Sunday, July 13, 2014

Just Add Water...

I love the look of watercolor techniques using rubber stamps. There are so many ways to achieve this look with the products Stampin' Up! has available. This card uses a more traditional approach. Using Stampin' Up's watercolor paper, (see my review on the watercolor paper below) I stamped the central image from the Bloom with Hope hostess set using Staz On black ink. Staz On is a solvent ink, which means it won't smear or run when you get it wet with water. Then I used a white crayon to highlight areas of the flower. The crayola acts as a resist when you paint the flower. After painting the flower, I didn't really like the look of the white areas, but there aren't really any mistakes in something handmade, right?? I decided to just go with it. I continued to paint the flower with several colors of ink. (list will be at the bottom of this post) After the flower was dry, I did a watercolor wash on the background using Stampin' Up! Baked Brown Sugar, Melon Mambo and Real red inks. I stamped the splatters using a stamp from Gorgeous Grunge with Melon Mambo and stamped the foliage from the original hostess set with Old Olive & Baked Brown Sugar and painted them with the same inks. At times, I will stamp, then watercolor with water-based inks so they will run or smear a bit for a softer, more dreamy quality.

I stamped the Happy Birthday sentiment using Memento Tuxedo black. This is a water based ink, which will react to water. I wanted to be able to soften the words. I used a banner die from Bitty Banners to cut the word out, then popped it up using Stampin' Up Dimensionals. Finished the decorative portion of this card with a wisp of cotton ribbon and 3 tiny rhinestones. 

I have used many brands/weights of watercolor paper. Some are too textured, some are too thin. Even when you think you are buying the right weight, if you change brands, you might not get what you want due to differences between companies and the way weight is determined on a particular ream of paper. Weights are determined by how much the ream of paper that piece is being cut from weighs. This is why if you buy 2 different brands of 140lb watercolor paper, the paper may feel completely different weight wise. Then there is the constant search for the whitest watercolor paper. I find that colors just look more vibrant on whiter shades. 

Now, for the real reason you have read this far: Stampin' Up! watercolor paper is worth...well, its weight in gold! It has a lovely texture that will make you wonder if your stamped image will be crisp, but no worries here.  Images stamp beautifully and this paper is the whitest paper I have found. In the past, if I did a wash on a large area of other watercolor paper with a similar weight, it would bow and never really flatten out once it was dried. This paper bows a bit, which is normal due to the change in the paper fibers when they are wet. However, this paper lays almost perfectly flat after it dries. No more days of trying to flatten a piece of artwork over night with something heavy. I think this paper is a "must have" in your paper stash. I plan on never letting myself run out of it. 

Artfully Yours,

1 comment:

  1. This card is stunning! I love how you have reviewed the watercolour paper as well - a really nice touch. Good luck with your journey as a Demo - it is a very exciting one and I wish you every success - come and say Hi if you every cross the pond to see us UK demos! Becky x


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