Technique Tuesday- Bokeh Technique

This is an interesting technique that I have been wanting to try, and I am so glad that I finally did!  Bokeh Technique: Create a background image that represents the diffusion of light into orbs when taking a photograph or the blurring of the out-of-focus areas of an image.                                                                                                                                                      This is a technique used in photography, however some crafty stampers have applied that idea to create some very interesting background effects. I found several nice samples of this technique on the internet, so I was able to find some great inspiration for my cards.       Here is the basics for this technique…                                                                                Bokeh Technique: Use circle or shaped stamps, pencil erasers, and circle masks to create an interesting background effect. Stamp out from a focal point with some intense color and continue stamping without re-inking to create lighter shades of color until you have the background look that you want.  You can also add some metallic inks or dazzling diamonds to bring some more glimmer to the image.

bokeh 1This first example was CASED from Leena Girsa. I stuck closely to her original, but just had a few slight changes. I used a Hello Honey card base and a Basic Gray layer. I used the Natural White cardstock for the image layer. I stuck with the new In-colors for ink: Hello Honey, Tangelo Twist, and Lost Lagoon. I also added a few dots in Basic Gray and Silver Metallic ink. I used the Work of Art stamp set (p.165) for the circles in the background, and a new pencil eraser for the smaller dots. I stamped without re-inking several times to give that blurred look with lighter shades of color. The sentiment is also from the Work of Art stamp set, and the butterfly is from the Papillion Potpourri stamp set (p.149). I stamped the butterfly directly onto the cardstock layer, and a second time onto another piece of White cardstock and punched that out with the coordinating Elegant Butterfly Punch (p.219). I then used my sponge and some Hello Honey and Tangelo Twist ink to add color to the punched out butterfly. I used a mini glue dot to attach it over top the other butterfly image for some added dimension. I also added a bit of Hello Honey with a sponge around the edges of the Natural White cardstock layer to really give it a nice shaded effect. Also, it is hard to tell on the image, but there is some really nice bits of shine from the Silver Metallic ink dots, so that really adds another bit of interest.

bokeh3This card was inspired by a card by Betsy Veldman. She also has a great explanation of this technique on her blog, so check it out! I used a Whisper White card base and a Soft Sky cardstock layer. I used a solid circle stamp that happened to be cut from the Chalk Talk stamp set (p.11), and a sponge dauber to create the smaller circles in the background. The solid circle was inside one of the labels, and instead of throwing away those extra pieces, I save them for something like this. You never know when those things may come in handy!  I used Soft Sky, Pool Party, and Lost Lagoon ink for the Bokeh effect. I stamped several times without re-inking again, to get that variation in shades. I cut the HELLO out of Silver Foil Sheets (p.193) with my new Little Letters Thinlits (p.228). I just love those! They don’t image well here, but they have some fabulous shine! The rest of the words are embossed with White embossing powder and are from the And Many More stamp set (p.20).

bokeh 2This card was also CASED from a card I saw on Seraphina’s Phantasie. I liked the color combination and the Bokeh technique on the die cut layer. I used a Whisper White card base, a Whisper White layer which was embossed with the retired Stripes Embossing Folder, and a Whisper White Apothecary Accents die cut layer (p.230). I used Crushed Curry, Marina Mist, and Gold Metallic ink for the Bokeh effect. I made a mask with a piece of clear window sheet and my 1″ circle punch and 3/4″ circle punch (p.221), and I used a sponge to apply the color with the circle masks onto the die cut layer.  I again, used a new pencil eraser to add some smaller circles in Marina Mist and Gold Metallic ink.  I added the Happy Birthday from the Remembering Your Birthday stamp set (p.59) in Black ink. Finally, I stamped the 3 flower layers from the Beautiful Bunch (p.158), Flower Shop (p.67), and the Petite Petals (p.125) stamp sets on Crushed Curry and Whisper White cardstock. I used the Fun Flower, Pansy, and Petite Petals Punches (p.219) to punch them out. I added some color with my So Saffron marker to the smallest flower layer, which was stamped on White cardstock and sponged around the edges with the Marina Mist ink. I used stampin’ dimensionals in between the flower layers to add some more dimension.

What a great technique to give your background an interesting look to highlight your focal image. I just love it!!  It is also very easy to create and can be varied in many ways to get just the look you are after. Thanks for stopping by and come back tomorrow for one more example of this great technique.

About StampinU

I am an independent Stampin' Up! demonstrator in the state of Iowa. I have been in love with card making ever since I got my hands on my first rubber stamp many years ago! I have been a Stampin' Up! demonstrator since 2004, and it is great to be able to share what I love: new stamping products, new stamping techniques, and new stamping creations!
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