I drew a few Christmas thank you cards on the weekend to give to some friends. What started as a fairly quick exercise became frustrating as I picked up red stain on my fingers and proceeded to print it on the panels as I put the cards together. I think all the cards ended up with little red smudges here and there. One had to be remade because I made such a mess of it.
I drew the holly with the elegant writer pen from Speedball which bleeds pink and green colour when wet. I added distress stains to the inside of my leaves and berries which blended with the colours from the pen to create some multicoloured leaves.
I did the hand lettering with a different pen and with varying levels of success as far as keeping slope even and thick and thin happening. It’s all good practice! All the panels are popped up on fun foam on watercolour paper card bases.
Inks: mowed lawn, peeled paint, festive berries, barn door distress stains (Ranger) Elegant Writer (Speedball) Fudenosuke brush pen (Tombow)
Cardstock: Fabriano 100% cotton hot pressed watercolour paper, Canson cold pressed watercolour paper
Thank you for your response to the viewer’s top ten from 2015 and thank you for the encouragement to keep sharing here. I love reading your comments and visiting your blogs and I am hoping to respond to your comments more in the coming year because I enjoy the conversations that develop from time to time. Sometimes they are about techniques and products but often they are about memories, traditions and experiences. It is great getting to know you better.
I whittled my favourites down to 10 but there were a few more I wanted to include. The pink one I shared yesterday was a favourite but it already made one list! The cards included below are in the order I originally posted them and a click on the photo will take you to the original post.
This one is a favourite for what is happening in the background as well as the foreground.
I used a die cut mask for this one and managed to make the leaves look like eucalyptus which of course reminded me of Australia.
I worked on this one in portrait orientation then once I was finished realised it looked better landscape.
I love Queen Anne’s Lace so it is not surprising to find some in my top 10.
This is just one of those watercolours that worked above and beyond my hopes and I will never manage to do the same again! My mother has grown roses this colour so that made it extra special.
A simple design and some bister made me happy. (and of course you can never have too many tree stamps!)
After I had created quite a few bister cards I borrowed some brusho and the love affair with watercolour powders continued. “Finding” a garden in a random pattern of brusho was so very satisfying.
One of my goals this year was to paint more from scratch. I felt like I had not done much but when I looked through this year’s posts I saw some that were entirely my own design, like the one above, as well as some where I combined some stamping with some hand painting as in the one below.
My recent series ‘Stamping the stories’ struck a chord with many of you and I enjoyed the conversations it generated about favourite stories.
I only just posted this one but it is definitely a favourite. I will be doing more with this vintage colour scheme and hand lettering in 2016 so stay tuned.
Thanks for indulging me as I shared some of my favourites. They certainly represent some of the techniques and products I have enjoyed this year as well as some of the subjects I love to include in my projects.
City sidewalks, busy sidewalks, dressed in holiday style,
In the air there is a feeling, of Christmas
Children laughing, people passing, meeting smile after smile,
And on every street corner you’ll hear :
Silver bells, silver bells
It’s Christmas time in the city
ring- a- ling, hear them ring,
soon it will be Christmas day.
Stamps: Skyline (PB)
Inks: Vintage photo, Black soot distress inks (Ranger) Elegant Writer (Speedball)
Cardstock: Fabriano 100% cotton hot pressed watercolour paper, pink & black cardstock
I am back with another wreath and swag today but hand painted this time. The stamped ones were a good warm up for getting the fullness and balance right. I began the wreath by tracing a circle onto the watercolour paper which had masking fluid splattered on it. The pencil line was a guide for me which ended up being painted over by the time I had finished. I painted a soft circle of blue paint first and while it was still damp I painted some green needles and brown pine cones shapes which ended up as soft muted shapes because it was wet into wet painting. I let the panel dry before adding more needles, some holly, berries and definition on the pine cones. I kept painting elements until the wreath shape looked full and even, added some fine green paint splatter then removed the masking fluid to reveal some tiny white spots.
The technique for the swag was similar but instead of painting pine cones in a two tones of brown I did roses in two tones of pink. You can see the soft shadow shapes under the wreath that were painted while the blue background paint was still wet. I decided to keep these two cards flat with mats but no bows. Thanks for your kind comments yesterday on the stamped wreath and swag; I’d love to hear if you gave the technique a try by pulling out some pine needle and pinecone stamps from your own stash or if you tried painting one.
Cardstock: Fabriano 100% cotton cold pressed watercolour paper, dark green card stock, gold card stock
Also:Water colour with Sakura Koi watercolours, Winsor & Newton masking fluid
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
This hand-painted card depicts one of my favourite summer activities, sadly one that I rarely get to enjoy these days. Growing up we had a beach holiday every summer. I don’t live anywhere near the beach now but I did enjoy a couple of trips to the lake during July and August. One trip was to Sandbanks on Lake Ontario. The lake is so huge that it looks like an ocean beach but the water just doesn’t taste right! Apparently the wind does whip up waves most days but when we were there it was flat, flat, flat.
The card above is based on my memories of Australian beaches. We would walk over a little or large dune and reach the beach, usually a surf beach, and check out how good the waves were going to be that day. I painted with distress stains over some masking fluid ‘white caps’ and added some grass with a stamp from the ‘so lucky’ transparent set.
This is the last in my Farewell to summer mini series, it will be pretty much autumn and winter themed cards for a while now!
Stamps: So Lucky, Special Wishes (PB)
Creative Dies: A pocketfull (PB)
Inks: chipped sapphire, salty ocean, tumbled glass, broken china, pine needles, scattered straw, mustard seed, vintage photo distress stains, peeled paint, crushed olive distress inks (Ranger)
Cardstock: Fabriano 100% cotton hot pressed watercolour paper, Neenah avon brilliant white, green cardstock
Another farewell to summer card, this time roses. We are enjoying the most beautiful weather at present so the farewell to summer is not too painful!
I painted this one myself with distress stains then added one little stamped sentiment. You cannot tell in the photo but the brown looking paper is actually black and gold glittery paper, not a shiny glitter a subtle glitter which works in well with the olive tones of the leaves. (If you like the look of handpainted roses check out Lydia’s recent roses with the artograph and brusho. It is a cool technique.) My plan for a while has been to be sketching and painting regularly but I am just not in the habit yet. I know a little every day is the way to improve. As my kids would say. “Just do it!”
Stamps: A Bunch (PB)
Inks: Aged mahogany, Victorian Velvet, Peeled Paint, Crushed Olive distress stains (Ranger), versafine Olympia green (Tsukineko)
Cardstock: Fabriano 100% cotton hot pressed watercolour paper, Neenah natural white