Saturday, 29 July 2017

Church in the Pines

My charity card-making class is coming up in mid-August, so I've been crafting another Christmas card to teach the ladies. I wanted to stretch them a little bit with watercoloring, without OVER stretching them!!

This detailed stamp from Northwoods Rubber Stamps (Church in the Pines) looks like it might be hard to color. However, if you use "block" coloring, you can fill in the spots rather quickly.

I've uploaded a video on how I colored this stamped image, if you'd like to click HERE to take a look.

The results are better if you use watercolor paper, as opposed to white cardstock.

I used markers to color the church (SU So Saffron and Summer Sun, and Ruby Red for trim around windows and roof). The sidewalk is colored with SU Sahara Sand marker. The edges of the snowy hills are outlined with a SU Pool Party marker. I purposely scribbled on these colors quickly to prove that 1) it doesn't take much time to color and 2) no special skills are required! You can use any colors and any brand markers to achieve this look.

The trees were colored using Tim Holtz Distress Stains and a aqua brush: start with Cracked Pistachio all over, and then use Mowed Lawn (and water for blending).
The sky was colored using Tim Holtz Distress Stains direct from the bottle, using the built-in applicator: Tumbled Glass was applied on the entire sky area; Salty Ocean was applied on 2/3 of the sky; and Stormy Sky was applied to only 1/3 of the top edge.

Take white craft/art glue (which dries clear), water it down a little bit, and use a paintbrush to spread it on the roof of the church and all the snowy hills in the foreground. Sprinkle diamond glitter on those areas.

The coloring and glittering of this image took only minutes.

Finish the card with a sentiment and embellishments. My card featured a "Merry Christmas" stamp from Stampin' Up! (Four the Holidays).

Sunday, 16 July 2017

Graceful Peony

Lately, watercoloring has completely dominated my art room and card-making. I use a variety of media in my watercoloring endeavors, including:

  • Tim Holtz Distress Crayons
  • Tim Holtz Distress Stains (love these!)
  • Old retired Stampin' Up! watercolor crayons (wish they'd bring back these marvelous creamy colorful crayons!)
  • Old school watercolor cake paints (such as Bianyo 36-color set)
  • ColourArte's Twinkling H20s

I recently stumbled across digital artwork (or digi stamps) by Graciellie Design. The openness of her floral pieces lends to watercoloring. I fell in love with her peony in the Amazing Things digital stamp set, so naturally, I had to buy and download it!
Following the suggestions on Gracie's blog posting, I printed the peony image in gray on my inkjet printer so that the lines of the peony would almost dissolve under the watercolor paints. However, I went back with a light gray paint and reinforced some of the lines when I thought the image looked too unformed.

In my first experiment, I tried high-end white cardstock for painting. Wrong move. The watercolors sat on top of the card and didn't become "one" with the paper. On the second attempt, I cut down a piece of 9x12-inch watercolor paper to letter size (8.5x11 inches) and ran it through the inkjet. I printed about four peonies per letter-size page. If you are running watercolor paper through your printer, you want to have the right weight; I used Canson XL Watercolor 9x12-inch pad -- 140lb.
The watercolor paper is like magic when working with watercolor paints. You have time to mix and blend and watch the flower come to life. You can go back, even after the piece is dry, and continue to alter and enhance the image until you are happy.
For coloring, I began the process by first using a very light pink watercolor crayon and scribbled it onto the entire flower. Then I took a brush and water and blended the light base color (you could use an aqua brush). From there, I played with all kinds of paints to achieve the look I wanted. You can probably tell that some of the paints were put on undiluted, while others were watered down and blended.

Each flower and card is therefore different.