Arteza Watercolour Real Brush Pens

Today’s blog post is a little different from the usual. The cards in today’s post are coloured with Arteza Watercolour Real Brush pens. Arteza contacted me and asked if I would be interested in doing a product review video for them. I’ve seen Arteza products popping up on many blogs and youtube channels so I was interested to try them out. They sent me Watercolour Real Brush Pens, an Expert Watercolour Pad and a set of six Water Brushes Pens.

To see how I used them check out the video below. It is a long one because I put the products through their paces with a bunch of my favourite techniques. I did speed up the footage through out the video so I could show you all that I tried. Believe me you would not have wanted me to leave it at normal speed! If you want to slow something now that is an option on Youtube.

The video isn’t a how-to for today’s cards but there is footage of some of the process included. You may find some other techniques you’d like to try in my review also. Just so you know I have two more videos in process which are more project tutorial style. I’m trying to keep the inspiration coming as we all cope with our quarantine situations.

I was very happy with the results using the brush pens, watercolour pad and waterbrushes, but the real brush pens are the main focus of my review. I was particularly impressed with the results when I did no-line watercolour with the real brush pens. It can be a tricky technique but the pens made it easier in my opinion.

The range of colours in the set of 96 is wonderful and the intensity of the colour means a little goes a long way. I have cards coloured with the real brush pens which will be appearing on my blog in the next few weeks.

Arteza gave me a coupon code to share with you in case you are interested in trying the products and there are affiliate links below. The coupon code is HeatherTelford1. At no extra cost to you I will receive a small commission. (The Arteza products appear on the list twice, top ones are first ones are US, last ones EU)

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Classic car

I have some mixed media goodness for you today. I know it’s pretty flat and doesn’t involve any fibres or other funky textured things but it is mixed media and currently my favourite mixed media option – gel printing. I spent a day with a friend a few weeks ago, and we printed up a storm on our gel presses. This is one of my backgrounds patterned with Darkroom Door stencils then stamped with DD stamps.

The textures in the background were made with the DD small stars stencil, diamond stencil and some corrugated cardboard. This background was cut from a bigger panel and I chose a section that had a pop of yellow in the corner; it’s only a small thing but it provides some contrast and leads the eye from left to right.

Once I’d trimmed my panel I stamped one of the cars from ‘classic cars vol 1’ in versamark ink and embossed in white. The background is so busy I needed to do something to make the car stand out a bit more so I coloured it with a white pencil which softened the area inside the stamped car just enough to make a difference. I added numbers from the new ‘number medley’ set in black so they would subtle but noticeable. The sentiment also from ‘classic cars’ set is embossed on a strip of the gel print then matted in white and popped up on some foam tape.

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Unforgettable

Today’s card features a large outline stamp from Penny Black called ‘unforgettable’. When I read the stamp name I can’t help but start singing the Nat King Cole song, even if only in my head. I positioned the stamp to cover half the card front but if used on a landscape oriented card it would almost fill the whole front. I used one of my tried and true techniques to watercolour the image with distress inks.

I worked with a panel of hot pressed watercolour paper in the stamp positioner and inked components of the design with distress inks and markers. I ink the outlines as accurately as possible with the ink colour I’m going to paint that section with. I inked some of the flowers with seedless preserves and others with wild honey. The leaves are bundled sage with some forest moss ink. When painting the petals I blended ink from the outline, and when that wasn’t enough picked up some from my glass mat where I smoosh the inkpad.

I enjoy doing no-line watercolour with a pale ink like antique linen distress but I also like this method. It can be fiddly inking each flower and leaf in different colours but if you use a mix of markers and ink cubes you can pretty good coverage. I always have a wipe or sponge on hand to wipe ink off the stamp if it’s gone out of bounds.

The sentiment is from the new ‘million thanks’ set which features two large versions of ‘thank you’ and two of ‘thanks’. The rest of the set is phrases to be paired with ‘thank you’.  I have much to be thankful for right now as I am safe at home with most of my family knowing my eldest is safe at home elsewhere. We have what we need and know that isn’t the case for everyone. I hope you are staying healthy, hopeful and home!

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Dazzling postcard

I am sharing these tulip cards over on the Foiled Fox blog today. You know I like it over there, I enjoy the inspiration on their blog, the range of products in their store and the interaction with the Foiled Fox staff and their readers. Make sure you pop over there.

To create a vintage background I smooshed antique linen distress ink on a glass mat then spritzed water over the ink before swiping a hot pressed watercolour panel through the it. I dried the panel before repeating the step. Next I inked the ‘script’ background stamp in antique linen ink, spritzed it then stamped it on one side of the panel. I let everything dry before moving onto the tulips. The stamp is a new one from Penny Black called ‘dazzle’; it is large and features two tulips and two buds. Neither of today’s cards show you the whole stamp; I was after the look of patterned paper rather than a complete image. You will see the whole stamp on another card in the future.

I inked the stamp with scattered straw, wild honey and forest moss distress ink, spritzed it lightly then stamped over the edges of the panels. I also wiped ink off the stamp before pressing it down so the tulips would appear to be floating not anchored to the base of the panel. On the second card I blended over the stamped tulips with water to create a transparent look but on the card above I left them looking ‘lacey’. After the ink dried I splattered both panels with wild honey and forest moss inks.

To finish the card above I stamped part of the new ‘vintage postcard’ stamp in vintage photo archival ink. On the card below I added some hemp twine and a popped up sentiment panel also stamped on ‘aged-looking’ paper.

You have already seen this sentiment once this week; it does seem appropriate for the uncertain circumstances we are experiencing right now. I made both cards before the virus situation escalated in North America but I hope having these cards and those words end up on the blog this week is an encouragement to you.

In the close up above you can see clearly the variation of colour achieved by picking up diluted antique linen ink on my watercolour panel; there seems to be a purply tone in there! I love this kind of background and it is so easy to do. Thank you for dropping by today. I appreciate you all and am encouraged to hear that these posts are providing you with some inspiration during a difficult time.

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Herb garden

Here is another new stamp from Penny Black and definitely one of my faves from the new release ‘Secret Garden’. I’m not much of a gardener, certainly not in the class of my mother and father but I do plant herbs every spring and use them in my cooking during summer and fall. Before the snow came at the beginning of winter my daughter decided to transplant a few into pots and bring them inside. They really didn’t enjoy the transfer but they struggled on. I don’t think they have enjoyed the neglect either we as fail to water them for weeks at a time. Despite our patchy efforts they seem to be hanging in there. I assume I should prune them hard soon then look after them a bit better leading up to their return to the outside world.

I did not have the same issues keeping these three pots looking healthy. I used distress inks pads and markers to do some watercolouring. I knew I wanted the herbs to all be different greens but I didn’t want them to clash with each other so I picked four green inks and used a different pair on each herb for continuity. The parsley was pine needles and mowed lawn, rosemary was iced spruce and peeled paint and basil was mowed lawn and peeled paint. When inking the stamp I dabbed both inks on the leaves, stamped then used a paintbrush to blend the inks with water to fill the leaves.

All the pots were done with barn door, hickory smoke and vintage photo ink. I inked the stamp with the three distress inks but also picked them up from a glass mat so I could paint each pot adding shadows and depth. I also painted shadows below each pot with hickory smoke ink and a little vintage photo. I thought about adding some background but I just love those little pots sitting there looking healthy all by themselves to I left them alone just adding ‘thinking of you’ from the mini set ‘wildflowers’.

I just took another look at our sad stringy herbs; advice is welcome!

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Where flowers bloom

The appearance of sunny skies and warmer temperatures over the weekend have been a pleasant change; maybe spring has sprung. Life seems to have changed a little since I was posting on Friday! Events have been cancelled, churches, schools, libraries and recreation centres have closed for the next three weeks at least and store shelves have some significant gaps.  Here in Ottawa the number of people infected with the virus is still low but growing each day.

This simple card is stamped with a new brushstroke stamp from Penny Black called ‘Exhilaration’. It is a spray of flowers which curves in a ‘s’ shape. I stamped it once from the top left corner then just a partial image crossing the bottom left corner.

You probably won’t be surprised by any of the process today as I used the same technique I often for brushstroke stamps. I did the stamping on hot pressed watercolour paper in the stamp positioner using distress markers to ink the stamp. I was pleasantly surprised how well the colours worked and how nice the blends were after minimal inking and spritzing.

The colours I used were festive berries and dusty concord on the flowers and  peeled paint, crushed olive and forest moss on the leaves and stems. I did spritz the stamps a little before stamping so the inks would blend. Using three greens worked well giving the simple leaf shapes more interest. The criss-crossing of stems gave me an indent which worked perfectly for a sentiment. I stamped the sentiment from the ‘blooming sentiments’ set in Spanish moss versafine ink.

Take care, I’ll be back with more in a few days.

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Butterfly mail

I started today’s card by creating a colourful watery background with distress stains smooshed on my glass mat. ( I am still using up my distress stain daubers but the spray stains will work just as well). I let the panel dry then added some water droplets which sat for thirty seconds before I dabbed them off with a paper towel to create pale watermarks.

To create the collage like background I inked Darkroom Door stamps with both distress stains and distress inks (salty ocean, mustard seed, crushed olive, broken china and hickory smoke). Some stamps I inked then spritzed with water, others I stamped then spritzed the panel with water and dabbed away colour with a paper towel. To create the collage background I used the new sets ‘global postmarks’ and number medley along with ‘French script’ background stamp. The butterfly stamp is from the ‘wings’ set and was stamped three times. I didn’t re-ink between impressions but I did spritz with water so each butterfly is paler than the previous one.

I swiped some of the same inks onto a scrap of watercolour paper before stamping the sentiment from the ‘warm wishes’ set and popping it up decorated with a bit of mustard cord.

Darkroom Door has some beautiful collage stamps but if you want to make your own collage prints then the recent global postmarks and number medley are perfect. Make sure you check out the rest of the latest release and all the inspiration on the blog.

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