I’m still having fun with the African stamps from Darkroom Door, this time combining a loose watercoloured background with a sharp silhouetted tree in the foreground. I stamped the ‘tribal’ background first on watercolour paper in several colours of distress ink. Once the whole pattern was stamped I painted over it with water and the colours blended from into each other.
I let the background dry completely before dropping some water strategically here and there. When water comes in contact with distress ink it reacts and dilutes the ink. By letting the water sit for a minute then dabbing it up with a paper towel I was able to create light patches which look a bit like lights in an already abstract sky.
I stamped the tree over the ‘sky’ once it dried then painted the ground with black soot distress stain. My sentiment, inspired by the ‘watermark lights’ was handwritten in McCaffery’s Penmans black ink.
Stamps: Tribal, African Trees (Darkroom Door)
Inks: Distress wild honey, spiced marmalade, fired brick inks, black soot distress stain (Ranger) versafine onyx black (Tsukineko)
Cardstock: neenah natural white cardstock, neenah epic black cardstock, fabriano hot pressed watercolour paper
Writing ink: Mc Caffery’s Penman’s ink black
Nib holder: Exclusive handmade from Foiled Fox
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
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