Good morning! I have a pair of cards today using a new favorite stamp set of mine: Sweet Perfume from Penny Black. It’s a cling stamp, so it isn’t something that I would have had on my radar PM (pre-Misti), but the ability to stamp the same image multiple times totally sold me on this gorgeous stamp, and I’m so glad it did! I’ve been playing around with my different watercolor mediums because, frankly, I’m a little tired of my Zig markers. (lol! Who would ever have thought I’d say that?!) I have, in my arsenal of mediums, both Dr Ph Martins and Daniel Smith watercolor pans, so I’ve been making an effort to put them to use more frequently. The projects today put both to use.
For this first project, I used my Dr. Ph Martin’s set of watercolors. These watercolors are fun, but they definitely have a learning curve. I started by heat embossing my Sweet Perfume stamp using gold embossing powder onto Canson Montval watercolor paper. Next, I used my Ph Martin watercolors to color these beautiful flowers. The key with the Ph Martin watercolors, at least what I’ve found, is that you can’t start out with a huge amount of pigment like you do the Zigs and then blend it out with the wet paintbrush. It just requires layers upon layers of watered down color to get the amount of depth and shadow that you want to achieve. Let it dry between layers so that you don’t get too much “bloom” and the pigment doesn’t get diluted by the damp watercolor paper. I do love that mixing the Ph Martin colors is just about as easy as one could hope for. Simply use that handy dropper from a few different bottles of color to create a totally custom color.
Once I had spent so much time building up the color on the floral panel, I didn’t particularly want to cover it up or cut into it, so I chose a pretty frame die from Papertrey Ink: Mix and Mat Flourishes. I used another rectangle die from my stash to make it into an actual frame. I love how ornate it is! I die cut it from some somewhat dark gold shimmer card stock that I found in my stash. For the greeting, I used another Papertrey Ink die: Big Basics Thinking of You, die cut three times, then adhered together and layered with Glossy Accents over the top. A simple finish, but that detailed backdrop doesn’t need a lot of help to be noticed, I think. 🙂 As you can see, the Ph Martins, because they are liquid, are a fairly translucent medium, but one can still achieve a great deal of depth and dimension within that parameter. If you lay down too much pigmented color at the start, it’s difficult to move it and manipulate it, so I found it easiest to lay down a light wash of very diluted color, then gradually come back in with more and more layers of light color.
My other card uses the same Sweet Perfume stamp, but was created with my Daniel Smith watercolors. I started by heat embossing the same floral background stamp using silver embossing powder onto some Arches cold press watercolor paper. I wanted to try practicing my white flowers. I haven’t ever really tried creating a white flower, even with the (somewhat ridiculous) amount of flowers I’ve colored over the last few years. I wanted to see if I could do it. I used a pretty gray-ish purple color from Daniel Smith called Shadow Violet to add shadows and details, as well as a touch of Naples Yellow to the lighter parts of each petal, just to add a touch of color. White isn’t just the absence of color, I’ve found… Subtle shadows are just as important. It also helps to surround the white flower with lots of bright colors to make the contrast even more stark.
After I had finished adding color to the background, I decided that I wanted to make it into a shaker card. (Has anybody else noticed that it seems like shaker cards are kind of giving way for super flat, one layered cards? It makes me sad. Such an awesome excuse for having containers full of sparklies.) I cut some charcoal glitter card stock from DCWV using my Mama Elephant Park Avenue frame die. I added a bunch of sequins from Cartwright’s inside my frame, then added a magenta foil “Birthday Wishes” die cut (another die from the PTI Big Basics line). I find that, in contrast to the Ph Martins, the Daniel Smith colors are a bit more opaque and concentrated. They don’t immediately sink down into the paper, so you can manipulate and move a great deal of color without having to worry about it creating harsh lines.
Again, a fairly simple finish (apart from the pretty, sparkly sequins), but I wanted to let the watercoloring shine through.
Well, what do you think of the two different watercolor mediums? After working with both, I think that I prefer the Daniel Smith to the Ph Martins, simply because you can lay down a decent amount of pigment and it will move beautifully, particularly if you use the right kind of watercolor paper. It reminds me of Zigs in that way, because you start with Zigs by laying down your pigment and then moving it with the damp paintbrush. One of the nicest things about using these more artist-grade watercolors is that they’re more lightfast than the Zigs (so many of my Zig projects are faded into an ugly mess!), and you have so many more color options, not just in the sheer volume of individual colors available to purchase, but the mixing opportunities. I’m beginning to find that my Zigs are becoming my “quick” medium, what I use if I just want to play around at my desk for a bit, while my more “legitimate” watercolors are what I make if I want to really put effort and mental energy into what I’m creating.
I hope you’ve enjoyed my minor “study” into this beautiful background from Penny Black, as well as a short comparison of some different watercoloring mediums. It never hurts to branch out and try something different. Thanks so much for stopping by!!
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