Friday, August 9, 2019

DIY Watercolor Journal Tutorial + Happy Fall


Seriously. I'm about to drop some Halloween on y'all, which is the best part of fall, but the next best part is all the pumpkins and leaves and scarecrows and bare trees and just all the things.

Pumpkins are my faves. They are so easy to color. I think I probably actually learned to do light and shadow on a pumpkin stamp, because it's such a simple shape.

The geniuses at Concord & 9th (PS - Greg's wife just had a baby so leave him some love on social media) came out with a fall release that has a super fun masking angle.

The dies that match two of their fall sets are actually masking dies - so they are designed to cut a perfect mask so that you can stamp over them or stencil around them with no halo. BRILLIANT.

They teamed up with Gina and are offering her Masking Magic paper so that you can play with these awesome dies.

So I took the beautiful pumpkin from the adorable farm-themed bundle, and stamped it in Tangerine Twist and die cut the mask for with Masking Magic. It's a builder set, so I stamped the stem in Dark Chocolate. I cut that shape from Masking Magic with the die too and then masked both. Then I stamped the other two pumpkins and stems and masked them as well.

Then I sprayed the Prim & Proper stencil with Pixie Spray and put it down on top of those masked images and used a LCBB to apply Sea Glass ink over the whole panel.

Then I added shading to the pumpkins and stems (while listening to the Swindled podcast - OMG that podcast is amazing) with two Polychromos Pencils - first, Indian Red, and then Walnut Brown.

The sentiment is from the same set, stamped in Nocturne.
I stamped these cards over several weeks, but as I was pulling the blog post together, I was laughing at myself, because apparently I only have ONE fall color scheme in my brain. But I also patted myself on the back, because it's pretty much my favorite.

This was the first card I made two weeks ago, with these fun and funky modern leaves, that I also masked. I colored just one of them in yellow and orange and blue with Copics and then colored the whole background with the same blue. I shaded around each leaf with a cool grey. I cut a strip of black cardstock from my scrap bin next to my Rotatrim with the adorable negative die and put that across the top. This was a super quick and fun fall card. One of my favorite things about fall cards is they have sentiments that can be used as thank you cards all year. This die is one of those things that will be in my all year rotation.

Now, in Texas, or at least smack in the middle of Texas where I live, we do not have the opportunity to wear sweaters. For the three cold days we have a year, we just layer up all our T-shirts and pajamas and look like deranged people, because buying a jacket or a sweater is like setting money on fire. There are parts of Texas where you might be able to invest sensibly in a sweater, like Lubbock, or Dallas (southern Oklahoma), but not in Austin.

HOWEVER, sweaters are adorable, and I told Angie that I'm pretty sure this is my favorite turnabout in the history of Concord & 9th! IT IS SO CUTE!!

Sticking with my unintentional color scheme, I stamped it in Tangerine Twist, Sea Glass, Morning Mist and Nocturne.

The matching dies have two sentiments - a negative die and this awesome positive die, that's really pretty clever, because you can paper piece it for a solid background as I've done here, so that the background isn't competing with the sentiment. How cute is the little heart hanging off the T?
I changed up the complementary color for the new Uplifting Thoughts Bundle - aren't you proud of me? This is a stamp and die combo that lets you partially cut the petals on this image, or the leaves on the other image in the set so that you can pop those elements up. AND, the coolest thing about this die? There are two tiny flowers and two leaves cut out of the die that you use to align the solid die over the stamped image absolutely perfectly. So freaking smart.

Now, for my favorite stamp of the release - this amazing, large artichoke that is PERFECT for watercolor. I stamped it in Fadeout Ink, put on a podcast and painted my little heart out. I masked the first image and stamped a second one behind it. To give you an idea of the size - this is on a 5"x7" piece of watercolor paper

I did not add a sentiment, because I'm contemplating just making it into a piece of wall art because I just love it. I love the form and color of an artichoke. And I love to eat them. One of my favorite places in the world is Castroville, California, where they grow artichokes, and there are restaurants that have menus that are 100% artichoke based. My dad and I used to go there on our summer California trips for his Crypto conference. If you're in my split group - the green here is Undersea Green - perfect for artichokes!
And, back to my fall color scheme, and speaking of watercolor - I have a Gel Press video for you today!

I love to travel with my watercolor, and I have a ton of tiny watercolor journals that I've made with this wrap journal die.

BUT, in some internet rabbit hole I fell down, I found this crazy paper/leather hybrid that you can WASH, but it's paper so you can also gel print on it, draw or stamp on it, sew it, die cut it, etc. 

So I got a big bolt of it, and then soaked it and crumpled it up to get that fun leather texture, die cut it with this die, and then used this fun whitecap stencil and this fishie stencil with my 12x12 Gel Press to print onto the cover. I used Pitt and white gel pens to embellish the prints. PS - it comes in beautiful colors (even pre-washed) in addition to the kraft
(PS - my discount code for the stencils is LydiaFan10).
Here's a closeup of the cover with the journal closed. 

I took ten pieces of Fabriano Cold Press Watercolor paper, scored and folded in half, and then slipped them through the elastic cord I used for the binding. Once those are all painted, you can just add more paper and use this journal forever. So fun. 
Here's the video for this little journal, and all my supplies for today are below. Stay tuned at the end for a fun freebie! 

Autumn Harvest Bundle
[ C&9 ]
Autumn Harvest Masking Dies
[ C&9 ]
Masking Magic
[ C&9 ]
Friendship Farms Bundle
[ C&9 ]
Sweater Weather Bundle
[ C&9 ]
Uplifting Thoughts Bundle
[ C&9 ]
Vintage Artichoke Bundle
[ C&9 ]
Woven Plaid Background
[ C&9 ]
Lovely Enamel Bundle
[ C&9 ]
Sew Seasonal Bundle
[ C&9 ]
Cake Layer Dies
[ C&9 ]
Confetti Turnabout
[ C&9 ]
Ziggy Fish - A Colorful Life Designs
[ CLD ]
Prim & Proper - A Colorful Life Designs
[ CLD ]
Whitecaps - A Colorful Life Designs
[ CLD ]
Therm O Web PIXIE SPRAY iCraft...
[ SSS | ELH | THR ]
Faber-Castell Polychromos Pencils and...
[ BLIC ]
Sizzix WRAPPED JOURNAL ScoreBoards XL...
[ SSS ]
Golden Fluid Acrylics - BLICK art...
[ BLIC ]
Kraft Tex Paper Fabric Natural 18In X...
kraft-tex Sampler 6-Colors Hand-Dyed...
[ AMZUS ] Bingcute 1.0MM Black...
GKD Color Companions Ink Pad-...
[ GNK ]
GKD Color Companions Ink Pad- Dark...
[ GNK ]
Picket Fence Studios LIFE CHANGING...
[ SSS ]
GKD Color Companions Ink Pad- Sea...
[ GNK ]
Fadeout No Line coloring Detail Ink
[ INK ]
Tsukineko VersaFine Clair MORNING...
[ SSS ]
VersaFine Clair Ink Pad, Nocturne -...
[ ELH | SSS ]
Sakura CLASSIC WHITE Fine Line 05...
[ SSS ]
Pitt Fineliners
[ BLIC ]
Art Anthology BIG CRAFT MAT 24x36 311473
[ SSS ]
Mermaid tidy towel case and glue...
[ ETS ]
Heavy Base Weight Card Stock- Sea Glass
[ GNK ]
Heavy Base Weight Card Stock- White
[ GNK ]
Fabriano Extra White Cold Press...
[ BLIC ]
MISTI Stamping Tool
[ MSP | HA | SSS | ELH | MFT | UNT ]
Rotatrim Professional Series Cutter -...
[ BLIC ]
LightView 2in1 LED Magnifier for...
[ BRG ]
Mudder 10 Pack White Buffer Sanding...
Teflon Bone Folder - Ellen Hutson LLC
[ ELH | SSS ]
Crafter's Companion GEMINI...
[ SSS ]
Essentials by Ellen Storage...
[ ELH ]
Die Storage - Clear Storage Pockets...
[ CHC ]
XL Stamp Storage Pockets
[ ELH ]
Lawn Fawn STAMP SHAMMY Cleaner LF1045
[ SSS | CST | ELH | ART ]
Airtable: Organize your stamps & dies
[ ART ]
Daniel Smith Extra Fine Watercolors
[ BLIC ]
Escoda Versatil Brushes, Travel Round...
[ UTR | BLIC | INK ]
Tombow MONO MULTI Liquid Glue Two...
[ SSS | MFT ]
[ SSS | BLIC ]
Inovart Pro-Roller Brayer
Absorber - Synthetic Cleaning Cloth
Purell Advanced Hand Sanitizer...
Hammermill Paper, Color Copy Digital,...
August Release Bundle
[ C&9 ]

Oh - and last but not least, two other fun things from Greg & Angie this month!

This adorable enamel keyring and pin combo, this free with purchase die, and of course, the "buy it all" button, if you're so inclined :).



  1. I can watch gel press videos till the cows come home, that's a really long time because I don't have any cows. I love Concord&9th, they design really cool things.

  2. I lived pretty much my entire life before moving to Texas on the Monterey Peninsula. So whenever I fly home, I go to San Jose, then drive down to the Peninsula... through Castroville. I've driven through that town probably 1000 times... and I've never stopped, other than to use the bathroom in a gas station. So you're saying they have restaurants worth stopping for there? I will have to stop next time I drive through. Any recommendations? And yes, I love artichokes, too. Especially with a big vat of melted butter to dip it in.

  3. The artichoke is spectacular.
    I hope you do make it into wall art.
    It will make a wonderful picture.
    The dimension and shading is
    fantastic. thanks for sharing


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