• Linda

Colour your world, colour your world...

Nothing is too adventurous nowadays! You can make cards using any art or craft technique you can think of! From cross stitch to something as unusual as cat hair! (Yes, I saw a book in the library the other day about how to craft with cat hair! If you don't believe me, check it out on Amazon). My point though is, the blissful marriage of watercolours with card making. It's art and crafts in one! And the best thing about it is, that you don't have to be an experienced artist to be able to use watercolours when making cards for friends, family or a charity.

There is something for everyone out there! The market is overflowing with watercolour pencils, markers, pens, palettes, brushes and many more. It can actually be quite daunting to know where to start. My advice would be to start small. Learn how to mix colours with just a few basic colours. Start with a watercolour brush, and when you grow your confidence a bit, try normal brush. Watching videos on YouTube doesn't hurt either.

The video tutorial below is by no means exhaustive in terms of the tools I used. They are just those few I happened to have in my possession and have used for my own card making. Some are easier to use than others.

When making cards with watercolours, the best cardstock to use is watercolour cardstock. No brainer! But here is the deal! You can also use any white card, given that its weight is at least 300gsm, and you are careful not to overflood your work. It takes practice as with anything, but it's less daunting that you would think. In my video, I used the Spectrum Noir Premium Watercolour Pad. It's 300gsm and it works well with all the different watercolours and water based inks. It has a nice texture to it too. The choice is really yours, whether you go for hot pressed (smoother finish) or cold pressed (more texture) watercolour paper. Try each and see which you feel more comfortable with.

In my video, I started by comparing the Spectrum Noir Colorista pencils with the Koh-I-noon Aquarell pencils. I have had both of these for quite a while now, and browsing the internet today, I realized that Spectrum Noir Colorista range has changed since. Which I am glad, to be honest with you. I wouldn't recommend the set I have. The pencils are quite hard and dry, which makes them tricky to work with. It's not easy to get much colour out of them compared to the Koh-I-Noor pencils, which are much softer and easier to use. I am not sure what quality the new set is, I might try them out at some point. Koh-I-Noor is definitely a well established brand of art supplies and I would definitely recommend them.

I love using water based inks to colour images. The effect is almost the same as if you used watercolours. They generally blend and mix very well, and are a great way to test the waters without having to buy specific watercolours. Why not to get maximum use of them? I like using the water based inks from Stampin' Up! Though I must say, since they have changed the design, it's not as easy to use the inks for colouring. The old cases were easy to press in the centre, which transferred some of the ink from the cushion onto the inside of the case. The new case opens easily, but no ink transfers when you press the middle. You could buy the ink refill instead. It's an investment, but in my opinion, it's a great value for money! They last forever (unless you knock them over or forget to screw the lid on properly!) and you only need a little proplet to cover a substantial area. I also tried the Memento ink drops. They also do the trick, but they don't seem to be as juicy and saturated. So for me, it's one nil to Stampin' Up!

Then you have Distress Oxide inks. I have been bragging on about them for a while now, as they seem to be all the rage at the moment. They are slightly different to the other inks. The colour you get when mixing them with water is more chalky and less transparent. It's worth experimenting a bit with them. They are so versatile which makes them a great value for money.

There are so many new products when it comes to water brushes. I would however recommend one that has been on the market for a while now - Zig Clean Color Real Brush from Kuretake. You can get various sets for a reasonable money even on Amazon. Don't go too mad though. Try smaller sets first. Mine has 24 colours and I still haven't discovered all the colour combinations when mixed with each other. I think they are great for beginners. You can achieve great results with little effort and experience. I quickly fell in love with them. The colours are so vibrant too! In combination with the water brush, they are a dream, especially if you are a bit shy, kind of non-artistic crafter.

Next are the watercolour pans or palettes as I call them. I have had my Winsor & Newton set for ages and ages. Same as Koh-I-Noor, they are a well known name in the world of art. They are a good quality set. Mine only has 12 colours which I think is plenty - for me, anyway. I compared them with the new watercolour set from Altenew. With 36 colours, they can be quite overwhelming for a newbie. The scope of colour you can get by mixing them is enormous. They are great though. The colours are vibrant and the quality is comparable with the 'good old' Winsor & Newton. If you are brave enough, give them a go. It may take a while to get used to them, but they are a good value for money. And if you like Altenew inks, then you will love them because the colours match the inks!

To finish the topic, I hope you are not afraid to give watercolours a chance. They are lovely really. They colour your world, and give your hand made cards that extra bit of 'handmadeness' (new word I suppose - don't beat me with a dictionary please, it has been a long day!) because you spent that extra bit of time colouring the images. And by the way, it's very therapeutic! You can get carried away!

List of supplies:

Spectrum Noir Premium Watercolour Pad 300 gsm

White card 300 gsm

Spectrum Noir Aqua Markers

Spectrum Noir Colorista pencils

Koh-I-Noor Aquarell pencils

VersaFine Onyx Black Waterproof ink - Tsukineko

Birthday Blooms stamp set - Stampin' Up!

Organic Blooms - Mama Elephant

Distress Oxide Inks - Ranger

Stampin' Up! inks and ink refills

Winsor & Newton Watercolours

Derwent water brush - size 1

Memento ink drops - Tsukineko

Altenew Watercolors

Zig Clean Colour Real Brush - Kuretake

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