This set is literally a breath of fresh air with fun flowers and elements that are perfect to deliver up a dose of spring in your cards and creations! If you want to get a closer peek at this set, stay tuned, after Christine's tutorial, we'll have a link list to our Senior Design Team and their creations and details on how you can WIN this set!
Want to be the first to get your hands on these three sets?? They will be released in the Flourishes store at 9PM Eastern! And we will even have a new release bundle-- buy all three and get 10% off!!!
So, without further ado..... Here's Ms. Christine!
Welcome to our Friday Focus and my first Flourishes Tutorial! I'm Christine Okken one of the lucky Design Team members.
I hope that as you walk along these next steps with me that you will learn some new tips for coloring with a watercolor medium – my very favorite way to bring color to an image. There are many ways to watercolor, many methods and styles, but I want to show you what I do, and what has worked for me (I first learned way back in high school!). Hopefully what’s in my brain translates onto the page for you!
Here are the supplies I used for this project:
1. Watercolor paper – I use Strathmore cold pressed 140 lb weight. Cold pressed is said to be easier for us non-experts to use, it has nice texture (or tooth) and this is a good weight, and you can buy it in large tablets like this at any crafty store.
2. Reinkers – Here I have a progression of colors Blush Blossom, Cameo Coral, Groovy Guava, Pumpkin Pie, and then Wild Wasabi and Not Quite Navy for the leaves and background wash.
3. Ink Pads – you don’t use the pads…just the inside of the lids for a palette.
4. A waterproof Ink like Hybrid Pallette Noir or StazOn for your main stamped image.
5. Your stamp and clear block. Here I’ve used the beautiful Daffodil from our brand new release Signs of Spring.
6. A watercoloring tool – you can use a traditional watercolor brush, but I’ve become used to my waterbrush. It’s your preference and what you learn to use generally comes to be your comfort zone. For watercolor I need a very good and precise tip with nice even clean bristles.
7. Scrap paper and a napkin for blotting out your brush or changing the color depth of the ink in your brush.
Let’s get stamping! Instructions will be beneath each picture.
I’ve stamped the Daffodil with my permanent black ink on the watercolor paper and am going to be adding my first layer of Blush Blossom ink. I’ve added a drop of reinker in the palette, but you can see I also have washed out layers of color in the palette too. That’s the consistency of ink I’ll start with. I also have my scrap paper nearby. I am constantly cleaning out my brush or dabbing off color on it – this way I’m always in control of what I’m adding to my stamped image.
Here is my first layer of Blush Blossom ink. You can see where my brush is pointing to, that’s the level of ink I’ve used. I add color into the areas of “depth” of my stamped image. I add the lightest color in a light wash to the areas that will gradually be built into deeper shadows and blend with a MODERATLY DRY brush. My brush is not super wet, more like damp. If you get too much water in your brush (and I’m constantly testing this), it will bleed. Some people can blend with *bleed*, but I am not one of them. I can’t control the bleed and I don’t like the hard edge you get when it dries.
Principal of Watercoloring: Light advances, Dark recedes
In other words, where you leave light or white areas in your piece it appears to be coming toward you, areas where you add darker color or shading are areas of shadow or depth, these areas will look like they are receding back. So as I am building my layers of color I am constantly thinking about where my shadows will be and where my highlights will be. That’s one thing about watercoloring…you can’t add light after the fact, so it’s really important that as you build your color you leave areas that are light or white in your piece. You can always blend them afterward but you can’t add them afterward!
The beautiful thing about Flourishes stamps is that our artists (in this case Marcella Hawley) add wonderful detail to the stamp so you have great clues to where you add shadow and light.
Principal of Watercoloring: Imagine your Light Source
Ask yourself, where is the light coming from in your piece, is it coming from the top, and to which side? This will give you another clue about how you want to shadow an image. In my case it’s top left…the image is really shadowed this way as well.
Here I’ve added a 2nd layer of Blush Blossom ink coloring in slightly less “area” than my previous layer of color….but deepening the color (with a stronger level of ink – less washed out color – more saturated ink).
Then I am blending the layers together with a brush. The more you blend between colors or layers of color the smoother the look. You have a few minutes to blend…but not a lot of minutes. If you leave your color without blending it will stain or set and isn’t as moveable or blend-able. What I do is add my color, then clean out my brush on the scrap paper and then with a clean moderately dry brush (just damp), spread or blend my color.
Here I’m adding a second color in layers onto my outer petals of the daffodil…Cameo Coral. Again, I’m building layers of color. You can see where I’m adding shadows or depth, into the center of the flower, and some of the tips of the flower petals. I generally add a light layer of color to the whole flower and then come back and blend each one.
Above I’ve added 2 layers of Cameo Coral to the outside petals and then a layer of Groovy Guava to the inner stamen/petal area; and am adding a deep Tangerine Orange as the deepest depth of the color in the center. In a peachy/pinky daffodil the center is really orangey and the outside is quite peachy-pink.
As my last step I come back and add a little deep Cameo Coral (full strength) to the inner parts of the outside petals. And my flower color is complete.
Here is my first layer of color on the stem and leaves. What I love to do with stems and leaves is leave a good amount of white so that you really get a contrast between light and dark.
Here it is close-up and blended. I generally add 2 layers of each color and then move to the next color.
The fun part about watercolor is the blending of different colors so for my depth in the leaves I decided to add a nice blue in (Not Quite Navy), which I’ll also use for the wash.
Here you can see the blue depths I’ve added to the leaves (a deeper shadow under the flower and in the connections between the stem and leaves). And you can see the start of the background wash.
Here you can see the level of color I first add to the background wash. It is very light and this is the only case where I use a lot of water in my brush. I would call it medium wet.
I take a good wash of color in my wet brush and then begin blending onto my background with soft wash of haphazard circular motions.
Above you can see the level of wetness on your paper. I wash in these circular motions all over the background keeping it damp but not soaked (or it will bleed into your main image…a NO NO :) ). Then you can come back and add a little extra color into the damp areas and again blend in that circular motion. (that's just the style I learned for a wash...you can wash it in a less cloud-like or softer motion). Sometimes I just add a soft halo of color around the image as well.
The wash is basically done here, my paper is curling because it’s wet, and in the top right you can see my scrap paper, full of color I’ve dabbed off …it’s a mess :) .
And below is the finished watercolor…still drying. I generally let it dry for a good hour before I make it into a card or your hard work will bleed.
And below is the finished card.... I did want the sentiment to look faded and like the ink had bled so I stamped it on damp cardstock and blended it with my brush.
The rest of the Design Team joined me today and pulled out their watercolor brushes too. To take a peek at their fabulous samples, head over to our Design Team's Blogs:
For more info and pics on my creation: Christine Okken
I hope you've enjoyed the tutorial, that it has been helpful, and you have picked up some new tips....now it's your turn to try some of these techniques!
From the Flourishes:
We had lots of comments for our All Wrapped Up giveaway! So glad you are excited about our new releases! The Random number drawn was 85 and that winner was:
Diana Gibbs said...
I am loving these peeks, and this set is so awesome, who doesn't like presents?Your DT is doing a beautiful job!Thanks for the chance at winning, I am off to cross my fingers...there will be no stamping today I guess, with them crossed and all...Hugs,Di
Diana, just email us at firstname.lastname@example.org, and give us your address so we can get your new All Wrapped Up set off and on it's way to you!
Want to win today's release? Just leave a comment on this post and you just might win a Signs of Spring set of your very own! Also...don't forget to mark your social calendar too for our RELEASE PARTY TONIGHT!!!! We'll host it on our Flourishes Forum on Splitcoast from 7 to 9 PM Eastern! Watch for more sneaks, games and goodies to giveaway! It will also be the prelude to the launch of our sets in the store! We can't wait! We'll also announce the winner of our In Living Color Challenge. If you haven't entered - click HERE to find out how you can win all three of our February stamp sets! That contest closes at 5 PM Eastern tonight!
See you tonight!