It's a new year and companies are busy releasing their new collections! Today I'm going to be featuring the newly released "Lovely Lotus" stamp set from Neat & Tangled. This is a 6"x8" stamp set with lotus flowers, buds, leaves and 12 sentiments!
What I used:
- "Lovely Lotus" stamp set from Neat & Tangled
- Concord & 9th Card Pack - Everyday Tintables
- Ken Oliver Color Burst: Deep Space, Solar Flare, Terrestrial from The Galaxy Collection
- Ken Oliver Liquid Sparkle: Pearl
- 1 sheet of Strathmore Hot Press Watercolor Paper 5"x7"
- Scrap of mirriboard that color coordinates for matting the stamped panel
- White A2 size top folding card base
- Stamp positioning tool
- Ranger Antique Linen Distress Ink
- Stamping mask paper
- #4 size watercolor brush with a very sharp point
- Cup of clean water - that will need to be changed when switching colors
- Some sort of palette
- Glue or tape runner
- Versafine Onyx Black Ink for stamping the sentiment
I started by laying out my piece of Concord & 9th card. These cards come in a pack of 16 with 4 of each design. They are I believe embossed with designs on the front that almost have the look of letter press, but are embossed (or rather, debossed). I bought mine from Ellen Hutson on clearance and they are gone at this point. However, I think you could make your own background by heat embossing a background stamp with clear embossing powder on a piece of hot press watercolor paper. I think the end result would look very similar.
I laid out 3 paper towels on my glass mat and laid the card on it. I spritzed it with water...not over-doing it, but getting it wet enough. Then I rubbed over the surface with my fingers. This made the water more every distributed on my card and the Color Burst stay put better. Without doing that, the water pools and the colors all run into each other and that's not the look I was going for. I lightly tapped on the Terrestrial first. I tried to evenly distribute it without covering the whole paper. I knew the subsequent colors I was going to put in would turn to mud if they were allowed to mingle in the water with the Terrestrial too much. I had a tissue handy in case something did start to puddle. Then I added Deep Space. This can get extremely dark so I put that on sparingly and only in places where there was no Terrestrial color. Then I felt it needed a bit of warming up so I used, even more sparingly, the Solar Flare. When these were dry I added some of the Pearl Sparkle...dabbing it off every time I put some down. I just wanted some shimmer on this background and didn't want to run the risk of the Pearl overpowering all of the color I had put down. My end result was this:
Later I used a rectangle die to cut this out with the measure being 3.75"x5". I didn't actually make this background with this card in mind, but somewhere along the line I thought it would look stunning with a large flower. I chose one of the large flowers from the Neat & Tangled stamp set. I set up my MISTI and positioned it on the smaller piece of watercolor paper. I didn't stamp the entire stem. I also stamped and cut out a piece of masking paper with this image as well. I used Distress Ink in Antique Linen to stamp it with. Then I masked off the flower and used the smaller of the 2 leaves in the set. These are big leaves and I didn't want them to overpower my flower, so I stamped just a portion of the upper edge 2 times...moving the stamp slightly the 2nd time so it would appear different from the first. Next it was time for the painting!...my favorite part!
First I tapped a little pile of the Deep Space onto my palette. You don't need much. I put a drop of water in it...I wanted it thick and dark. And I made sure that all of the pigment crystals were dissolved. On another part of my palette I put a small puddle of clean water. Into that I took just a tiny bit from the concentrated puddle and mixed it in so I had a very pale wash of the Deep Space. I painted one petal at a time, drying in between each one. The crystals are very reactive to water, so even after you have painted a petal and it has dried, if you touch it with a wet paintbrush, the color will reactivate.
So starting with the first petal I got it wet with my brush. I didn't flood it with water, I got it quite damp. I also didn't put water over the whole petal. When I brushed it onto the dry paper sometimes it just naturally skips little parts. I happen to like this look a lot. So, if you don't, the just wet the entire area. So, this is the part where a very sharp point on your brush becomes important. I used a #4 Black Velvet brush by Silver Brush Company. These have a terrific point on them. While the petal is still wet, I just lightly got some of the dark mix just on the tip of my brush. Then I touched it to the base of the petal, pulling out the color or pushing it to other places, but really gently. You will see how fast these pigments move in water! Then I did the same for the tip of the petal.
Petal wet and I've dropped in color at base and tip
Color pulled out
I did this for each petal, the stem and each section of the leaves. I added a touch of the Solar Flare to the Terrestrial for the leaves and stem because they appeared a bit too cool. After all of that was dry I die cut this panel with a rectangle die that was 2.25"x 3.5". The end result was this:
I backed this little panel with a piece of plum mirriboard just to give it a tiny dark border. I used my MISTI once again to stamp the sentiment onto this panel with Versafine Onyx Black Ink, then, I glued everything to my A2 size top folding white card base and that finished my card!
This took me while to do, but I think it was totally worth it. The vibrancy of these colors is stunning! I hope you'll give it a try...you can always practice on a piece of hot press watercolor paper before hand just to get a feel for how these Color Burst work using this method.
I hope this tutorial has inspired you to start out your new year with a new technique!
Happy paper crafting and remember...it's only paper!