Wednesday, March 29, 2017

WCW #3: Practice

Created for #30daysofbiblelettering
This week's post is a reminder to myself that practice takes time, practice is sometimes pleasant, and sometimes practice is unpleasant. No matter what the day brings, practice is very much needed, no matter what the goal. I have heard one of my favorites, Watercolor Misfit say many gotta practice. Some...or probably many...say that watercolor as a medium is difficult to master. While that is probably true, I would ask: What is mastery in watercolor? I think the answer to that, at least for me is: When I have achieved the look I've dreamed about. That being said, mastery is also a moving target. While I may achieve the look I've dreamed of one day, tomorrow I may be stretching and dreaming for another style or look to achieve in my painting.

A very happy 'accident'!
The purple cone flower painted above was purely accidental after many sessions of painting leaves and attempting to paint flowers. I was so happy with the 'surprise' that I was wondering if I could recreate it. So, I decided to take a chance and incorporate it for a daily Instagram post. I was amazed that I could actually create another with relative ease. Practice does pay off!! Another thing I have learned over the last week is to make notes on all of my practices. I'm noting the date, the colors, type of brush and even the stroke. That way I can try to 'unlearn' bad habits or recreate good things like the flower above.

A small sample of my watercolor exercises last week.
So that's the end goal, right? What happens in the meantime? What I am discovering at an alarming rate is that if I don't paint--and I mean paint daily--my dreams will never be realized. There are things about watercolor that are quick, fun, and easy techniques. Then there is another side to watercolor which takes time and effort. But hey! If all of the practices are  mundane and dry, then I know that I'm going to give up quickly.

Below is a great video to spark creativity and to get to know the watercolor medium. [Disclaimer...the video below is a vlog and does include some of Carrie's creative insights which includes her life and artistic journey. If you want to get to the meat of this session, skip to 5.26 to get started!] I'm going to take my own advice, and for WCW #4, and I'm going to commit to really focusing on these exercises for the next week.

Thanks for taking the time to stop by! Please comment below and let me know about your artistic journey or any tips you've learned whether it be watercolor or any other medium!

Monday, March 27, 2017

Hello Spring #2

Color Throwdown #435
Hello Monday! Hello Spring! This is a super quick post as I got caught up in March Madness last night. My card above follows Color Throwdown #435's color scheme: Orange, Yellow & Turquoise. I love these bright sun-shiny colors, don't you? There is still a little time to play along...the link closes at 6:00 p.m. today.

Card Recipe [Papertrey Ink, unless noted]:
Paper: White and Aqua Mist cardstocks
Inks: Orange Burst, Bright Buttercup, Hawaiian Shores, True Black
Stamps & Dies: Graceful Greetings, Noted-Scallop
Embellishments: Splatters made with Heidi Swapp's Misters-Teal

Saturday, March 25, 2017

Papertrey March Blog Hop

Papertrey March Blog Hop
Happy Spring everyone!! I hope you are having good weather. The other morning our power went out due to high winds. It came back on after a couple of hours, but others were out of power for quite some time. Today, however, is a super cool, sunny day which is why I cannot wait to get outside to enjoy a nice long walk! But before I do that, here is my post for Papertrey's March Blog Hop. Below is the awesome inspiration provided by Nichole. It is artwork from Victoria Johnson. I am in love with her array of colors and clusters of flowers.

Victoria johnson 8
Inspiration: Papertrey March Blog Hop

The foundation of my card above uses Aqua Mist card stock. Then I used the Circles coverplate to add a little texture to the background and sponged Hawaiian Shores to add contrast. Next I layered leaves from Turning a New Leaf, flowers from Flower Fusion #2, oval cut out from Noted Scalloped Dies, and Hello from Graceful Greetings. Wow! It's going to take a while to clean up from this adventure, but I certainly had fun!

Just a few things I gathered to play along today!!
There is still plenty of time to play long as you post by 11:30 ET today. Thanks for stopping by!


Wednesday, March 22, 2017

WCW #2: My Pallet

Mission Watercolor Pallet--Maiden Voyage
What I am enjoying most about watercolor is discovery! As a child, I watched my mother paint with acrylic and oils for many years, and I have even experimented with acrylics myself. Because of those experiences, when I started exploring watercolors, I assumed that when you finished, the paints were finished, too! What a delight it was [after having dumped a couple of tubes of paint down the drain] to discover that not only should I keep my paints on my pallet, but I should also keep my mixes as well. This is probably old news to most artists, but trying to learn this medium without any formal training has me groping about in the dark at times. When I finally discover something new--what freedom!
My First Pallets
Above is a glimpse at the pallets I started learning with. The pallet on the left is compiled of wells to represent the primary and secondary colors. One thing I've learned is the wells in the pallet are most likely intended to mix a lot of color at one time. I also have found out that they work very well with the liquid watercolor pigments, such as Dr. Martin Hydrus Watercolors. Since I don't watercolor large scenes, I do not need as much pigment that would be likely contained in the wells...sooo...this pallet will be on reserve for those times when I think I will paint multiple cards.

The pallet to the right was the one that I first learned that tube paints were meant to be loaded into the wells and used as 'pans' once they dried. When I figured this out...on my own, remember...I felt watercolor freedom! Okay, that may be a stretch, and as you can see from the mixes. Obviously, I'm still tentative about mixing my colors. I do tend to stay very 'organized' when I use my pallet...keeping the cools and the warms on their respective sides. It's true, I prefer to keep one mixture at a time, although I have splurged upon occasion and have mixed varying shades of colors adding neutrals and warms to cools and cools to warms.

Experimenting with Greens & Golds

The main thing I love about watercolor is that the pallet is living and organic...ever-changing. One project connects to the next with remnants of the previous piece ready to be incorporated into the next color value. I quickly discover new colors and combinations. Complimentary colors are no longer strange to me...I embrace the combination. I delve into cools and explore the warms. Shadows are no longer illusive as I twirl my paintbrush around the edges of a scene. And if I tire of a color, all I need to do is mix in another pigment and see what happens. It's never wrong, and it's always right!

I hope this post has been a little helpful to you. For more information, please click on the links below to find out more about using your watercolor pallets and starting your own watercolor journey. Until next time...happy painting!!

Angela Fehr: Basic Supplies 

Angela Fehr: Tips for Using Your Watercolor Pallet 

Watercolor Misfit: Best Watercolor Tips

Sunday, March 19, 2017

Love Green & Gold!

Color Throwdown #434
Happy Sunday and belated Saint Patty's Day to you! I hope you found your Pot of Gold instead of snakes!! The card above is a quick post for Color Throwdown #434. I love the green, gold and black combination. Isn't it lovely!

I used my watercolors [Sap Green and Cad. Yellow Pale Hue] to throw down some green circles. While they were still wet, I used my Prima Metallic Accent paints to sparkle in some gold. 

Love how the metallic gold pushed the green around...
Then I stamped the background randomly with a bud from WPLUS9's Doodle Buds set. The sentiment is from the same set and it is embossed using Zing! Gold embossing powder. This card is really sparkly in person.

 CTD #434

There is still time to play along...the challenge ends Monday at 6:00 p.m. Have a great rest of your day...and thanks for stopping by!!

Wednesday, March 15, 2017

Watercolor Wednesday #1

Mission Watercolor Pallet
Greetings everyone! I am hoping to start a new feature on my blog each week which will be called Watercolor Wednesday. This is my first post, so I thought I would start by giving a tour of my watercolor journey. Number one: I'm not experienced, so if you are hoping to get some great advice, I would like to recommend several of my favorite artists over on You Tube:
  • Angela Fehr--she's an amazing artist and posts regular videos to You Tube.
  • Sandy Allnock--also an amazing artist and card maker. She has a lot of insights, and she considers herself to be learning watercolor as a new medium for her work.
  • Kristina Werner--Kristina is a well-known blogger and card maker...but she also is fabulous with watercolor techniques.
  • And finally, Watercolor Misfit--I love her quirky vlogs and her simple style in helping us all along our artistic journey. 
I follow many others, but the artists listed above teach and inspire me most! 

Each week I plan to share one project I'm either working on or have completed and what I've learned along the way. Today's post is a preview of Day 16's #30daysofbiblelettering project that I have committed to do for Lent. I have been practicing Brush Lettering for almost a year now, and frankly, I wasn't expecting to do very well with a watercolor brush...but...hey! I think this turned out better than all of my attempts with a brush marker! 

Watercolor brush lettering using a #3 Round, Cobalt Blue, & Purple Lake
Below are the colors I've loaded into my pallet top left to top right. Many of the paints I have are student grade, but I cannot toss them just yet. I plan to use them up and replace with artist quality. Thanks so much for dropping by!

  1. Cotman--Payne's Gray
  2. Windsor & Newton--Burnt Umber
  3. Susan Scheewe--Raw Sienna
  4. Windsor & Newton--Ultramarine Violet
  5. Cotman--Purple Lake
  6. Windsor & Newton--Colbalt Blue
  7. Cotman--Cerulean Blue
  8. Grumbacher--Thalo Blue
  9. Susan Scheewe--Hooker's Green
  10. Cotman--Sap Green
  11. Cotman--Viridian Hue
  12. Windsor & Newton--Permanent Rose
  13. Windsor & Newton Permanent Alizarin Crimson
  14. Cotman--Cadmium Red Pale Hue
  15. Windsor & Newton--New Gamboge
  16. Susan Scheewe--Cadmium Yellow Pale Hue
  17. Windsor & Newton--Quinacridone Gold

Tuesday, March 14, 2017

Papertrey 10th Anniversary: Florals!

Papertrey: Favorite Florals
Good Tuesday evening everyone! I'm back with my second post today using PTI's Beautiful Blooms and Turning a New Leaf! I love, love, love, both of these stamp sets...they've been around for a long time. But there's a reason for that...they are truly timeless!

I improvised a wreath...all the rage today...using Turning a New Leaf and Beautiful Blooms. I also used PTI's Raspberry Fizz, Simply Chartreuse, Blueberry Sky, Bright Buttercup, Pale Peony, Hawaiian Shores, and Berry Sorbet to create the wreath. I added stitches using Tombow #933, Pale Peony cardstock, and a sentiment from Painted Petals, PTI's 2016 Anniversary stamp set!

Thanks for stopping by!!

PTI 10th Anniversary: Transformation!

Oh my! We're begging for a transformation!!
Happy Tuesday and Pi Day everyone!! This will be a first of a few posts today because I'm trying to get my final cards finished for the Papertrey 10th Anniversary celebration! For today's challenged we were asked to transform a card we weren't happy with. I could mention all of the things I think isn't right with my 'begging for a transformation card' created in June 2016, but let's just say I've learned some things since then.

While I've been making cards off and on for a few years, it was in 2016 that I fell in love with making cards on a regular basis. And through this new-found appreciation of the art, I've learned many new techniques and have developed new interests along the way, such as: watercolor, brush lettering, blending, collage, stenciling, line drawing, making my own backgrounds...the list is endless. It truly makes me appreciate what Nichole and the design team at Papertrey go through to create all of their wonderful products.

Peonies on Parade Transformed!
Above is the transformation, and I hope you all agree that this card is better. I have been admiring the tone on tone look lately, and to stay true to my original, I used the Peonies on Parade stamp set as the focal point. Instead of cutting out a frame, I decided to use the Stitched Rectangles Die to dry emboss a background onto my card panel. I used the back side of the dies and I had a happy made a raised border around the focal point. For the sentiment, I used Happy Mother's Day from Garden Grace.
PTI 10th Anniversary
Papertrey's 10th Anniversary Challenge
You have until 7 a.m. Eastern time on the 15th to play along...and it is well worth it! Nichole and crew are giving away $300 worth of PTI products!! I cannot wait to see what everyone else created! Thanks for stopping by!!

Monday, March 13, 2017

Papertrey 10 Years: Multiply!

Papertrey 10th Anniversary: Multiply
Good Monday afternoon everyone! I hope the time change finds you fairing well. I'm so glad I'm off for Spring Break, or I wouldn't be doing so well. I'm playing along with Papertrey's 10 Year Anniversary Challenge, and this was a great challenge to create a masculine card as I never have enough on hand.

For the color scheme, I liked this week's color pallet from Color Throwdown #433--Cornflower blue, green and white. I used PTI's Sketched Shapes for the circles and stamped them with Blueberry Sky & Green Parakeet onto white cardstock. The three background circles were stamped using both colors, turning the stamp 90 degrees to get a cross-hatch look. To finish the card, I used Embroidered Bloom's happy birthday sentiment and stamped it with Blueberry Sky onto craft cardstock. Thanks for stopping by!!

 Color Throwdown #433


Tuesday, March 7, 2017

Embroidered Blooms!

Papertrey's 10th Anniversary: Guest Blogger-Lizzie Jones
Good Tuesday morning everyone! Today's quick post is in response to Lizzie Jones' stitching challenge. I do not own any of the stitching kits, so I used a favorite stamp set of mine, Embroidered Blooms, to create this simple card.

I also gathered inspiration for this card from CAS(E) This Sketch #211. I love their simple designs! Thanks for stopping by!!

 CAS(E) #211

Card Recipe:
Stamps & Dies: PTI Embroidered Blooms and Text Style: Thinking of You; Avery Elle Postage Stamp Die
Inks: Simply Chartreuse, Aqua Mist, Berry Sorbet, Pale Peony
Paper: Linen and white cardstocks; vellum 

Wednesday, March 1, 2017

Botanical Blocks: Rose

Make It Monday #276
Hello everyone! This week's Make It Monday is a great one led by Melissa Phillips. I just love her style and attention to details in her design. Not only did she challenge us to use our colored pencils; she also led us through her process of creating that shabby-chic, collage look that she does so well.

Because of that, I wanted to make my card as close to hers as I possibly could. Another thing I love about this design is the unique 3.5 x 5.5 sized card. What a nice size to tuck inside a basket of goodies for a loved-one in the hospital or to cheer someone up who is going through a rough time. There is a great tutorial on the blog and plenty of time to play along. Thanks for stopping by!

Make It Monday #276--Melissa Phillips
Card Recipe:
Stamps: Botanical Blocks, Text Style: Thinking of You, Polka Dot Basics w/Pale Peony Ink
Dies: Paper Smooches Stitched Die and Reverse Confetti Edgers Die
Paper: PTI Classic Kraft, Soft Stone and Vellum
Prismacolor Pencils: PC 938; PC 924; PC 912; PC 909
Embellishments: White embossing powder