Friday, February 13, 2009

Friday Focus - Watercolor Tutorial

Hello all! It's the final day of our sneak peeks and we have an extra little surprise for you! Today the fabulous Christine Okken will be showing you all how to get that fabulous watercolor look on your cards and creations but first -- we needed to give you a peek at our third and final set for February!

Introducing.....


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:

Julie Koerber
Leslie Miller
Cindy Lawrence
Faith Hofrichter
Latisha Yoast
Laura Fredrickson
Stacy Morgan
Nancy Kirk

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!

~Christine

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 flourishescustomerllc@cox.net, 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!

117 comments:

Latisha said...

what a fabulous tutorial Christine!! Your image is amazing!!

acreativeneed said...

What a wonderful tutorial from Christine! TFS! The sneak peaks are awesome too! Can't wait to see these sets in full.
Smiles,Deena

Betty aka ZacksNana said...

Tahnks for the tut! Love your daffodil.

Roxy said...

Thanks for the tutorial, and a chance to win this great set.

bolha said...

Great tutorial. Thanks for the chance.
x Natasha x

Yvonne said...

I would so love to have that set! Its just gorgeous!!Thank you also for the wonderful tutorial.

Cher said...

wow Christine! I am impressed...your tutotial was GREAT! TYVVVVM! This site has been awesome...so glad I found it...keep it up..I need your help! And thanks for a chance to win something...now...off to make a fuzzy card! so cute! ty ty ty ...and I always need new stamps! call me an addict!

Emilia said...

The tutorial is GREAT! I cannot wait to use my Flourishes stamps this week-end.

Kathy Kelsheimer said...

Christine, You gave an amazing tutorial on watercoloring. Thanks for the step-by-step instructions and wonderful photos to match. You make it look so incredibly easy! I may just have to give it a whirl! The stamp set is awesome!
Blessings, Kathy
shecop@charter.net

Mihika said...

Hi Christine,

Thank you so very much for that wonderful tutorial. The pictures and step by step details make it easy to understand. Thanks for the inspiration. What a beautiful set!

Mihika

Mihika said...

Hi Christine

Thanks so much for that wonderful tutorial. The pictures and detailed explanations made it very easy to understand. Thanks for the inspiration.

Mihika

Madeleine said...

What a wonderful tutorial in watercolouring. Cant wait to see the entire set

Karen W said...

Oh my, I love anything flowers and I can't wait to get my hands on these new sets!!!!! The team has been so inspiring that I can hardly stand not having the stamps to start playing TODAY!! Thanks so much

loftylass said...

Thank you for an amazing tutorial.
these new stamps are all gorgeous and I look forward to using them.

Lois (clownmom) said...

Thanks for the great tutorial, Christine. I like to watercolor, but I'm not very proficient at it. I'll have to practice more.

Let me say that this is my favorite set in the February release.

Marsha said...

Thanks for the wonderful tutorial! I would love to win this set. Your card is just beautiful. Thanks for the opportunity to win.

Tracy Simmons said...

Thanks so much for the tutorial--so helpful!

Lyn S said...

Thanks for the great tutorial! Wonderful stamps!

Jess said...

thanks for the fabulous tutorial!

Ann W said...

This set is gorgeous! I am ready for Signs of Spring! Thanks for the chance to win and looking forward to the release party tonight.

Teri said...

This TOTALLY ROCKS!!! The card is absolutely breathtaking. And the tutorial is wonderful! I LOVE it all!

CRYSTAL said...

Fabulous job ladies on all the little peeks. Hoping, wishing, thinking, praying I win the set....

Jeanne said...

This tutorial was very inspiring. Great job Chrisine! This is my all-time favorite medium to work with. Thanks for the chance to win this beautiful set!

newenglandstamper said...

This is a great tutorial - really detailed. And I love this set - would love a chance to win. TFS.

southernscraps said...

A wonderful tutorial and another fabulous release!

Norine said...

what a great tutorial thanks so much
that card is beautiful
Hugs
Norine

LeAnne said...

Wonderful tutorial by the expert! The set is wonderful, those little chicks are just so sweet! Thanks for the chance to win!
LeAnne

Michelle said...

Beautiful set and great work from Christine! I can't wait to be able to order these sets!

Crystal said...

Thanks so much for the tutorial ! These three new sets are wonderful ! I would love to win this one ! Ahhh...

Heather said...

Thank you for the tutorial and the sneak peek, it looks like a beautiful set.

Debbie Ritchie said...

Yes, I would love to Win!
Who wouldn't This Spring set is so Colorful and Fun!
See ya tonight for release party!
Only wish I could join you all in Florida next weekend.

Etha said...

ohhh this set is just so pretty! I so want it :)
Great tutorial, love those step by step pictures!

Anonymous said...

Wow! What a beautiful set of stamps for Spring! I would love winning this set! Eloise

Penny Wessenauer (d0npen) said...

what a totally gorgeous image this is. Your watercoloring is wonderfully well done, and is such a helpful addition to coloring techniques. Thank you so much for this, and for the chance to win this lovely set!
xxooxx Penny

Dancing With The Stamps said...

Wow, I truely love this set!
Amazing!

Denise M said...

Love these! Thanks for the chance to win and thanks for the great tutorial!

Donna said...

What a wonderful tutorial. I love how the image turns out. I really have to try that. Thanks for the chance to win!

Julia said...

Fantastic tutorial. You are so talented. Everything is beautiful.

HamiltonGal said...

Fabulous tutorial - and what pretty cards from all of the DT! Thanks for the chance to win - maybe Friday the 13th will be my LUCKY day!

Ddmac58 said...

Thanks for the tutorial! I love Daffodils and spring flowers. I hope I win, I hope I win! LOL

Nancy said...

The watercolor tutorial was terrific! Loving the sneak peeks for this set!

Gabriela said...

Top notch tutorial! I sure enjoyed Christine's work. I'm glad to see Flourishes is showcasing Christine. Huge Congratulations!

Barb(GrandmaUpNorth) said...

What a wonderful tutorial. Thank you so much. Its very clear. I appreciate that. The new release is awesome!

Cindy E said...

Very inspiring tutorial! I may give water coloring a try now. ;-) The image is absolutely lovely - I can't wait to see all the new releases. Thanks for the chance to win.

Linda aka backroads girl said...

That tutorial is very informative, Christine. I've seen where people say they watercolored with reinkers, and had no idea what they were talking about! This helps tremendously! Would sure love that Spring stamp set. Daffodils are my favorite flower :-)

Janet said...

Beautiful stamps! Just in time for spring. Thanks for the tutorial--it's great.

Tracy said...

yet another really great stamp set. How cute are those little chicks. And thanks for such a nice tutorial.

Nancy C. said...

I just love this set - it makes me feel like spring is almost here! I really appreciate the tutorial as well - thanks so much!

Connie (cmc2stamp) said...

Oh WOW!! An absolutely must have set, and LOVE the water color tutorial! Stunning! Thanks so much!!

Anonymous said...

I just love the watercolor look! Your tutorial is right on!

Marian Bonney

dlove2scrap said...

What a gorgeous card. I have always wanted to try watercoloring and was too intimidated. I think your tutorial is so user friendly and makes me feel as if I can do it. I absolutely love the card. You have some amazing and beautiful cards. Thank you again for sharing your talent.

Anonymous said...

The tutorial was great. You explained each step so well. Thanks alot.

Jennifer said...

Absolutely gorgeous set and a great tutorial!

Pegg S said...

Thank you so much for the tutorial - it helps so much! Love this set and can't wait to see the new releases!

Michelle W. said...

Love the tutorial.Could someone do one on Copic markers, for those of us who live way too far away to attend your class? (Also where do you purchase Copic markers?)This set makes me believe that Spring might actually come...even to Iowa!

lisa808 said...

Thank you for this wonderful tutorial! Gorgeous! I definitely need to practice, practice, and practice some more!

Rosemary D said...

another gorgeous set! so love your floral designs, so realistic! thanks for the chance to win.

Sue D said...

Great tutorial and this set really makes me look forward to spring!

Hope said...

Love the new sets and all the DT's work. This will be a wonderful release!

Lynne said...

Nothing symbolizes spring more than a daffodil! Love the sneak peek and the watercolor tutorial was wonderful. Thanks for taking the time to share.

Margaret said...

Wonderful artwork!I am going to try watercoloring!

cheryl (clee) said...

Love the tutorial - beautiful coloring!

Diana Gibbs said...

OMG! I won yesterday, and I am so excited I am off to send you my address!
I wanted to comment on this set too, because holy moly these sets are breathtakingly beautiful.
If the number Gods pick me again, as much as I would love this set too, pick someone else ok?
Keep em coming!
Hugs, Di

Stacy aka Twinshappy on SCS said...

Fabo Christine! Your tutorial is wonderful, and awesome card!

Lynda K said...

Floral images are my weakness and these are beautiful! Great tutorial on watercoloring (my fav!)..thanks Christine.

sharon d said...

This watercoloring tutorial was very helpful! I especially liked the many pictures of each step. And I love the stamp set! Thanks for the chance to win!

Anita said...

Wow! Great tutorial! Latisha & I were just talking about learning this technique. Beautiful card!

StampinCathy said...

Wow the projects are just fabulous and so inspiring. This tutorial rocks and I really need to try this, I need all the help I can get. Thanks for a chance at this sweet stamp set and all the eye candy.

Shirley said...

Wonderful tutorial. Can't wait to see the full sets. Thanks again for the chance to win this set.
Shirley L.
Roseville, CA

Lenoria said...

This is a great tutorial. This would be a wonderful set to win.

Char- The Mad Shopper said...

Great tutorial. Hope I can make it to the party tonight. Thanks for the chance to win.

Betty W said...

Would love to win a Flourishes stamp set and the tutorial was great--now if I can get the aqua painter to cooperate!!

erb123 said...

Christine you watercolour technique is wonderful. I love the new daffodil stamp.

Stampin_melissa said...

What a fabulous tutorial Christine! This is such a lovely stamp set!

Angela said...

Great tutorial, and I have so much enjoyed all these sneak peaks. Can't wait to see all the new releases.

Brenda said...

Wonderful tutorial, thank you. Great card, thank you for the chance to win.

Renée said...

Wow, a fabulous colouring tutorial! Christine's colouring is always so fantastic so it's great to get a peek into how she does it. Thanks, Christine!!!

Love the new images as well! The little chicks are adorable and the flower is beautiful!

Cook22 said...

What a gorgeous Spring set, love that daffodil (emblem for the main national cancer fund-raising event over here) and all those sweet little chicks.

Laurie said...

Another beautiful set. Thanks for the chance to win it.

Debbie said...

What a wonderful tutorial on watercoloring. Thanks for the inspiration to try it.

I love the sneak peaks.

debbie

Mary Jane said...

Wonderful tutorial. I've always wanted to try watercoloring with this method, but was too intimated to try. The image and card are gorgeous. Thanks for the chance to win also.

Evelyn S. said...

Each new set just wows me! The subjects, the detail....fabulous!

Laura said...

What a wonderful tutorial. I can't wait to try out this technique for myself.

Virgo5 said...

Fabulous tutorial Christine! Thanks so much for taking the time to share this.

The spring set looks amazing so far all the sneak peaks are beautiful!

Barbara said...

As a gardener, I LOVE this set of stamps!! And all of the samples are just stunning!

lyn phillips-maine said...

Christine, your instructions are terrific! They are clear and the pictures match what you are demonstrating! Good job! This is my first visit to your site but I will be back, lyn

melinda said...

Thank you for the tutorial. I love the look of watercoloring but feel like I have lots to learn!! Thanks for the chance to win a stamp set!!!
Melinda

Kerry H said...

Signs of Spring is beautiful.

Jan Castle said...

Thanks so much for the tutorial! You make it look soooooooooo easy and real! Would really like to win the set.
Jan

retiredheather said...

Thanks so much for the great tutorial. Wonderful. Love the stamp set and yes I would love to win it.
Hugs
Heather

leenda said...

Gorgeous artwork w/tutorial! Thanks for showing those finer details. This is my favorite set in this release!

Elaine A said...

What a wonderful tutorial - thank you so much! And this set looks awesome! Who wouldn't want to win this?!

Elaine Allen

Kris Turner said...

Thanks so much for sharing and inspiring with both the tutorial (terrific!) and your beautiful artwork.
Kris, Wadsworth, OH

Michelle (sf9erfan) said...

Oh Christine! What an amazing tutorial! And to all the ladies, thank you for rockin' all the sneak peeks this month! I will see you all tonight at the party! Hugs, michelle

yael said...

love the tutorial. i've ordered the "i love roses" set - can't wait 'till it gets to me so i can start stamping
thanks for the sneak peaks
love
yael

nancy littrell said...

Wow.....gorgeous coloring and great tutorial. TFS ...BTW, your final card is beautiful too....

V said...

Oh my! I can't wait to see the rest of this set. I love the daffodil!!

Anonymous said...

Great tutorial - I want to paint along! I don't think the daffadil is normally that color but hey, who cares - it turned out gorgeous. Now to get the same colors and the stamps and see how badly I can screw it up. Right now we are having a ton of snow so the spring stamps look even better! Thanks so much!

Chris R. from Iowa

Darlene L said...

What an awesome tutorial! Thank you Christine for sharing all your tips and talents. The flower is just stunning.

inkedx2 said...

I love this set. Christine did a nice job on her tutorial. Thanks for a chance to win.

Robbie

Butterfly said...

An awe inspiring tutorial Christine. Such a beautiful card - it would gladen any recipients heart.

Thanks for the chance to win this beautiful set.

Helen Reiters

greenc said...

That was a wonderful tutorial. Thanks for sharing it with us. Have loved the sneak peeks! They remind me that spring is just around the corner!

Harriet Skelly (SCS hskelly) said...

Thanks Christine for your awesome watercoloring tutorial!!

From My Heart said...

With this demo I will attempt to watercolor images more often. The new sneak peaks are great!

Lisa said...

Thank you for doing this tutorial! I always can learn more about watercoloring
LIsa

Peggy said...

Thanks for the watercolor tut, Christine. Such beautiful work!!!

Dee in Oklahoma said...

What a gorgeous set and breath of needed fresh air.
Your card is beautiful!
Your tutorial was great...I did learn from it..I love the blue color wash..and will definately try it all.
Thanks for the opportunity to win this fabulous set.

dini said...

Bookmarking this to study later! Always something more to learn...Daffodils are among my favorite favorite flowers - I so appreciate the chance to win!

Dina @ mamadinis

paradise45 said...

Great tutorial with pictures...thanks so much!!!
Thanks for the chance to win.

Susan H.
tomsue@charter.net

yvonnew said...

thanks so much for the tutorial You make it look so easy I'm going to give it a try. I only wish I had the stamps to really go step by step so I hope I win!!!

lakind said...

Great tutorial! Love to watercolor, but don't exactly have the "skills"! My waterbrush is too wet all they time (sort of leaks), so I gave up! I'll have to try again! Love the new stamps!

Janet Z said...

Thanks Christine that was an awesome tutorial!

Angel said...

i don't know if it's too late, but this set is gorgeous!!! beautiful coloring!

Cheri Howard said...

I am still working on my watercolor technique, so I really liked this tut - thanks! And the results were just gorgeous!

Nancy said...

Thank you for your tutorial on watercoloring. I'm saving it to my favorites and will use it when I watercolor. What a beautiful card, too.

Becky said...

Awesome tutorial.. This flower looks gorgeous :).

Carole said...

This was my first look at your awesome website. I am a watercolorist but have never used my watercolor paper for stamping. Thanks for the great tutorial!