Wanderlust

Wanderlust is the perfect name for this stamp; I would love to be walking down that lane in Provence! I have a friend with a house in Provence so I am curious to hear whether if I’ve managed to capture the look. To create this lavender themed panel I started by painting the watercolour paper in pale distress stains. I wet the whole panel then painted the bottom half in mustard seed stain. I was way too heavy handed and the result was bright yellow! I quickly whisked the panel to the sink and rinsed it off which resulted the pale yellow you see in the centre of the road. With the panel still wet I painted the sky area in broken china distress stain. I dried the panel and placed it in a stamp positioner to do all the stamping. There was a certain amount of back and forth with my stamping, blending, over-stamping etc but I will try and give you the gist of it. All the stamping is done with oxide inks on this panel so I would have more of an oil or acrylic painting look (something like this beauty by Maria Bertan). I stamped the trees and roadside grasses in peeled paint and forest moss distress oxide ink, wiping off the tips of the grasses on the right hand corner so I could ink with dusty concord oxide ink.

As I built up colour on the trees it was sometimes easiest to ink a large area with the oxide ink then wipe ink off the stamp where I didn’t want that colour. I also pressed the oxide ink pads down on my glass mat so I could pick up colour with a paint brush and apply it to the panel that way. As oxide inks are part dye ink and part pigment I was able to clear emboss over the stamping part way through the process to ‘lock’ in the colour on the foreground trees, grass and background trees. The ‘lavender field’ area is blank when stamped so I painted the rows of lavender with dusty concord and some spots of peeled paint oxide ink, the far fields in crushed olive and the road edges in diluted vintage photo. I loved the pops of purple so much I brought them into my second version also but not in the same way.

The second card is a looser watercolour look done with no oxides just the original distress inks and markers. I stamped the trees and grasses with forest moss, peeled paint and candied apple (roadside poppies). I was able to get some variety on the trees and grass by blending with a paint brush and re-stamping over the top.

The adjacent field is painted in wild honey distress ink then there is a dusty concord field further back. To get the blended effect I also spritzed my stamp not the panel so water was transferred from the stamp to the paper in certain areas not over the whole scene. While the inks were still damp I painted a tumbled glass and dusty concord sky around the tree tops and down to the hill edges. Some of the green ink bled into the sky but not too much. Finally I painted the road with vintage photo distress ink.

Have you been to Provence? Does it look a bit like this? Or, like me, do you want to go there now?

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Homeward

I have some more scenic stamping to share and without meaning to I have used an autumn colour scheme. Fall is going to come too soon as it is I didn’t mean to hurry it along!

When creating my previous scenic cards I stamped and painted the trees and scenery first, clear embossed them and added the ground, sea and sky last. For this scene I painted the sky first then stamped over it. I used weathered wood, stormy sky, and fossilized amber inks to fill the panel and create the look of sunset or sunrise in the background. I kept the colour very pale and diluted at the bottom of the panel as I knew stamping would cover the foreground anyway.

I dried the panel before putting it in a stamp positioner to create the scene. I inked the base of the stamp with fossilized amber and along the horizon with rusty hinge distress ink. The tree trunk, branches and the fence I inked with ground espresso and black soot markers. The foliage is a mix of vintage photo and rusty hinge ink. I used rusty hinge to paint a foreground rise also.

Believe it or not there I still have more stamped scenes to show you. I will probably toss a floral into the mix here and there too as I did this week. I’m not quite ready to be showing you Christmas cards yet but it won’t be long!

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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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Lake Wanaka

I have been creating with the new ‘Lake Wanaka‘ stamp from Darkroom Door. When I first saw this stamp I searched ‘Lake Wanaka tree’ and up came a range of inspiring images. Then I waited for the stamp to arrive so I could try to recreate some of the seasonal shots of this lake and tree in New Zealand.

For this first summer scene I worked with a hot pressed watercolour panel in my stamp positioner because I knew I was going to add inks step by step. I started by inking the lower (lake) portion of the stamp with stormy sky distress ink and the top portion of the stamp with tea dye distress ink. Next I worked with  forest moss marker and ground espresso distress markers to add colour to the tree. This took a little while as the tree is made up of fine detail so I was only transferring a little ink at a time. Once the tree was defined I painted the lake with stormy sky and weathered wood ink. (smooshed onto my glass mat – I know you’ve probably got that step by now!) I switched to earth tones to paint the mountains and followed some of the definition of the stamp with rusty hinge, frayed burlap, vintage photo and tea dye inks. I painted a little stand of trees in the left corner with forest moss ink and added some reflections in the water. Once the mountains were dry I painted the sky with weathered wood, stormy sky and faded jeans ink.

For the sunset look below I used did less painting and worked with a base of one colour ink. I used faded jeans archival ink to stamp the whole image then painted more faded jeans distress ink into the shadows of the mountains, black soot ink over the foreground hills and faded jeans and spun sugar inks over the lake.

I used forest moss and ground espresso markers to ink the tree and stamp over the initial print and painted over the trunk also with ground espresso ink to make it bolder against the background. The sky is a mix of worn lipstick and spun sugar inks.

I decided to make a co-ordinating background panel by painting some worn lipstick, spun sugar and faded jeans distress stains onto my glass mat then swiping a piece of watercolour paper through it. I popped my stamped panel up on some dimensional tape.

My autumn Lake Wanaka panel features the main tree and stand of trees in fossilized amber ink. I inked most of the stamp with a stormy sky marker but avoided the tree so I could use a fossilized amber marker to ink the foliage. I wanted to leave snow on the mountain tops so I did very little to that area but painted stormy sky and chipped sapphire shadows further down the mountains. Once again I painted the foothills in black soot ink. I used diluted stormy sky ink for the lake and chipped sapphire for a bold sky. When I was stamping the tree I spritzed the stamp to help the fossilized amber ink spread further.

I finished the card off with white and navy mats and a little sentiment strip. I think you can probably guess why the sentiment is positioned right there. You’ve done the same I’m sure to cover a little bit that didn’t go the way you wanted it to!

Thank you for joining me today. I hope to be back before too long with more Lake Wanaka interpretations. Make sure you visit the Darkroom Door blog to see other creations featuring this stamp.

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Some kind of wonderful

First project back in the workroom after many weeks away! Turns out I haven’t completely forgotten how to stamp or watercolour. That’s a relief as I am teaching a class tomorrow!

This pretty flower is from ‘The Stamp Market’ and the set is called ‘some kind of wonderful’ which is the cute sentiment included in the set. I decided to do some no-line watercolour to get myself back in the zone. I used antique linen distress ink because it works well to provide a pale outline to paint over and blends fairly well with most colours I might choose to paint with. It disappears better when painted with some colours than others. I added green to the leaves and the stamping turned green; I added lilac to the petals and the stamping remained light brownish. So it’s not perfect but I’m happy with the results.

I painted the leaves first with diluted peeled paint distress ink. I just smoosh the inkpad on my glass mat, add a little water and there’s my ‘watercolour paint’. I can make it lighter by adding more water or darker but not diluting it at all. I painted over the stem with undiluted ink and a brush that came to a nice pointy tip. Don’t try this if your brush doesn’t come to a nice pointy tip, you won’t be happy. Alternatively you can go over the stems with a matching marker.

I kept the stamp and hot pressed watercolour panel in the misti as I worked so I was able to re-ink the middle of the flower with aged mahogany ink and stamp that for a dark centre. I blended the mahogany ink a bit with water but not too much because I wanted to keep some of the stamped detail.

I let the leaves and centre dry completely while I ate lunch then returned to work on the petals. I painted them all with shaded lilac, let them dry then added some depth with a mix of shaded lilac and wilted violet. When the petals were almost dry I drew little ‘carpels’ (maybe?) with a black soot distress marker. Drawing them in made it possible to neaten up the area between the flower centre and the petals which was a little scrappy and untidy.

I decided to use the sentiment included in the set and in doing so discovered something very nifty. The sentiment that I thought was all joined together is actually four different stamps! I know! How handy is that? I occasionally do stamp surgery or tricky masking to get the word ‘you’re’ to be part of a sentiment combo. Now I have a stamp that says YOU’RE! (and one that says SOME and one that says KIND OF and one that says WONDERFUL) Isn’t that wonderful? I am thinking of all possibilities…  Anyway I stamped the sentiment boldy in versafine onyx black and then added some black enamel dots to balance out that black boldness.

 

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Sweet sails

It is all about the scenery on the blog right now, I hope you don’t mind. I made five scenic cards back in June not knowing I would be making an unscheduled trip to Australia. I haven’t made any cards since June! I hope I remember how. This lovely sailboat stamp from Penny Black is called ‘sweet sails’ and I created a scene following a similar procedure as for my previous cards. With my watercolour panel in a stamp positioner I first inked the horizon line and water area in versamark and coloured the sailboats with distress markers (black soot, candied apple, fossilized amber) then stamped. I embossed the water with clear powder so the little dashes in the ocean would look like white caps. I painted over the embossing to cover the ocean area with salty ocean ink. Moving on to the tree, I inked with old paper, peeled paint and forest moss inks to build up depth and shadow. I used gathered twigs and ground espresso markers for the trunks and branches then did the grass with forest moss, mowed lawn and peeled paint inks.

As with my recent scenic cards I let all the image stamping dry then inked the stamp with versamark and embossed in clear. This ‘seals’ in all the colour so I can paint sky and sand over the top. I used diluted salty ocean ink for the sky  and fossilized amber, tea dye and gathered twigs inks for the sand.

I’m back in Canada now fighting off my jetlag one coffee at a time. Thank you for the kind messages many of you left in my comments over the last few weeks, I very much appreciate your thoughts and prayers.

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Ocean escape

I have another scenic card to share featuring the new PB stamp ‘Escape‘. As you can imagine I was very happy to see these scenic stamps in the recent Penny Black release; I love to stamp and paint scenes. It does help to have a technique that enables you to work on the background separately from the foreground. I have used the same technique in the two cards already shared, plus this card and two more to come. It is very similar to a technique Jill Foster often uses and had demonstrated in numerous videos. I use a stamp positioner, I work on the foreground and middle ground images such as trees, grass, and canoes first and when they are completed I emboss over them with clear powder so I can paint the remaining spaces, usually sky, sea, sand or snow with inks or watercolour paints.

Once I am back in my workroom and reunited with my supplies I will try other techniques but I am happy with the way these scenes have worked out. For this particular card I worked on hot pressed watercolour paper and inked the grass and tree foliage with old paper distress ink then stamped. To build up depth and variety I added extra applications of old paper ink to the tree foliage and wild honey ink to the grass and scrubby areas. For the rocky outcrop and tree trunk and branches I used gathered twigs, rusty hinge and ground espresso inks and markers.  The stamp includes a narrow line along the horizon which I inked with a stormy sky marker. Once all the stamping was done and dry I inked the whole stamp with versamark and embossed in clear. This step ‘seals’ the previous coloured stamping enabling me to paint or blend over the images without affecting the colours at all.

I painted the sky after adding masking tape along the horizon to protect the sea and land area. I wet the whole sky then painted salty ocean around the edges and scattered straw and wild honey ink in the centre. While the ink was still wet I blotted some colour out with a paper towel or thirsty brush to leave the bright, white sun. Once the sky dried I moved the masking tape an painted the sea in a mix of stormy sky and salty ocean ink then dropped a little wild honey ink under the ‘sun’. To finish I smooshed the tea dye and rusty hinge inks onto my glass mat so I could mix some sand colours to paint the ground. The stamp from ‘destination sentiments‘ set fitted the scene so I added it with ranger archival ground espresso ink.

I took a few photos of a ‘Bonny Hills’ sunrise last week when visiting my brother and sister-in-law so I’ll leave you with one of those. My sister-in-law gets up every morning and takes the dog for a walk on the beach before she goes to work or starts her day. Two mornings I was there I slept way past sunrise and she showed me her beautiful photos later (kind but cruel!) Another morning I woke up ready to go and it was raining. The final morning I was there I joined her for her walk and enjoyed a lovely sunrise.

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Stamps: Escape (PB), Destination sentiments (PB)