Watercolors: Basic Washes



Once I was finished with my Dazzles projects, I asked what readers might like to see next.  My blog buddy Ela suggested watercolors, so that’s what I’m going to do.  Watercolors are terribly trendy right now, but i can work with them without having to buy a lot of new stuff.  I have watercolor paints, and plenty of stuff that can be used to make watercolor paints, or in a watercolor fashion.

Here are three.  I thought for my first attempt at watercolors, I would just lay down some basic washes on paper, see how the media worked.


Basic Watercolors

These three panels are painted with just the basic, cheap Artist’s Loft watercolors you can buy at Michaels for kids and rank beginners.  I think they were five dollars.  They are matte and provided a pretty good coverage of the paper I think.  Orange/yellow, green/blue, and purple.  The orange panel got some water spots on it somehow, but that’s OK, because it just contributes to the watery look.  I just painted washes of color over the paper — which is Strathmore hot press watercolor paper — and left them to dry naturally.




Pearlescent Watercolors

These are Yasutomo Pearlescent watercolors that I bought at Hobby Lobby ages ago (which I no longer shop at because of the birth control thing).  Agin, these were super-cheap, about eight dollars I think.




They are quite pearlescent IRL, but as usual, the camera can’t catch the pearly quality very well.  You can see it a little better in close up:




These ended up streakier than I expected.  They also dried weird, with the borders between the different colors I used on each piece softly blended in some places, starkly divided in others.  The green one also dried all dribbly on one end, as you can see here, even though it was laid out flat.


Dylusions Sprays

I don’t really care for sprays and mists all that much, because they are so messy and unpredictable.  But of the ones I do have, I like the Ranger Dylusions sprays the best because they are such vibrant colors.  I love to use bright color on my projects.  Well, the Dylusions sprays are water-based, translucent dyes, so I thought I could try them as watercolors.




Wow!  So intense!  I sprayed a little of each Dylusion into the wells of my paint palette — just a couple sprays, it doesn’t take much!  Then I picked them up with the paint brush and washed them over thre paper.  I didn’t have to add any water –they are thin enough on their own.

I really did not think they would come out so brilliantly bright.  It occurs to me, just now, that if i had added some water, I could have toned them down.  Not that I necessarily want to, I love the bright colors, but it’s something to try.

The Dylusions also dried a little runny and weird — in the future I might dry them with the heat gun before they can run and streak.

So I made a few cards with these panels:




The ones on the left and the right are the basic watercolors, and the one in the center is the pearlescent Yasutomos.

The orange panel reminded me of a tropical sunset, so I used a big tropical flower on the card, and a sentiment from the same stamp set, which is Inkadinkado Floral Expressions.  I dotted the stamens of the flower with Orange Peel Stickles, to bling it up a little.

The blue/green one reminded me of the sea, of course, so I used some seashells stamps, masking the starfish with a slight border so it was not subsumed in the cockle shell.  The sentiment reads, “Capture this moment in your heart” — capture it like a shell found on the beach.  I added some Doodlebug flower sequins.  The five-petaled shape of the flowers mimics the shape of the starfish.  I like the deep blue sequin best, so I mounted the panel on a royal blue card base.

The center card is made from a panel of gold and copper colored Yasutomo watercolor.  I thought the streakiness of the panel needed a regular geometric pattern to balance it, hence the hexagon background.  I thought it looked quite masculine.  I mounted it on a brown card base, and added a metal embossed sentiment.  I even had some hexagonal embellishments to bling it up!  They are gold glittered hexagon enamel dots from Basic Grey.

You can see the bling, and the pearlescent sheen of the watercolor panel, better on closeup:




So that is my first stab at watercolors.  It was fun to try different things.  But in the end, I think the cheap-ass big-box brand Artist’s Loft paints gave the best color and coverage.  I would like to work more with the Yasutomos, I love anything glittery or shiny.  I wonder how they would look on dark paper.

I also have plenty of other media that can be treated like watercolors — Distress Inks, Distress markers, Faber-Castell Gelatos, probably more. I will have to look at the stash list!  Watercoloring could keep us busy for quite a while.


6 responses »

  1. Hey Kirsten,

    I love that you really picked watercolors. Are you taking the OOC class starting on Monday? All about watercolors? I am very tempted, but haven’t decided yet. I fear I won’t have much time in the next 2 weeks.

    I’ve been trying my Inktense pencils a little last week, but didn’t get around to uploading any pictures yet.


  2. Pingback: New (to me) Challenge Blog | Crash Your Stash

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