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.