This card is one of those rare ones where the end result is very close to the dreamed up idea.
I started by masking a piece of hot pressed watercolour paper with tape. I taped it into the stamp positioner using the grid lines as guides to get it straight and, wonder of wonders, it actually ended up straight. I stamped the pumpkins from the PB ‘autumn bliss’ set in Gina K’s jet black amalgam ink. I bought the amalgam so I could compare it to my current fave black, versafine clair nocturne. The amalgam stamped well and dried quickly but I didn’t find it superior to the versafine clair.
I wanted bold bright colours and wondered which of my watercolour mediums would give me that result. I settled on my Dr Ph Martin’s Hydrus liquid watercolours. They are definitely bold and bright! Of course they can be diluted for a softer look but I was happy to make the most of their vibrancy. Even though I put barely a drop of each colour on my palette I still ended up with more than I needed. I tried to limit my colour scheme by mixing some of my own colours. I started with gamboge and brilliant cad red for the middle pumpkin and painted all but the flowers. I then mixed the gamboge with the brilliant cad red for the left hand pumpkin and again painted all but the leaves. It was very tricky avoiding the leaves especially before I realised that I had my reading glasses on instead of my stronger ‘art glasses’. Sadly my art glasses are becoming my reading glasses so in the new year I am hoping to get some new ‘art glasses’ to help me see and paint all the fiddly bits. The right hand pumpkin is brill cad red and Venetian brown.
With my art glasses on I painted all the leaves and stalks with a green made by mixing gamboge with ultramarine. The flowers on the middle pumpkin I painted in a diluted deep red rose/ultramarine mix. I added little dots of gold to the right hand pumpkin using finetec pearlescent ink then used a rosy colour from the same set to add shimmer to the flowers. If I did the pumpkins again I think I would paint them one solid colour first with a little shadow and shading then use the pearlescent inks over the top to add all the flowers and leaves. The pearlescent inks are opaque and would not have let the underneath colour show through.
After all the pumpkin decorating, I painted the background with ultramarine. If you have masked with tape before you will know how satisfying it can be to peel back the tape to reveal crisp straight edges and also how frustrating when some paint has seeped underneath. Well, again, wonder of wonders, no seepage! Now, the last wonder of wonders is really the biggest. I occasionally do my own calligraphy sentiments, more often than not it does not end up straight, neat or the right size so I end up cutting the painted panel off and attaching it to a whole new panel in order to get rid of the messed up sentiment. This time I ruled my pencil lines, practiced the sentiment on a scrap, wrote it in pencil on the panel and finally wrote it with pointed pen in a mix of ultramarine and pearlescent ink. The next step was key; I have messed it up in the past. I left the room and went and had my lunch, that way I was not tempted to erase the pencil before the writing was dry, dry dry! I used one of those nifty battery operated erasers to gently erase all the pencil and then did a happy dance!
I hope you don’t think I am overdoing it in my satisfaction with this card, I know it’s nothing out of the ordinary, it’s just that it could have gone wrong in quite a few places but happily it didn’t.
I came across some interesting paper at Art Noise when I was in Kingston on the weekend. It is called canal paper and is made by Paperterie St. Armand in Montreal. The pad of paper I bought has six different colours, all made from cotton rag; the fibres are left from clothing company offcuts. There is no bleaching or dyeing, the colour of the papers is from the colour of the cotton fabrics.
The paper is not the only new thing I tried out on these cards. I also have some delicious new Sennelier watercolours. I was interested to see how they looked on the coloured paper and also how the paper held up to a watercolour wash.
These cards are one layer making use of the natural deckled edge on one edge of the paper pad. I scored the paper then taped it to my glass mat, lining up the frog tape with the grid on my mat to create a masked panel in the centre of the card front. I used three colours of paint on each card and matching envelopes. I was impressed that no paint seeped under the edge of the tape so I had crisp edges to my watercolour panels.
I stamped the new line art stamps from Penny Black with Ranger archival inks and was very happy with the crisp prints on the paper, I thought there might be a bit of bleed as the paper has quite a soft surface but the stamping was crisp and there was no bleed through with the watercolour washes. For the two cards above I simply stamped the image over the watercoloured section. On the card below I did the same then added some extra painting to the flowers using the same paint colours. The colour of the paper makes the paint colours more muted than they would be on white or cream but I liked the more rustic simple style on these cards. You could definitely use this technique with the traditional white watercolour paper and achieve much brighter results.
My cards measure 5″x 4¼” so I decided to make custom envelopes from the same paper. I used the We R Memory Keepers 1-2-3 punch board to make an envelope to fit and before I taped it together I masked a section of the front so I could watercolour in the same colours used for the cards.
I’ve worked with this stamp before, last time with bister powder to colour it. It took longer with watercolour pencils but the process was quite relaxing. I used my tried and true Albrecht Dürer watercolour pencils from Faber Castell and limited my choices to light green, dark green, light blue, purple and brown.
I stamped the image from the PB ‘happy together’ set in crushed olive distress ink then used a paint brush with my watercolour pencils to add colour. I painted shadows in a mix of brown and purple then matted with some purple cardstock.
Now, help me out here, what is the right occasion for sending a cacti card??
Stamps: happy together
My vintage snowy scenes continue with this new Penny Black stamp ‘winter solace’. I kept it simple once again with vintage photo ink plus some black for shadows and some blue for the sky. The technique is similar to the one I shared in my recent video but because this is a more solid stamp it is necessary to blend the ink more carefully so as not to obscure the details in the stamp. I stamped in vintage photo distress ink on cold pressed watercolour paper.
Rather than use watercolour pencils to add extra colour, I pressed black soot, vintage photo and broken china onto my glass mat to use as needed.
When blending the vintage photo ink I dabbed with a damp paintbrush instead of blending. I didn’t want the ink to cover the walls of the church uniformly, instead I left areas white and added black for shadows wherever I thought there would be some.
I added black under the eaves, under the windows and on the corners.
I used a pencil to lightly draw a roof line to give me a guide for painting blue sky. I painted right up to the pencil line and edges of building with water then added broken china ink to fill sky. I dabbed the blue ink around the edges of the trees with the point of the brush.
I blended water over the stamped sections of trees taking care to leave the white areas to look like snow.
To add some snowbanks to the foreground I painted a few lines of vintage photo ink with a fine tip brush then blended them with water.
To complete the card I added a sentiment from the new ‘Christmas sentiments’ set.
I’m looking forward to trying some other looks and colour schemes with this stamp.
You’ve probably heard by now there is a new Penny Black release in town! Two actually, a big beautiful Christmas release and a fun fall release. The catalogues can be viewed here. I’ll be featuring vintage style snowy scenes all week here on the blog even though the sun is shining and the grass is green outside!
This lovely stamp called ‘Tranquil Hamlet’ is stamped in vintage photo ink and coloured with Faber Castell Albrecht Dürer watercolour pencils on hot pressed watercolour paper. Watch the video to see how
Thanks for dropping by; I’ll be back tomorrow with another snowy scene.
Stamps: Tranquil Hamlet
Ink: vintage photo distress ink
Paper: hot pressed watercolour paper
Pencils: Faber Castell Albrecht Dürer Watercolour pencils (199, 159, 154, 151, 126)
Tools: stamping platform
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.
I have more watercolour die cuts to share. This card has a much higher fiddliness factor than the previous ones and has convinced me that I should never video myself making a shaker card! Rather than trying to describe my trial and error process for making this shaker card I will just list the layers I used from little die cuts right down to the card base. The mini community and ‘the world’ were cut from brusho panels.
watercoloured ‘mini community’ & ‘love to travel’ die cuts with stick-it adhesive on the back
black cardstock panel
foam with circle die cut from centre
watercolour panel to be ‘the world’
I saved the little die-cut bus and cars to put inside the shaker area with the glitter, sequins and micro beads. It wasn’t until I started shaking it that I realised the bus and cars would end up in countless pile ups!
Stamps: Sprinkles and Smiles (PB)
Die: Mini community Love to Travel (PB)
Paints: Brusho (Colourcraft)
Cardstock: Fabriano 100% cotton hot pressed watercolour paper, Neenah solar white, Neenah epic black
Also: stick it adhesive sheet, glitter, sequins, micro beads