This week has been one of those weeks. After two weeks of sinusitis, two lots of antibiotics and the side effects that went with them, I finally ended up with a massive migraine early on Monday morning. Thankfully I have a fabulous husband who volunteered to stay home from work and look after the kids so I could sleep it off!
Since then, it’s been a struggle catching up. Marshy always jokes that I do certain things on certain days and should learn to be more flexible, but I arrange my week in a way that I know everything’s going to get done and if I miss something – like the ironing, or maybe the weekly blog post – it can be almost impossible to catch it up once the routine’s been disturbed.
That said, I did manage to get something done. I love using watercolour pencils to embellish a stamped design, so I decided to show you how it’s done – or rather, how I like to do it. In this case, I decided to pull out an old stamp set that never got much love in the past because I felt all the beautiful details were lost when stamped up in just one colour.
First off, you need archival ink for this to work. Archival ink is waterproof, which means the stamping won’t run when water is applied. Any brand will do as long as it says archival – just keep in mind that you need to wash the ink off your stamps as soon as you can, because if it dries it will stay there.
Secondly, it’s a good idea to use a nice solid piece of card or watercolour paper to stamp on. That way when you add water, the card won’t wrinkle and pucker all over the place. I stamp all of my images at once on a large sheet of card, with a nice amount of white space between them so that I can cut everything out later when I’m ready. Let the stamped images sit for a few minutes to dry.
When you’re ready, sit down with your watercolour pencils. Start by shading your selected area all over, very lightly. When you’re done, keep slowly adding colour to the place you think needs to be the darkest. For me, I like to pick a corner or side that will be in ‘shadow’ and therefore have a more intense colour. You might do the same, or perhaps outline a feature, or work the colour from the center outwards. However you choose to go about it, apply the colour slowly and evenly, carefully working towards your selected point of intensity until you have a nice gradient. Keep this up with the other colours until you’re happy with the colour placement.
Fill a little bowl with water and, using a small, fine tipped paintbrush, start adding water to your pictures one section at a time. Start in the lightest area, and slowly blend in towards the darkest point – otherwise you will lose your tonal effect. Make sure you rinse out your brush between each colour and keep painting until the picture is finished.
Set the stamped images aside to let them dry. I usually find that by the time I pick out the papers and embellishments, design the card and start crafting, they are ready to use when I need them. Sometimes it’s easier to do a heap of painting the day before and then assemble the cards the next day – whatever works for you.
So simple, and so effective! This method is a little time consuming but I think the result is totally worthwhile. Although, it does make things a little more devastating when you have an oopsie later on – one of my examples has a couple of unintended design features. Normally I’d just turf the card and start again but I couldn’t bear the thought of throwing out the kitty after I’d spent all that time painting him, so I worked with it instead.
There are still more cards to come, but I ran out of time! I will post them up on Facebook when I get them finished, so be sure to keep an eye on the page if you’re interested to see the end result.
How about you? What’s your favourite way to add colour to a stamp?