painting on a rainy day...

Hello my fabulous friends!

Yesterday was very wet and rainy, and sweet little Ava needed a quiet day to recover from surgery so I spent some quality time with my stamps and markers. 

Step 1: Stamp your image. When I do no line watercolor, I like to stamp my images in Antique Linen Distress ink. I find that it is just dark enough to see when coloring, but disappears nicely in the end. Here I am using Bristol paper because I like how the Clean Color markers work on it. 

Step 2: Add a some of your lightest color into the areas you want the darkest shadows (in this case, where petals overlap and where the petal is folded over). I have found that unless you are working with a large area within the image, a little goes a long way. I'm using  Clean Color Light Brown (061)  which turns in to a yellow color with water...

Step 3: Using a water brush or a slightly damp paint brush, blend the color out from the dark areas into the light areas. If the color is too intense in your light areas, dab it away using a clean paper towel.

Step 4: For a little added depth, add in a tiny bit of the darker color into the darkest shadows. (Brown 060) I do this while it is still wet, then use the water brush to blend it out. 

Step 5: Continue working each petal... Work one section at a time, and don't work right next to a wet area or your colors well bleed and you will lose all definition. 

Don't worry if it looks terrible at this point. 
I always look at it when I only have a few petals done and want to just give up. Don't!!! Keep going. It looks amazing when it's finished!

Step 6: Once dry, you can go in and add details... I used Dark Brown (062)  to add the stamen into the center. I didn't really care where the dots were originally, after all, each flower is different.

If you want to add more images to build a bigger scene, simply mask off your finished areas and stamp using Distress Ink Antique Linen. I make my masks by stamping the image onto clear acetate with a permanent ink like Archival or Staz-On. I then hand cut just barely inside the line. A little repositionable adhesive on the back and it's good to go. You can use paper for your masks, but this is more durable an can be used over and over. It also means you can see through it.. This is nice when you art trying to figure out how to layer other stamps. I like using a stamp press like MISTI because it helps me get everything perfectly how I want it. 

If you want to plan all your images out at the beginning, that's perfectly fine... Sometimes I'm just not sure what I want when I first start and have to work as it comes.. Thats's just how I roll. :)

Step 7: Color your leaves the same way you did the petals... Start by adding the lightest color to the darkest areas, blend out with water, then add in a bit of your darker color... For me the light green is Mid Green (046) and the darker green is Olive Green (043).

Step 8: Once leaf is completely dry, VERY lightly flick your darker green marker to create veins. Start in the center of the leaf and flick outward working your way up the leaf.

Step 9: Because these small flowers are SO small, only one color is needed (though you can use more if you want). I used Blue Gray (092). Add your color in the shadows and blend out, then go back into the shadows with the same marker... a TINY bit goes a long way with tiny images. When dry, you can add details to the flowers by flicking in lines, as well as adding a different color to your center. I used Light Brown (061)

You can also go back in and add more details to you main flower... I decided to flick in some lines with my darker color  Brown (060)

And here it is finished... Now to make something with it...

The butterfly is stamped and colored the same way as the flowers, however I used Distress ink for most of it. 

I smeared my Victorian Velvet Distress ink pad on a plastic sheet, and picked up color using the water brush and painted the butterfly...
Then repeated that with Aged Mahogany to add in the deeper shadows. 

I used my Light Gray (091) Clean Color to add some flicked details to the wings, and Dark Oatmeal (066) for the body.

The sentiment was stamped using Hero Arts Wet Cement Ink. The sentiment is originally one long line. To make it fit I simply inked and stamped only part of the stamp at a time.

I hope you have a wonderful day.. I think I'm going to enjoy some quite time with Ava by the fireplace. :)