Friday, February 20, 2009

Other things to do with watercolor

I mentioned in an earlier post that you can use Twinkling H2o's directly on rubber stamps. Above are some examples of this technique. You need to add some water to the little container and allow the paint to soften to a creamy texture. Then simply paint it on the rubber and make an impression.
Powdered pigments really are not watercolor as watercolor paints are transparent, but you can achieve the look of watercolor with them. You can make your own palette of powdered pigment paints by using gum arabic as a binder. Paint basically is pigment with a binder added that makes the paint stick to the paper. You might have some Pearl Ex or other powdered pigment that does not have a binder, but by adding gum arabic (which is available in powder form or liquid form), adding some water to allow you to mix it, and then let the mixture dry, you can make your own paint. There are several brands that are available that already have the binder added.
I especially like to spatter with powdered pigment as it gives that extra little spark. The examples above are much prettier in real life as you can see the pretty gleam that Twinkling H20's possess.
Another way to use watercolors is to create backgrounds with them. On this floral background, I painted clean water on the watercolor paper first, then mingled some color and then stamped with different colors of dye ink. The dye ink is water based, so you will get a watercolor look from them. As the water dries, the later impressions will be more distinct. A similar technique is to brayer a dye based rainbow ink over a stamp and then stamp on a wet piece of watercolor paper.
I had also shared an example earlier (bats flying) of adding salt to a wash for a sure and allow the salt to dry before brushing it off. The size of the salt spots will be determined by the kind of salt you use (table, sea, rock) and how much pigment was in the wash.
Above are a couple of examples of using watercolor to create a background in a scene. The Rubber Stamper cover goes way back to 2003 and that was an Inkadinkado stamp. Notice that I also painted a border of water and then dropped paint into it. That was a stamped image that I painted. The card laying on top was made with Spellbinders die, but I used watercolor to create a background for the die cuts. Notice how I spattered paint in the sand to give the look of grains. You can see where I had painted the water to begin with along the sand edge...where the water goes, the paint can go...where it doesn't go, the paint can not go. That is the way you control watercolor. Placement of paint also created the transition from water to sand at the shore's edge. I allowed the color to fade out and go to another color.
You can spice up your die cuts by painting them with watercolor. These examples on these atc's were cut from watercolor paper. I then painted them with watercolors and finally accented them with a little rub of metallic rubons. Usually you see die cuts cut from colored paper and that is just the color they are (like the red bucket in the previous example). On the terra cotta pot, for example, I wanted the look of age and moss. On the tulips, I wanted the blossoms a color and the stems & leaves green. See how watercolor can come in handy here? Another thing I like about using watercolor paper is that I can manipulate the paper and further emboss it. I can take a stylus and push areas through the die even farther than the embossing was after going through the Wizard. Notice the detail in the watering can...those flowers have been pushed out more. These atc's are pictured on the DVD that came with the Wizard.
You can achieve this look even when not using die. To water emboss an area, we will say a heart, use a stylus to trace around that heart, having the paper lying on a soft surface like fun foam. It helps if the paper is damp. When you pick up the paper, you should be able to see the heart tracing on the reverse side of the paper. Wet that heart shape and carefully push the heart using the stylus (not too sharp of a with a medium size ball). You can do this on the fun foam or holding it in your hand. You don't want to do it on a hard surface, as you want room to give. This is possible as watercolor paper is made from cotton and the fibers are pliable. It is a great technique!

Something I tell my students when I teach watercolor is that there are two things I can't give them....a sense of urgency for when you need to work wet on wet and secondly, patience for when you need to allow paint to dry before you add more paint. The ultimate thing I can not give you is experience. You just have to do it. I hope these instructions have helped you see that you can do it....with the help of stamps, anyone can create great watercolor images! You will learn from doing. I will be happy to explore any other areas of watercolor you want to ask about....just let me know. Pick up those brushes or crayons and have fun!!!

I have something I want to show you tomorrow and then we will launch off into using markers, specifically Copic markers. Feel free to leave comments for any questions you have or send me an email. Thanks for honoring me with your visit to my blog.
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GaMtnScrap said...

Thanks for all the information, I look forward to trying these techniques and uses! I love your blog!

Norine said...

thanks again for all the great info you did an amazing job

Kara Ward said...

So have been so busy!!!!!

Judit V said...

This is so beautiful and thanks for the info!

Mason said...

This issue of the Rubberstamper has always been my favorite cover! I'm so pleased to discover that you are the person who created this card and you are sharing techniques to recreate this look. Thanks so much!

Holly Craft said...

Thanks, Mason! I also had a cover near the end of the Rubber Stamper at Christmas had a card with photo of a vignette of gingerbread men I had made. I used Serendipity Stamps on that card.
Thanks for writing!