This post was sponsored by Simon Says Stamp. Thanks, Simon!
I’ve been working hard at making a lot of cards lately. So much so, that I am experimenting with different mediums…. basically, just playing and having fun! I will let you in on a secret: I started my love/obsession with watercolor by tapping Distress Inks onto an acrylic block and painting with them. As my style and skills have evolved, so too have my array of mediums, working instead with more traditional “artist” mediums like Daniel Smith, Holbein, and Schmincke watercolor pans or Caran D’Ache and Polychromos colored pencils. However, in my recent organizational endeavors in my craft room, I rediscovered my stash of Distress Ink cubes and couldn’t wait to put them to use watercoloring. The color palette for the Distress Inks are so much more muted and subtle in comparison to my normal bright and vibrant colors that I thought it would be a great way to stretch my color sensibilities! I paired the Distress Inks with the Blissful Bouquet stamp set that I illustrated for Simon Says Stamp to create this elegant wedding card. Let’s get started with the details!
The traditional Distress Inks are quite different from the Distress Oxide inks; the traditional inks are water-based, translucent inks and are marvelous for both inky techniques and watercoloring, while the Oxide inks are opaque pigment inks, great for doing blending techniques. You can watercolor with the Oxide inks, but the effect is quite different. I will share some inspiration using Oxide inks for watercoloring at a later date!
I began by stamping all of the blooms and foliage from Blissful Bouquet onto some Arches Cold Press Watercolor paper using Intens-ified Black ink, which is waterproof and perfect for watercoloring. I then used Tattered Rose, Victorian Velvet, Milled Lavender, Dusty Concord, Aged Mahogany, Iced Spruce, Bundled Sage, and Pine Needles Distress Inks to watercolor the images. I simply tapped the colors out onto my ceramic palette, then picked them up as normal with my damp paintbrush and applied them to the stamped images, pulling the color out to a smooth fade with a clean, damp paintbrush.
Once I had the initial layer of color laid down, I went back two and three times with deeper, more concentrated colors to enhance shadows and depth on the images. After I had die cut all of the finished watercolored flowers, I used a black alcohol marker around the edge to create even more drama and keep the die cuts as clean as possible on my planned black background. I am so in love with the muted color palette that the combination of these inks created!!
For the card base, I trimmed down a panel of crisp Pitch Black cardstock to 3.5″ x 8.5″, creating a full-size slimline card front. I splattered the background with some handmade metallic glitter watercolors in coordinating shades to add some artistic interest to the background. When the splatters were dry, I arranged the flowers to create some lovely floral corners on opposing corners of the card front, using Press’n’Seal to pick them up in the desired arrangement and adding foam adhesive to the backs. The additional step of adding the black marker around the edges was totally worth it to keep the drama to the maximum on this intense card front!
I thought these large flowers screamed wedding or bridal shower, so I pulled out some wedding-themed stamps and dies for the greeting! I die cut the large Happily Ever After die cut twice, once from some of Simon Says Stamp’s Metallic Rose Gold cardstock, and once from some more black cardstock, layering them together to add a bit more stability to this super intricate die cut. I also heat embossed a tiny greeting from the Happily A Lifetime stamp set. I arranged the sentiment pieces on the slimline card front, finally adding a few Melanite Magic gems for even more sparkle and drama.
Well, that’s all for my project today! If you haven’t tried using your Distress Inks as watercolors before, I hope you will give it a try. It’s such a thrill to rediscover mediums and bring them new life. Thanks so much for stopping by today, and have a marvelous day!