It is such an honor to be given the opportunity to share a new line of art, Shady Tree, with you! It will be released by Cornish Heritage Farms and available in our store on January 15th (I am highlighting this in red being many of you have been asking where you can find them and it is not quite that time yet.) Before that time I want to share some of the visions I have had as to ways to use these images, so that when they do become available you will have your "toys" ready to begin to play with and be ready to create.
Ethereal is a word that comes to mind when I look at these floral images. I could hardly wait to try coloring one of these beauties. When I first say these I knew that I wanted to try a combination of watercoloring and Copic markers together. Experimentation is key to learning, so today I would like to share my experimentation with you.
Each image comes in packaging that showcases a beautifully colored image. As an artist translating someone elses vision for that image I have found it so helpful to begin my experimentation by referring to their colored image and using it as a guide. This helps me to get a better feel for the shadows, highlights and color variations that may be possible. So I used the package image to help me begin this process.
Pictured above are the supplies that I used to create my final piece of art. To begin I stamped my image using Brilliance Ink on an Arturo watercolor paper. The rich deckled edge and luxurious touch of this paper adds to the overall quality feel of the end product. I heat set the ink to make certain that I would not have any problems with bleeding. I also stamped an image using Memento Ink, but did not have the time to test it to see how it will hold up to the combination of all the elements - water, alcohol, etc. I do plan to do so in the days ahead and I will be certain to let you know the results. I selected the Brilliance today because I knew that when heat set I would have no problems with either watercolor or Copic techniques on this very porous paper. I am fairly confident that Brilliance will hold on most porous papers, but remember to heat set it just to make certain.
To begin I lightly washed the entire image with water using my watercolor brush. I then picked up a hint of Olive Green and lightly washed it over the stems and leaves, making certain that I went outside the lines, fuzzing the color around the entire image. I used the Stampin' Up! Watercolor Wonder crayons being I know many of you have them. You could also use Lyra Watercolor crayons being they are identical to the SU ones, other than some color variations. Using So Saffron I applied a hint of color to the petal area, once again washing around the petals as well. I did this very quickly and quite randomly.
Unfortunately as you can see I forgot to snap a picture before I began with the next portion of my "experimental" painting. When I get into a grove I must admit I forget that I am working and so I forget to take my pictures. I hope to get this whole Flip Video thing figured out and then I can just let it run and edit later. I promise I will figure that thing out and then hopefully I won't forget to document the process as I go along.
Using the colors above I finished coloring the image. This time I worked completely opposite from my normal light to dark. I decided to try working in the reverse. As you can see in the photo above, (the one that I did remember to snap - LOL) I began with my darkest orange and then worked my way through the remainder of my oranges, yellows and pinks. I finished by using my yellow greens on the stems and leaves.
As you can see I did not work to get a smooth transition between the Copic colors that I used. I wanted to see a few of the strokes showing through, being I knew that I wanted to add yet another layer of color over the top. When working on a paper that is porous, such as this Arturo, you will find that your marker has a tendency to "bleed" a little more than a dense paper such as the Neenah. So when you begin to color start further from the line edge then you would typically to see how the color flows from your marker in to the paper. You might even want to consider just stamping or drawing a series of circles and filling them in to test how the paper allows the marker ink to flow.
I don't know how many of you have these little pots of shimmery goodness (better known as Twinkling H20's Ü) in your collections, but I know that mine have been neglected for a VERY long time. I happily pulled them out today being I felt that these would add the perfect finishing touch! Don't be afraid to combine the different tools that you have in your collection. At this time I won't recommend bringing your Copic colors back over this surface that has mica on it, but I will test this in the future and see if it will destroy the tips on my markers before I allow you that privilege - LOL!
Adding a hint of the green to the foliage, pink to the petals and gold to the area surrounding this beauty and my coloring was completed. I felt a warm feeling of happiness roll through my body. I'm not certain what it is about seeing something come together and be so exquisite, but it makes my soul happy. Photographing shimmer is so hard, but I hope that you can get a sense of what this looks like. I wish that I could just pass it around class so that you would be able to run your fingers over it and truly get a better sense of the layers of color and shimmer.
This whole process took approximately 10 minutes to complete. I began this by stamping three separate images thinking that I would need all three to come up with something I could share. It is a rare occasion when my experimental process only has one little image completed at the end. The balance was off, but I didn't care. I did my best to stamp a fitting sentiment (from the Vintage Butterflies set) in a spot that would bring balance and added a few pearls to balance the color that I selected to place behind my image. Placed it in an inexpensive IKEA frame and my little "masterpiece" was complete.
OK, so perhaps it's not a masterpiece and I will never take credit for the beauty of this stamped image. But what I will do is have a feeling of complete satisfaction as I gaze at the beauty before my eyes. What a gift we have been given to have the opportunity to see. Now I want springtime to come! It is my favorite time of year and I can hardly wait for the crocus to pop their little heads up out of the ground!
Thank you for joining me in my little adventure of mixing various media together. I hope that it gives you the courage and desire to give it a try. I wish for all of you to feel that warm sensation run through you as you run a finger over your completed project and think about who you can share your little masterpiece with.