Tuesday, January 26, 2016

Watercolor for Cardmakers - Intermediate Techniques

Way back in early December, I signed up for another Online Card Class so you are likely to see lots of watercolor related images and posts this week. Online Card Classes are a fantastic way to learn with the ease of attending class in your jammies if that's what you want to do. With my time and my schedule, this works for me anytime.  I just grab my cup of hot tea as I go through the kitchen and head to my studio first thing every morning.  Sometimes my puppy sits on my lap and continues snoozing but more often than not, she prefers to stay in the bed and keep snoozing.  

Yesterday's class was all about getting comfortable with our brushes and doing washes.  Let me just preface this by saying that I am no expert. I love what I learned but I need a whole lot more practice.  But I like understanding the mechanics of something in order to do it appropriately. The foundations that were taught were fantastic and the reasons I signed up for the class, after all.

This card shares only one of the techniques that we were shown yesterday and I would have to say that initially I didn't think I was going to like mine because it's not "neat" enough for me. I like really clean graphic lines.  But once I erased my faint pencil lines it was okay.  Not perfect by any stretch of the imagination, but really, okay.  It's a whole lot more organic than my usual style. You always have to wait to see what it looks like when it's dry because it will be different. The colors are never quite what I thought they would be when they dry, so it has a bit of a surprise element. Dawn Woleslagle (the Owner/Founder of WPLUS9 Design Studios) is teaching these classes and anytime I can get one of her classes I jump at the chance.  She is a fantastic watercolor aritist in her own right. 

I'm pretty sure that you can tell in this picture that we were utilizing the shape of our flat brush to achieve this Art Deco Style background.  Using a T-Ruler we created a very faint diamond grid on this piece.  After we water colored and allowed time for drying, we erased all of the pencil lines which made the whole thing look a lot cleaner and neater.  We mixed our own paints but I could not tell you what my ratios were for paint to paint or paint to water.  Until it seemed to be the right amount of red & yellow to create the coral and then the red.  The heart was a "failed" bit of watercolor that I practiced some brushstrokes on and painted again with mostly straight Alizarin Crimson to get that depth of color.  I also water colored the edges so it would appear to be a solid color paper from the side.  The pink was a very watered down bit of the original red shade.  

As the lesson intended, I learned more about how much water is needed for the particular technique you are using. There is wet to wet and wet to dry.  In the case of wet to wet, you're giving the watercolor a path to travel on by first painting that path with clean, clear water.  I haven't mastered this by any stretch of the imagination but I'm beginning to get a feel for it.  Like anything that you want to do well, it takes practice. The class doesn't conclude for two weeks so I have several days of class and practice in front of me.    

I cut the background panel (after it was dry) with the Simon Says Stamp Stitched Rectangles in the largest size.  I cut the heart with the 2nd largest in theLittle B Stitched Hearts Die Set.  I adhered that heart to a die cut fun foam heart that is slightly smaller than the red heart using Ranger Multi Medium Matte.  This helps to keep everything flat when you attach it to your background panel. That's about the maximum amount of thickness I like.  Mono Adhesive doesn't really work on the craft foam that I have so the Multi Medium Matte works great for this.  With such a busy background, I wanted to keep the greeting very simple. 

Next, I stamped the heart using Versamark (after it was dry) and I used my powder tool on it to make sure I didn't get any stray particles of embossing powder on it. I used WOW! Gold Rich Pale embossing powder which is a warmer, deeper gold than any others I have.  With the soft ivory background and card base, it was the perfect choice for this card. A few glitter hearts cut from a scrap of glitter paper using the Simon Says Stamp Mini Hearts Die and I'm calling this done!  The stamp set I used is the Simon Says Stamp All About Love Set

Now I'm off to get my homework uploaded to the class gallery and do some other homework so I'll catch you later in the week with more watercolor goodness!  Thanks so much for visiting.


  1. The watercolor background turned out beautifully.

  2. Very striking card and I love the background, it looks fabulous! Thank you so much for sharing your project with us and for playing along over on the Simon Says Stamp Monday Challenge Blog... :)


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