Simple Stencil and DIY Script

Friday, September 18, 2015

I hope you enjoyed my last post on the new Close to My Heart watercolor paints, because I'm going to be sharing quite a few posts about using these awesome paints!

Since I created so many pieces of artwork for teaching at Extravaganza at the Close to My Heart convention in June, and we had to keep it all under wraps until the new catalog was released on Sept. 1, you're now going to see lots of artwork in the next few weeks here on my blog. That's the good news. The bad news is I don't have many step-by-step photos because I was creating like a madwoman, with no time for thoughtful photos along the way. So bear with me and read the text accompanying all these pretty pictures.

This 12x12 scrapbook page came together quickly because of one secret weapon: a large doily. It's so easy! The results are not only stunning, but each piece will be unique because of the amount of paint and water you use determines the final look.

I used a doily similar to this one. After misting your watercolor paper with a little water (don't make puddles!), plop the doily down on your page. You may need to hold it in place as you work, but the water helps keep it in place a bit, so use your judgement.

Paint splotches of color through the open spaces on the doily. I used a pretty strong mix of color on my brush, since the background is already slightly damp I didn't want the color to seep too much under the doily, so don't get your paints too watery. I found it was easier to work from the center out, because you'll spend more time working on the blend around the edges and onto the background. To create the splatter, dip your paintbrush and flick onto the page.

Perfectionists beware! Watercoloring through a doily is not a perfect science. It will run, it will seep, and you will NOT get a perfect image of the doily. See the lower left side of the doily image on my page? I thought I totally ruined it, paint everywhere. But now I love that part. Take a deep breath, embrace your inner artiste and get over the need for perfection, because that's what makes this technique so gorgeous.

When you're satisfied with your painting, remove the stencil and allow to dry.

After your page is dry, iron it flat and attach to a piece of cardstock using plenty of adhesive to help flatten it even more.

For the word "Beauty" on this page, I used a pencil and lightly wrote out my headline. Make sure it's light, because the pencil marks will show through watercolor paints. Using a round brush, I painted the word. Once it was completely dry, I cut out the title using an X-acto knife. Not perfect calligraphy, but it's my own writing and I love the casual look of it. Try it yourself and see what you come up with!

Watercolor Wow!

Wednesday, September 16, 2015

One of the hottest trends in papercrafting right now is watercolors. They are perfect for backgrounds or adding a quick splash of color on your cards, scrapbook pages and projects. Whether you want a bright, bold look, or a soft color wash, watercolors give you that "artsy" look that's so hot right now!

 Close to My Heart's new watercolor paints, brushes and watercolor paper let you jump onto this easy and affordable trend. I was lucky enough to get these new products last spring to prepare for teaching Extravaganza at the Close to My Heart national convention. I've experimented and played with our line of paints, papers and brushes to my heart's delight, and let me tell you... I love them!
Watercolor Paints
These paints are so easy to use, and the high concentration of pigments lets you create brightly colored washes without having to build layer after layer. The slightly chalky finish gives just enough opacity to let you paint over darker colored cardstocks (try it on Kraft cardstock!)

For the low price point of $11.95, these are some of the best watercolor paints you can get. There are similar products for slightly less, but in my opinion these less expensive paints lack the intense pigmentation found in the CTMH watercolors. More pigment = better value!

I am a total brush snob. I spend a lot on brushes, for my artwork and for my special effects makeup work. I am so impressed with the quality of the paintbrush set from Close to My Heart. When we receive our products for Extravaganza, we don't know the price that CTMH will be charging for some of the items, and I figured that these brushes would be too spendy for some of my customers who just want something fun to play with and not have to make a big investment. Imagine my surprise when I found out the brushes are less than two bucks each. Wha-what? Get these brushes. They are that good.

Watercolor Paper
I've had lots of questions coming my way about the new Close to My Heart Watercolor Paper, and I've tested and played with it plenty, so hopefully I can share my experiences.

First, it's smooth, not the pebbled texture you might expect for watercolor papers. The smooth paper is actually easier to work with, and matches the CTMH cardstocks, yet the special coating allows you more workable time with the watercolor paints. You can create blended colors and washes easily because the paint doesn't soak into the paper so quickly. This is the main reason I recommend using the watercolor paper if you are going to create large pieces (such as 12x12 pages or full card fronts), and when you want to work with multiple colors.

For just a few quick swipes of color, our White Daisy cardstock or any of our exclusive colors cardstocks will work just fine. But the intensity of your colors and the blends of colors will be much better when you choose to use watercolor paper.