Up until about four months ago, I had never done any watercolor painting. Oh, sure, I had those cheap-o little eight-pot watercolor sets in elementary school, but in retrospect I hardly think that counts. So in March I did my first post-grade-school watercoloring for (what else?) a card challenge. This challenge was for using any kind of paint. Well, aside from poster paint, which hardly belongs on a card, the only kind of paint I had in the house, was--guess what?--a cheap eight-pot watercolor set that belongs to one of my kids. So I used it and rather liked the result, but noticed that the cheap kid watercolor paints are--surprise!--not that great. Plus, painting on regular cardstock is the pits: water soaks in too quickly, the color doesn't soak in uniformly, the paper warps horribly, and the colors don't mix well. So I started asking some questions and two SCS friends with lots of watercolor painting experience came to my aid. I discovered that there actually is paper designed specifically for watercolor painting (watercolor paper, who knew??) and that you could watercolor paint using dye inks (which is great because that I already have, in abundance, and wouldn't require yet another cash outlay for stocking up on all my must-have colors in yet another medium). So I bought a pad of good quality watercolor paper and some sable brushes, and ever since I've been dabbling in the joys of watercoloring.
And I truly mean dabble--I have absolutely no training in this art; I'm just making it up as I go along. I do try to pick up technique tips, mostly by studying the (accomplished) work of others. I need lots of practice, and I'm learning through trial and error. But I've never had such joy in figuring something out as I go along. I am addicted to watercolor painting! It is so relaxing and calming. Every time I watercolor an image, everything else melts away, and I have this deep feeling of satisfaction. Because watercoloring is sort of inexact, it's also rather forgiving. Going "outside the lines" and leaving gaps in the color are part its charm. It goes quickly, looks so artsy, and gives me such a sense of accomplishment. I am in love!
One drawback that I've found with watercolor painting on stamped images, though, is that because good-quality watercolor paper is often highly textured, it can be difficult to get a clean impression on watercolor paper. I've found that deeply etched rubber images usually work best. It's not as easy to get a decent impression with clear photopolymer stamps. It's possible, but sometimes it takes me several stampings to get one that looks good (and I hate to waste expensive watercolor paper!). So I don't watercolor as often as I'd like, but today I figured I was due some watercoloring bliss and indulged in two cards. Woo-hoo!
With my first card, I used a wonderful Repeat Impressions image that I bought recently with a $25 gift certificate I won in the RI What If? Wednesday sketch challenge in May. It shows the Portland Head Light in Maine. We visited this lighthouse two summers ago, and I have a bunch of photos of my parents and kids standing in front of it. I knew this image would be perfect for watercoloring, and since we've actually seen it in person, I had to have it! Recently one of my best friends suggested that if I needed an idea for a birthday card for her son's upcoming ninth birthday, he loves lighthouses. Perfect! So today's card will go to him. I used the current RI What If? Wednesday sketch for this card. I also used this Embellish Magazine challenge:
Now for my second card, I am sneak peeking a Mark's Finest Papers set called Regal & Proud, which will be released in August. Both the mountain image and sentiment come from the Regal & Proud set. I made this masculine congratulations card for today's SCS sketch challenge. Can you believe that I used only one challenge in the making of this card? I know, so very uncharacteristic of me. But I seem to have gotten so wrapped up in making the sketch work with this mountain image I wanted to use, that I forgot about all other possible challenges that I could possibly work in!
I had so much fun with my watercolor painting today. I love how both cards turned out!! My mom loves all things lighthouse, so I'm thinking of [MOM SPOILER ALERT!!] making her a set of lighthouse note cards for Christmas using this RI stamp. I think that will be a lot of fun, and I know it's something she would love, especially if it features a lighthouse she's seen in person!!
Thanks for dropping by today and reading this looooooooooooooooooooong post of mine! If you would like more details about the supplies I used in these cards, please click here for the lighthouse card and here for the Mark's Finest Papers card. See you back here again soon!