Bright Wishes: 1 NEW Stamp Set, 2 Different Watercolor Techniques

We’re only TEN days away from the launch of the 2017-2018 catalog where you will see some gorgeous new products like the wishing well set called Bright Wishes which I am sharing a sneak peek of today.

Bright Wishes contains a beautiful large line-drawn well stamp which lends itself well to all types of coloring techniques.  For those who know me, they know I LOVE to color stamped images!

While my preference for coloring is using a great set of colored pencils (Yes, you can imagine my excitement when SU! brought back watercolor pencils!), the images from the Bright Wishes set above are both stamped onto watercolor paper and colored with markers and an Aqua Painter for a watercolor look.

One of the images took THREE TIMES longer than the other to color.  Can you guess which one?    Read on for the answer.

The card on the left was created by first stamping the Bright Wishes well in Sahara Sand.  This light color was chosen because it would essentially disappear and allow the image to take on a more free-handed watercolor appearance once the marker/aqua painter watercolor was added. Because it is necessary to color up to the lines and extra care added to adjusting/overlaying colors, there is a lot of moving to dry areas and waiting for the adjacent area to dry so that you can add more color. In other words- If you don’t wait for the well stones to dry and watercolor the greenery you’d have green bleed into the well’s stones.  It isn’t easy to remove watercolor bleed!  You must have dry surfaces when you watercolor in adjacent areas or add color over areas.  This is why the PINK card on the left took 3x longer than the BLUE one on the right.

The BLUE card on the right was inked by applying marker ink to each area using different colors. I colored the roses Real Red, the greenery Old Olive, the well stones Crumb Cake, the wood Sahara Sand, etc.  Once the whole stamp had ink, I huffed on it (adding moisture from my breath back to any area which may have dried) and stamped the image.  I then used an Aqua Painter where the brush was just damp enough to move the color around within the leaves, flowers, stones, wood, etc.  This creates a watercolor look, however it also takes all definition of the stamp away.  Once the image dries, ink the stamp with Chocolate Chip and using a Stamp positioner like the Stamp-A-Ma-Jig, stamp the details over the image. Your watercolor blobs of color will have definition once again.

Did you know which one took longer?

Do you have a preference in the results?  Just because a technique takes longer doesn’t mean everyone would prefer the results over the less time consuming result.

However you decide to color the Bright Wishes stamp set, I believe if you like to color it is a great set to add to your collection. You can do that starting June 1, 2017 by shopping with me HERE.

Until next time…

-Joanne

How to watercolor with Stampin’ UP! markers

Watercolor.  You hear the word and you think, “I’m not sure I can do that”.  You see beautifully watercolor images on the internet and have convinced yourself you can not possibly recreate something like those samples.  I’m here to tell you that you can, BUT you must start trying!

Vincent Van Gogh believed this to be true as an artist; experimenting with art is the only way to learn how to do it.

I’m sitting down with my Stampin’ UP! downline this week for an introduction to watercolor.  While I am certainly no expert myself (far from it!), I offered to help her learn some basics.  We’ll be playing around with markers to make this:

It isn’t a completed card or project, just the stamp & watercolor image.  An image you can soon buy yourself, June 1, in the new 2017-2018 Stampin’ UP! Catalog.

Since I’m not hosting all of you for this in person one-on-one, I thought I’d give all of you the same instructions I’m giving her.

How to watercolor an image with Stampin’ UP! markers:

  • Start with an image which has been stamped onto watercolor cardstock.  Use Stazon Jet Black (retiring), Archival grey or black Inks (thoroughly dried) or inking and then clear embossing  images is best so the color does not run. * Note: It is necessary to stamp over the image multiple times to create a nice clean image (watercolor paper has a bumpy surface and it takes a bit more to get a cleanly stamped image.)  A stamp positioner is your best friend in this scenario.  Stampin’ UP! sells a Stamp-A-Ma-Jig.
  • Using a water-based markers, such as those Stampin’ UP! makes, draw around the inner edge of the outlined stamped image.
  • Press the sides of an Aqua Painter filled with water until it releases water, then wipe in a paper towel so it is not overly wet (I hold the paper towel in my opposite hand than the aqua painter through the whole process)
  • Once Aqua Painter is primed, brush over the area you markered, pulling color into the inside of the image, blending out your marker lines.
  • Wipe off color and drip Aqua Painter until clear when switching colors.
  • Do only one color at a time. Repeat until stamped image is colored in.
  • To add table: draw lines from side of pot and scribble a bit under pot.  Use Aqua Painter to blend out lines.

It really is that simple as following the steps above to watercolor in the pot. Stamping a few to play with is always suggested.  Remember, you may have to keep “doing” as Vincent Van Gogh said,  to get it the way you want.

In the sample above, the splatters & splotches are added when the image is done.  Scribble your marker on an acrylic block and use Aqua Painter to pick up color and the pen cap, with brush partially inserted to ‘flick’ color to paper. Be careful you or your surroundings don’t get inky.  Add puddles by dripping color straight from the Aqua Painter (takes a while to dry).

Be not afraid and buy that watercolor paper from Stampin’ UP! Get those watercolor pencils.  Get those markers.  Get the Aqua painters. Get a spritzer.  And give it a shot.

I wish I could do as this stamped image says, “Crafting Forever, Housework Never”, but my craft room is a mess and I’m having company.  So, I should do some housework…unless I just tell my downline I was too busy crafting…hmm…

Until next time…

-Joanne

Jar of Love: How to fill with water

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…

-Joanne