Tag Archives: Strathmore watercolor paper

My watercolor tips and tricks for beginners Part 1

20150225_191829Tip #1

If you are new to drawing  or are intimidated by the idea of a blank space waiting to be filled use a stamp to help you. I used Papertrey ink’ s violets stamp.

Tip #2

I used distress inks to stamp my images on my watercolor paper so that it wouldn’t leave a harsh line. I used dusty concord for the flowers and peeled paint for the leaves. I liked that effect of the outline becoming g part of the painting.

Tip #3

Plan your stamping images out ahead of time. I used a scrap piece of white paper and planned where my images were going to go, so that I didn’t  waste watercolor paper.

Tip#4

I really liked Strathmore watercolor paper. It holds water well. It is inexpensive, but still provides a nice look, especially when  you are just string out like me.

Tip #5

I think the most important thing to have is good brushes. They don’t necessarily have to be super expensive, but  a good brush can really help. The two blue winsor  and newton brushes are the ones I used for this painting. I think the best thing is to try out a few different styles of brushes and see what you like.

Tip #6

I used M. Graham & Co. Paints but there are tons of beautiful watercolor options that work really well for a beginner. I also recommend  a pallette that has lots of wells, so you can mix colors. Watercolor is nice because you can leave your paints on the pallette and just reactivate them with water. This really cuts down on waste if you don’t use the pan style paints. I bought this one at Dick Blick.

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Tip #7

Tape you piece down. As you paint your paper will curl and that will affect how the water moves and pools on the paper. I use painter tape and bought an inexpensive foam display board from Michaels. I cut it into slightly larger pieces than my paper so that I had room to tape it down. It provides a stable hard place for me to paint and it is lightweight so I can move it around easily. I like that I can get a large sheet and work on multiple projects by custom cutting it up for what I need.

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I’ll continue my tips for the painting process in a new post. I am no expert ,but figured since I am a beginner some of you might have the same questions.

Thanks for stopping by!

Lisa

 

Witchy Halloween card–Distress Ink

9.2014witchWell, I am starting to feel a bit ready for fall. I do love Halloween and although I don’t really send out Halloween cards I may have to rethink that because this sweet witch stamp is too cute not share!

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I stamped the witch with Ranger Archival Ink on some Strathmore watercolor paper.  I really like this paper. It is a good value and gives great results.  I then used my Distress Inks and Distress Markers to color her. I used Black Soot and Seedless Preserves on her dress and hat. I used Peeled Paint and Seedless Preserves on the stripes on her hat, dress, and stockings.  I used Spiced Marmalade for the pumpkins. I just layered the color to add some shading and darker colors. I ended up using my heat gun to dry things so I could keep going.  I used Crushed Olive for her hair and added some white dot detail using my Gelly Roll pen. I couldn’t resist adding some Wink of Stell to her dress and hat for a little sparkle.

I love how she turned out.

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I then used some purple cardstock (from the multi-color packs from Michaels) behind my image and for the “Trick or Treat” sentiment. The Trick or Treat sentiment is from an old Stampin’ Up set. A similar sentiment would not be hard to find.  I embossed the Trick or Treat sentiment with Wow Metallic Platinum Sparkle embossing powder.  and cut out with my Fiskars circle punch.  I added some white dot detail with Gelly Roll pen too.  I used foam tape to pop the image off the notecard. I finally added some Paper Studio Baker’s Twine for a bit more detail. I sometimes find it hard to stop myself and didn’t want the card to be too busy. I think I prefer a more clean and simple design. I am not as good at the shabby chic look.

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Thanks for stopping by!  Hope you enjoyed, and I would love to hear from you if you have any questions or comments!

—Lisa

 

Fall Sympathy Card—SSS Wednesday Challenge

9.2014flowerfallsympathytwineUnfortunately I needed a sympathy card for an extended member of the family this week. I am reluctantly heading into the fall pallette of colors and wanted something simple. Sympathy cards are tough sometimes, because I want to cheer the person up, but don’t want the card to be blingy or colorful.

For this card, I used a pre-made kraft cardstock notecard from Michael’s. I embossed it with the big dots embossing folder from Lifestyle crafts.

20140907_143653I stamped the flower stamp (Savvycrafts) using red orange, yellow, and green distress inks on watercolor paper. After I stamped all the images, I used my paintbrush to fill in the petals of the flowers. It has a watercolor effect but it is not too splotchy, since the distress inks don’t have complete coverage on the paper when I stamped them.  If you don’t have a flower stamp like this one, you could use hearts, leaves, or any other medium shape that would work.  I made sure to be careful to wipe my brush clean between flowers so that the ink wouldn’t bleed into each other and get a muddy effect.

I used two sentiments. On the front, I embossed “sorry for your loss” from Hero Arts, and then stamped “Our Thoughts and Prayers are with you”  from Recollections on the inside with black Ranger archival ink. The newsprint vellum is from K&Company. I had it in my stash. I adhered the vellum to the watercolor piece and then used foam tape to pop the whole thing off the notecard.

I added white hearts in the middle of my flowers with my gelly roll white gel pen, and the used Forest moss distress ink to color in around the flowers. I smooshed the ink pad on my craft sheet and then sprayed it with a lot of water. I took my paintbrush and then painted the background of the  flowers. I made sure that my flowers were dry before I did this so the ink wouldn’t run.

Finally, I added some Paper Studio(Hobby Lobby) bakers twine around the top of the sentiment.

I am going to enter this card in the Simon Says Stamp Wednesday Challenge. Check it out and all the other fantastic posts for STAMPTEMBER!

Thanks for stopping by!  If you have any comments or questions, I would love to hear them!

–Lisa

 

 

Modeling paste cherry blossom birthday card–SSS Wednesday Challenge STAMPTEMBER!

9.2014flowergirlbdayI am not ready for fall so I wanted to create a fun Springy card! I just got an awesome order from DickBlick and some modeling paste was in it. I tinted the modeling paste with Picked Raspberry Distress Ink and then applied it to a cherry blossom stencil, also new from Dick Blick.20140904_175559

I used a pre made white notecard from Michael’s and was very pleased with the results of this modeling paste. It was firm opaque and took color great!20140904_175723I wanted the cherry blossom paste to be the star, so I chose a cute Penny Black Stamp as an accent. I colored her in with my Derwent Inktense Pencils (LOVE LOVE THEM!).  The colors are so rich. I added some dots on the dog’s and her bow, her scarf,and re-outlined some of the black lines with my Le Pen.

9.2014flowergirlbdaycloseI WISH Penny Black had dies for their sweet stamps. Fussy cutting that out is a PAIN! I used a sentiment from Paper Smooches, and rounded the corners.  It is pretty simple, but the modeling paste makes a bigger statement, so I think it is still balanced.

I am entering this card in the Simon Says Stamp Wednesday Challenge!  Love me some STAMPTEMBER!

Thanks for stopping by!  Love to hear your comments and questions!

–Lisa

 

 

 

Birch tree birthday card–SSS Wednesday Challenge–Anything goes!

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I am finally back at my craft desk! School started this week and between getting three kiddos off to three different schools and teaching full-time my brain was fried. I need to get back into the swing of things and find a balance again with crafting and work and home.

Lucky for me Simon Says Stamp’s Wednesday Challenge is ANYTHING GOES!  Check it out here!

My hubby’s birthday is coming up and I wanted to create something elegant and masculine. I just received this My Craft Box birch tree stencil from Dick Blick and knew I wanted to use it.  I wanted to create a warm sunset feel to the card.  The inspiration came to me this morning while I was brushing my teeth.  Creative ideas always come to me at strange times.

20140830_133433I used these colors to create my background.

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I used painter’s tape to tape down my stencil on my craft sheet. I used a Tim Holtz sponge tool to dab on the color. It was just trial and error. I love distress inks because it gives me such versatility and the ability to play around with the inks. It is very rare that I have to scrap a piece when I used distress ink. I can ink it, add water, dab water off, and it always manages to work.
20140830_134507This is what it looked like when I was finished. I trimmed it down, and added it to a black 5X7 notecard.

20140830_143053I added a Computer font greeting (Nokie Brush MK) and gold embossed hearts (the heart is from the love you S’more Lawn Fawn Set). I knew I wanted that greeting and I thought it went nice with the background trees setting. It reminds me of happy memories of our vacations up north Wisconsin at sunset.  I also added some gold Wink of Stella marker lines (also new from Dick Blick) to the black card. They are a little hard to see in the picture, but they show up nicely in person. I punched out some hearts to break up the black notecard.

This card turned out exactly how I had hoped it would. Thanks for stopping by!

-Lisa

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Sparkly doggie birthday card

8.2014doggiebdayI wanted to practice some watercolor techniques so I stamped this cute doggie a bunch of times on Strathmore watercolor paper. I colored them in with distress markers. I used a ruler and a pencil to make equal lines and then just erased the lines after I stamped the dogs. I didn’t want them to be perfectly straight but I just wanted them to be in a general line.

 

I cut out the stars with my Sizzix dies from sparkly Recollections paper.  I stamped the sentiment with an Avery elle stamp set. I embossed it with Wow! metallic platinum sparkle powder.

You can’t help but smile at these party-ready pooches!

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Thanks for stopping by!

Lisa

 

Watercolor “Thank you” Card

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I was inspired by this post by Kristina Werner.  I don’t have all the colors of Distress Inks, but I worked with what I had. I have done lots of these watercolor backgrounds, but I borrowed her color palette to create this “Thank you”  card.

20140809_201248I just spread these three inks down on my craft sheet in stripes and then spritzed it with water. I used my  heat tool to dry out the paper (I used Strathmore 300 series) between layers. I laid down some more color on my craft sheet to get a darker color. In order to get the dots, I did what she suggested with a slight twist. I cupped my hand above where I wanted to be, and then I sprayed water in my hand one spray at a time until it just dropped a single drop down. I tried spritzing a bunch of water in my cupped hand a head of time but I had a bunch run out of my hand and I had to re-do a section of my watercolor background.  I then let it sit a bit and used a dry rag to blot up some color.

This is a picture of what it looked like before I used the water droplets.

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At first I adhered the whole sheet down on a notecard, but wanted to break it up a bit and I liked the dramatic black background so I cut off  a little bit on either side and then left some of the black notecard show through. I cut out four thank you’s with my Circut (Alphalicious font 2 3/4″). I glued them together with Tombow Mono Multi Glue and then glued them to the watercolor piece. I added some sequins and punched hearts to the left side for a little more texture and interest.

I liked the card, but felt I could up the interest a little bit more, so I took my Gelly Roll white pen and drew some little dots on various places on the letters and the black space in the middle to tie it together. I really like the effect. I had no rhyme or reason to how I did it, I just started placing dots.  I didn’t want to overdo it, so I would place a few dots and then let it sit a second and then come back to it. I waited to see where my eye would go on the card and notice any spaces that seemed to need those white dots.

I used the watercolor pieces that I cut off on the front to glue inside the card as well.

20140810_122708I love how this turned out. It is much more dramatic than my usual.

Thanks for stopping by!

–Lisa

 

 

Crabby sandcastle card–Jane’s Doodles and SSS Wednesday Challenge

8.2014crabsandcastlecloseI found this sweet FREE digital file from Jane’s Doodles. I immediately feel in love with it and was so grateful that Jane was letting us have it for free!

I knew this would be perfect for the Simon Says Stamp Wednesday Challenge!

8.1014crabsandcastlecloserHere is a close up of this cute file.  I used Derwent Inktense and regular watercolour pencils to color this in. I also used some Distress Markers to tweak my coloring technique. It really is just some trial and error.  Have some fun and play. I find that is when I usually hit on a winning technique. I then outlined all of the images with my Micron black marker to make the edges crisp.

I then used some Elmer’s glue and spread a thin amount on the sandcastle. I sprinkled some Martha Stewart glitter onto the sand castle with the glue and with my fingers mixed it around to make a pasty sandy appearance. I really liked the result. I used darker brown for the opening of the sandcastle to keep the shading. I then used my Micron marker and outlined the edges of the images again since some of the glitter spread over the edges. I used an Xacto blade to scrap some of the glitter that went over the edges as well and the worked really well to clean it up. I find that if I waited until the glue/glitter dried it was easier to outline it and the glue/glitter mixture didn’t goop up my Micron marker.

I then used two coats of glossy accents on the crab. I added some white dots (inspiration from (Nichol Magouirk) on the crab on top of the glossy accents. I punched out a little heart and put glossy accents on that too. I think I may be addicted to glossy accents.

I then used Distress inks to create the background. I just played around until I liked the results. It is a pretty forgiving technique. You can dab up what you don’t like with a towel and make changes pretty easily.  I added some more concentrated color with Derwent watercolour pencils/Distress Inks and a paint brush and flicked the color onto the images.

The image is cut out of the banner shape from the Lawn Fawn Die set. I then cut out a piece of chevron paper from a Recollections paper pad I have. I tied a bow with some Paper Studio Baker’s Twine and added some clear sequins. It is all on a pre made kraft notecard from Michael’s.  I think this would be a fun card to duplicate and try different coloring combos with it.

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QUICK TIP:  I did not put any kind of sentiment on this card yet. It would work well for so many different types of cards. Have some generic cards that you can dress up easily with a sentiment if you need to when the moment arrives. I could add a banner above the sand castle to say “Happy Birthday!”  I could add a “Thanks” to the other claw of the crab, or I could stamp a sentiment right on the sand. There are so many cards that could work for many different situations, so if you have some cards that are all ready to go besides the sentiment you can add something quickly and be ready to send it out!

Check out the Simon Says Stamp Wednesday Challenge!

Thanks for stopping by!

 

Shiny girl birthday card

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I decided to make another entry for the Simon Says Stamp Wednesday Challenge–Anything Goes! It is fun to just create whatever I want sometimes and I figured I would take advantage of this week’s theme.

I was in the mood for some coloring so I got out my Penny Black Big Wish Set and colored in this cute little girl. I experimented with watercolor pencils (Regular Derwent and Inktense) and some Distress Markers. I found that making sure the image was dry before I added dimension helped keep it from looking muddy. She is such a sweet girl! I added a bit of Wink of Stella to her dress and some glossy accents to the dots on the cake and the flames.  I used the sponge applicators that I used on my last card to add some Milled Lavender distress ink to the background of the birthday girl.

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I used a pre-made square kraft note card from Paper Studio. I cut out a square pink foil cardstock and embossed with a dot pattern.  I also cut out the little girl with Banner die from Lawn Fawn. I accidentally cut off part of the banner so I just cut off a bit more and put it on the card like I mean to do that! Most mistakes can be rescued.

I cut out a flower shape from my Sizzix die and then embossed it with Metallic sparkle WOW embossing powder. I tied a bow with the ribbon  and attached the pink foil paper embellishment with some foam dots.

I added the  “Oh Happy Day!” sentiment from Stampabilities and embossed it with some American Crafts Copper embossing powder.

I love this card and hope you are inspired to find some flashy cardstock to add to your cards!

I am going to submit this to Simon Says Stamp Wednesday Challenge–Anything Goes  as well!

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Thanks for stopping by!

–Lisa

 

Birthday fishes

7.2014fishesbdayI have been really inspired by the cute summer cards that I have seen on Instagram lately. Since my family just spent a week in the OBX, summer and beach is  definitely on my mind.

Simon Says Stamp Monday Challenge fit in perfectly with a summer theme.  I have this adorable stamp set from Recollections that features lots of sea creatures. I stamped a whole bunch of them on Strathmore Watercolor Paper, and got to coloring!  I used Derwent Inktense Pencils to create these vibrant fish. I practiced a lot of different color combinations and  finally settled on a rainbow scheme with charcoal grey. I liked the cohesiveness of the fish using that color combination.  I have a bunch of other fish that I colored in other combinations that I can use on other cards.

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QUICK TIP: To keep the fish looking neat and the color staying in the lines, I drew in the colored sections of the fish first, and then let them dry before I colored in the grey parts. Since this stamp is pretty small, I was finding that the color was bleeding into the other areas of the fish if I tried coloring the whole fish at one time. I know the point of watercolor is a soft flowing look, but I just found the effect too messy for this project.

After I colored in the fish, I added glossy accents to make them look wet and shiny. I forgot to add the Wink of Stella to the fish, and that bums me out since I think that would have looked really cute.

I made the background with Strathmore watercolor paper and all the Distress Ink blues that I own. I layered the color so that the lightest blue would be at the “top” of the ocean with progressively darker colors of blue as you would go deeper down.

I cut waves out of vellum, and attached them to the background with Multi Medium Matte. I put a navy piece of cardstock behind the water scene to give it a little more dimension. I added sequins for a bit more shine and sparkle. I stamped the bubbles and colored them in with a distress marker and added glossy accents to make them look like water.

For the sentiment,  I printed it out on my computer using the font Wacky Action BTN 22pt. I used grays, going from lighter to darker to mimic the gradually descent into the deep parts of the ocean. I used foam dots for the sentiment and the fish. I was inspired by Nichol Magouirk, who made up her own sentiments. Since I didn’t have any ocean related sentiment stamps, this was a good solution. Inside the card, I have another fish, and the sentiment says “…and hoping you have oceans of fun on your birthday!”

I love this card, and I am going to make a few more like this, since the little fish is so cute! This is a 5X7 notecard, but I think I will make a few A2 size.

Check out the Simon Says Stamp Monday Challenge!  It is full of great inspiration.

Thanks for stopping by! I would love to hear any comments or questions you may have.

–Lisa