A while back I got a request from Elaine (Hi Elaine!) in my comments asking how I create a water look in my jars. Since I had already pre-planned and prepped most of my April blog posts early and I needed ample time to create samples of various water-filled jars, take photos, then write up this blog…well, I’m finally getting around to posting the many ways that I have created water in the Jar of Love stamps.
By far the easiest way to create the water filled jar is to use the water stamp which comes in the Jar of Love bundle and your preferred blue ink. Even if doing this, you still have the option to alter the stamped image as I have done in image 2 above.
It is important to note that when choosing how to color water in your jars, the paper you choose will dictate choices which you have to work your inked images.
Stampin’ UP! Whisper White cardstock will pill very easily if it gets too wet. This paper is best used with direct stamping, blender pen use, watercolor pencils without water or VERY light water blending.
Stampin’ UP! Whisper White Notecards & Whisper White Thick cardstock will hold up slightly better than the regular Whisper White, but still can not tolerate much water.
Stampin’ UP! Shimmery cardstock will allow for moderate water, but many beginners will find this also is easily overworked and pills with a heavy hand. Once you get more comfortable watercoloring, you should easily be able to use this as a paper source for watercolor pencils + Aqua painters or a brush. Plus, stamped images are crisper on a smooth surface.
I love the effects of traditional watercoloring techniques seen above on the Shimmery White cardstock. Both Shimmery white cardstock and Watercolor paper can get the results seen above with these basic techniques. As stated earlier, Whisper White will not hold up well to the water wash primer with additional water application without pilling.
Stampin’ UP! watercolor paper is a very heavy watercolor paper which will hold up well to water washes, ink washes, dripping water, and puddles of water. I purposely overworked watercolor paper to show how, if working too quickly with an aqua painter or rough brush, pilling can still occur.
Not all watercolor paper is created like the Stampin’ UP! watercolor paper. Yes, I own other brands and many are cheaper. Yes, the quality & results are easily recognizable. I prefer the heavier SU! paper over the box-store versions hands down! The old saying you get what you pay for holds true here. Generally speaking, a good heavy weight cold-press watercolor paper gives the best results.
Make the choices which work for you and allow you to get comfortable with the techniques. Many people tell me that it is impossible to watercolor on regular Whisper White cardstock. Yet, once you learn how to control the water, that is only partially true. You will never get the same results or be able to do all of the watercolor techniques because it won’t hold up to heavy water use, but you can use watercolor pencils and watercolor images on this paper–It just takes a lot of practice.
I prefer, when using Stampin’ UP! products alone, to go with the Shimmer White cardstock. I like the shimmery appearance of the background and the smooth surface of this paper which takes stamps well. The more water you wish to use and ink bleed you want from your watercoloring, the more need there is for a good watercolor paper. The results you see above in the Shimmer White could easily be achieved in the watercolor paper, but the wash on the last (overworked) image of the watercolor paper would have been a trashed sample on Shimmer White long before I got to this point. Just remember the rule of water: more water needs better, thicker paper. Since some techniques require more water, you have to choose accordingly.
One last tip: Need a palette for your ink? Tap your ink pad, scribble your marker, add reinker, or use your watercolor pencil & aqua painter to create a puddle of color on one of your acrylic stamp blocks. Then you can grab color from the block and ‘paint’. Clean up is simple-just wash & dry the block when you are done.
Of course there are a multitude of other ways to create the look of water in a jar. This just touches on a few basic ink to paper techniques, with just one other medium thrown in a sample (the fine tip glue). I hope this gives you a starting point to getting inky.
Until next time…