Puppy’s Quilt in Pencil

More pencil on kraft cardstock, this time Faber Castell polychromos pencils and a black stamped image from the Colorado Craft Company. My first card with this stamp, ‘puppy’s quilt‘ featured watercolour and lots of blue. This time I have included more white which is always eye catching on kraft along with blue, green and burgandy.

A bonus when colouring an animal on kraft cardstock is using the light brown of the kraft as a colour in the fur or feathers. I have coloured the dog with white and grey but there are light tan areas that show through the shading.

I used archival jet black ink for the outline stamping, I like the way it dries quickly before I have a chance to smudge it! Having used both the inktense and the polychromos pencils on kraft I think I would say the inktense are a little brighter and chalkier, the polychromos more muted and creamier. Not sure how helpful that comparison is but you can compare the two looks if you go back to Monday’s floral card.

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Animal cards – pencil on kraft

Recently I put together a set of animal themed cards as a gift for an animal lover I know. I did not realise how much I would enjoy colouring these animal images from Pink Ink Designs. I own five of these large stamp sets featuring animals and have only watercoloured them up until now. (the one not featured in today’s post is the dragon). Coloured pencil on kraft turned out to be quite effective for the beasts! I used Faber Castell Polychromos pencils and will always recommend them.

The artist who designs these stamps is very talented and as you can see on the whale there are some whimsical details added to the otherwise realistic image. I stamped the whale in cobalt archival ink then coloured with blue, white and black pencils before adding white dots over the top with a gel pen.

The highland cow is a beauty, no added whimsy but plenty of personality. She’s been on the blog before. I stamped the image with papertrey weathervane ink and rusty hinge distress then added colour with pencils (Faber Castell polychromos).

I don’t remember ever colouring a lion before so I had a reference photo in front of me to work out where the shadows were and where the colours of the fur changed. The stamp has a crown on the lion which I didn’t want for this card so I left it un-inked and filled the gap with more of his mane.

The image is stamped in Papertrey ‘classic kraft’ ink and all the colouring is once again pencil. As I worked on these animals I saw again and again the impact of white pencil highlights.

The turtle has also been on the blog before, in watercolour and pearlescent paint. As with the other animals she looks good in pencil on kraft. She has plenty of whimsy in her patchwork shell. Choosing dark blue for her shell was not so realistic but her underbody and fins were inspired by a photo I found.

I’m sure you are wondering what is next for these amazing animal stamps ( or maybe you’re saying enough already, where are the flowers and trees?!) I think each of these animals deserves it’s own art journal feature at the very least, so yes, they’ll be back.

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Rain or Shine

Paper piecing? Fussy cutting? Cute teddy bears? What is going on? I can’t honestly say other than I was inspired by the April CAS mix up challenge and my current enjoyment of pencil colouring on kraft.

I stamped the PB ‘rain or shine’ stamp on kraft cardstock and Madison patterned paper in jet black archival ink. I started cutting the umbrella out of the patterned paper and realised my (lack of) fussy cutting skills would not do a good job of cutting around the bear’s heads. Instead I cut just the front of the umbrella out and coloured the stamped inside part of the umbrella with a white, a blue and a pale blue pencil. I used two browns for the bear on the left and the lighter brown plus a mustard for the bear on the right. A little pink and white on the faces and I completed my first pencil coloured PB bears!! Do you think cute might be a new direction for me 😉

The sentiment is from the same set, stamped in the same ink. To add rain I taped the panel onto my glass mat and positioned a piece of post it tape along the top edge to mask as I ruled lines with a fine white gelly roll pen. Taping the panel to my glass mat and using a t-tuler made the rain pretty straightforward. As I mentioned at the top of the post I’m entering the CAS mix up challenge with this one.

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Lemon Lush – pencil on kraft

I have a second card featuring the pretty ‘lemon lush’ stamp from Pinkfresh Studio. Last time I used peerless watercolours for a bold, bright look. Today’s white on kraft combo is softer and subtler.

I stamped the large 6″ x 6″ stamp on kraft cardstock in Brutus Monroe alabaster ink then embossed in alabaster powder. I used polychromos pencils to colour all the elements. The whole lemons needed a few shades of yellow and orange but the rest of the design was completed with pairs of inks, two greens, two pinks or two yellows with sometimes the addition of white to soften or brighten.

The sentiment is from the Pinkfresh set ‘floral notes’ embossed in white then cut and framed with the help of my ever-useful Waffle Flower A2 layer dies.

Wishing you a bright and happy day!

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2020’s favourite posts

I looked through the stats for 2020 to see which posts were viewed the most. It is not necessarily an accurate indicator of favourites but it is fun to look back and see what appealed. I’ve included a link to the original post next to every photo. I’m featuring only cards I made and posted this year. Here they are in no particular order.

Back in January I used Darkroom Door stencils as a guide to paint watercolour backgrounds for silhouette stamping with DD stamps.

In February as I was preparing to teach a class using pearlescent paints on black watercolour paper I created this embossed and painted card. The class didn’t happen but the plan is still in my mind for either an online or in-person class hopefully some time in 2021.

This card and the next favourite feature the same Penny Black stamp and no-line watercolour technique. I used distress inks and markers for the watercolouring on this one.

Same stamp as shown above, Unforgettable from Penny Black but this time watercoloured with Arteza real brush pens.

This lilac card along with three other colour schemes featured the ‘lovely lilacs‘ stamp from Penny Black and there is a video tutorial as well.

Another video post once again with Arteza watercolour brush pens this time with Penny Black’s nature’s glory stamp.

Now this one is a little different, pencil colouring on kraft cardstock, again with a video. 2020 has definitely seen me create the most videos!

This one is also one of my favourites so it is nice to see it as a reader favourite too. It is the second post in the top ten to feature the lovely lilacs stamp from PB.

I’m happy to see one of my hand painted pieces in the favourites. This is a brusho & cling wrap painting I did after watching a CeeCee Creations video.

Another video post made the top ten, this one featuring die cut distress oxide painted leaves. This is the only one not featuring flowers.

This one just missed out on the top ten so I’m adding it here at the end because I think it might be my favourite of the year. It’s a brusho and cling wrap panels that made me think of hydrangeas so I turned the random patterns into massed flowers.

Thank you for dropping it to read my posts this year. I love sharing the details of my cards, journal pages and creative adventures. In a year when face to face interactions have been limited I have been encouraged over and over by the comments and conversations here on my blog.

It has been my best year ever for producing you tube videos and also the year I fulfilled a long time dream of producing online classes. Again thank you for your support in those endeavours.

I’m looking forward to sharing more creative pursuits on the blog with you in 2021, there will be watercolour and stamping (of course!) but also alcohol ink art, gel printing, lettering and journaling. I hope you are safe and well where you are and pray that 2021 will be a year of health and happiness for you.


Christmas Colours

I’ve started thinking about colours I’ll use to decorate this year. I pick a different colour scheme every year. Not wildly different, usually there will be gold or silver along with a colour or white. I don’t buy new decorations every year; I have a selection of wide ribbons plus a few boxes of coloured balls and a range of unique decorations we’ve collected, made or been given over the years.

One year I did a rustic, natural sort of theme with burlap ribbon and wood ornaments with some white and gold similar to the colours in this card. This year I am thinking of black and gold. I’m not thinking of black in a sad and dark way more of a rich velvet with tartan ribbon kind of way. Just before and after Christmas last year I bought quite a few of the same decoration, heavily discounted, in preparation for a class I planned to teach this month. Well that’s not happening but I am hoping to use some of my stash and share them here. And there will be black and tartan in the mix.

I stamped the heart from PB {heart} Christmas set in versamark and embossed in white powder on kraft cardstock then used a blending brush to blend frayed burlap distress ink over the stamping to give it a shadow. I know the effect I was after with the blending but not sure that I’ve achieved it here.

I used polychromos pencils and Coliro pearlescent paints to colour in the outline stamping. I embossed in white a sentiment from the PB merry up set and used a white gel pen to add a stitching line around the edge of the panel.

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Pencil colouring on kraft paper

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!

 

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Three colour brusho video

A while back I posted three cards all painted with the same three brusho paint colours and my Welsh friend, Karen requested a video. Well this is it, a different stamp and three different colours (Brusho sunburst lemon, prussian blue, rose red) but the same technique. Here is the one that prompted the video request.

As with the card above I embossed the outline stamp, ‘flutterby’ in gold powder then swiped up a brusho background by sprinkling brusho on my glass mat then spritzing water over it to activate the powders and turn them into liquid watercolour paint. From there I moved onto painting petals and leaves with individual colours and secondary colours. Take a look at the video and you will see what I mean.

 

After all the painting was done I added some extra shading in shadow areas with Faber-Castell polychromos pencils and some gold thread detail. The sentiment is from PB ‘banner sentiments’ gold embossed and die cut with a die from the PB ‘tagged’ set.

One of the things I like about this technique is the way the background works with the painted images even though the are painted right over the top of a multicoloured panel. The colours work because they are the same colours and because the background is not too bold. You can see in the tulip on the left what the true colour of the rose red brusho is, but the ones that are painted over the blue background still look red, just a deeper red perhaps in shadow not full sun.

Happy Easter my friends. Stay home, stay healthy, stay hopeful and maybe try a new art or craft technique!

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Frosty

Before we talk about Frosty, I just want to say how much I am enjoying reading about your holiday traditions; thank you for commenting on my gingerbread post to tell me about them. Make sure you visit the Foiled Fox blog this week to read about some more holiday traditions and I will be sharing another tradition on Friday.

Now back to Frosty from the PB ‘Frosty’s Flakes set. I have not created a snowman card in a long, long time but after creating gingerbread on kraft cardstock and poinsettia cards on kraft cardstock (in a recent class) I thought why not try a snowman. I stamped in black this time which looks just as striking on kraft as white does. All the white elements are added with a white gel pen or white pencil.

I coloured the leaves in a green pencil, I used polychromos pencils but I imagine any dark green pencil will do. I did the berries, hat ribbon and scarf in red, nose in orange and hat in black. I was halfway through colouring the hat when I realised I needed a highlight strip to show the curve of the hat. I was able to leave a gap on one section but it looked odd where it didn’t continue across the whole hat. Sand eraser to the rescue! If you don’t have a sand eraser for sanding off little errors you should get one. It worked brilliantly on the coloured pencil but I have also used in on stray bits of ink or paint.

I finished all the pencil colouring without colouring the snowman at all. I decided to try some cross hatching with the white gel pen and I think it does the trick. White coloured pencil would probably work also. I protected Frosty with a post-it and splattered white gesso over the rest of the panel. I stamped a sentiment from the PB ‘thrill of hope’ set and die cut it with a tag die. The stitching around the card panel and tag is hand done with the white gel pen. I added a white pencil drop shadow on the sentiment, popped it up on dimensional tape with some twill tape to co-ordinate.

Making a snow man with the first snow might be a tradition for some but we have learned since coming to Canada that there are many types of snow and not all types are suitable for snowmen! In Australia if we had snow staying on the ground we would make a snowman however small and odd looking! I remember a time when I was a child my family drove up Mt Wellington in Hobart and there was snow at the top; we built a snow man on the bonnet (hood) of our car. It melted or fell off by the time we got back down the mountain.

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Poppy background watercoloured

I did not plan to post this stamp two days in a row but it was there on the desk within reach and you have to admit it is perfect for no line watercolour because the outlines are so clear. So, instead of working on my to do list I painted on this card.

I stamped on hot pressed watercolour paper with antique linen distress ink for a pale but easily seen outline image. I decided to use my sennelier watercolours because they are lovely to work with. I used a red, a yellow, and a green. To make brown I mixed the red and green, then to make the black I added more red and green. The green I used for the stems and buds was not straight from the pan I mixed in a little red first to make it more olive toned. Once again I was happy with the results from sticking to a limited palette. You can definitely try the same approach with whatever watercolours you have on hand. If your green is a little bright, as mine was, add in a bit of red.

I painted the petals one at a time with diluted red and while each was wet I added more red where I wanted depth or shadow. I paid attention this time to whether I was painting buds or pods. I painted the buds with green blended into red and painted the pods in browns. I added a little of the mixed green to my yellow before painting the poppy centres and used my red+green=almost-black to paint the little black dots around the poppy centres.

After all the painting was done I added a bit more shading and veins on petals with polychromos coloured pencils.

I decided to use another of the lovely little sentiments from my new Ink to Paper ‘tagged’ sentiments set. To achieve a matching olive green on the sentiment I stamped with versafine clair shady lane ink but I stamped on a scrap first so I could get a pale ‘second generation’ print.

I hope you see how versatile this stamp is; it worked beautifully with the loose distress stain watercolour and the more precise no-line watercolour. I have an idea for a third look too.

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