This post was sponsored by Simon Says Stamp. Thanks, Simon!
Hi friends! I have a post to share with you that is a long time coming, mainly because I started this project a few weeks ago and only just finished it yesterday. I am one of those people who can’t move on to another project if I have an unfinished project sitting on my desk. I will work through it until I figure out what to do with the first project, and normally I have a pretty good game plan figured out in my head for what I want the finished card to look like. I wanted to create a watercolored magnolia background using one of my illustrations for Simon Says Stamp: Magnolia Apple Blossom.
I started by creating a patterned background by stamping the large bouquet a few times, rotating the stamp each time to get a different angle, and then added smaller pieces of foliage and sprigs of apple blossom to fill in the blank areas. I used Hero Arts Contour Ink to do some no-line watercoloring on Fabriano Artistico Hot Press watercolor paper.
If you follow me on Instagram, you might have seen the start of this watercolored panel in my stories; I planned to do some “reverse watercolor psychology” on myself by painting the areas around the blooms a vibrant color, then allowing that contrast to help me “paint” the magnolias white. I was using Ph Martin’s Liquid Watercolors, which are not my typical medium and thus had a bit of a learning curve for me. Though I allowed the background plenty of drying time before starting in on my flowers, I still had some issues with bleeding; that is, the color from the background was bleeding into wherever the new moisture touched it. I figure that it was because the liquid colors are so incredibly concentrated that they were super reactive to fresh water. I contemplated throwing it out, because I just couldn’t stand the look of those imperfections!
Several helpful people responded to my story with suggestions: use a darker color for the flowers instead of the super pale pink, use white gouache to clean up the edges, cover it up with a sentiment, etc. The main point was not to throw it away, haha. So after letting it sit for several days, I decided to paint some vivid pink magnolias and use white gouache like Wite-Out to try to cover up some of the areas that had bled into each other. I was really pleased with how it ended up coming out! The vivid pink helped to minimize the bright blue that had bled into the petals, while the white gouache helped to clean up the edges and hide the bleeding. The white gouache is definitely going to be used again to help clean up edges on no-line watercolored panels; it provided nice, crisp edges even on the areas that didn’t have any bleeding but were just not quite as defined as I would have liked!
After the anguish this panel had put my heart through (haha, I’m so dramatic) I didn’t want to cover it up with a large sentiment, so I die cut a small Simply Thank You die cut from some iridescent white foil cardstock and the background from heavyweight vellum, then popped it up using some foam adhesive. The vellum helps the sentiment stand out from the vibrant, busy background. I also popped up a sentiment strip for a simple, but poignant greeting on this intricately-watercolored project. I added a few shimmering gems for some sparkle and added texture, as well. I think the iridescent shine is just the right touch!
Well, that’s all for my project today, long as it took to get here! I definitely learned not to give up on a project like this, even if it means walking away for a few days (or maybe even more than a few) and giving yourself time to recalibrate and come back to it with fresh eyes and a fresh perspective. Thanks so much for stopping by today, and have a marvelous day!