Monday, September 28, 2015

Comparing Mediums

I never, ever thought I would say that water coloring relaxes me.  Something about doing it just seems to soothe my soul.  I am so glad I took the Online Card Class - Watercolor for Card Makers, Exploring Mediums.  I mean, who knew? While I am not water coloring freehand, I am very happy with the looks I've been able to achieve.  The class I took is specifically for card makers and it was well worth it.

This little beauty is going out in the morning mail along with a couple of others I've made.  I used a 4 x 11 Whisper White Card Base with a top fold at 5.5 inches.  The largest blue panel is Simon Says Stamp Exclusive Card Stock in Island Blue. The center panel is SU! Tempting Turquoise. Then I stamped this flower on my 140# watercolor paper and heat set it using Simon Says Stamp Clear Embossing Powder.   Once the image had set, I could paint it with my Mermaid Lagoon and Shabby Shutters Distress Markers  I worked quickly with lots of water to get the background watercolored in a super soft & pleasing way. Once that was done, I could cut the top panel with the die I wanted to use and assemble my card.  

In order to be able to give a fair comparison of the different mediums, I stamped and heat embossed several of the same images on the same exact watercolor paper to see how they compared to each other.  The picture below isn't the best, but you get the idea.

So starting at the top left, the two watercolor backgrounds were achieved with Kuretake Gansai Tambi (traditional Japanese Watercolors).  It is very hard for me to be patient and let the water and color do their thing, but I did not speed that up by using a heat tool this time.  The blue/green background was achieved using #58 - Evergreen and #63 - Persian Blue.  This is at least 3 layers of color.  Maybe more, but I wasn't counting, lol.  For the pink/coral background, I used (surprisingly) #34 - Dark Pink with a whole lot of water and #31 - Scarlet Red also with lots of water.  I was able to determine what colors I would need because I swatched them.  The die cuts are just laying on top of these as I don't know when I will use them.  I keep a Ziploc baggie of things I have stamped, cut or colored for use later if I don't use them when I initially start to. Sometimes my color comes out differently than I think it will and I decide it doesn't match well enough.  So if it doesn't match at first, I just save it for another time.

The top left flower was colored using Tim Holtz Distress Marker in Mermaid Lagoon.  I love that color so much. The  top center flowers are colored in Worn Lipstick Distress Marker.

The top right flowers were colored using Water Color Crayon (a water soluble Oil Pastel *I think*) in some Regal Rose and Eggplant scribbled on to an acrylic block with some water mixed into it.  From there, you pick it up with your brush and move it to the "canvas".  The watercolor crayons were my least favorite type of water color, but I can use them for backgrounds pretty easily and they cover a lot of ground quickly.

The middle row blue floral was painted with Twinkling H2O's in Sky Blue and Forest Green with a water brush.  I have had my H20's for at least 10 years if not longer. It was a lot of fun to get them out and rediscover them today.  I have several very bright and bold colors as well as some iridescent colors.  I had forgotten how beautiful they are.  They already have that pearly shimmer, so I did not need to use Perfect Pearls.  Let's face it, if I made it, then it is probably going to have some shimmer in it somewhere!  The only thing I don't make that way is cards for guys.

The center row pinkish color flower is colored with Prima Watercolor Pencils. While these were much easier to use than I thought they would be, I still prefer the high translucence of  the distress markers over every other type or medium I have tried.  The Twinkling H20's come in a close second.  Simon Says Stamp has a great selection of these if you're interested in trying them.  The Watercolor Pencils do have an advantage in one way.  Once the "paint" is dry, it forms a sort of waxy finish over the top that helps to protect it somewhat from stray water drops or mist.

The bottom right and left flowers were colored with Kuretake Gansai Tambi Watercolors while I did use Tumbled Glass Distress Marker for the soft blue sky. The bottom center image was colored completely with Distress Markers.  I have noticed that I'm also getting significantly faster at that method as well. Practice helps for sure!

I used Canson 140# Cold Pressed Watercolor Paper for all of these flowers. I absolutely love how thick and crisp it makes the die cuts. This Altenew Persian Motifs is my first set of stamps and coordinating dies that I have purchased in that brand.  I will definitely buy again.  The quality is fantastic.

Isn't sending cards in the mail just the best feeling?  The recipients always love that you have made them a card.  Fun mail in the mailbox is not a very common thing and I know people really enjoy receiving a card.

I'll be back soon with more information and comparisons.  Class wraps up on Wednesday and I'm still on the hunt for the perfect Christmas Card too.  So I'll have lots more to show you in a day or two.

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