Saturday, 6 February 2016

Watercolor for Cardmakers - Intermediate Techniques: Days 5 and 6

Hello!

I've finally found a moment to sit down to photograph and blog my homework from days 5 and 6 of Watercolor for Cardmakers: Intermediate Techniques where we were taught expressive florals. This style can be either easy or challenging, depending on your mental state! As a perfectionist, it was difficult for me to just let the paints do whatever they wanted to do with a tiny bit of direction from me.

My first challenge was to follow Dawn's direction to not worry about wasting my expensive and valuable watercolour paper, haha! She is right, how can we improve if we don't practice? And since the paints behave differently with different papers, you really need to practice on the paper you intend to use.

So I practised, and then I started making little paintings. I have made a card from one of the paintings I made during day 5 practice, and I will make more. I like some of what I created, and the others I learned from.

My first one uses just the natural shape of the brush to create the leaves and flowers. I like this effect. I've seen a few others in the gallery using the same technique but with quite different feels, and all so beautiful!
I love these little flowers. They remind me of crepe myrtle. I'm thinking I'll explore this technique a bit more, to see if I can actually create something that really does look like crepe myrtle. :-)
Oh, how I struggled with these little roses! It's such a loose painting style, and you really don't know what you'll get until you're finished.
This one I did not like at all. But I can see things that worked in it, so it was a good practice.
So after the rose that I didn't like, I decided to try one more time and created this one, which I do like.
I liked it so much I decided to scan it and make it into a card. (I'm not happy with my stamping of the sentiment, but since it is a scanned copy, I can just fix it later with another print.)
I then moved onto day 6 homework. First I tried Sanketi's lessons. I've successfully used Sanketi's techniques previously, but this time I really found it challenging. I love her style and I always learn something when I watch her videos. :-)
So after that, and feeling frustrated I gave myself a day of rest. I returned to the expressive florals with two ideas. The first was that I wanted to experiment with what happens when I use less water and a smaller brush. I was pleasantly surprised! I can see some potential in this style for me.
Then I tried to create some cosmos with wet flowers and drier leaves and stems. I played around with my greens to create some variation, and I really gave it a good splatter!
So, that's where I'm up to. I've loved these classes so much. I knew that I would learn from Dawn and my admiration for her has just increased over this class.

Thanks for visiting!

Michelle
xxx





Friday, 5 February 2016

CAS(E) This Sketch 158

Hello!

This week's sketch for CAS(E) This Sketch had me wondering for ages just what I would do with it. It's such a simple sketch, but those vertical stripes puzzled me. Then I had an idea! Yay for the mojo coming out to play!

This is what I came up with.
I used Mama Elephant Bear Hugs stamps and dies. I coloured in Copics (W2 & W4).
For those of you who layer easily, this sketch will have you bursting with ideas, I'm sure! I can't wait to see what you create!

Thanks for visiting!

Michelle
xxx

Thursday, 4 February 2016

Fusion - Paper Hearts

Hello!

For Fusion Card Challenge I am using one of my watercolour pieces created during Online Card Classes Watercolor for Cardmakers: Intermediate Techniques. I couldn't resist when I saw the inspiration, watercolour was the perfect choice!
To create this card, I traced around my heart dies to make the shapes and then watercoloured. For my perfectionist inner critic, it was really difficult to have my hearts imperfect, but at the same time, it's the imperfection that I really like in this card. Yes, I'm a little bit crazy. ;-)
How cool is this inspiration photo and sketch? Perfect for Valentine's cards!

WARNING: This bit is me moaning about the heat.
Speaking of cool, I'm super-envious of all of those snow photos I'm seeing from the northern hemisphere! Here in Brisbane we've had over a week of high temperatures with high humidity. The ceiling fans do nothing but move the hot, moist air around. I can't sleep. I feel physically ill from the heat and humidity. It's driving me crazy. Everything is wet! I keep hoping we'll get a giant thunderstorm that will blow in a cool change. I keep seeing the thunderstorms heading off in the distance - flashing lightning, giant clouds, and nothing for us! I whinge every time the weather gets like this. I'm not a fan of hot Summers, give me cold Winters any day! (We don't get those here, the coldest we get in Winter is just below 0 degrees celcius, definitely no snow.) Maybe soon we'll get those much needed rain storms to take away the heat, then I can cheer up! ;-)

Thanks for visiting! I hope you're inspired to join us at Fusion Challenge. I'll be looking for you in the gallery.

Michelle
xxx

Sunday, 31 January 2016

Watercolor for Cardmakers - Intermediate Techniques: Day 3

Hello!

Day 3 of Watercolor for Cardmakers: Intermediate Techniques was challenging! I haven't made any cards from my work yet, but I did create a postcard for my daughter from the scanned image of one of them.

I worked on two lessons at once.

Negative painting is about creating a background that brings your images to the front. I need a bit more practice on this one, but it was a really interesting process to play with.
I drew the heart outlines around a die because I had no heart outline stamps. Halfway through the process I lost my pencil lines, so I just used my imagination to keep the hearts in the picture. ;-)

Lifting is about lifting paint to leave highlights. One of the hardest things for me in watercolour is the inability to ADD highlights. As far as I can tell, you need to either leave the highlights from the beginning, or use lifting to remove some of the colour. VERY challenging for me, haha! For my first attempt I used Jane's Doodles Pretty Peonies stamp for the main flower. Again, I lost the stamped image partway through my painting, so I did my best without it. I really don't like the leaves and stems in this first effort, but as with all of these lessons, the more mistakes I make, the more I learn. I do like my freehand buds. :-)
For my second attempt, I drew my main rose (which looked so much better in pencil!). When I started lifting, I rounded the petals more than I wanted, but the lifting worked, so I can't complain. I'm getting there. Next time I want my ruffled petals AND lifting that works. I'm happier with the leaves and stems this time. I also made some mistakes that I successfully fixed, so I'm excited!
By this time I was running late with lessons, so I have paused in my day 3 practice so that I can move on. 

I printed the heart watercolour onto photo paper for my daughter. On glossy photo paper, it glows.
I'm running out of time for class homework. I'm back to work tomorrow (I had last week off to settle the kids into school), which means I'm back to night time crafting, which is rather difficult with my (getting old) eyes and limited time to allow watercolouring to dry. I hope to get some more done today, so that I just have fun practising to do this week.

Thanks for visiting!

Michelle
xxx


Friday, 29 January 2016

CAS(E) This Sketch 157

Hello!

I'm late! I'm late! For a very important date! Oops! I forgot to schedule my CAS(E) This Sketch post to go live last night, so here I am in the morning arriving fashionably late to the party. ;-)

I took a little bit of artistic licence with the sketch this week. I honestly intended to use the sketch with just the top of the card stamped, but my hands went ahead and made something different, haha!
Sentiment is MFT Blue Skies and wood elements are from Freckled Fawn (aren't they cute?).
Now this sketch is really lovely, and I must go back and actually use it as it is designed, because I LOVE it. N@Ali is such a talented maker of sketches!

Now I need to race off to drop the kidlets at school. I hope you join us in the fun this week!

Michelle
xxx

Thursday, 28 January 2016

Watercolor for Cardmakers - Intermediate Techniques: Day 2

Hello!

I'm only halfway through my homework for Day 2 of Watercolour for Cardmakers: Intermediate Techniques but I need to move onto Day 3 (because there's even more exciting things to learn there!). I'll go back to finishing Day 2 because I am very much still exploring the lessons.
So on day 2, I learned how to make cornflowers and promptly applied the lesson to create poppies instead. My daughter requested that I go back and make cornflowers for her, haha!
I also learned how to make a brush stroke rose from Jennifer Rzasa. In that lesson, she also pointed out that scanning our artwork and printing onto cardstock means that we can use our art multiple times. I have no idea why I never thought of this before, but it is BRILLIANT! I'm so excited!
This first rose pretty much copied Jen's example. My second rose was a challenge to myself to attempt to create two roses with one in front of the other. This is one of my challenges when drawing or painting flowers - I struggle to layer them up - so I'm working on it.
The cards are made using the scanned images of my paintings. I'm really happy how they turned out.

Here are the cards beside the original watercolours.


I still have two lessons to apply from day 2. I have one halfway made but I'm stuck on ideas to make a card. The other technique I am yet to try, but I will. ;-)

Thank-you for dropping by to visit me!

Michelle
xxx

Wednesday, 27 January 2016

Watercolor for Cardmakers - Intermediate Techniques: Day 1

Hello!

Most of you who know me also know that I have a fascination with watercolour and a desire to build up some competency with this tricky medium. I took the Online Card Classes Watercolor for Cardmakers back in May 2014. I learned so much from that class that when I saw that Watercolor for Cardmakers: Intermediate Techniques was on offer, I just had to join in again!

Yesterday I worked on my pre-work and also Day 1 techniques. That was a day of mixed results! But even the dodgy ones taught me something, so it's all positive! :-)

I made one card from the day's work.
I used an apple die to create the outlines, although I think they turned out looking more like peaches, haha!

My other work for the day included lots of experimenting with water and colour to see what it would do. This pile of experiments is currently sitting on my table reminding me to keep on working on it.
Now I'm off to look over Day 2's videos and do a little more work on it before picking up my girls from their first day of the new school year!
Thanks for visiting!

Michelle
xxx