Saturday, February 24, 2018

Looking Back

Do you ever look back at your old cards and cringe?

I do. I even cringe over some of my recent cards - especially those which are watercolored.

Since I spent two days talking about some really important and easy things you can do to make your watercolor pop this past weekend, I am criticizing today's card because I really should have done more.

I'm a chronic over-worker in watercolor. At some point, I make myself stop, but it's a struggle. I love to doodle around adding things forever. If my goal is not a finished card I could seriously spend a year on one leaf. It's a disease.

So I'm trying to catch up on blogging the cards I made for Creativation, and I still have a few to show you. This one was a no-line watercolor. I made two samples - one for Germany, and I tried hard to make them as identical as is possible with watercolor.

But now that it's been a month or two, I look at this, and I see a lot of missed opportunities.

The size of the image is perfect for no-line watercolor, because it's not one of those images that will take you ten hours to paint, and the shapes are fairly simple and repeatable.

Looking at it now, though - I should have put much darker darks in it. It looks flat to me. My favorite part of it is the touch of that rusty color on the shingles. It's such a peaceful image though - it almost looks like a children's book illustration.

No line watercolor Wishing Well by Understand Blue
Wishing Well | Hero Arts
[ HA | ELH | SSS ]
Wishing Well Frame Cuts (C) | Hero Arts
[ HA | SSS | ELH ]
Fadeout No Line coloring Detail Ink
[ INK ]
Daniel Smith Extra Fine Watercolors
[ BLIC ]
Da Vinci Cosmotop Sable Mix F Brushes...
[ BLIC | ELH ]
Fabriano Artistico 140 lb. Cold Press...
[ AMZUS ]
Foliage Mix Layering Papers (12) |...
[ HA ]
Basic Black 8-1/2" X 11" Cardstock by...
[ SUP ]
MISTI Stamping Tool
[ MSW | HA | SSS | ELH | MFT | SBC ]
Hero Arts Intense Black Ink
[ HA | ELH | SBC | SSS ]
Lawn Fawn STAMP SHAMMY Cleaner LF1045
[ SSS | ELH | CST | ART | SBC ]
Rotatrim Professional Series Cutter -...
[ BLIC ]
Multipurpose Liquid Glue by Stampin' Up!
[ SUP ]
Nesting Porcelain Bowls - BLICK art...
[ BLIC ]

I'm on a real no-line watercolor kick now that I found this amazing ink. I am in love and freaked out and bought several. I feel like I'll die if I ever run out.

But anyway - I thought it was important to show something I think could have been better, and how I think it could have been better, because one of the MOST important things I try to teach in my classes is to walk away from your project. We spend so much time coloring, that just like when you're reading something you've written - you know what you wanted to say, so you don't notice your mistakes. It's the same with watercolor. First - walk away and take a break, even if it's for a week. Then when you look at it - hold it at arm's length - changing the distance between your eye and your work can often help you spot things that can be better - like not enough darkness on the stones on the well here.

Guess what? My Sweet Petunia is having a flash sale on the Studio Bag in honor of her wedding anniversary, which is today! So for 24 hours on the 24th, the bag is $24! I take this with me everywhere - it holds so much. At my retreat, I fit all of the supplies for two days worth of classes into one bag! So grab one while it's at such a discount. It comes in three trim colors: turquoise, pink and grey.


Hope you have a great weekend!

Loveyameanitbye.

Friday, February 23, 2018

Honeybee No Line Watercolor - I Finished It!

If you joined me this weekend in New Braunfels for Kathy's coloring event, you saw me working on today's card as an instructional tool. I stole Kathy's adorable stamp set from Honey Bee (don't worry - I mailed it back to her :) ), because the images were the ideal size and style for no-line watercolor. I got about 90% done with it, and then brought it home to finish, along with the purloined stamp set still in my mini MISTI so that I could overstamp the girl's face and the kitty's face. I thought about stamping those in black, but I thought it was too harsh, so I used my fadeout ink to stamp several times after it was all painted for a softer look that matched the no-line style.

When I travel, I can't bring all my watercolors with me, because I don't own a burro or a sherpa that can carry all my stuff, so I have to just pick one of my palettes and make the best of it. What's funny is that Kathy was teaching people to do the same with markers. She has a little fabric basket that she uses and she says she "color plucks" from her Copic collection for travel - filling the basket deliberately with colors she doesn't always reach for as a challenge to herself. So we both do the same thing, and I've found that the things I create with a random watercolor palette not chosen for my image become my favorites. So I chose the C & D splits from my Daniel Smith watercolor split group for the weekend, and today's card uses just a few colors from those splits.

Colors used: Phthalo Blue Green Shade, Anthraquinoid Scarlet, Jane's Grey*, Quinacridone Gold, Quinacridone Pink, Burnt Sienna Light, Raw Sienna Light, Quinacridone Purple, Undersea Green, Sepia Aussie Red Gold.

No-Line watercolor with Honey Bee Stamps and Daniel Smith
*Jane's Grey is a custom mix of Ultramarine Blue and Burnt Sienna. You can buy pre-mixed Payne's Grey, but often it isn't as interesting a color as a custom mix. You can see Jane's book in the supply list below.
Fadeout No Line coloring Detail Ink
[ INK ]
Hey, Pumpkin | 4x8 Stamp Set - Honey...
[ HNB | SSS | ELH ]
Hey, Pumpkin | Honey Cuts | Steel...
[ HNB | SSS | ELH ]
Daniel Smith Extra Fine Watercolors -...
[ BLIC ]
DaVinci Vinci Cosmotop Spin Brush,...
[ ELH | BLIC ]
Fabriano Artistico 140 lb. Cold Press...
[ AMZUS ]
Nesting Porcelain Bowls - BLICK art...
[ BLIC ]
MISTI Stamping Tool
[ MSW | HA | SSS | ELH | MFT | SBC ]
Bar Magnet
[ MSW | ELH | SSS | MFT ]
Lawn Fawn STAMP SHAMMY Cleaner LF1045
[ SSS | ELH | ART | SBC | CST ]
Tsukineko VersaFine Clair NOCTURNE...
[ SSS ]
Whisper White Cardstock - Thick
[ SUP ]
Basic Black 8-1/2" X 11" Cardstock by...
[ SUP ]
Rotatrim Professional Series Cutter -...
[ BLIC ]
Multipurpose Liquid Glue by Stampin' Up!
[ SUP ]
The Ultimate Mixing Palette: a World...
[ BLR ]


Sometimes it's fun to let a painting sit a while without finishing it - it helps you see what you've forgotten or made a mistake on.

Here's a video of how I finished this card, with a few of the tips I gave people at the coloring event this weekend on how to get the most from watercolor.



Hope you have a great weekend!

Loveyameanitbye.

Tuesday, February 20, 2018

Find Your Tribe, Love Them Hard

Let's face it - we are all strange.

Everyone I know has a quirk or a hundred of them. There are introverts and extroverts and germophobes and claustrophobes, and people who love rollercoasters and people who don't. There are people who stamp and then there are weirdos. :)

When you're a kid - you're on a quest to "fit in" to whatever your nebulous idea of the crowd around you is.

But your brain isn't developed enough to know that that is not, in fact, how to be happy.

To be happy - you just need to seek and find people who are strange - in EXACTLY the same way you are. Those people are your tribe, and you will find the most peace in their company.

This weekend, I had the huge honor of hosting my friend and artist - Kathy Racoosin.

Kathy is like a long lost sister. We have art in common, of course, but we also have a lot more. We are sisters in food preferences, vegetable washing, and our love of both whole foods and Whole Foods. We have a similar taste in books. We both love to teach, and have low tolerances for things that don't make us happy.

Her event this weekend was amazing. Working in small groups, she spent tons of time with each student, teaching them her simple tips that make her work so amazing. She is without a doubt, the world's best colorist. I'll put some of her cards I took photos of below.

She told everyone that she wanted to share that fun feeling of being with like-minded creative people that she gets at retreats she attends with TONS of people, and that's why she took her coloring challenge on the road. She funds these events herself - the fee she charges goes to the local charity of the host store's choosing, minus $5, which she uses to buy everyone lunch. She pays for her airfare, hotels, all the supplies and an awesome goodie bag for each guest. Lawn Fawn donates a stamp shammy for every person, and Honey Bee stamps donated tons of stamps for prizes, (including a sneak peek set or two!) and also gifts and coupons for the goodie bag. (I loved spending time with Lisa Cisneros from Honey Bee - I felt like I'd known her all my life.) How generous is that?

She is truly just sharing the love of what she does with her talent out of the goodness of her heart. I'm so grateful to have been a part of that.

I'm always sad when it's time to say goodbye to crafty friends at the end of these events, but I'm so glad to have just a vast community of people that I have so much in common with that I can spend time with at things like these.

We might be strange - but we are awesome.

I've had today's card on my desk for a while, waiting for just the right story.

The images are from The Cat's Pajamas, and the sentiment is from one of the new Hero Arts sets I've used in a previous post - I love this Edgar Allen Poe quote. The cute striped background is part of this gorgeous black and white paper from Stampin' Up! I colored them with the Tombow Markers listed below, and - you can't see it but I added sparkle to all the heart with Wink of Stella. I cut the little guys out with my ScanNCut 2. She has these two separate little wing dies I think would look so cute behind these images.

Beauty and some strangeness by Understand Blue







Fadeout No Line coloring Detail Ink
[ INK ]
Weird & Wonderful
[ HA ]
Sent with Love – The Cat's Pajamas...
[ THC ]
Petal Passion Designer Series Paper...
[ SUP ]
Tombow Marker
[ BLIC ]
Tombow Marker
[ BLIC ]
Tombow Marker
[ BLIC ]
Tombow Marker
[ BLIC ]
Tombow Marker
[ BLIC ]
Tombow Marker
[ BLIC ]
Tombo Marker
[ BLIC ]
Tombow Marker
[ BLIC ]
Clear Wink Of Stella Glitter Brush...
[ SUP ]
Brother CM350 ScanNCut 2 Home & Hobby...
[ AMZUS ]
Rotatrim Professional Series Cutter -...
[ BLIC ]
Multipurpose Liquid Glue by Stampin' Up!
[ SUP ]

Their faces remind me a bit of Edward Gorey's art. I love them.

Now I will do a video soon, but I tried a new to me no-line coloring ink this weekend at the coloring event for the very first time, and it is my ONE TRUE NO-LINE INK! I am absolutely in love, and our guests got to see it in action as I taught watercolor tips this weekend. Here's a work in progress that I'll blog later - but you can see how much detail you can see with the ink to guide you while you paint, but that it completely fades out without adding any unwanted color to your image!! So you can see on the uncolored parts that the ink is clearly visible and easy to paint in details over, but on the colored portions - the red, blue, yellow - any color - the ink just disappears. Many thanks to my friend Ellie Wilkins for pointing this ink out to me. And I got it lightning fast, and the owners are very kind. When I asked about the ink, she told me she had poured her heart and soul into the creation of this ink, and I told her - it shows! If you like no-line coloring, I cannot tell you how much you will love this ink. Made in the USA.

Work in Progress No Line Watercolor by Understand Blue




Hey, Pumpkin | 4x8 Stamp Set - Honey...
[ HNB ]
Daniel Smith Extra Fine Watercolors -...
[ BLIC ]
DaVinci Vinci Cosmotop Spin Brush,...
[ ELH | BLIC ]
Fabriano Artistico 140 lb. Cold Press...
[ AMZUS ]
MISTI Stamping Tool
[ MSW | HA | SSS | ELH | MFT | SBC ]
Lawn Fawn STAMP SHAMMY Cleaner LF1045
[ SSS | ELH | ART | SBC ]
Nesting Porcelain Bowls - BLICK art...
[ BLIC ]
Fadeout No Line coloring Detail Ink
[ INK ]



Finally - here's one of Kathy's beauties from this weekend. Look how her work just glows. You'd think that creating it is impossible, but she broke down the process into simple tips everyone can use to enhance their colored images. She's a genius. I encourage you to subscribe to her blog and YouTube channel too! If you're lucky enough to be in Missouri - sign up for her next event here -- hosted by the amazing Marcella Hawley of Power Poppy!

Kathy Racoosin watercolor with Tombow

I hope you had a great weekend and are ready for whatever this week brings.

It was so fun to meet some of you this weekend - thank you so much for reading my blog and then coming out to this class. I love nothing more than meeting people who have visited and commented here! Hugs all around!

Loveyameanitbye.
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