Valentine Watercolour

I’ve been painting this week; a Valentine’s card for Mr L and an actual picture! There are some wonderful YouTube tutorials available for beginner painters and I’m a big fan of Karen Rice’s paintings, style and teaching.

My card was a line and wash using another Anita Jeram stamp.  Those rabbits are so cute! I lifted out the paint in the sky to create the heart shaped clouds.

When I die cut the panel, I had to use the partial die cutting technique and the die marked the panel so I had to add the ribbon, which unfortunately hides most of the cloud. 

I decorated the envelope using a white gel pen.

My painting was done following Karen Rice’s Silver Birch Trees Step By Step video.  I was first drawn to this particular tutorial because there’s no drawing involved.  The trees are masked using strips of tape (I used framing tape) and then the first stage of painting is done over the top. 

There are some fun techniques to try during the painting.  Here’s a close up of the salt starting to do it’s magic, creating the spidery textures, and the grasses created by scraping the paint with the corner of a plastic card.

Once the paint had dried, I brushed off the salt and added some spatters in white and yellow for impressions of wild flowers.  When this was dry, I removed the tape to reveal my trees.

The next stage was to bring the trees to life.  First, the dark marks on the trunks were added in a random pattern, which I found is actually harder than it seems. When they were dry, I added the shadows to the right side of the trunks to indicate that the light is coming from the left.  I inadvertently did some dry brush technique, which really helped to add texture to the trunks. The last task was to add some grasses to soften the hard edges at the bottom of the trunks.  

I really enjoyed doing this painting and trying out the fun techniques along the way.

Start Early!

This year, I’m hoping to avoid that hectic period of Christmas card making in early December.  It’s not always very enjoyable as it gets super stressful and is not really what I want out of my crafting time.  I’m in a crafting Facebook group where they have a reminder at the beginning of the month to make a few Christmas cards so I thought I’d share the ones I made for this month.  Only two, so not a big dent in the ‘to do’ pile but you’ve got to start somewhere!

As I’m learning watercolour, I’m trying out a line and wash technique.  Usually, this is done by drawing your scene in waterproof ink but (since I can’t draw) I stamped mine with these new Anita Jeram (of ‘Guess How Much I Love You’ illustrative fame) stamps. 

I started by painting the sky and adding a little salt whilst the paint was wet.  This gives lovely texture that looks a little icy.

My colour scheme for the card base was inspired by another lady in the group.  I love seeing other people’s ideas as I would never have thought about using lime green for a Christmas card but by adding that colour to the scarf, it gives a really cohesive look.  I added a little more interest to my card bases by stamping a distressed stripe background stamp in the same ink as the card stock.

The scenes were cut out using a stitched rectangle die and simply glued on the card front.

They’re completely flat cards too so easy to post.

Christmas Watercolour

This week, I’ve been slightly obsessed with watching beginner watercolour videos on YouTube.  I’ve watched loads of videos – they’ve kept me entertained (distracted?) whilst I’ve been on the treadmill!  The artists all make watercolour painting look so easy.  I’ve never painted but have fancied trying out watercolour for a while, so thought following some guidance would be a good place to start.

First was a scene with a colour washed background with fir trees in the foreground from Maremi SmallArt.

I colour washed and dried the background before painting in the trees in varying shades of grey/black.  This gives depth to the scene by making it look like the lighter trees are further away and darker ones in the foreground.  Once the pictures were dry, I splattered on some white acrylic paint for snow.  I was very happy with how these turned out.

After completing these two, I went downstairs to show Mr L and found that he had been busy creating himself.  He’d fashioned a ball pit play centre for the kittens, inspired by the bridge from the Indiana Jones The Temple of Doom film!  Like you do.  Dill loves it but Scooby prefers to take the balls out and bat them around the floor.

Anyway, back to the art.  This next video was fascinating to watch.  It’s a loose watercolour Christmas tree by Andrew Geeson.

This is so against my natural inclination to neat and tidy lines with a perfect finish so I was well outside my comfort zone with this painting.  The colours were also not what I would have used but they work.  I was completely gobsmacked how well this came out and I keep looking at it, amazed that I created it.

My last painting was inspired by CreationsCeeCee. 

I colour washed the background first and then tried painting the tree in a leaf shape as per the video.  However, my paper is quite textured so when I tried to feather out the paint with a dry brush, it didn’t work so I painted some feathery branches in instead.  When this was dry, I added baubles using my Fintec metallic paints and then added stars with a white gel pen.

All that’s left to do now is to mount them onto cards.  I’ve really enjoyed my first foray into watercolour painting and found it very relaxing.