Today I have a watercolour video with a giveaway (see below) creating a soft ethereal card with a particularly relevant message in this unprecedented time we are living through at the moment. The stamp sets I used come from Colorado Craft Company’s new release. There are three new Big and Bold sets in the release – Blissful Butterflies, Majestic Moth and Brilliant Beetle. I think it’s fabulous these latter two sets celebrate other insects which are vital for pollination of our crops and flowers and are often overlooked for the more flamboyant butterflies. However, who can deny the wonder of a glossy black and green beetle or the iridescent shimmer of a dragonfly and it is this latter insect I chose to highlight on my card today. Also, a first for Colorado Crafts is that these new sets will have matching dies! Unfortunately, I didn’t have the dies because of postal delays due to Covid-19. A heads up that you can only get these sets exclusively from Simon Says Stamp for the next two days before general release. I’ve linked all supplies at the end of this post. Compensated affiliate links used where possible at no cost to you.
Watch below or in HD on YouTube.
COLORADO CRAFT COMPANY NEW RELEASE
Here’s a look at what is included in the new release from Colorado Craft Company this month:
I used a piece of Fabriano Artistico Extra-White Cold-Pressed watercolour card that I removed from it’s gummed block with a palette knife. I arranged the dragonfly from the Majestic Moth set along with foliage from each of the three sets, and I inked those in Antique Linen Distress ink before dabbing off some of the ink and then stamping. I removed some of the ink so that the images I painted didn’t have too much ink. I wanted to create the look of no-line watercolouring and so the lighter the ink application, the better. As long as I had a faint outline to colour, then I was good. I used Daniel Smith watercolours to paint this image, and I recently found a plate with a fluted edge which was just perfect for adding little blobs of paint around the edges while giving me plenty of surface over the rest of the plate for mixing. So you don’t need any fancy palettes or anything, a dinner plate will do. I put this plate away in a drawer after I’ve finished painting or throw a cloth over it once I’m done to protect the paints from getting dusty.
To paint the leaves, I pooled a couple of puddles of green and blue paint together and dipped into the different colours to add variation. I used an old cloth to dab off excess paint or water from my brush, and I also used this to lift some of the colour from areas on the leaves to add highlight areas. I used a damp brush to lift some of the colour away gently and wiped it on the cloth. You could also use a tiny piece of kitchen roll or tissue to lift the colour too, but I like to keep moving with my brushes, maintaining a soothing rhythm going as I paint.
I switched up the colours as I painted the three leaf sprigs. Varying shades adds interest and gives the eye something to move around and look at rather than all the leaves being the same. To get the dusky mixes I like I often turn to colour theory to help. The complementary colour of a paint will mute and knock back a bright colour. So for example, red is opposite green on the colour wheel and is its complementary colour. Using a tiny touch of red in a green mix will mute and muddy the colours. It is a great idea to practice this type of colour mixes. Grab a scrap piece of card, your sketchbook or whatever and have a play. Mix colours and then make a note of the ones you like for future reference.
Now, here’s the confession time, I’m sometimes nervous about painting the focal point and so to warm up and get myself in the grove I like to paint accent items first. I love leaves, and a lot of my cards include them, and so leaves for me are a great place to start. Once I’ve got paint on paper and am in the flow, then moving on to the focal image just comes naturally. I no longer have that fear of the white empty page. So if you are ever nervous, start small, start on something you are familiar with and have confidence colouring and then move on.
I can’t remember ever painting a dragonfly before, and I wanted to capture the way the light reflects the wings. I didn’t want heavy layers of colour on the wings, just hints of blues and greens that would catch the light as the dragonfly was in flight. I wanted the body of the dragonfly to be darker but still with lots of light reflecting off its shape, so I picked one side, the left side, to be darker than the other and as I continued painting I built up the layers and depth on this side. I wasn’t sure how to paint the head and initially left highlight areas for light reflecting off the compound eyes, however, it made it look more like a caricature, and so I kept the painting of the head relatively simple. At all times, I had the stamp set off to one side and although I didn’t use the lines from the stamp set exactly I did use them to guide me as to where to add depth and detail.
I used touches of white gouache to make highlight areas pop, and I used a very fine paintbrush to paint in the antennae. However, you could use a fine pen or even a sharp coloured pencil for this. I wanted this card to have a light, ethereal feel of leaves hanging over a pond edge with light bouncing around the place and so I added lots of splatter over the areas I’d painted. I used a solution of Perfect Pearls powder for sparkle, white gouache for highlights and also some left-over paint.
Although dies are available for the first time, the postal delays meant that I pulled out my scissors and fussy cut around the leaves and dragonfly. I then set these aside to work on a quick background. I wanted to repeat the colours I’d used so far on a very loosely painted background. I used another piece of Fabriano Artistico Extra-White watercolour card and I painted the entire piece with a wide paintbrush and clean, clear water and then dabbed the paints I’d used into the wet surface letting the water take the colour, spreading it and softly blending the paint together. I used a heat tool to help dry the paint in places and then finished off with more splatter.
I cut and scored an A2 card base from Neenah Desert Storm card in the 100lb weight for sturdiness and trimmed the background panel to fit. I played around with arranging the leaves and dragonfly before deciding on which sentiment I wanted to add. I was very drawn to the greeting from the Brilliant Beetle set. In such uncertain times, living in the moment seems good advice. I took a piece of Simon Says Stamp Ivory card which matched the colour of the watercolour card, and it’s smooth surface is excellent for getting a good stamped impression. I then stamped the greeting in Versafine Onyx Black ink. I stamped it twice to make sure I’d got a perfect black impression and then trimmed out with a scalpel and ruler.
I adhered each element with foam adhesive—first the background watercoloured piece and then the leaves and sentiment strip. I played around with the leaves and encouraged one leaf to pop over the sentiment. I trimmed the leaf stems to align with the edge of the watercoloured piece and then finally added the dragonfly. I added one piece of foam tape to the dragonfly body and a double layer to the wings, so it looked more like the dragonfly was in flight. I then added a good sprinkling of Glossy Eggshell Pearls and Ice Crystal Sequins both from Little Things From Lucy’s Cards which I kept in place with GinaK Connect Glue.
OK, for the giveaway, leave a comment below by Sunday 5th April 11.59 pm Eastern and I will pick three winners. Colorado Craft Company will then send one set to each of the three winners. Please bear with us if you are a winner as I’m not sure how getting things out to be posted will be working at present.
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 (*) 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.