2020’s favourite posts

I looked through the stats for 2020 to see which posts were viewed the most. It is not necessarily an accurate indicator of favourites but it is fun to look back and see what appealed. I’ve included a link to the original post next to every photo. I’m featuring only cards I made and posted this year. Here they are in no particular order.

Back in January I used Darkroom Door stencils as a guide to paint watercolour backgrounds for silhouette stamping with DD stamps.

In February as I was preparing to teach a class using pearlescent paints on black watercolour paper I created this embossed and painted card. The class didn’t happen but the plan is still in my mind for either an online or in-person class hopefully some time in 2021.

This card and the next favourite feature the same Penny Black stamp and no-line watercolour technique. I used distress inks and markers for the watercolouring on this one.

Same stamp as shown above, Unforgettable from Penny Black but this time watercoloured with Arteza real brush pens.

This lilac card along with three other colour schemes featured the ‘lovely lilacs‘ stamp from Penny Black and there is a video tutorial as well.

Another video post once again with Arteza watercolour brush pens this time with Penny Black’s nature’s glory stamp.

Now this one is a little different, pencil colouring on kraft cardstock, again with a video. 2020 has definitely seen me create the most videos!

This one is also one of my favourites so it is nice to see it as a reader favourite too. It is the second post in the top ten to feature the lovely lilacs stamp from PB.

I’m happy to see one of my hand painted pieces in the favourites. This is a brusho & cling wrap painting I did after watching a CeeCee Creations video.

Another video post made the top ten, this one featuring die cut distress oxide painted leaves. This is the only one not featuring flowers.

This one just missed out on the top ten so I’m adding it here at the end because I think it might be my favourite of the year. It’s a brusho and cling wrap panels that made me think of hydrangeas so I turned the random patterns into massed flowers.

Thank you for dropping it to read my posts this year. I love sharing the details of my cards, journal pages and creative adventures. In a year when face to face interactions have been limited I have been encouraged over and over by the comments and conversations here on my blog.

It has been my best year ever for producing you tube videos and also the year I fulfilled a long time dream of producing online classes. Again thank you for your support in those endeavours.

I’m looking forward to sharing more creative pursuits on the blog with you in 2021, there will be watercolour and stamping (of course!) but also alcohol ink art, gel printing, lettering and journaling. I hope you are safe and well where you are and pray that 2021 will be a year of health and happiness for you.


Shimmer trees

The pearlescent paints and black watercolour paper are still on my work table so I’ve continued to experiment with them. To create this little scene I taped all four sides of a square panel with painter’s tape to mask off the area in the centre. The surface of the black watercolour paper is very soft and likely to lift when tape is removed so I press the tape against my clothing before using it so it is less tacky and when it comes to removal I heat it with a heat tool as I slowly peel it off.

I painted the snowy ground and circle moon first with silver pearl from the Finetec Artist Mica set of 12, then the foliage of the trees with blue green, moss green and midnight blue from the Coliro Ocean set of 6. The tree trunks are chocolate from the Coliro Earth set. I finished by dotting stars over the sky with Sakura gelly roll pens then wrote the words ‘thank you’ with a very fine nib and the same moss green pearlescent paint.

I hope you are having a relaxing few days as the year winds down. We are back in lockdown in Ontario so life is very quiet; I’m continuing to get the word out about the Dressember Campaign. My fundraising total has grown to $1962.10 and tomorrow, December 29 is a matching day, so if you’d like to donate, tomorrow is a great day to do it. Donations in Canada will be matched up to $50, 000 starting at 9am PT on Tuesday Dec 29.

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Pearlescent wreath

I remembered after watching Kristina Werner’s final holiday card series video that I hadn’t done anything Christmassy with my black watercolour paper and pearlescent paints. Also it’s been a while since I hand painted anything.

This simple wreath was painted with pearlescent paints from two Coliro sets, ‘earth’ and ‘ocean’. I began by tracing round the inside of a roll of tape with a white pencil to give myself a circle guide. I painted leaf shapes in bluegreen, Tibet gold, bronze and red from the two sets then drew tiny stems and berries with a gold gel pen.

I had some red pearlescent cardstock from Crop A While which matched the paint exactly and I’m also going to paint some leaves on a black envelope before I send this card out to a Dressember donor. Thank you for keeping the fundraising total growing. The total is now passed my original goal of $1500 and I am hoping to get to $2000! We did a little more magic editing earlier this week to keep the campaign interesting! Check it out on IG or pinterest

God bless you all this Christmas and thank you for your support and kindness through this year. Connecting with you here on the blog has been a highlight for me when most interactions have not been possible. Take care everyone.

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Painting atmosphere

I’ve done some more playing with watercolours and clingwrap. Quite a lot of playing actually; it’s addictive. I don’t even remember if the panel above was painted initially with brusho powders or pan watercolours or both. I do know I started with a large piece of cold pressed watercolour paper taped to a glass mat. I wet the panel then added the paint and let it move around and blend a little before I placed the cling wrap on top. I did remember to take a photo of the panel after it had dried and I’d removed the cling wrap. The card above which looks a bit like some hydrangea flowers was painted on the bottom right corner below.

The butterfly card below was made from the top left corner of the large panel and the flower card was made from the top right corner. I did work on the bottom left corner but didn’t end up liking what I’d made.

For the butterfly card I used a stamp from Darkroom Door ‘wings’ set and stamped it on the panel in blueprint sketch distress ink. After stamping I blended the ink plus some pearlescent paint from a finetec palette to fill the butterfly’s wings. It’s not obvious in the photo but the wings shimmer.

Once the butterfly was dry I did some water stamping using a fern stamp from the DD ‘leaves ‘ set.

The flowers are from the DD ‘tall flowers’ set and were stamped in festive berries, mowed lawn and wild honey distress inks. I also added gold paint to the flower centre. You can see some more water stamped ferns and some second generation stamping with the flowers also. The little circles on all three cards were made just by adding some droplets of water, letting them sit on the panel then dabbing them up with a paper towel.

The card above with the purple flowers doesn’t feature any stamping, the patterns made by the cling wrap made me think of a hydrangea flower head so I painted a bunch of little flowers using a purple watercolour pencil to draw centres then a paintbrush and water to blend the pencil into petals. While the petals were still wet I used the pencil again to add some darker areas in the centres.

The red shape on the left hand side looked a bit like a flower so again I used a watercolour pencil to add a bit more colour and followed the lines left by the cling wrap.

Whether painting or stamping over the panel, I love the patterns and play of light and dark in the background; I think it creates atmosphere. Have I finished with this technique now I hear you ask? No, definitely not. Have you tried it?

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Brusho & cling wrap

Before we talk about the freestyle, abstract floral above I want to direct you to CeeCee, the inspiration for today’s post. Her website is CreationsCeeCee and I’ll link to her youtube further down in this post.

As the title suggests this panel was created with brusho paints and cling wrap plus a few pencils and pens in the second half of the process.

This painting was inspired by a beautiful painting CeeCee Creations did recently. I watched her video which you can see here. She used watercolour paints and cling wrap to create a pattern then used coloured pencils to add shading. I loved her process and end result and have been playing with the technique for the last couple of days.

I taped some watercolour paper to my glass mat, wet the whole panel then scattered brusho over it. I just used two colours of brusho, olive green and violet and I tried to keep them a bit separate. I spritzed the panel lightly to keep the paint moving then lay a piece of cling wrap over the panel and scrunched it over the whole area. The wet paint sticks to the clink wrap creating coloured areas. Where the cling wrap is raised and bunched together there are gaps in the paint. It’s hard to explain but CeeCee’s video gives you the idea. The covered panel takes a long time to dry but once it has you remove the cling wrap to reveal intersecting lines and spaces. I studied my panel and instead of the purple flowers with green leaves I was hoping to see I saw the suggestions of green flowers and purple ‘things’. The idea is to enhance the lines and patterns made by the cling wrap rather than draw whole new patterns. I wish I had taken a photo before I did any colouring that would have given you a better idea.

I used watercolour pencils to turn some of the cling wrap patterns into flowers and shapes and then blended the pencil with water. (CeeCee used polychromos pencils so my shading ended up looking slightly different to hers.) I used a purple and two green Albrecht Dürer watercolour pencils then once my shading and shaping was done I highlighted the centres of the green ‘flowers’ with white and black gel pens.

I’m not sure which way is up so I’ve posted photos of both a portrait and a landscape orientation. What do you think? Does it matter?

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Hand painted lilacs

I squeezed in a little painting the other day using Sennelier watercolours on cold pressed watercolour paper. I used only three colours, a purple, a green and a pinky purple.

I have a few lilac stamps in my stash which I really enjoy using but I wanted to try my hand at painting them myself. I painted with the stalks pointing up to start with, then at some point turned the panel around to finish it off.

The little sentiment strip is from Taylored Expressions; she has a range of sentiment stamps where you stamp all the phrases in one print then cut them into strips with her co-ordinating die. It is a clever idea. I like the fact that I then have a pile of sentiments to choose from.

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Hand painted grasses

I painted a simple scene recently featuring mainly grasses along with some berries and golden flowers. Unlike some of my other paintings where I have tried to make them look like a particular flower or vegetable, these plants are whimsical doodles.

I was inspired by CeeCee of Creations CeeCee; she does beautiful paintings in lovely natural colour palettes and often includes some gold or silver. I painted on cold pressed watercolour paper with Sennelier watercolours plus some gold from a Finetec pearlescent set.

As you can probably tell I began with the green leafy grasses but painted with the panel upside down. My intention was a weeping willow type of look but when I turned it around I decided to continue painting plants reaching for the sky instead. I finished it off with some fine gold splatter.

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Apricot watercoloured flowers

I have another hand painted watercolour today paired with a sweet little stamp from the new Penny Black set ‘trust me builder’. I used my Sennelier half pan watercolours on Fabraino cold pressed watercolour paper. I am still learning how to arrange elements in my paintings but I know for a random pattern (is that an oxymoron?) it is best to do the largest elements first, then the next biggest and so on, in this panel ending with the small splatters and dots.

Unless you are after a symmetrical design odd numbers of elements are usually more pleasing to the eye so I have three large flowers then three medium sized flowers but I slipped up on the berry clusters, there are four not five and I can see where I should have painted another!

I painted this design on a larger panel and then cropped it to make it look more balanced. I used a rectangle die to choose the part of the panel I wanted but you can do the same with two pieces of ‘L’ shaped cardstock held on opposite sides of a panel and moved to ‘frame’ the design. I popped up my painted panel on foam and my stamped sentiment on one extra piece of cardstock.

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Hand painted veggie card

I’ve been painting again but took a break from florals. I pictured this veggie panel in my head before I sat down to paint it and realised part way through I should have been working bigger. I did the carrots first and as they were the biggest vegetable I regretted making them so small. All the rest of the veggies had to be pretty tiny to make it work.

I used Fabriano cold pressed watercolour paper and Sennelier watercolour paints. The card is one layer so I folded the piece of watercolour paper then masked the edges before I started painting. I had watched some youtube tutorials to glean hints including Jenna Rainey’s ‘farmer’s market‘ and Laurie Tsou’s ‘drawing fruits and vegetables‘.

When I had filled the panel with carrots, broccoli, beets, chiles and mushrooms it still looked unfinished so I had to include the peas. I am not a fan of peas but as you can see they are the perfect filler, for a painting mind you, not a meal. When I was a child I was required to eat the number of peas that matched my age at the time and yes my family still brings that up and amuses themselves by asking if the required number of peas are on my plate! After I’d added the peas, with a stylus not a paintbrush, I still needed more definition on the masked edges so I blended some bamboo branch memento ink lightly over the tape. The sentiment is from Altenew’s ‘leaf canopy’ set.

Stay awesome my friends and eat your veggies. Or paint them if that’s more your style. Or better yet, grow them, paint them then eat them!

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Hand painted floral square

I’ve been doing a bit more watercolour painting. When I started this one I didn’t intend to make all the elements so teeny tiny; it took a while to fill the square. I started by taping a square frame on a folded piece of cold pressed watercolour paper to make a one layer card.

I used my Sennelier watercolour paints and as you can imagine a fairly small round watercolour brush to fill the square with flowers and foliage. I kept the colour palette limited and added a few shimmer highlights at the end with some coliro pearlescent paint.

Peeling the tape off the paper to reveal a clean straight edge was very satisfying then I finished it off with a PB sentiment stamped on a co-ordinating green cardstock.

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