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  1. Design & Illustration
  2. Journal Project
Design

Join the Tuts+ Community Journal Project: Fingerprint Madness!

Final product image
What You'll Be Creating

Today we bring you a new community project inspired by the fun "Wreck It" journal challenges you may have seen on the web. 

The Tuts+ Community Journal Project

At some point in our lives, every artist keeps a sketchbook. Whether you're more of a doodler or have a knack for fabulous detail, journals are a great resource to get out all your creative energy!

We want you to join us in having fun with this project, using everyday things you already have around the house. I and some other great instructors will help steer the way by picking exciting challenges for you to tackle, but we do want you to feel free in letting your imagination run wild!

And the journal you'd like to use is strictly up to you! So pick an old time favorite, or if you're more adventurous, learn how to make your own from scratch.

The Project Challenge: Fingerprint Stamping

Have a little time to kill? Well, grab a sketchbook and get your fingers dirty!

For our first project of this series we want you to create colorful pages using your fingerprint as a stamp. Not sure how to do this? Don't worry, scroll on down for a mini tutorial on this technique after catching up with the guidelines.

And once you're all finished with this project, come back to this post to upload your work and share it with us. You'll automatically get featured in our Community Showcase so don't be shy! We're dying to see your results!

How to Enter This Community Project:

  1. Upload a clear shot of your journal art using the fingerprint stamping technique to the comments below. Remember to Save for Web with a fixed width of 600 pixels.
  2. Include your name, and a brief bio of yourself along with your work.

Feeling like a criminal yet? Well, we promise to not turn you in, as long as you let us know how you enjoyed this project! And feel free to tell us more about your work when you upload.

Guidelines

  • Upload a clear shot of your journal art to the comments section in order to be included in the community showcase. The deadline for submissions to be included in the showcase article is June 14th, 2015. However you're free to continue putting together your journal after this date.
  • For the best results: Try to shoot your pictures using ample lighting. Natural/outdoor lighting works best!
  • Traditional media only. Because we all have to get dirty from time to time!
  • When you publish your artwork on this article, you agree that the graphic can be included in one or more articles on Tuts+ and perhaps shared with other readers on the Tuts+ network via social media.
  • Submit and have fun!

Mini Fingerprint Stamp Tutorial

Need some inspiration? Here's a quick breakdown of the process I took for creating colorful fingerprint stamped balloons. Get inspired, and then show us your results!

What You'll Need

Art Supplies for Sketch Journal Project

1. Start With Your Pencil Sketch

Feel free to tackle this fun project however you'd like, but if you do decide to create a drawing just make sure you sketch it out before you begin stamping.

Inspired by the Pixar movie, "Up", I wanted to create some fun fan art with two characters from the movie, including Carl Fredricksen's floating house, and Russell, the young explorer.

Start the Illustration by Sketching in Pencil First

Now you don't have to use two pages for this project, but obviously I did just to expand the concept a little better.

2. Prep & Test Your Fingerprint

Whatever you do, do not start stamping on your drawing just yet! First, let's test out this technique.

Take any marker color and begin loading your finger up with ink. Draw a complete circle to mimic the shape of a balloon. If you don't have markers handy, feel free to use anything to stain your fingers, including household and personal items like paint or makeup.

Draw a Circle On Your Finger with Marker Ink

Before the ink dries, immediately press your finger onto a scrapped piece of paper. Make a note of which marker color you used, as you'll see that the color payoff is much different than the marker itself.

Test Your Fingerprint Stamp on a Scrapped Piece of Paper

Feel free to make a small color chart for all the markers you'll be using. And experiment with different circle sizes to find the perfect size for your drawing.

3. Now Use Your Fingers as a Stamp 

Place a folder or a thick sheet of paper behind your drawing to make sure the ink doesn't bleed onto the rest of your pages. Use your eraser to weigh the page down, or use some gentle masking tape to secure it in place.

Place a Folder Behind Your Sketch to Prevent Bleeding

As in our previous steps, load up your finger with marker ink and carefully place it onto the paper. Create rows of different colors to look like a mixture of balloons in the air.

Create a Fingerprint Stamp Balloon Effect

It's important to be very careful about where you rest your hands during this process. You don't want to smear ink onto the clean paper, so try to keep your stamping hand elevated. This technique can take a while to get used to, so take breaks whenever possible and wash your hands to try out new colors!

4. Finish Shading Your Drawing

Finish up your journal art however you'd like. I drew in the rest of the house, and chose to keep the shading neutral for a nice contrast against the colorful balloons.

Sketchbook Journal Art Using Fingerprint Stamping by Melody Nieves

And That's It! Now Show Us Yours!

I hope you have a lot of fun creating your own art with this easy stamping technique. And stay tuned for more community projects from this sketchbook series, where my fellow instructors will teach you new ways to rock out your journals. Good luck!

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