Thursday, February 4, 2016

Watercolor Painted Butterflies

Not long ago I ordered this stamp set called Pen Pattern Butterflies from Simon Says Stamp that is made by Stampendous. In my constant search for things to watercolor, I like that this set has 3 different sizes and styles of butterflies.  These two cards use the largest one from the set.

Over on the Simon Says Stamp Monday Challenge Blog this week the theme is "Ray of Sunshine" to remind us that summer and warmer temperatures will be coming again.  So when I was thinking about what I would do for this challenge and I came across this stamp set it made me think of summer when the butterflies are out and also that butterflies only come out when the sun is shining; never in the rain.  I wondered if that was true or if it was merely that I also avoid hanging out in the rain.  Of course, I had to go look it up!  I found the following question and answer from the New York Times, October 17, 2006
Butterflies seek the same kinds of shelter in the rain that they would seek at night, when they are also vulnerable. They quickly hide in umbrella-like foliage, in tree hollows, under rocky outcroppings or even in crevices in rocks. Raindrops are as threatening to the light-bodied butterfly as the bucket of water propped over the door in a silent comedy film would be to a human being.

As noted in ''The Butterflies of North America,'' by William H. Howe (Doubleday, 1975), a butterfly, which is cold blooded, basks in the heat of the sun ''in order to build up its body temperature to operating level,'' and it faces a severe risk of mortality in heavy downpours. It huddles with folded wings until the sun comes out again and it is able to fly once more.
 Aha!  It wasn't just my imagination, they really don't come out in the rain.  So the butterflies are perfectly in keeping with the theme of "Ray of Sunshine".

I started by heat embossing the images.  One card was heat embossed using WOW! Gold Rich Pale Embossing Powder and the other with Ranger Gold Tinsel Embossing Powder.  To watercolor the butterflies, I used Tim Holtz Distress Markers in Cracked Pistachio, Peacock Feathers and Salty Ocean.  For the butterfly bodies, I used Weathered Wood.

This is all really simple and straightforward coloring.  I took another watercolor class last week and suffice it to say that I need a LOT of practice and I'm not sure the practice will help at all.  I don't seem to have the ability to freehand anything but at least I understand the mechanics of how to do it now. So until that time, I plan to continue with what I'm doing. Tim Holtz Distress Markers and Zig Clean Color Real Brush Pens continue to be my favorite mediums for watercolor.  The Distress Markers are a bit more predictable for color as long as you know what happens to the color when you add a bit of water to it since they are made specifically to react with water.  For example, Seedless Preserves is one of my very favorite Distress Ink Colors.  I like to call it my little extrovert because it goes down purple but when you add the tiniest drop of water, it becomes a pink-y purple. I don't use my Distress Markers or my Zig Pens for anything other than watercolor.

Once I had the butterflies painted, I spritzed the whole panel all over with Tsukineko Sheer Shimmer Spritz. It's less expensive to buy a whole new bottle than it is to buy the refill. You have to use a really light touch and hold this at least a foot above so that there isn't enough moisture to make the color run in your carefully painted image.

To finish, I die cut each of the panels with the largest rectangle from the Simon Says Stamp Stitched Rectangles Dies.  I very carefully used my powder pouch on both of those panels so I could stamp a greeting from the Acts of Kindness Stamp Set from Hero Arts.  I mounted both on a Mint Card Base made from Simon Says Stamp 100# Mint Card Stock.  It would have been easier to heat emboss it before the water color, but I had planned to use a die cut greeting that turned out to be too large in the end.

Thanks so much for stopping by today and if you'd care to leave a comment, I really enjoy them.  Have a great rest of the week!   

1 comment:

  1. These butterflies are so beautiful and the gold embossing is perfect. Thank you so much for joining us this week at the Simon Says Stamp Monday Challenge!!


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