Whilst I was in England I was able to pick up some of my old art supplies, which had been living in a bag in my mum’s garage. Amongst the things I bought back were a pad of watercolour paper, some watercolour pencils, and a little set of watercolour paints. I decided I had to make something using them, and the result is this card.
I’m entering this card into just three challenges. Alphabet Challenge‘s K is for Kindness, and The Paper Players tic-tac-toe challenge for which I chose CAS (in hindsight, I think I lost sight of the CAS a bit! Hopefully it’s okay anyway…), patterned paper, and scene, as well as Pixie’s Snippets Playground.
I knew I wanted to use the little Loch Ness monster from Lawn Fawn’s Lovable Legends stamp set, which meant the scene I created had to be suitable for him to be in. I began by wetting down my paper, then added a light wash of blue to create the sky. I dabbed off the wet paint in some places to give the impression of clouds. I then took the same blue and combined it with a little green to make a more aqua shade for the sea.
I dried off the image with my heat gun and went back in with some green to make hills. I actually painted them over some of my sky colour, because I’d already covered the background. For the middle hill I added a bit more brown to the green to try to help differentiate it from the outer hills, though I probably could have added more still.
I went back to add more detail to the sea by making rough lines across the sea with a watercolour pencil, then drawing the colour out and softening it. I did this several times with different shades of blue and a blue-green, drying in between each. In this way I was able to add more texture to the water.
The clouds seemed to be fading into the sky a bit too much. I wanted them subtle, but they did seem to be disappearing completely. I fixed that by outlining each cloud with a very light blue watercolour pencil, and drawing the colour out and away from them to make sure the line wasn’t too hard. The resulting clouds are still very soft and subtle but now are that bit more noticeable.
Whilst my background scene dried I stamped the Loch Ness Monster onto a snippet of patterned paper. This paper is brown with a tone-on-tone text pattern which I thought was really effective to add some texture to the little monster. I then went ahead and fussy cut it.
Once my background scene was dry I wanted to add some more to it using some of the scene building stamps from the same stamp set. I used a blue pigment ink and the dotty wave stamp to add lines of waves to the water. With each new line I moved down and to the side slightly, alternating left and right.
I then added some trees to the hills. I tried to consider the rules about odd numbers, and stamping in a triangular form to be pleasing to the eye. I used the MISTI to stamp the trees as I knew I would have to stamp a few times to get the colour to take properly on the textured watercolour paper. I used green pigment ink in two different shades – lighter for the large tree and darker for the small ones. I had to stamp each tree two or three times to get complete coverage. Adding the trees also allowed me to cover some of the areas where the painting wasn’t exactly how I’d wanted it.
I again set my background aside to dry completely, and when I came back I added my monster. I adhered her directly down with Tombow Multi Mono Liquid Glue, and as I did with the trees I used the positioning to cover some of the areas of the background that I wasn’t happy with.
Next I wanted to add a sentiment. I wanted to put “thanks” in small letters, and then “you’re a legend”, and I wanted to heat emboss them. I put the watercolour paper in my MISTI again and stamped the large part of the sentiment with embossing ink. Knowing that stamps sometimes don’t take well I stamped it a second time before adding the powder. At which point I discovered that the paper must have shifted slightly (despite being held in place with the strong magnets!) and the first and second stampings were not aligned properly. Cue minor tantrum… Okay, not really, but I was upset!
I removed all the powder and had a think about how to salvage my card. I decided I would make a banner and stamp the sentiment on that instead. I took a scrap of patterned paper (the same I used for Nessie, but a lighter part!) and stamped onto that, applied the powder and heat treated it. And it was spotty and messy… So I did it again. Not much better… At this point I was really disheartened, so rather than trying again (I just knew I wouldn’t have any better luck, and I was getting frustrated) I picked the best one and added it to my image panel, covering the failed attempt at embossing onto the sky.
I’d cut the banner a bit longer than I needed so that it would overhang the edges of the image panel slightly. As the overhang was longer than I wanted I trimmed it down. One side was longer than the other, so I trimmed it to match the first and… it ripped. Sigh. Never mind. Trimmed it to be flush with the panel instead.
At this point I was feeling like the whole thing was heading for a disaster. I decided not to do anything else to the card. I simply added more liquid glue to the back of the watercoloured panel, added it to the card base, and put a couple of acrylic blocks over it to weigh it down whilst the glue dried. And that was that.
Considering all the frustration this card caused me towards the end I’m actually pretty happy with how it turned out. I really like the water in particular. I do wish I had had more success with the embossing of the sentiment… I just have to keep reminding myself that I’m very new to heat embossing, and that it will take practice to get it right. I just have to keep trying!