I often get comments regarding my coloring. I am one of the few bloggers who don’t have Copics. I use good ‘ol fashioned watercoloring with an Aquapainter. But, to make my images pop a little, I have two secrets… Embossing the images (which allows the image to stand out and not get lost in the coloring) and Stampin’ Up! Markers (this provides the shading).
The great thing I love about SU Markers are that they are affordable (only $125.95 for the complete set of 48 colors with a Horizontal storage case included…since they are two sided, they need to be stored on their side so both tips are inked) and that they coordinate exactly with the SU card stock and inks.
For this tutorial, I am going to use the embossed scene I created for my Embossing Tutorial last week.
First of all I want to quickly talk about the aquapainter. It is my preferred method for watercoloring. The girls in my stamp club perfer the Blender Pen. But for me, the blender pen leaves too many lines. It’s a great way to color images quickly with an awesome look!
Note: The key to watercoloring with an Aquapainter is to control the water. Squeeze the aquapainter gently to release some water. Then wipe the brush on a scrap piece of paper until the aquapainter is damp, but not saturated. If your brush has too much water, it will saturate the paper and will not give you the look you want. But if your brush is too dry, it will create dark spots on your image and will not have a smooth look. So each time I add water to the brush, I remove a lot of the water on a scrap paper to get the consistency I need.
Another Note: When I watercolor, I prefer to use SU Whisper White CS. It has a smooth surface that was designed specifically for watercoloring. When I use other CS, I usually get dark spots because the ink doesn’t blend into the paper well. Of course, you can use Watercolor Paper, for a totally different look.
Since this scene is full of different trees and plants, I am going to use a few different greens to add depth. I don’t have all of the full size SU ink pads (yet), but I have all of the colors in “Stampin’ Spots” (mini ink pads). I also do not have all of the re-inkers. So when I need to use a “spot” to watercolor, I use a plastic lid and press the spot onto the lid to transfer color and create a pallet. (Please don't look at my mess in the background...LOL)!
I am going to use Always Artichoke on the bushes that in are in the back and in areas that would be darker. There is no science to the watercoloring except for controlling the water on the brush. Pick up color, color in the image you want, then repeat. The great thing about watercoloring is that the SU Whisper White will help blend the colors together. And if you get an area that’s a little darker, it’s ok, it helps to add to the overall look.
Once all of the Artichoke areas are colored, I colored all of the palm/banana trees in the front in Old Olive (I apparently forgot to take a picture of this step…oops).
Then I moved on to the smaller up-front bushes and colored them with Wild Wasabi. I have a full size ink pad for Wasabi. So to create my pallet for the full ink pads, you squeeze the pad in the middle.
This will transfer ink to the lid.
I created the ground and connected the two separate images by watercoloring along the bottom of the card. This gives the illusion of the ground.
Then I colored in the tree trunks and rocks with Creamy Caramel and the flowers with Pumpkin Pie (the center of the flowers to the left are colored with Real Rust). The watercoloring is complete, but we are not done...
Now we will take the SU Markers and highlight each area. I simply use the marker and line the edges of the image. I have colored in two of the palm leams on the right tree with Old Olive so you can see the difference the marker makes.
Here is the image with all of the Old Olive areas highlighted...
After the Old Olive areas are complete, I move on to the Artichoke areas. However, since Artichoke is a very dark marker, I am going to use Mellow Moss to highlight instead. It will add a slight, subtle shadow.
To highlight the Wasabi areas, I randomly added shadows to the edges of the leaves and grass with Certainly Celery marker. I also traced around the rocks, banana tree, and areas in the front to create a shadow.
I used Creamy Caramel to add shadows to the trees…
I used the More Mustard Marker on the flowers since the Pumkin and Rust are also dark colors. I used the So Saffron Marker to color in the middle part of the flower on the right.
The image is completed, but the scene is not. To make it more of a “scene”, I took a SU scallop punch to create a mask. Then I used Bashful Blue and sponged around part of the punch to create the appearance of clouds.
After everything is done, I inked up the edges of the blue areas with Bashful Blue and the green areas with Old Olive to frame it out a little. It’s a subtle change, but it really finishes it off.
The image is done…
And here is a card!!
I embossed the sentiment (High Hopes Rubber Stamps) added some Linen Thread, matted it onto Creamy Caramel and Close to Cocoa for a finished card.
I hope you like my tutorial. Leave me a comment and let me know what you think!
Thanks for stopping by!