Hot off the presses and ironically cold out of my mail box here are some brand new stamps from Darkroom Door. Rachel Greig creates incredibly artistic stamps and these new flowers are no exception. The feature image and sentiment on today’s card are from the new set, ‘Warm Wishes’ which contains five flower stamps and eight sentiments.
I decided not to watercolour them this time (but you know I will), instead I chose a crisp pigment ink so you would see the incredible detail of the flower head. I created a background by stamping some fave florals from DD ‘nature walk’ and ‘wildflowers vol 1’ in memento London fog ink. It is a light enough grey to show up but not take over. On the card above I stamped the feature flower from ‘warm wishes’ in versafine clair ‘shady lane’ ink and added the sentiment in the same colour.
Both the stamped panel and the card base are neenah solar white cardstock and the panel is popped up on a piece of foam to create some subtle framing.
Make sure you pop over to the Darkroom Door blog for more inspiration with the new ‘warm wishes’ set. And check back here too because I’ll be giving these stamps the watercolour treatment very soon!
You might not recognise this stamp straight away but it is the ‘winsome wreath’ I used on a black card earlier in the week. It looks a bit different on the more traditional white watercolour paper. It also looks different because I have only used half of the stamp. I stamped the wreath on the edge of a hot pressed watercolour paper panel and once I’d finished painting it I added a few leaves under the orange rose as that space seemed a little empty.
I did the initial stamping in distress antique linen ink which is great for no-line colouring. While the panel was still in the stamp positioner I stamped the centre of the big rose in spiced marmalade ink. I did this because I find it hard to paint all those tiny petals separately and even find it hard to see them all when they are stamped in antique linen. As I was planning to paint the rose in spiced marmalade anyway it was helpful to have the centre of the rose outlined in that ink to begin with.
I dropped some spiced marmalade, seedless preserves and mowed lawn distress stain on my glass mat to use as a palette. I painted one petal at a time except for some of those tiny ones in the centre. As I painted a petal I would blend to the edges then drop in a bit more colour with my brush usually on the sections of the petals that might be shadowed by the petal adjacent. It isnt’ an exact science when I do it but I end up with some variation which adds to the realism. I also added a tiny bit of seedless preserves to some of the petals which gave them a slightly aged looked. The leaves are a mix of mowed lawn and spiced marmalade so without intending to I did another of my ‘limited palette’ cards, just three colours in the end.
I splattered some gold paint from the gansai tambi starry set over the panel and added a sentiment in gold embossing powder to match. Rather than add a coloured mat I created a subtle ‘shadow mat’ by popping up the panel on a piece of foam. Thanks for dropping by today; let me know if you can see the mistake I made with the rose but decided to just ignore because I definitely did not want to start again!
This lovely background stamp from MFT is brilliant for trapping colour. My first choice would be to colour it with paint powder like brusho or colourburst but a quicker and less messy technique is to rub distress ink cubes across the embossed panel randomly. I embossed ‘roses all over’ on hot pressed watercolour paper with silver embossing powder then randomly rubbed fossilized amber and candied apple distress inks over the panel. Because of the embossing the ink didn’t saturate the whole panel but it did leave some colour in all the sections.
Next I liberally spritzed the panel so the inks would dilute, blend and fill the petals. This technique is one a friend of mine affectionately calls ‘drowning’. The ink mixed pretty well by itself but I did use a paintbrush here and there to make sure the whole panel was coloured. I dried it, trimmed it and added a band of vellum so my sentiment strip and die-cut would not have to fight with the busy background.
I stamped part of a MFT ‘anything but basic’ sentiment on an Avery Elle simple sentiment strip. I use those sentiment strips all the time; I have a stash cut and ready on my desk for every third card! I cut the PB ‘wonderful’ twice from red cardstock (with ‘stick it double sided adhesive’ on the back) and stacked them on the vellum.
I enjoyed reading your comments about the black watercolour paper and I’m happy some of you are inspired to pull out your own to do a little experimenting. You’ll definitely be seeing it again here.
Today’s cards are my first experiment with black watercolour paper. I have already learnt a few things I will take into consideration on my next projects. I could have waited until I had played with the paper more but I decided to jump right in with these rather unusual valentine/friendship cards. The card with purple flowers does have a valentine sentiment but the other two could be used anytime to send a friendly message. Unfortunately the photos don’t convey how shimmery the paint is and the colours are brighter in real life.
I’ve seen a few people on the interwebs using this new Stonehenge black cold press watercolour paper so I had to give it a try. As you can probably see I’ve paired it with pearlescent paints this time. I plan to try oxides next time. Because it is new to me I tried three different embossing powders wondering how much they would show up on black. On the card above I embossed PB ‘winsome wreath’with WOW silver pearl; it looks a bit silvery. On the card below I used WOW white pearl on PB ‘rose romance’: it also looks a bit silvery. On the final card I used Ranger gun metal with a wreath from PB ‘key to kindness’ set, it is a bit darker but still looks a bit silvery.
To paint the flowers I used both my Finetec pearlescent paints and pearl paints. I don’t find the two sets all that different but I think there might be a bit more shimmer in the pearlescent ones. I also have some Ken Oliver liquid metals so I used the verdi gris for the leaves above. I carried through the shimmer theme by cutting mats from copper shimmer cardstock and I made card bases from black shimmer and quartz shimmer.
What do you think about predominantly black cards? I know some would find them too dark and sombre, some may be reminded of the painted velvet pictures from the 70’s but maybe you like the added drama. Will you try the black watercolour paper if you get a chance?
I have seen this stamp on quite a few cards lately, just pop over to the Penny Black blog if you want to see some other colour schemes and techniques. I have surprised myself with this colour scheme and also by choosing a large heart motif in the first place. I don’t usually make Valentine’s day cards so when I decided to ink this stamp it was always going to be for a versatile friendship card.
I worked on hot pressed watercolour paper in the stamp positioner and inked one flower at a time. It is easier to ink a single flower with a marker but when I don’t have the colour marker I need I use an inkpad and just wipe excess ink off the stamp. Each time I stamped a flower or leafy section I blended the ink with a paintbrush and added extra ink if necessary by picking it up off my glass mat. On some of the flowers blending the colour resulted in loss of definition so I restamped after all the colouring was done. That’s the beauty of keeping it in the stamp positioner.
The distress inks I used were carved pumpkin, barn door, mermaid lagoon and peeled paint; I’m pretty sure I’ve never used that combo before. I added centres to the flowers with a black marker.
I chose a die-cut sentiment that spans the heart and chose orange cardstock to stand out against the background. Even though the sentiment was over the top of mainly red and turquoise flowers it got a little lost so I cut a black layer as well and stacked two orange over a slightly offset black.
On my last post ‘Creating in Colors’ commented, ‘...I love it when you design cards for which I have the stamps and/or stencils! I’m inspired to try these.‘ I was so pleased to read that. It makes me happy when that happens; its always good to get a fresh idea for supplies we already have.
As you can imagine, I was thrilled when I saw this stamp. Yes it is one stamp with all these beautiful trees in a snowy clearing! It’s called wintertide and it definitely portrays what I am seeing outside these days.
I worked on hot press watercolour paper because I did plan to add a little water as I worked but the stamp is very detailed so I didn’t want added water to blur the detail and lose all the snowy white areas. There are some white splatters in the sky made by splots of masking fluid splattered on the panel before I started stamping.
I kept the stamp in a stamp positioner so I could stamp one colour at a time starting with pine needles distress ink. I added other distress greens and blues bit by bit to give definition to the trees on the right and the bushy area in the foreground. I spritzed the stamp lightly with water after inking the area left of the big tree so the greens blended with each other. Once I had built up enough colour variation I dried the panel and added a frisket film circle mask before colouring the sky. I used blending brushes to apply tumbled glass and chipped sapphire distress inks to the sky and the snowy path.
This stamp is very detailed but that does not have to mean it is difficult to use. By stamping the whole image first in a light colour you are able to see where to change colours when adding ink with markers or ink pads. When I don’t use markers I add ink to a large area with an ink pad(often a cube) then wipe it off the areas I don’t want stamped. Jill Foster has a fabulous video tutorial for this stamp so check that out if you want some ideas.