Do you like the possibility of Easy Watercolor Painting Ideas? Well, today’s post features a number of ways to create a watercolor background with acrylic blocks, ink pads, markers, and a plastic bag!
In addition, I did a little heat embossing and shadow stamping to boot!
I’ve used two different stamp sets with these techniques, including the Peaceful Place stamp set from the Annual Catalog and the By the Bay Stamp Sets, which is free with a purchase during Sale-a-Bration. Both of the focal pieces in the cards below were created using an “E” size acrylic block with ink pads. However, there are a few ways that they are different.
This first card is made using Glossy White cardstock which has a very smooth surface. This surface allows the ink to move around on the paper in a very fluid way which makes the color blend more and look more watery.
For this second card, I used Shimmery White cardstock which is actually a bit of an off white and it has just a little more texture to the surface.
When ink is applied to shimmery white cardstock it doesn’t move as freely on the surface as on glossy cardstock. As a result, you tend to get dry areas and a little bit more of a grainy look to the watercolor effect.
This focal piece also is a subtle example of shadow stamping.
I stamped the image in black first, cleaned my stamp and then stamped right over the top using Versamark. I then heat embossed using white embossing powder. In the close-ups below, you may be able to see the slight shadow of the black in behind the white embossing. You may be able to see the shimmery finish of this paper. It’s subtle but sooooo pretty! I was sort of going with a snowy scene so the shimmer paper seemed perfect.
Here is a photo of my inked up acrylic block. This block has four colors on it that were applied to the block with ink pads.
The inks used on this acrylic block are Soft Seafoam, Granny Apple Green, Balmy Blue, and Blueberry Bushel. I’ve placed the color so that the river in the middle will be blueish and the trees and river banks are more green.
Tip #1: Put more green on the right because when you turn the block over that green will actually be stamped on the left side of the image, and there are more trees and grass on the left side.
Tip #2: For this technique, start with the lightest color first! This is so your less likely to contaminate one of your lighter ink pads with a darker color when applying color to the block.
The inked-up block above was spritzed with water 4 to 6 time and then stamped to create the focal image in the photo below (top left).
Tip #3: Use a colored piece of paper in behind your focal piece when stamping with an acrylic block. By using colored paper it allows you to better see the edges of the focal piece so you can more easily center your block over the cardstock.
How were these other focal pieces created you might ask?
- Shadow stamping was used for the focal image in the upper right corner. I used an Aqua Painter to apply some additional color to the river, to make it bluer.
- The focal piece on the lower right was created using Stampin’ Write Markers on an acrylic block. It’s a little easier to control where the ink gets put but you also get less depth of color.
- For the focal piece on the lower left, Stampin’ Write Markers were also used on an acrylic block. However, since this image has a lot more detail, with images whose color might vary more widely, I experimented with another method for applying the color. I know the house looks like it’s on fire! I probably shouldn’t have used the Cajun Craze for the roof! The method didn’t work out so well on this one but I did another one that worked a little better. On my second version, I used fewer colors and that worked out much better. You’ll find that second version just ahead.
For the method described below, my goal was to find a way to apply color to the acrylic block such that I’d know where to place my colors.
I stamped my image onto a plastic bag and turned it over so I’d get a mirror image that I could place under the acrylic block. By doing that, I was able to apply color to the block as if I was coloring over the image.
For the final project below, I used ink pads with the acrylic block. The focal piece is simply cut down, so there’s no border created by the acrylic block.
The focal piece is popped up on dimensionals, and the black cord is attached with Tear and Tape on the backside of the Soft Seafoam layer.
Here are my finished projects. I’ve yet to create cards with the new focal pieces. I just need to find some time to play with those to make finished cards!
I hope you’ve enjoyed today’s project. For more details check out my recent Facebook Live video featuring these easy watercolor painting ideas.
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The project demonstrations start at about 10 minutes.
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Project Dimensions (Simple Version):
- Balmy Blue Card Body: 5-½” x 8-1/2″
- Glossy White OR Shimmery White Cardstock: 3-3/4″ x 5″
- Whisper White Inside: 3-7/8″ x 5-1/8″
Project Dimensions (With Black):
- Basic Black Card Body: 5-½” x 8-1/2″
- Soft Sea Foam Layer: 4-1/16″ x 5-5/16″
- Focal in Glossy White: 3-1/16″ x 4-1/16″
- Basic Black Focal Backing: 3-1/4″ x 4-1/4″
- Whisper White Inside: 3-7/8″ x 5-1/8″
Gorgeous! Thanks for sharing the various techniques and their results. Think I like the bolder but then watercolor is supposed to be softer and more subtle. Guess that is why I don’t favor it but I can definitely get into your technique.
Melissa Kerman says
Thank you so much April! I’m glad you like the projects and technique and have a blast playing with it! Thanks for commenting!
Thank you so much for showing this. I was a bit confused about the stazon ink on the bag but once I saw what you were doing–great. I am going to try the same technique but will try to avoid a house on fire!
Melissa Kerman says
I’m glad the bag trick made sense and that you’re going to give it a try! Now we know how to make it look like a house is on fire! LOL! Enjoy playing with it!