Hide, Seek and Paint with Brusho

Brusho Leaves Heather Telford

The brusho magic continues as I said it would! I keep referring to it as magic because you really don’t know what is going to appear when you spritz water and add the brusho powders. How much water, how much powder, which you do first, how much you continue to add – all these factors will affect the outcome. The unpredicability of the medium did make my live brusho periscope yesterday a little nerve wracking but I still enjoyed myself with those who were able to join me live. It will be available for a bit longer on Katch. (wish you could fast forward through the clumsy beginning; I promise it gets better!)

My process for arriving at the finished leaf card involved several steps beginning with the random scattering of warm toned powders plus a little green. I spritzed, sprinkled powder and repeated until I had pretty patterns appearing then I left it; I walked away and went and ran errands so there was no temptation to fiddle with it before it dried. When I returned I looked for leaf shapes or sections of leaves that had occurred randomly in the panel, then enhanced and completed those shapes. The painting step did take quite a while and involved stopping and starting. I tried to move the existing colour on the panel with a brush as much as possible but sometimes added a bit more brusho where needed. There were two small brown leaves that emerged in the bottom right hand corner so I painted a couple more to make a little pile. I add veins to one leaf with a craft knife then added brown paint which settled in the cuts but it turned out darker than I wanted so I switched to a watercolour pencil to add the veins to the other leaves.

The sentiment is hand drawn with pen and ink, something I have been practising lately. Unfortunately it is not easy on my hands so I can’t do too much. I did learn traditional calligraphy years ago so some of the concepts are familiar and others are new and tricky!

You may have heard that Jennifer McGuire is hosting a Share Handmade Kindness Campaign during November at present and challenging card makers to send their cards out and make a difference to someone’s day. I don’t need the reminder to do the handmaking but the actually sending through the mail is a challenge I am taking on; I want to get this card in the mail today! Susan Raihala is challenging us to make and send Gratitude cards right now also. And if you’re forging ahead with your Christmas cards don’t forget the Caring Hearts card drive.

Thanks for dropping by. There will be a break from the Brusho tomorrow while Gansai Tambi paints take the stage instead.

Medium:  Brusho powders & Faber Castell Albrect Durer watercolour pencils, Brown ink
Cardstock: Hotpressed  Fabriano paper, Epic Black Neenah cardstock

Brusho is in the house!

Brusho Garden Heather Telford

When I started experimenting with bister powders there was perhaps a slight overload of bister projects here on the blog. I am still really enjoying the colours, the texture and watching the magic when the bister reacts with water, but I have some Brusho in the house now and I have to say it is also much fun. Blog readers and some of my class members have been asking whether I prefer Bister, Brusho or Colorburst. I am happy to be undertaking the creative research to answer that question.

All that to say; I’ll be sharing Brusho projects for the next few days! Today’s brusho experiment involved a little magic, some searching and painting. Sandy Allnock used this technique a while back but I can’t find the technique on her blog which makes me wonder whether it was a periscope. (Here is a link to a post where she shared a wonderful amount of information about working with Brusho and Colorburst)

I started by creating a random pattern of colour with Brusho powders. I sprinkled some of my favourite colours on watercolour paper then spritzed with water. I waited, watched the magic, added some more powder, more water and watched more magic. I did several different panels then went to bed. The next day I worked out how to use my panels. This one was a speckly one because I did not move the colour around with a brush while the panel was wet; I just let it dry. The result is lots of little coloured shapes and feathery patterns. Because of the concentration of blues and greens at the top of the panel I decided to turn that area into trees by painting on some branches and trunks. Brusho speckly patterns Heather Telford

The blue speckles to the right looked a bit like delphiniums so I added more paint with a brush and some extra definition with a zig brush pem. I also painted leaves at the base of the delphiniums with more green brusho. I was working with patterns of colour already on the panel and adding more definition with sprinkles of powder, a wet brush and a few zig clean color real brush pens. This is only part of the panel; perhaps I will pull a picture out of the left over scrap too.

To finish I added a sentiment, then matted with watercolour paper and added it to a watercolour card base.(you know I am all about the matchy-matchy!)

Stamps: Special Wishes (PB)
Paint:  Brusho powders & Zig clean color real brush pens
Cardstock: Hotpressed Canson & Fabriano paper


Bister landscape

bister landscape Heather Telford

If your creating goes anything like mine you probably end up with multiple experiments scattered across your work space. After playing with bister, the green, blue and yellow powders in particular, I ended up with three extra panels, some dark, some light. The patterns and colours just called out to be made into a landscape using the new triple tree die from Penny Black. The die is called ‘in the winter’ but I know it is going to be handy all year round. I die cut the same hillside of trees from each panel then snipped off the trees I didn’t need so I could have the distant trees peeping out between the mid ground trees. I painted a new panel for the sky using just blue bister which I diluted so the trees would stand out against it.

Now that I have used up those stray scraps of bistered beauty; it’s time to play with some brusho. Stay tuned.

Dies: In the winter (PB)
Inks:  Bister
Cardstock: Hot & Cold Pressed Canson

Stencilled Trees

Stencilled Watercolour Heather Telford

You know I have said before, ‘You can never have too many tree stamps!’ Well if you find yourself running short you can always make a few tree stencils to help you through that difficult time. I was happy to see some new tree dies in the latest release from Penny Black and decided to make my own stencil by die-cutting a row of trees using two different sized tree dies.

I used a piece of Plaid stencil plastic and cut a row of trees with the die from ‘Nature’s Beauty’ set and a smaller tree from the ‘Tiny Tree‘ set. I sponged a gradated sky with two blue inks then sponged two greens through the stencil. I was going to spritz the images quite generously to make the colours bleed together but I decided to stop after a couple of spritzes because the watermarks and texture from the paper already looked interesting. I diecut a single tree from the stencil plastic also so I could sponge isolated trees then painted the shadows of the snow drifts around them. The foreground tree was sponged and spritzed the same way then die cut and popped up on some die cut fun foam for added dimension.



Stencilled Watercolour detail Heather Telford

I decided to inlay the word Joy which was not a brilliant idea because I had already attached the thick watercolour paper to the green cardstock mat and die cutting an intricate word ended up being rather tricky.

Dies: Nature’s Beauty, Tiny Tree, Greetings (PB)
Inks:  Memento Northern Pine, Cottage Ivy, Summer Sky, Danube Blue (Imagine Craft/Tsukineko)
Cardstock: Cold Pressed Canson, Green cardstock
Also: fun foam, Plaid stencil blank

Sunset Tree

Sunset Tree Heather Telford

Last week Penny Black released the Winter Romance collection of stamps and dies. I went for a romantic sunset look on today’s card and used the new tree from the transparent set ‘Joy to All’. (At the same time I stamped the tree on several different panels and used different colouring techniques so you will be seeing it again before too long.)

I began with a panel splattered with masking fluid taped to a board to prevent it from warping once it got wet. I stamped the tree stamp with brown ink then, when it was dry, painted some masking fluid above some of the branches where snow would accumulate. I used pink and blue distress stains to paint both the sky and snow drifts then stamped the trees on the horizon while the sky was still wet so they would be look soft and distant. Some of the brown ink did bleed into the sky as I painted which doesn’t bother me but if you wanted to prevent that you could stamp the tree with pigment ink .


Stamps:  Joy to All, Season’s gifts  (PB)
Inks: Tumbled Glass, Worn Lipstick distress stains, Vintage Photo, Stormy sky distress inks (Ranger) Vintage SepiaVersafine ink (Tsukineko)
Cardstock: Canson 100% cotton hot pressed watercolour paper, Kazzazz blue cardstock
Also: Winsor & Newton masking fluid

Snowy Stamping

Snowflake sky Heather Telford

Last week Penny Black released ‘Winter Romance’, a sweet new collection of snowy stamps and dies. I have featured both a new stamp and a fresh die sets on today’s card. I chose to use a technique I haven’t done in a while to make a crisp wintry scene. If you look closely you can see a dusting of snow on top of the hedge. To create this look you need a stamp positioning tool. I used the MISTI (of course) but when I first dreamed up this technique I used a stamp-a-ma-jig.

I stamped the hedge first in versamark on white cardstock then, with the help of the MISTI I stamped the hedge again ever-so-slightly lower in green ink. Next I embossed the hedge with clear powder. I brayered the sky with two blue inks, first the lighter ‘Summer Sky’ then the darker ‘Nautical Blue’. The embossed hedge resisted the ink revealing the fine snowy edge. I splattered white wink of stella over the sky to look like snow or stars then added the four snowflakes cut with the new ‘snow time’ set.


Stamps: Winter moments (PB)
Dies: Snow Time (PB)
Inks: Versamark, Memento Northern Pine, Summer Sky, Nautical Blue (Imagine Craft/Tsukineko)
Markers: White Wink of Stella (Kuretake)
Cardstock: Neenah Solar White 110lb
Also: clear embossing powder

Upcoming Classes

I am teaching at three locations in November so I thought I would let you know just in case you happen to be in the right place to join me.

Studio BBG in Montreal

On Saturday, November 7th at 10:00am I will be teaching  Winter Watercolours (contact store for details)

_DSC5309 winter watercolours Heather Telford

On Saturday, November 7th at 2:00pm I will be teaching Merry & Bright (contact store for details)


Crop A While in Orleans

On Thursday, November 12th at 6:00pm and Friday, November 13th at 12:30pm I will be teaching Woodland Watercolours (contact store for details)

Woodland watercolour bannerscaled

Riverside Drive in Ottawa

On Saturday, November 14th at 1:00pm and Monday, November 16th at 1:00pm I will be teaching Woodland Watercolours (click here for details)

Woodland watercolour bannerscaled


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