Forest grove

fall forest Heather Telford

As you might know I use hot pressed watercolour paper 90% of the time because it is smooth and takes stamping so well, giving me a complete images. Occasionally, however, I like to pull out some cold pressed or even more occasionally some rough watercolour paper because the texture gives a whole different look. The labels hot, cold and rough, when attached to watercolour papers refer to the way the paper is pressed. Hot is flattened with heat and pressure making it the smoothest of all three. Cold is flattened with pressure but not heat and rough is flattened with less pressure than cold, making it the most textured of the three types.

close up fall forest Heather Telford

I stamped the ‘snowy grove’ stamp on cold pressed paper in vintage photo ink. I then used the image as a starting point for painting some of the trees more distinctly. In some cases I joined a few trunks together with extra ink to create wider trees. I painted some foliage plus the forest floor with crushed olive and peeled paint distress stains and spritzed with water to blend and blur both the ground and the canopy. I cut the ‘serenity’ die from brown cardstock to add some framing and give the impression of looking into a grove of trees. The tiny tag is cut with the ‘gift card pocket’ die.

The trees around here still have plenty of green on them but we are beginning to see gorgeous colour too. Have a great weekend and Happy Thanksgiving Canadians!


Stamps:  Snowy GroveSnippets  (PB)
Dies: Serenity, gift card pocket
Inks: vintage photo, crushed olive, peeled paint distress inks & stains(Ranger)
Cardstock: Cold pressed watercolour paper, brown  cardstock, green textured cardstock

Northern winter sky

northern blessings Heather Telford

Some times watercolour paint does the work for you. I added a few stamped branches to turn this pretty sky into a scene but really, the blended colours were almost enough by themselves.

northern lights blessings Heather Telford

I did have a basic plan but the blending was magic that happened when I walked away. I positioned a frisket film mask in the top right then sprinkled four colours of brusho on the panel of watercolour paper. Using a wet brush I blended the colours creating a hard edge at the bottom and adding water to the upper part of the panel. Once I had wet the whole upper area I tilted the panel so the colour blended from yellow to pink to purple and blue. At this point I had to go and teach a mini class so I was gone for an hour.

northern blessing close up Heather Telford

When I returned my panel was dry and all blended in the pretty pattern you see above – magic! I added the berry branches here and there, an extra shadow for a snow bank and a sentiment.


Stamps: Woodland Beauty, Nature’s Gifts, Festive Cheer (PB)
Ink: Versafine onyx black ink (Tsukineko)
Paper: hot pressed watercolour paper, Neenah epic black paper
Paint: Violet, ultramarine, crimson, yellow brusho powder

A day of woodland beauty

 woodland beauty day Heather Telford

As this tree is one of my favourite stamps from the new Christmas release I decided to create a day scene and a night scene as part of my ‘Top Three’ feature on the Penny Black blog this week. For the night scene I painted the sky before stamping the tree, on this panel I did the opposite.

I began as I often do by splattering some masking fluid on a piece of hot pressed watercolour paper.  I did some partial stamping with the tree stamp so I could make the base of each tree look like it was stuck in a snow bank. To do partial stamping or ‘faux masking’ I ink the stamp then remove some of the ink with a wet wipe, in this case I removed the base of the tree so no trunk showed and the bottom edge was a little different each time I stamped it. I chose memento northern pine ink again because the colour separates when I spritz a little water over it (which I did each time before stamping).

woodland beauty by day Heather Telford

I let the trees dry then painted the sky in three blue stains blending and removing colour to make it look like there were clouds. I used a small round watercolour brush and painted right up to and sometimes over the edge of the branches so there would be some blending of colour as well as some white spaces which end up looking a bit like snow.

 woodland beauty day closeup Heather Telford

Once all the sky was dry I stamped a single tree in the foreground and made it darker by re-stamping in the same colour. I painted a snow bank either side of the foreground tree with stain then added some shadows at the base of the trees using diluted northern pine ink as my paint. To finish I removed the masking fluid, added a sentiment in brown then popped it up on a cream card base.

If you didn’t catch my night time scene with this stamp, you can find it here along with a video tutorial.


Stamps: Woodland beauty, Nature’s Silhouettes (PB)
Ink: memento northern pine (Tsukineko) tumbled glass, broken china, salty ocean distress stain(Ranger)
Paper: hot pressed Fabriano watercolour paper
Also: Daler Rowney masking fluid

A night of woodland beauty

DSC_2196 Christmas watercolour Heather Telford

This week I am sharing my top three tree stamps from Penny Black’s new ‘Magic of the Season’ release. You know I love tree stamps so you wont be surprised that they were the first image I looked for when the new release arrived. The pretty spruce silhouette stamp immediately caught my eye and I knew it would be in my top three tree stamps. I have four stamped landscape cards to share this week and this little tree stamp features twice, today in a night time snowscape and tomorrow in a day time scene.

You will probably recognise another favourite tree stamp of mine in the background of this scene, it’s the little tree from the ‘Prancers’ set. I created a video to show you how I made this scene which features some watercolour effects along side some pigment ink stamping. I chose to pair pigment inks, which are waterproof, with watercolour painting so I could have pretty blends in the sky and snow but sharp tree images in the foreground and background.

DSC_2330 Christmas watercolour Heather Telford


Stamps: Woodland beauty, Prancers, Festive Cheer (PB)
Ink: Versafine Onyx Black & Majestic Blue (Tsukineko) 
Paint: Dr Ph Martin Hydrus Watercolours
Paper: hot pressed Fabriano watercolour paper, Neenah Epic black cardstock
Also: Daler Rowney masking fluid

More Glimpses

Glimpse of a deer Heather Telford

I have two more cards made from my experiments with new stamps on watercolour strips. Both today’s strips and yesterday’s were splattered with masking fluid before I started. For the deer card I also added a circle of masking tape before painting the sky in blue, purple, pink and yellow watercolour paint. I painted the horizon edge in blue and tilted the strip up so the paint flowed toward the moon, one colour blending into another

glimpse of a deer closeup Heather Telford

Once the sky dried I removed the masking fluid and tape then stamped the branches from ‘woodland beauty’ and the deer from ‘ nature’s silhouettes’ in black before painting some shadows in front of the deer’s legs.

Glimpse of a spruce Heather Telford

I used a similar process for the single tree scene, painting the sky first while leaving  some unpainted paper at the bottom to be the snowbanks. Once the sky dried I removed the masking fluid and positioned a post-it mask below the horizon and stamped the single tree from the ‘woodland beauty’ set over the mask. Once I removed the mask I painted shadows on the snow in the foreground and behind the tree.

 Glimpse of spruce closeup Heather Telford

The four little panels in today’s and yesterday’s posts are a taste of the new stamps and the types of scenes I expect to be creating over the next few months. I really enjoyed working small; have you tried it?


Stamps: Nature’s Silhouettes, Woodland Beauty,  Joy Filled (PB)
Paints:  Dr Ph Martin Hydrus watercolour paints
Inks:  Versafine Onyx black ink (Tsukineko) 
Cardstock: Fabriano 100% cotton hot pressed watercolour paper, Neenah epic black cardstock
Also: masking fluid, masking tape

Our graduate

 sunrise bird Heather Telford

A week ago we had the privilege of watching our older daughter graduate from university. She has worked very hard, achieved excellent results and is off to undertake a Master’s in September. I chose her card from a selection I made last year; it could be a sunset or sunrise and the bird is flying off into it. My first chick is leaving the nest! As you can imagine I am very proud of her but not looking forward to her being miles away. It will be a great excuse to travel and see her though.

sunrise bird side Heather Telford

The background sunrise was painted wet into wet so I could blend the pink and yellow.  I  lifted out some yellow in the centre to make it brighter to look like the sun.  As you lift the colour out it is important to rinse your brush and remove some of the water; you don’t want to return colour to your panel or create a watermark by dropping in extra water.  I waited for the background to dry before stamping grey and black foliage in the foreground and a bird in the sky.


Stamps: Pastoral, Spread cheer (PB)
Inks:  Hydrus Watercolour (Dr Ph Martin)  I can’t remember which grey and black inks I used?!?
Cardstock: Hot pressed Fabriano watercolour paper, grey cardstock, Neenah solar white cardstock


Autumn Mist

Autumn mist Heather Telford

Don’t worry I am not switching over to fall cards. I just happen to have made a card in autumn colours with a misty look about it so the line from Puff the Magic Dragon sprang to mind. I created both of today’s cards with the ‘shade canopy’ stamp from Penny Black. The little scenes are framed with the white edge made when I tape the watercolour paper down with painter’s tape.

Autumn mist closeup Heather Telford

I used markers to ink the stamp and for the backgrounds on both cards. The autumn card is coloured with memento markers and the summer one with tombow dual brush pens.

summer field Heather Telford

It is possible to get quite a lot of definition in the foliage by inking the stamp and adding little or no water or, as I did, use more water on the stamp and achieve a looser more impressionistic look. On the summer card I coloured the sky and hill first then added the tree over the top. For the fall card I painted the sky last, adding it around the foliage.

summer field closeup Heather Telford


Stamps: Shade Canopy, Words of Kindess(PB)
Inks:   Tangelo, Potter’s Clay, Espresso Truffle, Northern Pine Memento markers Versafine Onyx black (Tsukineko), 173, 452, 126, 228 dual brush pens (Tombow)
Cardstock: Fabriano 100% cotton hot pressed watercolour paper