Hello, and welcome back, crafty friends! Rainbows are still getting all the love over on The Little Paper Tree blog and I’m back today with a few simple watercoloring techniques and another use for one of the stamps in the Concord & 9th Birthday Stacks set (that you may not have thought of!) I could spend ALL the money on ALL the stamps, inks, dies, paper, you-name-it…anything that can help me make a beautiful card (and I suspect you are right there with me) but most of us “everyday folk” cannot afford to buy everything that comes out, so I love it when you can find a way to repurpose a stamp set to get more mileage out of it.
As always, you can find links to all the fabulous products I used in the product list below. Don’t forget to use TLPTLAURA10 at checkout for a 10% discount off your order! You’re welcome. 🙂
Let’s get started with today’s card.
To create these pastel, yummy-looking ice cream cones, I simply used the bunch of balloons image from the set, and added the waffled-patterned cone shape (included in the set!) on the bottom of each circle. Simple as that! I love it when stamp companies think of creative uses for us to get more usage out of their products. When stamping my ice cream cones, I used Versafine Onyx Black on Ranger Watercolor Paper as I was going to be watercolouring.
After I stamped my ice cream (and cones!) I got to work painting. I tackled the circles (specifically red, yellow and blue) first. I added a fair amount of water to each of the paints and put the mixtures onto a pallet (or you can use a glass mat, acrylic backing, etc) because I wanted my paint to be consistent and lighter in colour (so painting directly out of the pan wouldn’t give the same results.) I painted straight onto dry watercolour paper. When painting, I tried to do one thin layer (sometimes it took two) on each circle. Again, this is to keep my colours lighter and consistent. I allowed them to dry COMPLETELY before moving on to the last two colours. When laying down my the colours that overlap the others, I did them last as I didn’t want to mix the colour into the rest of the ice cream scoops (from say the yellow into the orange.) This is why you really want to try to only do the one layer of paint – so the paint will be transparent allowing you to really see that beautiful blend of colour where the ice cream overlaps.
It is pretty much straightforward watercoloring but I do have a few points that might be helpful. To really get the transparent and color blended look (in the overlapping parts), you want to use a lot of water mixed with your paints. This leads me to my second point: use the same amount of water mixture for each colour so they blend properly. I practised (and ruined) several stamped images before I got the hand of this technique and figured out what water to paint ratio worked for me. So don’t get discouraged if it doesn’t come out perfectly the first time! That’s all part of the fun in learning and creating. And sometimes even the mistakes can be turned into something else!
Whilst I waited for my circles to be TOTALLY dry (see a theme here?), I stamped the balloon set twice onto Inkadinkadoo Masking Paper. I fussy cut them out – making sure to cut just inside the outer edge of the outline. (This ensures you won’t have a white shadow around the painted ice cream on your panel.) I also stamped the cones FOUR times onto a full stick Post-It pad. When cutting them out, I cut each one (of the four) out of TWO layers of Post-It. The reason I used the Post-It for the cones (as opposed to the masking paper) is the paper is a bit thicker and it takes a bit more water before it starts to seep through. The cones were going to be in a section that is getting more colour coverage (and thus, more water) so I wanted the cones to have a bit more protection.
Neither the masking paper or Post-Its are even (remotely) waterproof but it’s what I had on-hand, and if you are careful while painting you won’t ruin your pretty artwork. I suggest practicing the background technique on one of those ice creams you practiced on before in case you use too much water and go through the masks! 😉
To create the ombré effect I first had to make a purple (as there isn’t one in the watercolour set I used.) This was easily done by mixing the blue and red to create your desired colour purple. You can use whatever ratio of colours you like to make the exact shade you want. Just make sure you use equal amounts of water in each colour so they stay blended as they dry. If this ratio is off, each colour may separate as the paint dries and you won’t end up with the colour you thought you would.
For this (watercolour wash) technique to work properly, really load your brush up with paint for that first pass. Soak up paint til its all the way up to the tippy-top of the bristles! In case you’re wondering, I used a 1” square brush and found it to be perfect to get in those corners around the cones. Make sure you mix enough paint to begin with because its next to impossibleto create more of that exact shade before your paint on the paper dries (and that will create a bloom.) Ask me how I know!! 🙂
Start with the most concentrated mixture of purple at the bottom and cover your panel with the paint in long horizontal strokes. You’ll want to move fairly quickly in order to get a seamless blend between colour transitions.Once you have the first section of darker colour down, (working quickly) dip your brush into some water and blend the colour up using the same horizontal strokes. Start working your way up the panel, going over the top edge of each colour concentration to get a good blend into the next fade. Repeat this step each time you are ready to soften the colour, continuing up and around the stamped image, gradually fading to white with the palest hint of lavender. I wanted the colour to be all but white by the time I got to my circles because I didn’t want to risk ruining my beautifully coloured ice cream by having to do too many passes over those masks! As you paint around the stamped images, really try to keep the water to a minimum. I like to blot my brush off on a paper towel after each dip in the water. If you need to go into the corners of the cone (to get around the masks), be careful you don’t pull the colour down too far into your beautiful ombré and change the colour of the previous layer! Try to think out and plan out your wash (in relation to your design) ahead of time so that won’t be a problem.
Once I was happy with the background, I took the masks off as quickly as possible. Once the background was dry, I quickly added a bit of gold watercolour to the cones. I then went around each circle (even the areas that overlap), and the outside of the cones with a black waterproof pen. You can skip this step if it makes you nervous, but I find it really brings back the black of the outline and accentuates your beautiful watercolouring! I warmed up my hand and practiced on one of my “failed attempts” from earlier. See? Not getting it perfect the first time comes in handy on more than one occassion!
All that’s left to do is heat emboss the sentiment on the panel using Versafine and clear embossing powder, and onto black card using Versamark and white embossing powder. I trimmed the black card down into a flag and adhered to my panel with 3M Foam Tape.
Last, I adhered my panel to a card base (I made mine from Strathmore Bristol Smooth) and added a few Nuvo Crystal Drops sprinkles…. And viola! It’s an ice cream party! Who wants some? I know I do!!
As the warmer weather approaches, are you inspired to make rainbow designs, too? We want to hear from you! Be sure to share your makes in our Facebook group, The Little Paper Treehouse! I can’t wait to see everyone’s creations!
Thanks for stopping by…and see Y’all next time! xo
WANT TO FIND THESE SUPPLIES:
Concord and 9th Birthday Stacks
Versafine Onyx Black
Ranger Tim Holtz Watercolour Paper
Strathmore Bristol Smooth
Zig Gansai Tambi Watercolour in Pearl Colors & Starry Colors (for cones only!)
Nuvo Crystal Drops in Gloss Buttermilk, Gloss White, Wisteria Purple
American Crafts Precision Pen Black
Nuvo Aqua Flow Waterbrush Pen
Tombow Mono Multi Liquid Adhesive
Ranger White Adhesive Foam
Scrapbook Adhesives 3D Foam Squares
3M Foam Tape
Zots Glue Dots XS
Inkadinkadoo Masking Paper
Fiskars 12” Trimmer
Tim Holtz Mini Snips
Tim Holtz Stamp Platform Tool
Lawn Fawn Acrylic Blocks
Nuvo Ink Dusters
Memory Box Metal Adaptor