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Creating Contrast with Watercolor Markers and the Luscious Grapes Stamps!

Hello, Julie here! In today's video, I will show you how to use watercolor markers to add contrast to images in the new Luscious Grapes stamp set. These new fancy-schmancy watercolor markers were a gift for my birthday. I love them and am excited to show you how to use them! 

 

(Can't see the embedded video? You'll find it right here on our website.)


Step-By-Step Instructions

If you'd like to print out step-by-step instructions, here they are. Or bookmark this page for future reference!

  1. I started with Canson watercolor paper and stamped the cluster of grapes using a quick drying, waterproof ink.

    Grapes-step-1


  2. I wanted to make the grapes be the color of Concord grapes, which is mostly blue with a hint of purple. So I started out with the blue marker and added a swoosh of color in the bottom of each of these grapes. Then I used a little water to spread the blue throughout the grape. Once I had the blue distributed, I went back in and added just a tiny spot of purple for the highlight. And as usual, I want back and forth between the colors. On some of the grapes I added more of the blue to intensify that color. You can get this great sort of gradient going, because you’re doing essentially wet-on-wet water coloring.

    Grapes-blog-post-graphics-step2


  3. Once all the grapes were done, I started in on the leaves. I used the yellow marker to add a base layer. I wanted an autumn leaf color scheme, like the grapes were just ready to be picked, so the colors I used were generally warm. I just went around the edges and along the veins of each leaf with yellow. I didn't want to overwhelm the leaves, just give them a yellow base with a little color everywhere. I used my brush to spread the yellow around to make some nice gradients. There’s a lot of detail within the leaves that could get lost, so I tried to make sure that where the leaves overlapped, the bottom leaf was a bit darker than the part of the top leaf that’s covering it. The darker areas provide a little more contrast which makes the leaf details a bit easier to see.

    Grapes-blog-post-graphics-step3


  4. Next I went in with the orange watercolor marker. In my set that was Cadmium Red, which was the closest to orange that I had. I picked a few spots to make reddish orange... mostly in areas I wanted to make sure had some additional contrast as well as more intensity. I went back and forth between the orange and yellow, and used water to move those colors around. I planned ahead to put green near the reddish orange areas on the leaves that were underneath. Since red and green are complementary colors I knew that the green would make those areas seem even redder which would help make those areas pop.

    Grapes-blog-post-graphics-step4


  5. Next I used the red watercolor marker. In my set of makers this was named Alizarin Crimson as opposed to the Cadmium Red hue, which is a little bit more orange. I used the Alizarin Crimson to add a little more intensity to the areas that were already headed in the reddish-orange direction.

    Grapes-blog-post-graphics-step7

  6. Next I added a bit of Sap Green to a few spots. This is where you need to be a bit careful. Because red and green are complementary colors, (which means they’re on opposite sides of the color wheel), they will create a neutral color when mixed. I made sure I didn't add any green to areas that already had red in them. I knew that if I did mix them, they would turn a muddy brown.

    Grapes-blog-post-graphics-step6


  7. Next, I used a couple brown shades on the stem and vine areas. I used the lighter color along the top of the stem. Then I used water to spread the color out a little. Because it was pretty wet, the dark brown went in like a dream and spread itself out a little bit. By going back and forth with the brush and the markers, you can get the colors to go where you want them to be.

Grapes-blog-post-graphics-finished

And here is my final piece! I went back in and added more color in a few places. I added some darker green on top of the lighter green to add contrast in one or two spots, but only very sparingly.

I hope you enjoyed learning how to add contrast to your stamped images. These watercolor markers are a great way to add color to nature-themed stamp sets like the Luscious Grapes Stamp Set or any of the flower and botanical themed stamp sets in the Greenhouse Society collection.

Thanks for reading! 

Technique-Tuesday-Blog-Julie-sig


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