Saturday, February 13, 2016

Although I Don't Like the Number Four...

Although I don't like the number four, it seems I can't get away from it at times.  This post will feature four different mediums that will all be combined on one card.

Remember how I hinted in my last post about an upcoming post that I was super excited about?  Well guess what.  IT'S HERE.
Now, I am fully aware that this might not be as exciting for some of y'all as it is for me.  Fully aware, meaning, I am keeping that as a possibility in my brain, whether or not I understand how that could be the case.

Granted, I get excited quite easily about cool artsy techniques, but I am hoping that SO DO YOU!  Because this technique is really cool.
Watercolors lately have been one of my many loves.  Not for painting pictures with so much (though that is lovely too), but simply for painting pretty little background/centerpieces to use on cards.  This pink piece specifically is something I made a couple weeks ago, to use on a Valentine's Day card (which I still have not done).  It was my first time combining all four mediums like this, and I was so happy with the result that I had to try it again and show y'all!

Here are the first two mediums we'll be using.  A sharpie and a crayon, in the colors shown, but of
course you can use whatever colors your heart desires!  OH HEY.  I has a question called: can writing utensils even be called mediums?  I feel like they're not supposed to be called that, but I've been doing it, and I do believe I will continue.  Because I am a rebel like that.  (Tell me in the comments whether or not you think it's okay.  I'm curious.)

So, obviously, since we'll be using watercolors later, you'll need to be working on watercolor paper.  I used a smallish piece, like half the size of a card, but the size doesn't really matter.

I wrote "Happy Birthday" on mine because I needed to make a bunch of birthday cards, and in my opinion, birthdays trump Valentine's Day.  I would have done Valentine's Day if I didn't need to make a birthday card instead.  I'm thinkin' this would be super cute for Valentine's Day though.  You should try it and show me your beautimous work.
I was intending at first to write it basically the same curly way as the pink piece, but apperently, my hand had other ideas. So this is what happened.  You can do any font you like; just make sure your letters are wide enough so that you can paint inside them later with acrylic paint.

Now for some polka-dots!  I thought about making a video for this, but I didn't want to take the time to make a video and figure out all that complicated stuff like how to speed it up at parts.  Maybe I will do that sometime, but for now, pictures will have to do!
Starting at the top left corner, draw a column of evenly spaced polka-dots.  When you've finished one column, go back to the top, and do the same thing, making sure to put each polka-dot right in the middle of two polka-dots on the left.  Does that make sense?  Keep going in this manner until the whole piece is covered.  You can probably tell that my polka-dots are not perfectly evenly spaced.  That's okay, as it should look like it was handmade anyway!  We don't want a card in the end that looks like it was bought in the card aisle.
I did this technique a bit differently this time than I did it the first time.   The first time, I didn't draw the polka-dots over the letters, as much as I was able to keep from it.  I didn't know then that I was going to paint over them later with white acrylic paint, which is why I also filled in the letters with white crayon!  (When crayon is painted over with watercolors, the crayon resists the paint, so the color of the crayon isn't covered with the color of the paint.)
It turns out it wasn't necessary to fill in each letter with white crayon, which makes things so much easier!  So just draw your polka-dots right over those letters!

This is possibly my favorite part.  For the pink piece, I only used one color to watercolor with, but I wanted to use more this time.  I started with turquoise, and then added light blue, and then dark blue.
Color by sections.  I always start in the top left corner, and work my way out from there.  Working quickly, lay down one color, and then wet your brush again, get another color, and color another section.  By section, I mean roughly one inch in diameter, but it shouldn't look like you did it by sections in the end.  You know what I mean?  I never know exactly what a piece is going to look like until I'm done.
After it's all filled in, add more color where you think it's needed.  Try not to mess with it too much though, or it will get muddy-ish and/or the paper will get too soggy.
In the end, it should look diverse, but not so much that it's not smooth.  Smooth like jazz.
So, why wasn't it necessary to fill in the letters with white crayon?  Because we would be covering the crayon up with white acrylic paint!  That makes the crayon pointless.  It's so much easier to use acrylic paint instead of crayons.  It's best to only squeeze out a teeny bit, because this part is fairly time-consuming. know I can't make a card without doing something kind of complicated and time-consuming!
Unless you can work really fast, I also recommend adding a few drops of water to your paint to thin it down, so it won't dry as fast.  I used my smallest watercolor brush for this part, since I don't have an acrylic brush small and precise enough.  If you do that that too, make sure to rinse it out thoroughly afterwards.  It's good to wet it at intervals anyway.
See how it's kind of messy in this picture below?  That's okay, since you can back over the lines after it's dry with the sharpie you used.  Just be sure not to go outside of the lines, because you can't really re-watercolor that.  Try as much to stay off the lines as possible, because the sharpie may not like to write over acrylic very much.  But it is okay to do that if need be.  I did!
Here it is after getting all fixed up!
I had some leftover acrylic paint, so I painted this little piece.  I'm really happy with how it looks.  Sort of retro-like.
And I also did these, which was just enough to use up that paint!
Alright, now we need to finish that card, don't we?  I gathered a few supplies to match the centerpiece: a graph paper scrap (which I cut to size), two rectangles of thin, brown paper, out of which I cut two circles each to make four circles total, which became a flower (leftovers from this post - remember that?), green and white baker's twine to make a bow, and a rectangle of...thin cardboard?  I also put a dark green eyelet in the center of the flower, but sadly, the bow covers it completely.
I arranged everything as I wanted and the card was done!  Happy Valentine's Day, my lovely people!
You can tweak and personalize this technique in so many ways.  I want to know what you will do with it!


  1. Pretty, Maggie!! I love those colors!

    By the way, first!

    1. Thank you Julie! I love the colors too! I think I may like the look of the pink one a little better, but I'm still so happy with how this turned out. :D


  2. Pretty, Maggie!! I love those colors!

    By the way, first!

  3. Very nice, dear. And I'm only commenting because you're standing over my shoulder. But, seriously, this post is pretty cool.

    1. HAHAHA, well thanks for the comment anyway! XP It was fun to read your comment as you were typing it. And honks! I'm excited that you think it's cool!

  4. WHOA THIS IS SO COOL!!!!!!!! Can I totally steal your technique (and talents)? ;) And, same, I don't like the number four either.. haha following your blog now! (PS thanks for the comment on my blog ^-^)

    1. AHHH, THANK YOU SO MUCH! Yes, please steal that technique! I so want to see what other people will do with it! (Just give me the credit! ;)) *hands over my talents* Yay, thanks for the follow! I was thinking about following yours too, but hadn't actually done it until you commented here. So yay! Follows all around! Thank you for your comment here!


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