Watercolors…..a medium

So I’ve always been an acrylic paint girl. Oils have never been appealing because of the ways you have to clean the brushes, paints and the long drying time. Impatient is an understatement in describing me. Acrylic dries fast, I can set it to the side and start working on something else. When the second project needs time to dry that I can go back to the first piece and continue working. So when I started playing with watercolors I began with pencils. Its a very different way to paint and I haven’t quite mastered it yet. I still have the acrylic paint urge to paint everything rather than leaving some of the water to do the work. As I started painting these embellishments to add to my cards I thought it would be good to document it. To show you that it’s ok not to be perfect or if it is not just right you can still use it. I’m confident by the time I am ready to put them on the card, they will look awesome!

Step 1.
I selected two of So Suzy Stamps (www.sosuzystamps.com) stamps, the dragonfly and a flower to start with. I knew I was going to watercolor them so I used Archival Ink. I have one of those large Prima acrylic blocks with the handles, I love it! I have a lot of problems with my hands and that helps me get the stamped image even. (FYI – The MISTI is amazing too). The block is large enough for both stamps to fit at once so I take full advantage. I used watercolor paper, on the textured side (I love the way it feels and looks once it’s painted)

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Step 2.
My images are stamped and I decided  would have 3 of each image and try 3 different types of watercolors. I tried crayons, pencils and palette. While they are all considered ‘watercolor’ I definitely finished with 3 images that varied greatly.

Below you can see I have my pencils, crayons and palette next to me. I did the first image with crayon. You can see I didn’t color it all the way in. I added the dark lines hoping to be able to have shading darker in those areas and lighter in the areas I left untouched.

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Step 3.
The second set of images is colored with watercolor pencils. Again you can see I colored lighter and darker in addition to leaving some areas uncolored.


I also wanted to show you that most any non-porous surface can be your mixing area or reservoir. During this I used the top of the watercolor pencil case. It makes for an easy cleanup too.


Step 4.
The final set of stamps I painted using a regular, non-expensive set of watercolor paints in a palette.  Now you can see all three styles finished.



Step 5.
Once everything is dry then it’s time for fussy cutting. It’s funny I’ve always done this but had no idea it had a name. Then I kept hearing people talk about fussy cutting and I’m like what in the world is that……..so yes, I youtub’ed it. There are tons of video on how to do it but essentially you are cutting around your image to cut it out. Hopefully that will save you some YouTube searching time. Lol


Step 6.
I like to think I have brilliant ideas and not so brilliant ideas. My plan was to strengthen the cutouts up by putting soft gel gloss on it. I use sheets of cardboard for crafts. I can put my projects on e cardboard and lay it somewhere else so I can continue working on something else. Well, I did that with these and peeled them up before moving them to make sure they wouldn’t stick…..I was wrong, very wrong. They were pretty much  adhered to the cardboard. I used my cricut spatulas to scrape those suckers up and without too much damage. Side note…..don’t use cardboard for this lol.


Step 7.
The cardboard did come off with some of the pieces so I just trimmed everything up and kept going. I love the finish of the soft gel gloss and it does sturdy them up quite a bit. A lot of times when I start a project I have a plan or at least some direction of what the finished project will be. In this case I had nothing. I had one embellishment that I wanted to use, a white chipboard birdcage. I also wanted it to have a mossy look. I took a Flower Soft wire and wrapped it through the cage. Then I put the Flower Soft glue on the wire where I was going to use the Flower Soft flakes in Meadow. I then hot glued the dragonflies onto the birdcage.

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Step 8.
The next step was picking out papers that would draw from the colors on the dragonflies I wanted to use. Then I chose a few other colors that would match.



Step 9.
I knew that I wanted to do something to each layer but nothing that would take away from the focal point, dragonflies and birdcage. I chose to stamp each layer, simply in black so there was something there but not distracting. On the first layer (teal) I stamped stitches around the outside. On the light blue layer I used a flower, again just stamping it in black. The green layer was going to be directly beneath the birdcage so I wanted a pattern but nothing that would compete. I chose a crackle background stamp then for the pink strip I used the dragonfly stamp but didn’t color them in. I inked all of the edges in Distress Ink Vintage Photo. I put all the paper layers together using Stampin Up Dimensionals.

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Step 10.
I laid everything on the card to see how the layout worked, something was missing. With the birdhouse transparent it blended in too much. I decided to take a paper bag and just cover the back with it. Similar to how they do on frames when they are professionally done. It was perfect! I used the paper bag for the saying too. I liked the way the color blended and I backed the saying in hot pink and stapled them together which added a metal element to the card. I attached the birdhouse and the saying with glue. Finally I decided it needed some tiny flowers, so I chose roses in corresponding colors. I hot glued those buds on and twirled the stem around a paintbrush to get the perfect coil. I added stickles to the rose tops and it was done.

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Thank you for reading and I’d love to hear your thoughts on this.

Supplies used:

So Suzy Stampshttp://www.sosuzystamps.com – Stamps: Dragon Fly, Daisy Doodle, To Be Creative. Other items: Flower Soft in Meadow, Flower Soft Wire, Flower Soft Glue

Flying Unicornhttp://www.flyingunicornstore.com – Golden Soft Gel (gloss), Chipboard birdcage, Distress Ink in Vintage Photo

Stampin Uphttp://www.stampinupamy.stampinup.net – Size D acrylic block, Paper: Bermuda Bay, Coastal Cabana, Old Olive, Blushing Bride, Melon Mambo, Dimensionals

– Archival Ink in Black and Brown, Watercolor paper, pencils, crayons and palette, Scissors, Hot Glue, Scotch Quick Dry Adhesive, Bone Folder, Mini Roses from my flower stash, Diamond Stickles on flowers

I am also entering this into the So Suzy Stamps March Watercolor challenge. Please head over to the blog and see the other entries. http://www.sosuzystamps.blogspot.com


7 thoughts on “Watercolors…..a medium

  1. A fab make and great tutorial on how you did it, great to see something’s don’t work out for others too! Thanks for sharing with us at SO Suzy and good luck with the challenge x


  2. Wonderful tutorial on watercolors! I have such trouble blending, too. I didn’t realize all the different looks you could create from the different type of watercolor mediums. Love the hint about using the pencil try lid!! The birdcage was stunning.


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