Country Cottage Scene Building Tutorial

Good morning. This was one of my recent show samples with the scene building stamps from Chocolate Baroque. I have created a step by step for you, ‘warts & all’ as I made a bit of a mistake with masking! I think that I disguised it reasonably well – tee hee.

AW Country cottage 12

The theme on Simon Says Blog Challenge (Mon) is ‘whatever the weather’. The bright colouring and moody sky gives a slightly eerie feel and maybe the threat of a storm.

Yay – my project has been picked for the Designer Spotlight on the Simon Says Blog Challenge – FAB xxx


  • Stamps: Landscape edges (wall and background skyline), Village Life (trees), Townhouses (trees & bushes), English Cottages (cottage, trees & bushes, post box)
  • 8 X 8 inch card blank and stamping card (smooth white)
  • Scrap copy paper (needs to be thin) and temporary glue adhesive (such as zig 2 way glue) or masking tissue
  • Watercolour pens and inks (yellow, orange, brown, turquoise, bright green, olive green, red, pink, grey and black)
  • Fine tipped water resistant pen (black and opaque white)
  • Alcohol marker (black)
  • Versafine (Onyx Black)
  • Pebeo Drawing Gum (masking fluid)

Step by Step:

AW Country cottage 1

Planning a rough layout.

The first thing that I do with a set of scene building stamps is to stamp all the elements onto scrap copy paper and roughly cut them out. I then use these to plan a scene, laying them out onto my project to decide on placement. Individual elements that may be needed to create masks (e.g. buildings, trees, bushes etc.) I cut around carefully. Any elements that are silhouette stamps (e.g. solid black trees, branches and foliage) don’t need to be masked so I just cut around roughly. I keep all these cut out elements to use again for future projects.

AW Country cottage 2

Stamp the post box and cover with the mask before stamping the wall. Using masking you work progressively from foreground to background. Masking ensures that element sits in front of the one behind. Don’t worry too much if you get a few gaps in the image around the masked elements, these are easily corrected with a fine tipped pen.

I put a couple of dots of zig glue onto the back of my masking pieces. It goes on blue and dries clear, and is then a tacky temporary adhesive for holding elements in place while stamping. If you are using masking tissue this already has a tacky backing.

AW Country cottage 3

Next stamp foreground trees and bushes. The foreground bush on the left was masked before stamping the ones behind. Cover the trees with masks.

AW Country cottage 4

Continue stamping and masking trees and bushes as you work backwards through the scene.

AW Country cottage 5

Continue stamping and masking as you work backwards through the scene.

AW Country cottage 6

Continue building the scene using masks as needed. Now can you see where I went wrong? I forgot to mask the bushes on the right hand side of the cottage! You can see the base of the house through the bushes. Eeek! I decided to leave it and try and cover up the mistake with the colouring.

AW Country cottage 7

Stamp the clouds along the top and the birds into the sky. Mask the foreground tree and stamp the silhouette tree on the right.

Use the fine tipped pen to draw in elements and extend the background. Try to ‘go with the flow’ and just quickly draw. Rather than solid lines try and be a bit sketchy with light touches, dots & dashes. To give the illusion of perspective draw the path wider as it gets nearer the front of the scene. Draw a letterbox and scribble text onto the post box.

AW Country cottage 9

Next cover the cottage and trees using the Drawing Gum. This masking fluid is brilliant. I had always been used to the older stinky rubbery style masking fluid that ruins your brushes. This fluid is fabulous, it paints on easily and washes out instantly with water (treat it as you would an acrylic paint and wash brushes immediately – it will ruin your brush if you let it dry on).

It is not essential to mask before colouring but this makes it much easier to slap colour across the background and leave the elements protected.

AW Country cottage 10

Apply ink colours (or watercolour washes) across the background. Work freely working ‘wet in wet’. I used intense coloured inks to create a vibrant scene.

AW Country cottage 11

When the background is fully dry rub away the masking fluid.

AW Country cottage 12

Now colour the rest of the scene. I used watercolour pens and a damp brush, picking up colour scribbled onto my palette.

Use the fine tipped pen to draw in a few extra details, adding grasses and texture to the path. To keep perspective draw them slightly larger towards the front and reducing in size as you go back. Use the opaque white pen to add a few highlights.

Finally edge the scene with black marker to frame and mount onto the card front.


8 thoughts on “Country Cottage Scene Building Tutorial

  1. Your cottage scene is breathtaking, Anne! i could gaze at it for hours admiring all the details and your amazing watercoloring skills. Awesome work!! Thanks for sharing your talent with us on the Simon Says Stamp Monday Challenge.

    Cathie ♥

  2. Wow! This was an incredible process to see in action! I am so impressed with the attention to detail and what you consider “warts” even look great in my opinion! The colors are gorgeous and this scene really feels like it jumps to life! Thank you so much for sharing your talents with us for this week’s Simon Says Stamp Monday Challenge!

  3. Pingback: Whatever The Weather Winner and Designer Spotlights - Simon Monday Challenge Blog

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