Watercolor Basics and Beyond: Featuring the Altenew Watercolor Pans  Level 3 Class 2

For this next class I chose watercoloring in a way I’ve never done before.  Watercolor painting can be great or …I’ll just say, not so great.  It is definitely a work in progress for me so I welcome another opportunity to learn.

Instructor Jen Rzasa does an excellent job of starting from scratch in teaching this watercoloring class…right from the beginning of knowing about the paper and about playing with the colors to get varying results. Once she described all the differences in materials, she then went on to show some different ways to paint with watercolors. 

I chose to make my card with the method on wet on wet.  To do this I first taped my water color paper down on cardboard to help keep it from warping.  Then I took a wide flat brush and gave the paper a wash with water.  I chose greens for this background using Forest Glades, Frayed Leaf, and Bamboo from my Altenew 36 half pan set of Watercolor paints.  First, I put a drop or so of water on the color cube, let it sit to mix with the paint then pick up some of each color around the washed paper.  I played with it to add color and water to let the colors mix and blend on their own. 

The next step is to take a stencil and put it on top of the WET paint, smushing it down.  Since the background was green, I chose the Feathery Stencil as it looked like leaves to me.  I needed to let it dry with the stencil on it and some weight for several hours.  I put a plate from a die cutting machine on top of it for even pressure, then my Misti stamp positioner, then an acrylic block and scotch tape dispenser.  I knew I might peek before it was done so I walked away from it to keep me from checking on it before it was dry. 

The reveal was so much fun…I peeled away the layers on top to reveal the actual painting!  The lines were subtle but clearly there.  I really liked the outcome.

Next, I die cut the Altenew “Thinking of You” die three times…twice in white and once in a deep green.  I glued the two white together, but when I added the deep green, I purposely offset it to have a white shadow effect.  Then I used the Nuvo Shimmer pen to add some sparkle to the sentiment.  I found it came out fast and I got too much on the lettering.  When dry I just used a piece of paper towel to wipe off some of the shimmer.  I wanted to be able to see the green lettering against the green background so by wiping some shimmer off, it gave the greeting a bit of sparkle without covering the cardstock.

I cut out the background with a 4”x5.25” stitched die from My Favorite Things positioning the parts of the background to show as I wanted and make the sentiment stand out the most.  I popped it up with foam tape to a white card base…helping to highlight the shadow of the wording.  Then I used enamel dots from the Altenew Green Fields selection to dot the I’s and add some embellishment to the card. 

I can see doing these backgrounds in mass using different colors and different stencils to make many backgrounds at once.  That would be a big time saver if making many cards, but at the same time give lots of practice with the great Altenew watercolors.

So tonight, I want to tell you I am “Thinking of You” and hoping that you are healthy and safe and that in this world you are finding some joy.

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Rethinking Re-Inkers  Level 3 Class 1

Happy New Year everyone!  I’m excited to get back into AECP and finish out my last 5 level 3 classes.

For the first one I chose Sara Naumann’s Re-Inkers class.  The re-inkers are tubes of liquid ink that can be used to add freshness to drying ink pads…thus the term “re-inker”.  But they are alcohol based and can be used straight from the bottle in other ways, much like any other alcohol inks.  I’ve worked a lot with alcohol inks, sometimes just spending a day making backgrounds on yupo paper and even making coasters on stone and hardcore boards.  They are lots of fun and never are there any two alike.

Sara used Altenew re-inkers in different ways than I had in the past.  She made monochromatic and polychromatic backgrounds, created sheets for die cutting, showed how they react on different types of papers, created sheets, for die cutting and did block inking with embossing powder.  I used a combination of her classes but mostly for die cutting.

First, I took a piece of yupo paper –a synthetic paper that is non porous –and put drops of ink randomly around the paper using Altenew Ruby Rd, Coral Berry, Cotton Candy and Blush.  I also added a few sprinkles of alcohol to give more variations in color.  At Sara’s suggestion I took a moist baby wipe and dabbed around the paper giving a mottled look and some texture.  I the die cut flowers from the Simple Rosed die set. The nice thing about die cutting like this is that you can move your die around the paper to decide how you want your flower to look.  Then tape the dies down and do the actual cutting. 

As Jennifer McGuire showed in a video before Christmas you can also do put alcohol inks on holographic paper, which I had don in December.  This green alcohol ink is stunning on the holographic silver paper. From this I cut some leaves from the Altenew Leaf Mix Die Set, Altenew Simple Roses die set and from the Altendew Classic Beauty Die Set.  I played around with layouts and found myself doing something totally different than my first thoughts.  I didn’t use the leaves from the leaf mix die set BUT I did use the curved negative die pieces (right leaf in picture on the right) to create my own background.  I laid out the card design with flowers and background then covered it with Press n Seal to hold the little pieces in place.  On the white card background, I splattered some Ruby Red ink and alcohol from a brush.  Then I added glue to the backs of the flowers, stems and little pieces and put the card back on it so the design would stay where I had put it.  I turned it over, put foam tape behind the larger rose and popped it up on the card front.  To soften it, I rounded the edges of the rectangle and popped the whole card front up with foam tape on the card base.

I wanted a longer, smaller sentiment to fit below the bud and found just the right on in the Heartfelt Sentiments set.  I stamped it with Simon Says Intense black ink, trimmed it down and adhered it directly on the card front.  Some finishing touches of red sequins completed the card.