Watercolors: Basic Washes 3


Continuing on with creating basic washes from my various watercolor, watercolor-like, or water-based supplies, just to see how they work as watercolors.  In this post I have Twinkling H2o’s, Faber-Castell Gelatos, and Distress Inks. Twinkling H2os are cake watercolors in tiny little jars, with bright colors and a lot of mica powder added to them to give a pearly shimmer. I didn’t even know what they were for a long time — I kept reading mentions of them in papercrafting books and magazines, and wondered. “What are these Twinkling H2os?”  Someone finally explained it.  Then I found a basic set at Michaels one day, so I bought it.  This is the first time I have ever actually used them.




Pretty intense colors, and an all-over pearlescent sheen.  Hope you can see it:




Good color coverage, and less streaky than the Yasutomo pearlescent watercolors. (Probably because they are better quality.)  I like them so far.

Next I tried Gelatos, which are a solid media, but are water-soluble and easily mixed with water to make a watercolor-like pigment.  You can even make color sprays out of them with enough water — Faber-Castell sells a kit of little tools for that.  I’ve made a couple and they have good color and coverage. (I want to like color and shimmer sprays, I do, they seem like so much fun, but I just find them too messy and unpredictable. I keep trying, though.) So anyway, I haven’t tried Gelatos as watercolor paints before. At first, for some reason, I tried applying the Gelato right to the paper and washing it out.  That didn’t work; the pigment did not spread across the paper but stayed where I had applied it:




I mean, this will work if you are going for that sketchy, messy mixed-media look, but not for a watercolor wash.  Seeing this, I remembered, oh yeah, you are supposed to mix the paint on a palette. What you do is swipe the Gelatos sticks on your craft sheet or other smooth, plasticky flat surface, and add water, then mix to create a paint.  The Gelatos mix quite readily with the water and smooth out to an even liquid.  They wash like this:




Streakier than I hoped, but with more practice I might be able to create an even wash.  We’ll have to see.  There are regular Gelatos, and also a few metallic colors.  The regulars produce a matte wash, and the metallics have a subtle sheen — nothing like the Twinks or the Yasutomos, though.

Finally I tried Distress Inks from the inkpads. I went a little afield.  I did a partial wash, because I wanted to make a certain style of card,which I have already posted.  Here is a better picture:




The inks here are Salty Ocean, Peacock Feathers, and Moved Lawn. I generally like what was the “Seasonal” range of Distress Colors rather than the orginal range, because they are brighter and more vibrant.  The seasonal colors sold so well they are part of the whole range now and are not just sold seasonally anymore. For the second piece, I did a wash and then grunged it up a bit using Tom Holtz’s “wrinkle-free distress” method, where you build layers and drops of Distress color, drying the paper between colors.  Just to see how it would look.  Because that’s how Distress inks are meant to be used.




Distress inks as watercolors are very easy to do.  You just squish the inkpad down on your craft sheet or other palette, spritz the ink laid down with water, and swirl it with your brush to make a paint.  The big difference, I think, is, even when dry, Distress colors will continue to react to water if it is applied.  So you need to be careful of that as you work.


Haven’t made any cards with these panels yet — when I do, I will add them. I’m also taking the Online Card Class Watercolor for Cardmakers.  It seemed opportune.   So I will be posting projects from that, as well.

3 responses »

  1. Your watercolor series is like a free class, Kirsten! It makes a nice adjunct to the Online Card Classes about watercoloring that are currently going on in Blogland. Thank you, again, for all the inspiration and instruction. I like the TH2Os and the camera never picks up the pretty sheen. Enjoy!! Hugs, Darnell

    • Thanks, Darnell, that’s very kind. I do hope people get something out of the work I do on this blog. I do it for me — to work and to document my work — but I hope it means something to others as well.

  2. Pingback: Watercolors: Basic Washes 4 | Crash Your Stash

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