When I pulled out the MFT ‘poppies background’ stamp my intention was to do some loose watercolour with splashes and dabs here and there. As you can see I didn’t manage that; I stayed inside the lines. It was not a fiddly job though, painting this panel. I was surprised at how quickly I was able to get it done. I put the stamp in the stamp positioner along with a piece of cold pressed watercolour paper. Using the papertrey ink cubes I was able to ink the flowers in ‘scarlet jewel’ and the buds, stems and pods in ‘ripe avocado’. If the inks ended up on the wrong section I either wiped it off or let it be because a little green in the flowers or red in the stems doesn’t matter.
I blended one petal at a time which sounds time consuming but they are large petals so it wasn’t bad. As I finished blending the ink into one petal I picked up a little bit of ‘blueberry sky’ ink and dropped it into the wet petal at the inner edge. When I came to the poppy centres I got mixed up and did the centres black and the surrounding dots in yellow so to fix it I went over the yellow with little black dots then went over the black center with a gold gel pen to turn it yellowish! Adding a sentiment took me an age, not because it was too fiddly but because I couldn’t decide how to arrange it and my embossing game was definitely off. I ended up with ‘you’ from Pink Fresh ‘phrase builder: you’ set overlaid with a sentiment from MFT ‘YAY for you’ set.
The second panel definitely involved more slap dash watercolouring but I still managed to stay inside the lines. I stamped the whole image in distress peeled paint which blends very easily with water. As I wanted some depth of colour in the centres of the flowers I smooshed faded jeans and chipped sapphire distress inks on my glass mat and picked up ink to paint shadows on the petals. I inked up the centres of the poppies with a chipped sapphire marker then chose a dark blue (not black) cardstock to die-cut the letters for the sentiment.
The die-cut letters got a little lost when placed straight on the busy background panel so I attached them to a piece of vellum first. To line them up I perfectly magnets held the vellum in place on my Wendy Vecchi magnetic board and, because it was vellum I was able to see a whole grid of lines to get them straight vertically and horizontally. I was pretty happy with this arrangement and might just have to do all my sentiments on vellum to experience the same satisfaction! I put ‘stick it’ adhesive on the back of the dark blue cardstock before I cut the letters so I would not have to deal with glue or tiny bits of tape for each letter. That would not have given me any satisfaction at all!
Even though green poppies are a bit of an oddity I think that one ended up being my favourite.
In other news make sure you pop over to the Penny Black blog to enter their giveaway; you have until March 1. I will be sharing plenty of new PB product in the weeks to come.
I don’t often use patterned paper on my projects but when I saw these Alexandra Renke designs from The Foiled Fox I wanted to make ALL THE THINGS and cover them with this paper! To be honest I just wanted to stick pieces of this ‘autumn dragonfly’ paper on the front of cards and call them done! The blue background is beautiful; the dragonflies are delicate and pretty and there are little gold lines here and there. What more do you need on a card front?
I did add a few of my own touches to the cards in the end but I might still make dragonfly paper card fronts which are simple and unadorned. Because of the little bits of gold here and there on the dragonfly wings I chose gold cardstock and embossing powder for my added elements. I swiped a versamark along edges of the dragonfly panels then embossed them with gold powder.
I used a co-ordinating Alexandra Renke paper on both card fronts. It’s called ‘autumn wild dark blue’ and it looks like a painted page. I popped up the dragonfly pieces on foam and added a gold embossed sentiment plus letters or words die cut from gold shimmer cardstock. I used the PB …birthday die paired with part of a sentiment from PB ‘good wishes’ set. I did all the lining up of panels with the help of the Wendy Vecchi art staytion. The board is metallic and has a magnetic ruler which can hold a panel in place while lined up with the grid lines on the board. It has saved me quite a bit of time and fidddling!
I think this paper would look good as a notebook cover and maybe as the background for an art journal page. What do you create with your prettiest papers?
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.
This is the last of the three colour panels I did with sandstone, lemon and ost blue brusho. I think this one might be my favourite because of the sky behind the poppy. Of course I was not really responsible for that pretty sky, it was the magic of brusho! I embossed the PB ‘poppy time’ stamp in gold powder on hot pressed watercolour paper first. Next I sprinkled the three colours of brusho on craft mat and spritzed it with water. I didn’t sprinkle too much powder; it is easier to add more colour than to take it away. I swiped the panel through the wet activated brusho and set it flat to dry. I can’t remember if I dabbed colour away or moved some with a paintbrush (I made this card a while ago)
With the background taken care of I mixed some green from the sandstone & ost blue and painted the bud, stems and seed pod. I the petals with sandstone and lemon from a palette then sprinkled salt on top to get some texture.
Once again I used a sentiment from MFT ‘fluttering friends’; I really like the clean lines of the font and the size too. The sentiments fit perfectly in strips cut with the Avery Elle simple sentiment strips.
Thanks for joining me in this mini series on using a limited palette. I have enjoyed reading your comments and hope you are trying it yourself. Please let me know if you do. If you just joined me today here are the other two cards made with this simple colour scheme.
Above is the second of my three colour cards painted with only ost blue, sandstone and lemon brusho. The first card displayed some of the texture and blending which is easily achieved with brusho, in this card it is easier to see the three basic colours plus a couple of the colours I mixed myself. As with the first card I mixed the brusho powders with water in a palette but for this card didn’t sprinkle any brusho directly on the watercolour panel.
The PB bouquet ballet stamp is stamped in black ink on cold pressed watercolour paper; I used a stamp positioner as cold pressed watercolour paper has texture which prevents me from getting a perfect impression first go. The small poppy is painted in lemon brusho, the large flower with sandstone and the multi-headed flower in ost blue. On each one I dropped in more colour for extra depth. The small trumpet shaped flowers to the right are also painted in ost blue but a diluted coat. The stems and leaves are painted in a mix of blue and lemon. The centre of the flowers I painted in brown which was a mix of blue and sandstone brusho. I did use a black marker to colour the little flower centre thingies, but we are not going to count black as a fourth colour!
Happily I found a blue cardstock in my stash to create a sentiment strip and a frame. I embossed the sentiment from MFT fluttering friends in gold powder and popped it up over the panel. The frame is cut using PB square frames and glued on using on point glue because of the tiny tip on the glue bottle. I have one more card to show you in this miniseries and I think it might be my favourite. Check back soon.
This sweet little bird shivering on a branch is called ‘snowy flight’, it’s a recent stamp from Penny Black. I started by painting and stamping the whole stamp on a larger panel but ended up zooming in with a circle die. I have framed it with a tartan or plaid panel stamped with Concord & 9th’s ‘plaid’ stamp set. I was in two minds about the patterned framing but I like how warm and cozy the plaid looks, a bit of a contrast to the little bird I’m afraid!
Both the bird and the plaid I stamped on hot pressed watercolour paper that I had splattered with masking fluid earlier. Before stamping the bird I splashed and splotched some diluted ‘chipped sapphire’ distress ink over the panel to create a bit of sky. I added more at the end when I had finished painting the bird, branches and berries. I kept the stamp and panel in the stamp positioner so I could ink the stamp with distress markers, stamp it then blend with a paintbrush. The branches are ground espresso or gathered twigs, the berries and bird’s breast are ‘festive berries’ and the rest of the bird is hickory smoke and black soot.
To create the plaid background (does anybody else call it ‘tartan’?) I stamped the large stamp in hickory smoke ink then blended over it with water to soften the look and cover any white areas. Once that was dry I added the red lines with festive berries ink. I definitely did this one in the stamp positioner so I could move the panel and keep the line stamp in one place. Removing the masking fluid is always very satisfying, it revealed tiny white flecks on the plaid and bigger ‘snowflakes’ on the bird panel.
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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.