It is a constant resolve of mine to do more painting. I love painting with stamped images but I want to improve my painting without stamps too. I spent some free time recently painting this little wreath for a friend’s birthday. I worked on Fabriano cold pressed watercolour paper (100% cotton 140lb) and used Sennelier watercolour paints. As usual I kept my palette of colours limited concentrating on the same red, blue, purple, grey and mustard paints to get different hues and tones. I began by tracing a circle with a light brown watercolour pencil knowing that I would cover most of it up and it would dilute and disappear as I painted over it.
I started by painting the large flowers then moved on to the smaller ones and leaves. I kept adding little leaves or buds thinking the circle was unbalanced but eventually had to tell myself to stop. The decision about whether to stamp, hand letter or die cut some words is still unresolved. What to do you think?
I’ve coloured these pretty ‘meadow blossoms’ from Concord & 9th a few times now, this time cutting them out with the co-ordinating die. I stamped the large spray of flowers in Gina K’s skeleton amalgam ink which is beige. I used inktense pencils for the watercolouring including the back panel of stripes. Inktense pencils are watersoluble but unlike some watercolour pencils they are permanent once dry. Many other watercolour pencils are not permanent meaning they will continue to move and dilute whenever liquid is added. One type is not better than another but they need to be used differently.
I used hot pressed watercolour paper for both layers and, although hot pressed is quite smooth it still has texture so you can see some of the pencil shading on the flowers where I first coloured with the pencils on dry paper. The pencil lines diluted once I painted over the top with water but not completely becoming part of the detail of the design. As the inktense are permanent once dry I decided to layer colour on the petals. Some I started with purple, the large one I did the base colour in red. To paint the leaves I coloured only a small amount, painted with water to fill the leaf or just picked up colour from one leaf to complete another one. I did switch to a black fineliner to do the flower centres and add some black dots. I used white paint to add some white dots.
I decided to create my own striped background for the die cut using the fuchsia pencil. Rather than drawing on the background panel directly I pulled colour from the pencil tip onto my glass mat with a wet brush and painted loose stripes on a piece of watercolour pencil using a t-ruler to keep them parallel. As sometimes happens on my work table there seemed to be some stray brusho floating around so I ended up with some random blue spots! Popping up the floral panel seemed like a good idea so I used a technique Jennifer McGuire recently suggested in one of her videos. Rather than pop up a panel on foam tape or a foam cut out just die cut a few extra layers of cardstock and stack them up. I cut two extra die-cuts each with stick-it adhesive on the back and layered them under the painted one. I played with the idea of popping up part of the sentiment but ended up stamping in two different inks instead.
The inktense pencils used: chilli red 500, leaf green 1600, red violet 610, ink black 2200, fuchsia 700
I posted a coffee themed card using the Darkroom Door ‘coffee time’ set recently which prompted a request for a pack of coffee themed cards. These ones are on their way to Australia, and were made with the addition of the word ‘virtual’ because, well, you know why. I rarely do multiples and when I do they are never exactly the same. This time I did four of one colour scheme with the cup and saucer stamp from Darkroom Door’s ‘coffee time’ set and then four more in a different colour scheme a little more like my original coffee card featuring the take out cup from the same set.
The nice thing about making multiples is starting with a large panel to create the background. I used hot pressed watercolour paper for both sets and splattered masking fluid over the panel first. I like the addition of some random white spots and shapes from a masking fluid splatter but often I wish I’d done more when I remove it from the finished project. To create the cards above I smooshed ground espresso, salty ocean and crushed olive distress inks on my glass mat. I spritzed water over the inks until they were spread over a large area then placed the watercolour panel over the top and moved it around to soak up random coloured patterns. When I turned the panel over there were blotches of each colour along with blends and blank areas. I did some further spritzing and picking up of colour until I was satisfied with the coverage. Once the panel was dry I cut it into four pieces and used both the DD handwritten script and brick wall stencils to add pattern in the same three distress inks. I used blending brushes to apply the ink which gave me soft blends that faded away into nothing at the edges.
Next I add coffee cups and coffee stains in ground espresso ink. I blended ink inside the cup on some panels but on others I added more ink outside the cup to darken the negative space. It is hard to describe my process with the cups as I did each one differently and kept playing with the three inks until I was happy with the results. On a couple of the panels I added a partial print of the world map stamp. With all the artsy stuff done I just needed to add the ‘virtual coffee’ label. The word ‘coffee’ is part of one of the word stamps from the set so I masked, stamped and embossed then wrote the word ‘virtual’ above and embossed that. I was interested to see I could write the words with a papermate flair pen and then if I covered it with clear embossing powder straight away I could get the shiny embossed effect. I do have clear embossing pens but it is impossible to see what I’ve written with a clear pen!
I also did four more cards with the takeaway cup stamp using much the same technique and a peeled paint/scattered straw/dusty concord colour scheme. I added a few stamped coffee beans to these ones; the ‘coffee time’ set is a very cool collection of stamps.
Thanks for joining me for ‘virtual coffee’ today. I hope your week is off to a good start.
I’ve been doing some coloured pencil work, nothing too fancy but definitely satisfying to see it come together. I filmed as I coloured so you can see how I approached each flower as well as the glass vases. I don’t often complete a whole card with coloured pencils, I’m more likely to bring them in at the end to add details and shading but this time they are took the starring role. I like the look of pencil on kraft paper too, I find it a bit less intimidating than bright white paper.
It took me a long time to finish the colouring so I’m sure you won’t be surprised to hear I didn’t include every last second of footage. I sped it up and chopped it up so it wouldn’t be too long but I made sure to include my process for each element. I even did one part more than once!?! but I’ll tell you about that during the video. Towards the end of the video I referred to colouring wizard Kathy Racoosin, if you haven’t checked out her blog and wonderfully instructive youtube channel, make sure you do.
As you can see I stamped a print on a matching envelope and on the inside of the card too. It is always best to do this while the stamp and inks are still on the table, buy you already knew that didn’t you?
When I showed this one to my daughter she absolutely made my day by saying it reminded her of story books she would read and reread as a child because she enjoyed the illustrations so much!
Even though I would never choose yellow as a favourite colour, the inks for these big bright flowers are definitely a happy sight. I have a complete (gasp…I know, very lucky) set of papertrey ink cubes now so of course I have to try them all out. Featured here are bright buttercup, canyon clay, aqua mist and tropical teal.
The sentiment is cut from teal cardstock even though it looks like it could be black. I inked the large flowers from Penny Black’s ‘petal profiles’ acrylic set in buttercup then dabbed some canyon clay in the centre before spritzing and stamping. I then used a paintbrush to blend all the petals because I tend to like them blended rather than see the texture of the paper. Not always but often. I inked the smaller flowers with aqua mist, spritzed then stamped and while the ink was still damp on the paper I dropped a dot of tropical teal ink in the centre of each flower. The longer foliage from PB ‘secret garden’ set is also stamped in tropical teal and the splatter is the same. To pick up ink for centres and splatter I just smooshed the inkcube face down on my glass mat and added a drop of water.
I cut a strip of vellum and wrapped it round the stamped panel so I could add the die cut sentiment on top. The background is busy so a vellum separator helps it stand out enough to be readable. I used ‘stick it’ on the back of the sentiment from PB ‘wishes’. The base is a lovely cream cardstock with some texture which matches my watercolour panels nicely, I was very happy when the Foiled Fox sent some my way. It’s called ‘luxe white textured’ and it pleases my matchy-matchy heart.
Blooming in my garden now are several violets and star flowers along with one happy daffodil. I’m thinking perhaps the snow is gone for good…
I attended a class not too long ago taught by my clever friend, Liane, where we used paint chips to make cards. Some paint chips have colours from the same family displayed but others have colour combinations that are suggestions when painting and decorating a room. I used one such card to choose the colours for this blue floral card. The paint chip featured colours called nautica, blizzard and tahini. I found similar colours on my peerless watercolour palette and did some no-line watercolour.
I started by stamping C&9 ‘meadow blossoms’ floral stamp in Gina K ‘whisper’ ink. The ink is a pale beige/grey dye ink which disappeared nicely as I painted with peerless watercolour paint over the top. I worked on non adjacent petals so the paint and water would not bleed from one area to the next. On the largest flowers I painted a dab of ‘Alice blue’ paint then blended it with water to fill the petal.
On the smaller flowers I switched the order and painted each petal with water first then dabbed in some blue paint. The second method resulted in slightly paler flowers. I painted all the leaves and stems in ‘warm sepia’ and the flower centres in ‘pearl grey’. Once all the paint was dry I used two inktense pencils to add veins and shading to the leaves and petals. I painted black dots in the flower centres then drew tiny stems to the dots with a very fine tip black pen. The black thank you die cut is from the PB ‘many thanks’ die set cut from black cardstock and stacked for extra dimension. I think it works well either side of the cute phrase from the PB ‘million thanks’ set which is stamped in nocturne black on a strip cut with the Taylored Expressions ‘simple strips’ die.
If you are stuck for a colour combo try some paint chip inspiration; I don’t think I would have thought up the blue, brown, grey combo without the inspiration on the chip. And call your bestie!
I love it when sets can work for multiple seasons; today’s card features a new Ink to Paper set, ‘bold blooms’ paired up with a set I used many times for Christmas cards, ITP ‘floral Christmas’. I used flower stamps and a large leaf from the bold blooms set and some little twiggy stamps from the floral Christmas set. I taped all four edges of a piece of hot pressed watercolour paper before I started stamping so I would have a masked ‘frame’ for the floral pattern.
All the stamping was done with Papertrey ink cubes, some solid colour and some combined on the stamps. I think the technique was once called ‘rock and roll’ when you inked a stamp with one colour then rolled the edge along another ink pad to pick up a border of another colour. You can see the flowers have two colours and some of the leaves. I have linked all the colours I used in the supply list below. The stamps that were’rolled also got a spritz of water before I printed them so there was a little blending happening before they hit the watercolour paper. I added splatter in ‘autumn rose’ ink and then once that was dry water splatter which I then dabbed with a paper towel to get washed out dots on some of the stamping. It looks a little like spring flowers caught in the rain. Not that I have seen any spring flowers just yet, I have however seen rain, snow and hail this week and it was all in the one day!
I removed the tape to reveal lovely straight edges and wanted to add a sentiment that didn’t cover too much of the pattern. The background was too busy for just the die cut words but adding the shadow for each word cut from vellum created enough separation to make the words ‘sending love’ readable. The dies are from Pink Fresh Studio and the set is called ‘Phrase Builder – Sending’; unfortunately it isn’t linked below because I could not find it available anywhere. I bought it a few months back for a class that was originally scheduled for March…
I am in the process of planning my first online class and I’m wondering what techniques you would like to see me teach in online classes. Here are a few ideas I’m considering: no-line watercolour, watercolour powder techniques, stamped scenes, masking, gel printing. Let me know what you think.