apply them with care.
- a thin layer of paint or ink is best.
Make happy art today, Susan