This post was sponsored by Simon Says Stamp. Thanks, Simon!
Hi friends! Last month, I rediscovered how much I love using Distress Ink pads for watercoloring. Distress Inks were my first watercoloring medium, and as I moved on to other media, my ink cubes were put on a shelf. As I was reorganizing, I found my tins of Distress Inks and was entranced by the unusual colors that just are not easily replicated with more traditional pan watercolors. The color palette for Distress Inks can be so much more muted and soft, depending on which colors you pair together.
For both of today’s projects, I used the following Distress Inks: Worn Lipstick, Saltwater Taffy, Tattered Rose, Milled Lavender, Broken China, Speckled Egg, and Iced Spruce. This color palette, filled with warm corals, pinks, and lavenders, creates such a lovely and unique combination for both ink blending and watercoloring. I created one card, then loved the palette so much that I created another!!
For the first card, I began by heat embossing one of my illustrations for Simon Says Stamp: Peony Background. I am so thrilled at how this background came out; just enough detail that you could stamp or heat emboss on colored cardstock and use it as a subtle background pattern, or you can use your favorite coloring medium to go crazy with your coloring on these huge peony blooms! After I’d heat embossed the image using White Satin Pearl embossing powder onto Arches Cold Press watercolor paper, I taped my image down to my watercoloring board with some painter’s tape, then saturated the entire image with clean water. Taping down the image onto a hard surface helps to reduce warping, which can be a problem when one uses such large amounts of water on watercolor paper. Allowing the image to dry while taped to the board helps to reduce that warping. Onto my glass mat, I tapped Saltwater Taffy, Milled Lavender, and Speckled Egg ink, then used one of my larger paintbrushes to pick up each color (separately) and dropped the color onto the wet watercolor paper. The resulting “blooms” created a lovely mottled background upon which I could do my more detailed watercoloring!
In order to do my more detailed watercoloring for this image, I used my heat gun to ensure that the colorful background was completely dry. If you try to add the details while the background is still wet, the colors will simply continue to bleed together without providing any of the definition you’re looking for on the individual images. I tapped the Worn Lipstick, Saltwater Taffy, Tattered Rose, Milled Lavender, Broken China, Speckled Egg, and Iced Spruce inks onto my glass mat, then used a smaller paintbrush to pick up the colors and add the details and shadows to the (now dried) image. The Distress Inks move beautifully on the Arches Cold Press watercolor paper, and the first, subtle layer of watercoloring helps to add interest to the images by providing some color variation on the petals and foliage!!
After I’d finished watercoloring, I heat embossed a beautiful sentiment from Spring In My Step onto some heavyweight vellum using white pigment ink and White Satin Pearl embossing powder. I wanted to keep the soft watercoloring and color palette the star of the show, so the subtle pearlescent sentiment on vellum helped to keep things light and airy while still adding a lovely sentiment to the card front. Once my watercolored panel was dry, I removed it from the watercoloring board, then trimmed it down slightly and adhered it to the center of an A2 panel of pearlescent white cardstock, creating a slim white border around the edge of the colorful watercolored panel. I popped up the greeting with some clear dimensional adhesive, then added a few iridescent pink gems for sparkle!
My second card features the same lovely cotton candy shades of Distress Inks, this time paired with one of the delicate butterflies from the Butterfly Dreams stamp set! I began by masking off the edges of an Arches Cold Press panel, leaving a rectangle in the center. I then used watercolored an ombré sunset background using Saltwater Taffy, Milled Lavender, and Speckled Egg Distress Inks, splattering the background with some shimmering handmade watercolors to add extra interest! After the panel had dried, I pulled off the masking tape and was left with a lovely and colorful background upon which I could build my focal point.
To watercolor the butterfly, I first stamped one of the larger butterflies from Butterfly Dreams using Contour Ink on some more cold pressed watercolor paper. I then used the same Saltwater Taffy, Milled Lavender, and Speckled Egg Distress Inks to watercolor the delicate butterfly, adding some shimmering watercolor details using my handmade metallic watercolors from Etsy. For the greeting, I die cut the Fancy Hello from some of Simon Says Stamp’s Champagne Matte cardstock. I also heat embossed an encouraging greeting from Butterfly Dreams onto some Sea Glass cardstock using Platinum embossing powder, which coordinates nicely with the champagne sentiment die cut. A few shimmering gems finished it off!
Well, that’s all for my projects today! I love when a color combination strikes a creative chord to produce lots of inspiration! If you haven’t tried watercoloring with your Distress Inks lately, I highly encourage you to give it a whirl; the color palettes are fabulous! Thanks so much for stopping by today, and have a marvelous day!