Friday, 21 August 2015

Mini Workshop: Watercolouring with Distress Markers ...

So today I have created a card using the same stamp as in yesterday's post but this time using Distress Markers to add colour to the image.  

I'll detail the steps as we go along and will link to the products used in the text as well as in the shopping list at the bottom of the post.  

For this design I used a Watercolour paper (Bockingford CP Not).  This is my favourite paper to use for my watercolour paintings as is not too expensive (compared to some) and gives me a good result.  It does have a slight texture to it but is still fairly easy to stamp on (you might just need to put a little more pressure to press the stamp into the texture of the paper - especially when using Staz-On ink.

To begin, stamp the Woodware Poinsettia stamp with a Black Staz-On Ink pad to create a waterproof outline.

[Note: It will not matter whether you use your Distress ink Pens  or Distress Ink Pads to add the colour - you will achieve the same result.  If using your ink pads however you will not be able to use the 'direct to paper' technique which comes a little later on in the project. 

If you are using an ink pad I would suggest that you turn the pad over and press it onto a plastic surface to transfer the ink on to a 'palette'.  I tend to put the ink down onto my largest acrylic stamp block as I usually have it to hand but an old plate or anything that you can clean afterwards will do!  

If you are using pens (as I did) then I 'scribble' them onto the acrylic block (or plastic) to create a paint palette to pick up with a brush.  

Distress ink will to a certain extent act like watercolour paint and will give you a translucent finish that will let the light through.  You can 'drop' new colours into colours that have already been laid down and are still wet (wet on wet technique)or you can let the layer below dry and then add another colour over the top to 'glaze' the layer below.

The main rule with the distress ink is that you can only 'work' the ink i.e. 'smooth out' an edge or blend with another colour whilst the ink is wet.  Once you let a colour dry on the paper it will be fixed and cannot be blended or smoothed as you would be able to do with watercolour paint.  As long as you remember that then you will be able to achieve a good watercolour effect with the pens.  Of course the pens will dry faster or slower on different papers and so it would be best to try the pens on what ever paper you are going to use to see how they work and react!]

Now to the project ...

 I used my watercolour paintbrush and my Scattered Straw Distress ink pen to add the first layer by scribbling the pen onto my stamping block and picking the ink up with the water brush. I used the brush to apply the colour in and around the petals remembering to leave some white areas to give the effect of light and using the brush in the direction of the petals i.e. from the veins out towards the edge.

Once the first layer was dry (which on this paper only takes a few seconds) I added a second layer of the same colour, this time keeping the colour closer to the middle of the petals rather than the edges.  You can see the areas on the photo above which have had a second layer of colour as they are a little darker! [Remember to 'smooth' any harsh edges to the ink if you need to as once it is dry you will not be able to do this! One good quality when painting with the pens is that each layer dries far more quickly than watercolour paint so you don't have to wait long before you can move on.  It does mean though that I find it easier to work on relatively small areas at a time e.g a leaf so that I can see any lines that need 'smoothing out' in time!]

Once the first two layers were dry I added a layer of Festive Berries in the same way as before.  Keeping the ink diluted with water will ensure that you create a translucent effect and will allow some of the yellow to show through.  

[You may recall that when I was using the alcohol markers yesterday I was able to go from a light pen to a dark pen and then back to a light pen to blend the edges.  Watercolour rules are different in that you start with your lightest colour and move towards the darker colours throughout the painting process.  Once you have put a darker colour down on the paper it will be very difficult if not impossible to make it lighter again when using these pens.  It will be better to to add several layers of colour instead of trying to lay the colour all down in one go.  That way the light will not be lost and the design will have more depth instead of looking 'flat'.

You can see from the picture below how the second layer of Festive Berries ink has added some intensity even though it is the same colour as the layer before!

From here I moved on to the leaves ...

... Scattered Straw was used as the first layer again!

Then a layer of Peeled Paint.

The darkest green was created by using a Pine Needles pen.  You can see from this picture and the one below how some of the edges of the dark green ink have been smoothed out with a clean wet paintbrush (look at the top left leaf).

On the picture above I started to add some dark areas to the image to make the layers of the flower 'pop out'.  The beauty of the inks is that you can easily mix individual colours on your 'palette' so that you have just the shade that you need.  I wanted a brown/green colour and so scribbled Pine Needles and Vintage Photo onto my block and pulled the two together until I got the shade that I wanted. 

In exactly the same way as yesterday with the alcohol markers, I added the dark colour into the middle of the flower and under the edges of the layers.  

[One thing that I should mention - if like me you use your stamping block to act as your palette then this is clear and you cannot always see the colours that well.  I put a piece of white paper on the table under the block and you can then see the colours perfectly!]

You will probably need to use several layers to get the dark areas. There was a limit as to how dark I could get the shadow areas so I also used the pen directly onto the paper - I wanted the darkest areas to be under the edges of the petal/leaf.  I took my Pine Needles pen and with the brush tip end drew a single line directly onto the paper following the under edge of the petal (where the darkest shadow would be).  I then took my clean waterbrush and smoothed out the harsh edge of the pen by pulling it out towards the rest of the petal/leaf.  Using the pen directly on the page gives a more intense colour than if used with the paintbrush and water. You may need to do this more than once to get the depth of colour that you want - just let each layer dry first!

Colour was added to the berries adding a couple of layers of the Festive Berries ink. Once dry I used the Vintage Photo pen directly onto each dry berry to create a spot of colour to show the base of the berry.

I created the shadow around the design by drawing a single line of Frayed Burlap ink close to the edge of the image (directly onto the page with the pen)then pulling the ink out with a clean wet paintbrush.

 NOTE:  It is REALLY important here that you do work in small sections as if you try to draw around the whole image with the pen there is a very good chance that it will be dry when you try to smooth it out with your wet paintbrush!

After I created the first layer of shadow there were a couple of areas (e.g. bottom left hand corner) where I wanted a little more depth so repeated the process.

Once the Poinsettia was complete and dry I trimmed it (leaving some of the shadowed edge).  I took another sheet of paper from the Gilded Winter Paper pad (used yesterday)and adhered this to my blank card.  I used my card as a tent card (spine at the top) this time.

You may be able to see that I added a little ink around the edge of the card to 'add some age'.  This was done using a Peanut Brittle Memento ink pad and a sponge.

I stamped a sentiment from my sentiment stamp set using Charcoal chalk ink onto kraft card, trimmed and stuck to the card (I held the trimmed flower over the brown card before sticking the sentiment down to help with the positioning).

I tied a couple of pieces of red twine around the card and into a bow adding a mini bell from my Dovecraft jingle bells to the middle of the bow with a little more twine.

The next step was to stick the trimmed flower onto the card.  As I had some small areas to stick e.g. around the scrolls I used a tape runner.  I find that the E-Z Dots permanent tape runner is strong enough to hold the heavier watercolour card!

Finally, I used Diamond Glitter Glue to draw a thin outline around all of the leaves and petals NOTE: The Diamond glitter glue has a thinner applicator to the Icicle glitter glue that I used yesterday (as the glitter is finer).  This means that I can achieve a beautifully thin line of glitter glue all around the edge.  I also used the glitter glue on the berries by applying two coats to each berry (letting the first layer dry before adding the second).  This created a beautiful domed, glittery berry with the colour of the ink showing through underneath!

To complete the card I added 5 spots of the glitter glue to the middle of the flower and before it was dry I dropped some seed beads in.  I used white but to be honest I think that gold, yellow, crystal or green would all look great.  It just adds an extra dimension to the card!

And here is the finsihed card ...

Hope you enjoy - Happy Crafting!

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