Welcome back, friends! Well, a real, live miracle has happened and I am actually posting about my Hero Arts My Monthly Hero Kit make before next month’s kit is released!! And really, while this wasn’t posted in July (the month’s kit I am sharing!), I had drafted and scheduled the post before the end of the month!! I hope you guys like what I came up with for this month’s kit.
As soon as I saw these gorgeous stamps, I instantly thought of a technique that I learned in a Watercolor for Card Makers class on OnlineCardClasses.com. This class is an older class (so you can take it independently and reference it forever) but I only took this class a few months ago and I had seen a watercolor stamping technique that Kristina Werner did working with stamps specifically made for that use. So I took the same concept that stamp company, Art Impressions, teaches for working with their stamps and applied it to these stamps from the kit. (I then went straight to Simon Says Stamp and ordered several Art Impressions watercolor stamps but I digress… 😉 )
For the Lavender card, I layered a lightweight, colored cardstock from Recollections (Michael’s) onto a white, A2 card base. Before adhering it to the base, I used Altenew’s Lavender Fields to stamp the bee, bow, and butterfly stamps (from the kit stamp set) randomly over the background creating my very own designed paper.
I was super delighted at how well it added just a bit of detail and femininity. I think it really added something without detracting from the watercolor “painting.” Speaking of the painting…let’s get to how I created it. It was incredibly simple and almost foolproof. If you haven’t heard about this technique, do go and check out Art Impressions’ YouTube Channel because they have plenty of how-to videos that can explain this better than I can!
A full sized Distress Ink Oxide in Iced Spruce was included in the kit because when hit this ink with water, it creates this gorgeous aged, patina look. I hadn’t had the opportunity to use the Oxides yet and I was delighted to get one of these in the kit so I could give it a go. I inked my stamp and stamped the vase as you normally would, then I used my paintbrush and a little water along the lines to bring some of the color towards the middle of the pail (making sure to leave the middle white to create shadows and dimension. I wasn’t sure the Oxide Ink would work quite as well using it as a watercolor (being that it’s a hybrid ink and has pigment ink in it) but I think it turned out grand. I need to get some more colors and play around a bit with these because now I’m intrigued!
After the pail was completely dry, I added a small bit of 3M Post-It to mask off the very top edge so the stems wouldn’t get on top of the pail whilst stamping. Note: After I stamped and finished up my bouquet, I did color and stamp a few additional purple flowers around the top edge of the pail to give it a more natural look.
Next, I got to work on my bouquet. I used my Zig Clean Color Real Brush markers and colored my stamp with a lighter and a darker shade of both purple and green and stamped it where I wanted my flower bunch to go 2-3 times until all the color was gone from my stamp. I did this a few times until I was happy with the way the bunch looked. Then I took a No. 6 round paintbrush and dipped it in clean water, squeezed the excess off with my fingers, and lightly dabbed the brush around the stamp to get the color moving…and viola! Professional looking miniature, watercolor painting using a stamp. The key here is not to use too much water and not to try to move the color too much. You want to dab lightly and just enough to get the color moving. If you do too much, you will get a big, beautiful purple blob and won’t be able to tell it’s a flower bunch. It really is a quick technique so take your time, you can always add more water but once the stamp deteriorates too much, there’s not overly much you can do to bring it back…well, I do have a cool fix that may help in some cases… but more on that later!
I used a few shades of gray Zig markers (straight to the paper) and used a fairly wet, flat brush to blend the color out giving my bouquet a place to sit. 🙂 Creating the shadows or haze is always scary to me because I do it last and I don’t want to make a mistake this late in the game!! But, I think if you take this risk, you will be rewarded. While the image looked great before I added the shadow, I think it really does take your images to the next level and gives them a more professional look…even if you don’t have a clue what you are doing and couldn’t be farther from a professional painter! 😉
The pink card was made using much the same techniques and stamps as the previous card, except I made a few mistakes so I did a few things to repair and cover up that I wanted to share with you. One big mistake that I couldn’t repair (unless I wanted to rip the card apart and honestly I couldn’t be bothered!) is that I used too light a shade of pink for the watermark images. It looked great when I stamped them at first, but as most dye inks do, it settled into the paper as it dried and got lighter. Problem was it just got too light. But oh well, I know for next time! I also have a quick tip. For that sweet little bee stamp, I knew it would lose its shape too quickly if I tried to paint with yellow over the black, and I didn’t want the crispness on actual ink because the rest of the image was a watercolor…so what to do? I went back to that OnlineCardClass video and Kristina Werner put a bit of color down as kind of a wash of color to go underneath her leaves and flowers so it wouldn’t be completely white behind them and she wouldn’t have to go around with a detail brush trying to add the sky. So I did a super simple method of that! I put down a small down of yellow marker mixed with a bit of water and let that dry. Then I simply used my Dark Gray Zig marker as usual (and colored my stamp and stamped) over the yellow dot. Easy peasy!
Now for my tips and troubleshooting. For that sweet little bee stamp, I knew it would lose its shape too quickly if I tried to paint with yellow over the black, and I didn’t want the crispness on actual ink because the rest of the image was a watercolor…so what to do? I went back to that OnlineCardClass video and Kristina Werner put a bit of color down as kind of a wash of color to go underneath her leaves and flowers so it wouldn’t be completely white behind them and she wouldn’t have to go around with a detail brush trying to add the sky. So I did a super simple method of that! I put down a small down of yellow marker mixed with a bit of water and let that dry. Then I simply used my Dark Gray Zig marker as usual (and colored my stamp and stamped) over the yellow dot. Easy peasy!
My next tip is something to try if you accidentally use too much water and you lose too much detail from the stamp and it is easy…once you do have the shading and coloring the way you like, let it dry completely and then take one of the mid-tone shades and stamp your stamp again right over the painted image. Sometimes you can fix excess water or too dark of color by taking the tip of a tissue or paper towel (key is that it is DRY) and touching it ever-so-slightly to the puddle of water or color and it will suck it right up!
I also had to do some card surgery on the purple card as I put the oval die cut on a bit crooked and it was really bothering me. So, to get the oval off the background, I used a rounded edge craft knife to get under the adhesive and remove it. When removing things, I find a curved craft knife helps a lot so that you don’t poke holes through your paper, or tear something unintentionally. Also, take your time. I cannot stress this enough! I did end up ripping some of the purple paper when I was removing the oval BUT it was underneath where I was going to replace the oval so it didn’t matter in the slightest! I was able to remove it and still re-use the same purple matte below because of a few factors. First, I know how bad I am at getting things straight and how much I despise things being slightly crooked so I really try not to press down my layers really well until I’ve looked at it a few times from a few different angles to make sure it is, indeed, straight. Not getting a super strong seal helps when trying to remove it and you can always press them down harder to get that permanent bond AFTER you decide it is exactly where you want it. The second reason this oval came off the paper was that I had mounted it to the purple layer using double sided tape and craft foam. I used craft foam so I could pop up the topper and it would go through the mail smoothly but that helped so much because it stopped the watercolor paper from creasing or getting messed up as I removed it.
Thanks for stopping by today, I know this was a long post! I am going on holiday next week and have family over visiting the week after that, so it might be a bit quiet around here. I hope you all have a good rest of the week and…
See Y’all next time!
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FULL SUPPLY LIST
Hero Arts: My Monthly Hero July 2017 Kit
Zig Clean Color Real Brush: 081 Light Violet, 084 Deep Violet, 047 May Green, 040 Green, 091 Light Gray, 095 Dark Gray, 050 Yellow, 052 Bright Yellow, 025 Pink, 027 Dark Pink
My Favorite Things: Double Stitched Oval Stax
Distress Oxide: Ied Spruce
Michael’s Recollections: Lavender, Yellow & Pink Cardstock, Craft Foam (white & Pink)
Crafter’s Companion: Watercolour Paper, Acrylic Blocks
Simon Says Stamp: Cotton Candy Dye Ink, A2 Side Folded Card
Major Brushes: No. 6 Synthetic Brush
Altenew Soft Lilac Crisp Dye Ink, Art Impressions WC Foliage Set 2, 3M Full Post-It, Kukoyo Dot Liner Tape Runner, Faber-Castell Collapsible Water Cup, Be Creative Double Sided Tape 25mm, Tim Holtz Tonic 8.5″ Guillotine, Tonic Precision Scissors, Cuttlebug Machine, Cuttlebug C Plate Adaptor, Pen Blade, Green Ribbon