Digital stamps are often (sadly!) overlooked in favour of more colourful 3D elements but today I’m going to share some ways for you to use line art and stamps to add an extra something special to your scrapbook pages!
Before we start, here’s a quick guide to the different types of stamps available in my shop. My stamp packs include each illustration in three different formats:
- Line Art (black line art with transparent infill and background)
- Digital Stamps (the same black line art but with a white infill and transparent edges, perfect for layering and creating more complex designs)
- Bold Stamps (white infill with a thicker outside black line for working on a smaller scale – most suited to projects designed to be printed)
The line art and digital stamp versions offer lots of options for adding creative touches to your memory-keeping projects. Here are some of my favourite techniques for using digital stamps on digital scrapbook pages:
Use the line art on a plain background
The simplest way of using any digital stamp on your scrapbook page is to layer the line art versions over a plain or lightly patterned background. You can also play with the transparency of each layer to fade the lines into the background and to allow areas of journalling or other important sections of your page to stand out.
Recolour the line art to match your page
Recolouring the stamps to better match your colour scheme can add a really effective design element to your layout, and one that often feels more cohesive than the black line. If you’re using Photoshop or Photoshop Elements the simplest way to recolour the line art is by using a Colour Overlay layer style, you can use the eyedropper tool to get a perfect match for photos or another element on the page.
You can also combine the original black line art with the coloured versions as Jan did in this example:
Create a patterned paper
Arranging the stamps to create a repeating pattern allows you to make your own patterned overlays and papers! You can play with the transparency and add colour overlays to the stamps to create different effects.
In this layout, Chris has created a repeating pattern with the ice cream cone stamps and faded it into the kraft paper background to add a subtle pattern that adds interest to her page but doesn’t detract from the photos:
Fill with colour
Filling in the transparent sections of the line art stamps with colour allows you to create your own coloured versions of the illustrations. This is a handy technique to create graphics that better match your photos, or to create a different feel for your page. Here’s a tutorial from Christa that walks you through this recolouring technique using Photoshop.
In this example, Cindy has recoloured the stamps to reflect the pink and purple lighting in her photograph, creating a lovely cohesive feel to the page:
Experiment with blending modes / layer styles
Getting creative with blending modes creates all sorts of arty effects! Adding layer styles such as strokes and outer glows to the line art stamps can add some lovely atmospheric effects to your page. Playing with the layer blending modes can also create a variety of different looks just from a simple black and white stamp. In Photoshop, I like to click through the blending modes on each stamp layer to experiment with the different effects that can be created.
Changing the blending mode of the seaweed behind the tank in the this layout has allowed Mara to create an inverted version of the stamps that helps balance the tones of her page:
Birgit has used some colour overlays, outer glows and a variety of blending modes to create this lovely collection of autumn leaves:
In this example, Mara used the Color Dodge mode to create a stencil like effect with the filled version of the stamps where the black outlines disappeared into the background:
If you’d like to have a play with some digital stamps but you’re not sure where to start, head over to the Doodle Den and download some of my free doodle packs. Each pack contains the coloured illustrations and matching stamps so you can experiment with some of these techniques straight away!