Hi there! I am closing out 2021 with some exciting news. Illustrating several stamp sets has been one of the most personally fulfilling parts of my creative journey over the last year, and I’m utterly thrilled to introduce my first stamp set for Simon Says Stamp, called Beautiful Bouquet! When I am brainstorming new floral designs, I look to Pinterest and Instagram for wedding photography, frequently finding beautiful sprays of flowers on cakes, both natural and those made of sugar! The beautiful sugar paste anemone flower that I found on a wedding cake was so stunning that it became the basis for the Beautiful Bouquet. The graceful curvature of the petals made my heart sing, so I built the rest of my bouquet around it, adding some hydrangeas, a rose, anemone leaves, and some eucalyptus. That anemone has been sitting in my creative subconscious for a few months now, begging to be watercolored, and it was so exciting to finally be able to paint it! I have two watercolored projects to share with you today, so let’s get started with the details.
This first project was created using a “tie-dye” technique. I began by heat embossing the main floral image from Beautiful Bouquet in the corner of a large 5×7 panel of Arches Cold Press watercolor paper using white pearl embossing powder. I like to use white embossing powder when I want to give the illusion of no-line coloring. The embossing still creates the little wells, which provide some protection against the petals bleeding into each other. It’s a great way to get that (almost) no-line look but you can finish your project a bit more quickly! Tip: use the “back” side of the Arches Cold Press paper when heat embossing an extremely detailed image. It is still slightly textured, but not so much that the heat embossing is uneven!
After I’d embossed my image onto the watercolor paper, I taped the panel down to my watercolor board using washi tape. I thoroughly wet the bouquet and the surrounding area with clean water, then dropped in some very diluted Daniel Smith paints (specific colors are listed in the photo below), allowing the wet paint and the wet paper to meld the colors with very little help from me. I did mottle the color a bit with my brush to remove any granulation that might have occurred and ensure that there were no harsh lines.
Once my base layer of paint was completely dry, (you can help this along with the aid of a heat gun) I went back in and added some details and shading to the image with more concentrated color. The transparency of the watercolors allows the colors from that base layer of paint to still shine through the darker layers, creating some variation and interest on the flowers, independent of the shading that I added with the concentrated color.
After my image had dried (still taped down to the board to reduce warping from the large amount of water that I used on the paper), I trimmed it down slightly, mounted it on a full size 5×7 Cranberry cardstock base, then added a heat embossed sentiment from the Beautiful Bouquet, mounted to the card front with some foam adhesive. The final step was to add some pretty iridescent pink pearls for some shimmer and shine!
My second project was a labor of love. The massive size of the Beautiful Bouquet stamp set made it perfect for creating some wall art! I am low on wall space, (one of the drawbacks of having a small office with basically every available inch of wall space covered with shelves or bookshelves to accommodate all of my “stuff,” ha) but I wanted to commemorate this particular release with some artwork for my art room!
I stamped the image using Hero Arts’s Contour Ink on a 6.5″ x 8.5″ panel of Arches Cold Press, this time textured side up. I kept the color scheme simple and feminine, sticking to intense pinks and purples. I won’t lie… this piece took me several hours hours over the course of a few days. (Thankful for my mom visiting and hubby being on Christmas vacation to allow me the time to finish this!) I’ve listed the individual colors that I used in the photo below, not accounting for the “palette mud” that I used to add some extra shadows during the final touch-up phase. 😉
No-line coloring can be difficult and time-consuming, mainly because you have to work in sections and layers to prevent the individual elements from bleeding into each other and muddling the edges. Each flower has 3-4 (or more… I kind of lost count haha!) layers of color and shadows, in order to achieve bright highlights and dark shadowed areas. I begin with a light layer of each color on each flower, to help keep the highlighted areas lighter. Each subsequent layer allows me the opportunity to clean up the edges of the petals by adding contrasting shadows to the petal next to it. This requires a steady hand and a nice crisp point on your paintbrush, but it’s worth the effort, I think! I also will use white paint to intensify highlights in certain spots that have become too saturated with color. The contrast of the bright highlights and intense shadows are what give depth and shape to the flower.
I also like to try to pick up the reflections of colors of the flowers around each flower by adding very diluted washes of color on the finished petals, giving the impression of the flowers picking up reflections of the colors around it. Again, trying to add interest to keep things from looking flat.
Once I’d finished my painting, I signed it, mounted the watercolor panel to a slightly larger panel of shiny gold foil cardstock to create a luxurious, shiny border, then mounted that to a full size 8″x10″ panel of Eggplant cardstock from Concord and 9th. I think this is going to be such a pretty addition to my wall! I have framed a few cards from the crafters that I admire most already up on my wall, and I can’t wait to add this piece to the collage.
I could not be more excited about Beautiful Bouquet being added to the lineup at Simon Says Stamp. Seeing my illustrations become stamps has been an absolute dream come true, and it is an honor to have the opportunity to illustrate for these wonderful companies!
Simon Says Stamp generously sent me a few extra stamp sets to give away, and you can find all of the details for the giveaway over on my Instagram post! Please note: the giveaway is only on my Instagram page. I will be pulling the winners from the comments on my Instagram post. Please check out my Instagram page @eamidgett to enter the giveaway!
Thanks so much for reading, and Happy New Year! May your 2022 be peaceful, healthy, and prosperous! Much love to you all.