Thursday, September 9, 2010

Adding Sparkle to Watercolor

I played with the curves feature on Picnik and think I have these photos so you can see the sparkle that you can add to watercolor. These were all stamped with watercolor crayons (don't worry, I will take some photos of that process or find some I have posted before....with this new computer I do not have easy access to all the thousands of photos that I burdened my old computer with!). With ink sometimes the detail of the image can take over. Even solid stamps are sometimes good with watercolor crayons as you can get the mottled effect that makes the pigment look like fur on the pandas (thanks, Marian, for letting me know what kind of bears they were...I saw so many bears this summer, I can barely remember the types!).

For the nest and eggs, I added sparkle to just a few of the twigs making the nest and then completely on the eggs as they are the focal point.

On each of these, I also used a sparkly paper mat to carry that sparkle look even further. On the koala stamp, only the bamboo leaves have a touch of sparkle, as for the fur, you want more texture than sparkle.

Notice how I filled the space left by the circular cut with three eyelets. It is in a position where a chop would be placed and it echos the circles going back beyond the image. Do I think and analyze these things as I am doing them....of course not. But I can break them down later and figure out why I like what I did and why it works. All I knew was that something needed to be there!

I love the detail in the bird image above. Sparkly paint was added to most of the image with the exception of the black feathers. Guess I was just in a sparkly mood this day.

With the tulips, notice how I did the 3 D technique on the vase. Since only the outline of the vase was on the stamp, I had to fill in the solid portion. Something else I did with this one was that I spattered with gold sparkly paint. You can tell that it was a little thick. I also added a cast shadow under the tulips where the vase would have shadows on them.

Remember the pearlex powders we all had to have? You can actually make them into sparkly paint. Watercolor paints are pigment with a binder added to make it stick to the paper. You can buy gum arabic in a liquid form in the fine arts aisle and powdered gum arabic at some stamp stores. You mix about four parts pigment with about one part gum arabic. Add a little water if you are using powder (or if you need more liquid to mix the liquid gum arabic) and mix well in a little container or on a paint pot container. Allow to dry and you will have created your own sparkly paint.

I am heading to the windy city on Sunday and have a busy, busy weekend before then. We have a meeting at church, I teach at Binders Saturday morning and am going to the Braves game Saturday afternoon. Sunday after church, we leave for Chicago for a week, so it might be a few days before you hear from me. If I can I might post some photos from Chicago of the city I love, but whose politics I don't love! I have to stay away from that double stuffed crust Chicago pizza, something I do love!

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Amanda said...


I love your blog and the information you share. I LOVE THE PANDA CARD!!! Personal favorite. ;) Your cards are all beautiful and your watercoloring instructions are so helpful. I followed over from spotted canary and I just wanted to say Hi. I look forward to your next creations!

Jan Castle said...

Have a wonderful weekend and trip to Chicago! If you have to have the pizza, take one bite and chew, chew, chew, then pass the rest on to me! LOL! I'm wondering about Twinkling H2O's as sparkle on they show as much sparkle? Wonderful cards Holly...thanks for sharing!!!
Jan Castle

Holly's Hobbies said...

Jan, I am on a quest to find thin crust pizza in Chicago. I remember the first time I had pizza there - wowza!I do love a touch of Twinkling h2o's with my watercolors. I just don't like to see them used all by themselves as I think it is a bit much. I love them as accents and I am sure some of these examples use them. thanks for the good wishes!

Velta said...

Oh Holly your techniques are so fabulous! I would really love to know how you do your "splatter" technique...glad you had such a great trip!!

Anonymous said...

Thanks for the 'recipe' for the pearl ex and binder. I've had the gum arabic for ages and didn't know the proportions to use. I follow your blog and even though I don't leave comments I'm out here learning from and enjoying your blog posts. Thanks so much for sharing your talents, giving the terrific "how to's" which give me the confidence to try new techniques!
Carrie C