Sunday, 24 September 2017

Aurora Borealis

Hi, I am sharing the design I produced for the AALL and CREATE Challenge 5, The Americas. This has been inspired by my time in Alaska, such a wonderful place, with it's many different facets. While there I was lucky enough to see the Northern Lights. What I saw, will never be forgotten, it was truly magical. I wanted to capture the dancing lights in this artwork, using shades of green and yellow as well as put across the wow I felt at the time.

I wanted to include photos in my project, so after positioning them, I added my elements. The boxes would have the letters inside 'Alaska'. I also added the outline map of Alaska.

Next I added the letters using my mixed font stamp set from Clarity.

Using a ruler and a black Copic multiliner, I added lines to a selected point, to give the illusion that these were shooting from the page, this would be my extra large format feature.

I created a frame around the page, which would remain white on completion. Using Pebeo Drawing Gum I masked each element on the page.

I had a final mock up with the photos I had selected to work out my next steps.

I started with a landscape, using Blueprint Sketch, Chipped Sapphire and Black soot. This would have to be a lot darker than normal in order to achieve the results I wanted.

On the left hand side of my piece, I added splats of Drawing Gum to the mountain tops to suggest snow, before adding the mountains with distress inks. The colour here was lighter than the hills as I was stamping trees later and wanted it to appear as if light from the Aurora was shining from behind them.

Next I started the task of creating the 'Northern Lights', I had practiced multiple times to try to get the dancing effect rather than flat colour with many types of media. Eventually I chose to use Distress inks with shades of green, also adding blues and yellows, which gave further shades of green where they mixed.

I then started building up the dark sky behind, carefully trying to keep the ghostly effect, bringing the sky to life, as if it were dancing across the sky.

I then removed all of the drawing gum carefully.

Using alcohol markers I coloured my design. The outline of the map of Alaska was deeper, as I was covering that later. I also decided to leave the letterboxes white, so as not to detract from the sky.

Using Cosmic Shimmer glue, I covered Alaska with 'Ice Diamond' a Crushes Glass product, giving a frosty and sparkling appearance while allowing the colour to shine through.

Here is my finished piece.

Thank you ever so much for popping by to see my post today. I hope you like the finished piece, the photos along with the step by step. Take care and Happy Crafting.


  1. Wow Nick! Each piece you share with us is more amazing than the last. I love the atmosphere you create with this one and love the northern lights in particular.
    Thank you for sharing this,Nicola xxx

  2. Thank you so much Nicola, The Aurora is something I have wanted to try for years, but really didn't know if I could capture it. I am very pleased I did try and even more happy that you like it.xx

  3. This is an absolute WOW! piece of work. The patience taken must have been immense.
    Thank you so much for sharing. Xx

    1. Thank you Cynthia, I am over the moon you like it. I had put it off as I had tried a few times and it just wasn't right, so I was so pleased to get this one right. Thanks again