Today I have a video sharing how I mix my favourite muted watercolour palette. I often get asked what my favourite watercolour shades are and how I take those and mix up these soft subtle shades that I love so much. So I’ll be sharing my tips on how to achieve that as well as no-line colouring this gorgeous rose. Not only that but I have details of six new sets from Colorado Craft Company, and I’m going to be giving away these sets to six winners. More information on the giveaway below. I’ve linked all supplies at the end of this post. Compensated affiliate links used where possible at no cost to you.
COLORADO CRAFT COMPANY NEW RELEASE
So here’s a look at the new sets from Colorado Craft Company as part of their June release. Three of the new sets continue the unique Lovely Legs series from Colorado Craft Company – Fairy Magic, Wanderlust and Enjoy Every Moment. In addition to the Lovely Legs line, Colorado Craft Company are also bringing out a new series called Big and Bold. These gorgeous large floral sets pack a big punch. One of the flowers would hang off the side of an A2 card as I have done today or equally fill a 5 x 5 card. The new sets in this series are Sympathy & Friendship Rose, Get Well Hydrangea and Missing You Peony.
Watch below or in HD on YouTube.
MIXING A MUTED WATERCOLOUR PALETTE
I love to use a range of watercolour media, but I am most familiar with the Daniel Smith line of watercolour paints. I have a dot sheet of the colours I use most available at Simon Says Stamp if you would like to try them out before investing in the tubes. I like to keep a messy palette, and a recent question was how I keep contamination from one colour to the next when mixing and to be honest, I don’t worry about this. I love the colours you get from combining shades and so if one colour ends up getting transferred into the next, then I am happy to see what the result is. I have squeezed paint from tubes into a simple palette and let them dry and then when I want to paint I reactivate the colours by using a dropper to add water to each well. Another way to do this is to use a mist of water from a spray bottle.
One of my favourite colours is Quinacridone Coral, a rich, vibrant coral which dilutes down to the faintest pink. Now when thinking of a muted colour palette, this shade is probably a bit bright and so using the rules of colour theory I add a touch of green to the mixture and green being the complementary colour to red knocks back the brightness. Complementary colours when mixed will eventually end up a muddy brown, so you don’t need much of the complementary colour just a touch to take the brightness away and get the muted shades I love. A tiny bit of Undersea Green to the Quinacridone Coral mixture takes the pink from a vibrant hue to a more vintage muted one. In precisely the same way, if I use Undersea Green directly, you have a more vibrant green shade compared to when mixing a tiny amount of Quinacridone Coral into the mixture which results in more of a khaki green. So when working on a muted colour palette, keep in mind your colour theory rules and add in a little of a paint’s complementary colour to knock back brightness for a more subtle look.
Ok, moving on and I used the colours I mixed when painting this gorgeous large rose from the Sympathy & Friendship Rose set. I aligned the image to hang slightly over the edge of a piece of cold pressed watercolour card. This card is somewhat larger than an A2 card, and eventually, I will trim it down to fit on a card front. That extra room does give me the ability to tape the card down to a board so that it doesn’t warp when I add water. I stamped the image three times in Antique Linen Distress Ink to get a good impression of the lines to guide me when painting. Distress Inks are water reactive and so as I paint the pale yellow of the ink will mix with my colours and disappear to give a no-line watercoloured look.
This card did take me over two hours to make in total, but for a special card such as this when you want to let someone know you are thinking of them, then I believe it is worth it. Also, I enjoy painting, and I was excited to get going on this card as I appreciate the large image. The size of the flower means that there is plenty of room to play around with adding shadows and highlights to the petals to bring this image to life. I started with the leaves and used my muted green mixture to add colour there and then rinsed my brush slightly and used the damp brush to draw the colour over the rest of the area and in doing so diluting the intensity as I went along. I also like to add in different colours too to give variations and interest, and so I added a little Quinacridone Gold in places to bring a warm glow to the leaves.
I carried on painting in the same way, getting a base layer of colour down for the rest of the leaves and then moved onto the petals. I used the muted pink mixture and again painted the most potent concentration of colour in the areas indicated by the lines on the image. I then rinsed the brush and pulled out the colour over the rest of the petal diluting the intensity as I did so. I want to try and retain the highlights on the petals, those areas where the sun is catching the roundness of the petal as it comes from the shadows of the base of the petal before dipping over again towards the tip. Then with this layer of wet colour down, I can dip my brush back into the concentrated mixture and dot that along the line of the petal where the deepest shadows are. Watercolours will only spread through water, and so this wet on wet technique is a great way to get softly blended deeper colour into the shadows. Once I had a base layer of colour over the leaves and petals I aimed to add different colours, as after all a leaf is not just solid green or a petal solid pink and also I wanted to deepen the shadows. So I added all sorts of colours to the image. A little Quinacridone Gold for a warm glow, Some purples in the shadows to cool things down a little, I bought in Alizarin Crimson for the deeper colours for the petals and mixed an even deeper green by adding Lunar Black to my green mixture. On the leaves, l also painted a deeper layer but leaving the veins of the leaves in the lighter base layer because when I googled rose leaves, they usually had paler veins.
I splattered the card with white gouache then a solution of perfect pearls then the remains of my paint mixtures and finally with iridescent gold paint. In my opinion, you can never have too many splatters, and it adds that extra layer of texture. I trimmed the card until I had a panel just smaller than an A2 card base. I then nested a sentiment from the Sympathy & Friendship Rose set in the perfect spot and treated the card with an anti-static powder bag. I stamped the greeting several times in clear embossing ink to ensure a good impression on the textured cold pressed card and then sprinkled Antique Gold embossing powder from Simon Says Stamp over the top and heat set.
I used a deep red Faber Castell pencil to add more depth to a few petals and then a black and deep green pencil to add the same to the leaves. Finally, I added white gouache to brighten some of the petal highlight areas. I do find all these little details add up to give an image with more variation between those shadows and highlights and so gives the appearance of more dimension. I added foam adhesive to the back of the watercoloured panel and added it to a side folding card base cut and scored from Neenah Desert Storm card in the 100lb weight for sturdiness. I recently am in love with the Dream Drops from Nuvo. I love the iridescent shimmer and shine and seem to add them to all my projects at the moment. Today I pulled out Love Potion, Dragon Scales and Fairy Wings and added droplets dotted around the petals and leaves. I added a few Crystal Gems from Nuvo too as the final touch.
OK, so back to the giveaway. Leave a comment below, and I will draw the names of six winners. Leave your comments by Friday 07th June 11.59pm Eastern and I will email the winners over the weekend.
You can find links to the supplies I’ve used below; click on the picture or shop icon to get taken directly to the product. Where available I use compensated affiliate links which means if you make a purchase I receive a small commission at no extra cost to you. Thank you! Items marked with an asterisk (*) were provided by a store or the manufacturer. You can read my affiliate and product disclosure here. I genuinely appreciate your support.
Summary of the project which gives all the views of the card in one photo :D I’d love if you pinned and called by on Pinterest :D
This video has peaked my interest. Ordered the stamp but have not received yet. Great news…I have all the watercolors except the QUINACRIDONE CORAL. Shopping trip in my future. Can’t wait to get started!!!
Love it , your card is a masterpiece!
So stunning, I have enjoyed watching this video. It gave me inspiration. You do amazing work. I love all the Colorado and Company stamps. Just gorgeous.
A lovely image and absolutely stunning painting! I thoroughly enjoyed watching you create this gorgeous card! I’ve missed the competition but just seeing this was a big win!
Beautiful water coloring as always. Love the stamp sets.
Wow! This is just stunning!
WOW! I love your no-line watercolor technique! Such beautiful results! Thank you for the excellent instructions and explanation of your process. I NEED to take your watercolor class!