Tuesday, October 13, 2015

Wonderful Watercolor

This week's Simon Says Stamp Monday Challenge is Wonderful Watercolor. This is such a huge trend right now in the paper crafting industry and it's also one that I personally love.   

My favorite medium for watercolor by far is using Distress Inks either in the form of Distress Markers or Distress Re-Inkers mixed with a bit of water.  Pearlized water can be made made by adding some Perfect Pearls Pigment Powder or you can use Tsukineko Clear Shimmer Spray.  I have a few colors of the Perfect Pearls but I really only ever use the Pearl Colored Pigment for this technique.

All 57 (the current #) Distress Inks were formulated by Tim Holtz and Ranger to activate or reactivate with water, even after they are dry. They are non-toxic, fade resistant, and water based. They work great for hand coloring line images, or giving an authentic vintage feel to your other projects. They come in Ink Pads, Markers and Re-Inkers.  All of these are available at Simon Says Stamp

For this card I had a background panel on hand from when I took my Online Card Class - Watercolor -- Exploring Mediums.  This particular panel was done using Kuretake Gansai Tambi Watercolors on a Canson Watercolor Paper in 140# weight.  I have the set of 36 which includes two different colors of gold pearlescent shimmering paint and a white pearly one as well.  There are smaller sets available in 12, 18 and 24.  I treated the paper afterward with a Tsukineko Shimmer Solution misting a light layer a couple of times so it didn't warp my paper.  This particular water color paper is a soft ivory color vs. some papers that are whiter and brighter.  I like both options.   

I wanted a teal color with a bit of a bluish green all tangled together for this background.  I was trying to see if I could maintain 2 separate areas of color but with no hard lines.  It's hard for me to be patient and let the water do it's work, but I did succeed here and on a few other panels as well. Since I didn't want hard lines,  I just used a bit of paper towel to pull up the extra color and moisture as the colors were drying.   It's a good idea to have a bit of paper towel or tissue along with a bit of water when you sit down to watercolor.  You can fix virtually any mistake made in your watercolor by adding clean water to the "messed up" area and sopping that up with a bit of tissue or paper towel until it's clear again. I get outside the lines from time to time and this is an easy fix so far.  I'm sure it helps that my canvas is small.  

The Scalloped Stitched Rectangle panel I had also done previously using Tim Holtz Mini Ink Blending Tools and Island Indigo Ink.  Like always, I hang on to spare parts & pieces to see if I can use them on something else at another time. 

The Simon Says Stamp Stitched Rectangles I use on almost every card I make in one size or another.   I like to buy dies that I know I will use over and over and this fits the bill for me.
The floral image is from the Clearly Besotted Beautiful Friends Stamp Set and was stamped using Versamark with Simon Says Stamp Gold Ultra Fine Detail Embossing Powder and heat set.  I normally use clear embossing powder, but I wanted something a bit different and the gold adds a touch of elegance. This set also has the Beautiful Friends Coordinating Dies I used the Tim Holtz Distress Markers in Broken China for the flowers and Mowed Lawn and Pine Needles for the Leaves. Gathered Twigs colored the branch.  I applied my color directly to the image in very small areas one at a time and blended that color out using a Water Brush.  I always pull or push the color in the direction that the leaves or petals are going.  After it's dry I go back in with another layer or two (or three) to add depth to my color for a true watercolor look and feel.  My last layer is usually some Wink of Stella or a solution of Perfect Pearls.

My husband and I traveled this past weekend so I took some images with me to color. Since the water was contained in the handle of my brush and the color was contained in my markers, I had no problems doing this in the car as long as we were on the interstate. Curvy, hilly, rural Missouri roads would not be conducive to success, so I didn't attempt it.  While I do have other mediums available to use, this is hands down, my absolute favorite! The transparency achieved with Distress Inks is just beautiful and second to none.   

Wink of Stella comes in approximately two dozen colors but you could go broke trying to buy and keep one in each color.  Since I'm adding color with markers first, I only have the Clear Wink of Stella brush pen.  From time to time I also use a Water Brush with some Gold Shimmer Spray in the barrel for coloring, but I normally only use Clear Shimmer Spray.  You can also use any of the shimmer sprays you may already have on hand. You just need to play a little bit to find out what your spray does with your type of color and get predictable, repeatable results.  When I searched for shimmer mist at Simon Says Stamp, it popped up 62 of them.  Use whichever one you like and gives the results you want.  

I used a Simon Says Stamp Exclusive Sending & Wishing Die Set for the "Sending" greeting.  The "love" die came from a different set by Little Yellow Bicycle.  For a final touch to my card, I cut some of the Simon Says Stamp Holiday Shapes - Hearts & Stars Die with some Gold Glittered Card Stock scraps.  I assembled the card panels to the ivory card base using my ATG Gun.  I've mentioned before that you cannot move anything with this adhesive on it once you press down, so make sure you have your image lined up on the panel.  I do get one a bit crooked from time to time, but as has already been said, "It's Handmade, not Hallmark".  I think people care more about actually getting a card than they do about whether or not it's a fraction of an inch crooked.   The ATG Gun is a very cost effective adhesive but not suitable for everything I do. The hearts were adhered using Ranger Multi Medium Matte.  If a bit oozes out from the side of the embellishment, it dries to a matte finish and is invisible.  It is a great, very strong adhesive for any type of embellishment.  

I have several projects on my To-Do-List right now, so I'll be back soon with another card.   Thanks for looking and feel free to leave a comment. It always means a lot to me when people take time to comment.  


  1. Such a pretty background, and the gold is a perfect pop of color. Thank you so much for playing along with us over at the Simon Says Stamp Monday Challenge Blog :)

  2. Beautiful watercolor card! Embossing is great!


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