Tutorials

Beautiful Stamped Flower Cards

Good morning! Julie here. Today I am welcoming Ana back to our blog. Ana used this month's Meadow Flowers stamp set and alcohol markers to make this absolutely beautiful flower card. Be still my heart! Read on...I promise you'll be inspired to make some stamped flower cards too!

Tt-separator

Hello crafty friends!

It’s Ana and I am back today with a card that features the gorgeous Meadow Flowers stamps. The stamps are the latest release in the Greenhouse Society Collection of flower stamps and matching dies!

When I saw this floral image, I literally ran into my craft room and stamped these beauties about 15 times! I have already made 4 cards out of the images I stamped, and I am sure I will be using all of them in a very near future.

These floral stamps are just asking to be colored, and today I am sharing a very simple alcohol marker coloring process.

AnaA-April2019-Blog-Post-Meadow-Flowers4

I started with cutting a piece of heavyweight cardstock to 5” x 10” and scoring it at 5”. Next, I cut a piece of marker paper to 4 ¾ x 4 ¾ and using my stamp positioner, stamped the sentiment in the center and Meadow Flowers image in all four corners with alcohol marker friendly ink.

AnaA-April2019-Blog-Post-Meadow-Flowers1a

I colored the stems first with Copic markers using a 3-color blend (G99, G94 and G21).

AnaA-April2019-Blog-Post-Meadow-Flowers1b

For the flowers I used 4-color blend (AP1, AP2, AP3 and AP4) and colored them with Spectrum Noir markers.

AnaA-April2019-Blog-Post-Meadow-Flowers1c

For the stamen I chose dark yellow color I thought would look most realistic and work with the color of the flowers (below is a close up).

AnaA-April2019-Blog-Post-Meadow-Flowers5

Once the images were colored, I added craft foam to the back of the panel and adhered it to a piece of black layering cardstock, then adhered the completed piece to the card base.

AnaA-April2019-Blog-Post-Meadow-Flowers1

For a little bit of shine and interest, I added glass droplets.

AnaA-April2019-Blog-Post-Meadow-Flowers

This beautiful floral stamp set also has a matching set of dies called the Meadow Flowers Crafting Dies. I haven’t used them for today’s project, but you'll find a ton of project ideas on the TechniqueTuesday.com website using both the Meadow Flower stamps and dies. 😊

Thank you so much for stopping by today and until next time I wish you Happy Crafting!

Tt-separator

Oh, such a lovely stamped flower card! I love the rich colors she used to color the flowers framing the sentiment. I hope you're inspired to go and make a gorgeous flower card like this with the Meadow Flowers stamp set, or one of the other flowers in the Greenhouse Society collection.

Technique-Tuesday-Blog-Julie-sig

PS: Greenhouse Society members, we shipped the Meadow Flowers to you earlier this month. I hope you get them out and make a stamped flower card like this one!

Not a member? April is nearly over. That means you only have 2 days left to save 25% off the Meadow Flowers stamps (and matching dies). After that they go back up to the regular price. Click to learn more about the Greenhouse Society program and how you can save on 25% off your flower stamps and dies!

Meadow-Flower-Greenhouse-Society-Clear-Stamps-Technique-Tuesday Meadow-Flower-Greenhouse-Society-Crafting-Die-Technique-Tuesday


Cute Stamped Monkey Card Inspiration

Hi Technique Tuesday blog followers! Bev here today to introduce Natasha Kara to all of you. Two of the many things I like about Natasha are the sense of fun and the lovely colors she brings to all of her projects. Today she shows us how to make a super-cute monkey card. I hope her project inspires you to stamp some monkey cards of your own!

Tt-separator

Hello everybody!

Today I am here to share a cute stamped monkey card I made using the new Monkey Business stamp set, and the matching Monkey Business dies. I loved the idea of the monkeys getting up to mischief. Don't they just look like they are up to no good? 😂 When I read this sentiment all I could think about was using it on a card for a new baby.

Monkey-Business-Handmade-Card-Natasha-K-Technique-Tuesday-fxSo, to make this card, I chose an appropriate pattern paper for the background. I wasn't sure how many monkeys I would need, so I stamped a LOT of them, as well as a bunch of extra bananas, and coloured them in with copic markers. I also die cut a rectangle frame. I wanted the little guys to look like they were climbing all over the place and getting up to some monkey business.

Monkey-Business-Handmade-Card-step-out-Natasha-K-Technique-Tuesday-fx

Once I had all the monkeys and bananas coloured, I stamped and heat embossed my sentiment onto some black card stock with some bright white Wow embossing powder. All that was left to do was assemble the card. I played around with where the monkeys should go and how many to use. I then glued everything together onto a 4.25 X 5.5 card base.

Monkey-Business-Handmade-Card-Cloe-Up-Natasha-K-Technique-Tuesday-fx

Well, that's all from me for today. Thanks for joining me and I hope you are having a wonderful day wherever you are.

Natasha☺

Tt-separator

Oh, I am so glad Natasha could share her monkey project with us! Her stamped monkeys really do look very mischievous. She's inspired me to stamp some monkey-themed birthday and thank you cards for my fun loving friends and family members!

As always, I'd like to invite all of you to leave a comment here on our blog. It means a lot to us and the design team members when we hear from you!

Technique-Tuesday-Bev-Sig

PS: Animal House auto-ship members...these cute monkeys were in your April shipment. I hope this project inspires you to get them out and make some stamped monkey cards of your own!

Not a member? There's only a few days left in April. If you want to save 25% of off these monkey stamps and matching dies, join the Animal House auto-ship program before the end of the month. After that their price will go back up. Click to learn more about the Animal House auto-ship program.

Monkey-Business-Animal-House-Clear-Stamps-Technique-Tuesday Monkey-Business-Animal-House-Crafting-Dies-Technique-Tuesday


How to Color Stamped Images with Pencils on Toned Gray Paper

Hello, Julie here! Today I’m sharing tip about how to use colored pencils with stamped images on toned gray paper. I used the new Meadow Flower stamp set, but these colored pencil blending techniques would work great on any of the flower stamps in the Greenhouse Society collection. I love the Meadow Flower stamp set because it’s so versatile and looks great in so many different colors. Today I’m going to be coloring it a bit like a California poppy. I’m a California girl, and I love that state flower. Watch the video tutorial, or read through the photo tutorial below, if you prefer.

Tt-separator

Using Colored Pencils on Toned Gray Paper

Meadow-Flower-coloring-1

So, I have my image stamped on gray toned paper, using a waterproof ink. And I have my Prismacolor pencils, a small brush, and my ever important coffee mug ;)


 

Meadow-Flower-coloring-2

Because I’m working on gray toned paper, I’m going to start with a layer of a light color. That could have been white, but this time, I’m going to start the project out on the warm side, and use canary yellow. I’m just going to cover the entire flower with it.


 

Meadow-Flower-coloring-3

Once I’m done with that, I’ll move on to yellowed orange. This will go in almost everywhere the yellow did, because, of course, it’s going to be orange, like a California Poppy. It’ll have yellow highlights, but will be mostly orange.

Next is a smaller layer of orange. This is going to start out in the shadowy areas for now. Later I will cover more of the flower with this, but I want to start out slow. I find that it’s easier to add more of a dark color later, than it is to try and layer on a lighter color if I get it too dark.


 

Meadow-Flower-coloring-4

Once I’ve got the shadows started, I’ll move to poppy red (fitting, right?) in the darkest parts of the shadowed areas.

Once I’ve got that, I’m going to go back and forth a good bit to get the colors to balance just the way I want them to. I use the yellowed orange to blend and smooth the poppy red, and then add more canary yellow to blend that, and so on.

This paper is really nice for building up color, but I always make sure I’m using my small circles and thinking about my pressure. As the project develops, it gets harder and harder to get another layer of color to stick, and you may have to use more pressure. Just think about how hard you’re pressing, and don’t go crazy – I try to remember to increase that pressure slowly.


 

Meadow-Flower-coloring-5

And I’ll keep going until I’ve got all three flowers, a bit like this.


 

Meadow-Flower-coloring-6

Now for the leaves. Once again, I’m starting with a layer of light. First is yellow chartreuse, all over. With the stems I’m switching it up, and going from the lightest color to the darkest – in this case dark green. I’m just going to go in with a very very light layer, only in the parts I want to be shadowed.


 

Meadow-Flower-coloring-7

Next is spring green, and I use it to blend the dark green into the yellow chartreuse and to sort of bridge the gap between them. On to apple green, back to dark green, then spring green, back and forth and back and forth with a bit of chartreuse thrown in for good measure.


 

Meadow-Flower-coloring-8

And here is my finished piece.

It was fun to work with the gray toned paper, colored pencils and stamps because the color really pops, even without a huge range of color. I’m excited about playing with other color combinations, like this blue version, which I’ll finish and make into a card or something soon.

I hope you saw something you can use on your next project. If you have any questions or thoughts, please leave me a comment. I love hearing from you!

Technique-Tuesday-Blog-Julie-sig

PS: If you are a member of the Greenhouse Society auto-ship program, we shipped the Meadow Flowers to you earlier this month.

Not a member? You can order these stamps and dies individually now. Or, if you'd like to save 25% off the Meadow Flowers stamps (and the matching dies), sign up to become a Greenhouse Society auto-ship member before the end of this month!

Meadow-Flower-Greenhouse-Society-Clear-Stamps-Technique-Tuesday Meadow-Flower-Greenhouse-Society-Crafting-Die-Technique-Tuesday


Monkey Business Stamp Set Project Idea by Norine Borys

Hi Technique Tuesday friends! Bev here with a happy blog post. Today I get to officially announce that Norine Borys is joining our design team. Norine has been making projects using Technique Tuesday products for a long time. So when I asked her to join our design team, I told her that she could choose which line of products she wanted to use. I thought she would choose the flowers from our Greenhouse Society Collection. But instead she choose the cute critters in the Animal House Collection. I can't wait to see how she uses the hand-drawn animal stamps and punny sentiments to make cards, tags, and party decor projects!

Tt-separator

Hello Technique Tuesday friends! It’s Norine Borys here with you today! I’d like to introduce myself, and tell you that I’m delighted to be here as a contributor to all the wonderful inspiration that the Technique Tuesday blog provides!

I’m a Canadian girl, living in the US, wife of 1 (lol), mom of 4 + spouses and SO’s, and best of all, Grand-mimi to 2 perfect little grandbabies! I love ALL types of arts and crafts and with the exception of paper quilling, have tried most of them at some point. This is my first month to work with the current TT release, and to post here and I hope, the beginning of something long and beautiful! I had fun this month with the Monkey Business stamps and matching dies. I meannn, who wouldn’t?

TT-MonkeyBusiness-Apr-3-1

I began by covering an A2 sized card panel of cardstock with the two swinging monkey images. I stamped with brown ink, then trimmed ⅛” off each side.

I stamped the 3rd monkey (Football Huddle Monkey as I’ve taken to calling him) image onto Neenah Solar White cardstock with alcohol friendly ink, and colored him with Copic markers before die cutting him out. I also die cut another 3 of the same shape and glued them in a stack to give the colored image some extra dimension.

TT-MonkeyBusiness-Apr-3-3

I used some stitched border dies to create interest on the top and bottom edges of a wide strip of brown cardstock on which I stamped and white heat embossed the sentiment. Then I wrapped the brown strip with thin jute string and layered that over the stamped background panel. Finally, I adhered the Copic-colored monkey stack, a few matching enamel dots and this card is complete. Pretty simple, but dang cute if you ask me!

TT-MonkeyBusiness-Apr-3-4

Thank you for visiting the blog today and have a wonderful day!

~Norine

Tt-separator

Thanks so much for sharing your Monkey Business card with us, Norine! I don't think I'm ever going to look at that tough, little monkey stamp without thinking there's Football Huddle Monkey.

As always, I'd like to invite all of you to leave a comment here on our blog. It means a lot to us and the design team members when we hear from you!

Technique-Tuesday-Bev-Sig

PS: Are you a member of the Animal House auto-ship program? If so, we shipped these cute monkeys to you last week. I hope Norine's project inspires you to get them out and make some stamped monkey projects of your own!

Not a member? You can order these monkey stamps and matching dies individually now. Or if you'd like to save 25% off the Monkey Business products, sign up to become a Animal House auto-ship member before the end of this month!

Monkey-Business-Animal-House-Clear-Stamps-Technique-Tuesday Monkey-Business-Animal-House-Crafting-Dies-Technique-Tuesday


Make Your Own Dragonfly Embellishments and Accents

Good morning! Julie here, welcoming Ashley back for another guest post. Today, Ashley is going to show us how to make dragonfly embellishments using the Beautiful Dragonflies Stamp Set and the Dragonfly Crafting Dies. Using Ashley's techniques, you can make your own dragonfly accents for cards, layouts, or any papercraft project!

Tt-separator

Hi everyone! It’s Ashley, and I’m back today to share a new layout in my Traveler’s Notebook with you! I used the Beautiful Dragonflies Stamp set and the Dragonfly Die. I love stamping on patterned paper and having the color show through my stamping. I stamped the dragonflies several times on different patterned papers to create a fun look for my Traveler’s Notebook layout!

Photo-1

Once I had some of the dragonflies stamped, I also ran the Dragonfly Die through my manual die cut machine, to give a different look to the dragonflies. I wanted to create a scattered look on my layout, to make it look like they were flying across the page. Before adding them to the layout, I layered some of the die cut dragonflies over the stamped dragonflies to create a dimensional look. Then I machine stitched down the center of each one to add texture.

Photo-2

Next, I placed my photo in the center of the layout. I wanted to have the dragonflies “flying” around the photo. I love the whimsical look it adds to the layout. Once all of my dragonflies were in place, I used a few embellishments to tie the look of the layout together.

Photo-3

The Beautiful Dragonflies stamp set also includes some great sentiments and photo captions. I knew the “Chase Your Dreams” sentiment would be perfect for the title of my layout. I stamped it with Black Archival Ink on a circle sticker and layered it under my photo. It was a great finishing touch to my Traveler’s Notebook layout!

Photo-4

I hope you’ve been inspired to combine your stamps and dies in fun ways on your Traveler's Notebook layouts and memory keepering projects! Layering is always a great way to add interest. I hope you’ll give it a try!

Tt-separator

Julie here again. I hope you enjoyed seeing how Ashley made dragonfly accents for her project and that you'll try making some dragonfly embellishments for your next card, layout, or craft project. I have been absolutely loving getting to see Ashley's Travel's Notebook pages and scrapbook layouts over the last couple of months. Ashley's projects have been inspiring me to get back to journaling and doing little bits of art every day.

Technique-Tuesday-Blog-Julie-sig

PS: Want to see more dragonfly projects? Hop on over to our website to watch Bev's video and see how to make more dragonfly embellishments for your scrapbook pages, cards, and other projects!

Beautiful-Dragonfly-Memory-Keeper-Studio-Clear-Stamps-Technique-Tuesday Technique-Tuesday-Dragonfly-DIY-Steel-Dies-Large


Ink Smooshing Technique - Featuring the Meadow Flowers

Hi all! Julie here to welcome Dana Kirby back to our blog. Today she's sharing an ink smooshing tutorial with us. To make her bright, beautiful cards, she used an acrylic block, the Meadow Flower Stamp Set, the Essential Stitched Labels Dies, and some Distress Inks. I can't wait to try this block printing technique with the Meadow Flowers myself!




Good Morning and Welcome! It is Dana here today sharing a couple of cards made using this month's Meadow Flowers stamp set. This is such a gorgeous flower stamp set with so many possibilities.

Photo-Mar-25 -12-19-14-PM

To begin my card, I created my backgrounds. I used Distress Ink and a clear acrylic block. I smooshed the ink onto my clear block and spritzed my block with water. For my first card, I used Picked Raspberry, Salty Ocean and Mowed Lawn Distress Ink. The little cubes are the perfect size for this acrylic block stamping technique.

Photo-Mar-25 -12-18-44-PM

Next, I flipped the block over onto a piece of watercolor paper. I placed something heavy (to apply light pressure) on my block and let it sit for a few minutes. Once I removed my block, I used a paper towel to pick up any extra water left behind.

Photo-Mar-25 -12-18-52-PM

Once my background was dry I began working on my card design. I stamped the flower with black ink onto my card panel. Next, I added clear embossing powder to the flower images for some added shine. I attached my card panel to a black cardstock mat.

Photo-Mar-25 -12-19-39-PM

I stamped my sentiment onto a label from the Essential Stitched Labels Crafting Dies. Finally, I attached everything to an A2 card base.

Photo-Mar-25 -12-19-22-PM

For my next card, I used Spiced Marmalade, Mustard Seed, and Twisted Citron Distress Ink for my background. I once again stamped the flower image and applied clear embossing powder. This time I added the sentiment directly to my card panel to keep things clean and simple. I once again added a black mat and then attached everything to an A2 card base.

Photo-Mar-25 -12-19-50-PM

I hope you enjoyed my cards today and give this ink smooshing technique a try. It is definitely a favorite of mine.

~Dana




Thanks, Dana, for sharing this block printing technique with us, and for making these beautiful cards with the Meadow Flowers stamp set.

Technique-Tuesday-Blog-Julie-sig

PS: If you are a member of the Greenhouse Society auto-ship program, we shipped the Meadow Flowers to you last week.

Not a member? You can order these stamps and dies individually now. Or, if you'd like to save 25% off the Meadow Flowers stamps (and the matching dies), sign up to become a Greenhouse Society auto-ship member before the end of this month!

Meadow-Flower-Greenhouse-Society-Clear-Stamps-Technique-Tuesday Essential-Stitched-Labels-Crafting-Dies-Technique-Tuesday


Beautiful Day Fresh Peonies Card

Hi Friends of Technique Tuesday! I am so happy to welcome the very talented Dana Kirby to our blog today. She is sharing a gorgeous card she made with the Fresh Peonies stamps and matching dies. I know you'll appreciate how Dana shares all the marker colors and ink colors so you can make fabulous cards like hers!


Hello and Welcome! It’s Dana Kirby here today with a card using the gorgeous Fresh Peonies Stamp Set.

Dana Kirby Fresh Peonies Card Tutorial


I started my card by stamping my Peonies in a watercolor friendly ink. I then used my Zig Clean Color Real Brush Watercolor Pens (yellow, light green, medium green, and orange) to watercolor my flower image.

Dana Kirby Fresh Peonies Card Tutorial

Next, I used the Fresh Peonies Matching Dies to die cut my Peonies. I set this aside and began working on my card panel.


For my card front, I first created my background. I used Distress Oxide Ink in Cracked Pistachio, Twisted Citron and Squeezed Lemonade. I blended the three colors onto my background, spritzed my background with a little water and then splattered on a little white paint.

Dana Kirby Fresh Peonies Card Tutorial


Once this was dry, I stamped a sentiment from the Beautiful Narcissus stamp set onto my card front. I love how all of sentiments stamps in the Greenhouse Society Collection work together. Lastly, I attached my die cut peony to my card base with foam adhesive to finish my card.

Dana Kirby Fresh Peonies Card Tutorial

Thank you so much for stopping by!

I hope you have a beautiful day,

Dana


Isn't Dana's card fabulous? You can see more of her work on her blog, including several more projects featuring these peonies. The peonies and the Beautiful Narcissus stamp set that Dana used for her sentiment are both part of the Greenhouse Society Collection!

Technique-Tuesday-Bev-Sig


Fresh-Peonies-Greenhouse-Society-Clear-Stamps-Technique-Tuesday Fresh-Peonies-Greenhouse-Society-Crafting-Dies-Technique-Tuesday Beautiful-Narcissus-Greenhouse-Society-Clear-Stamps-Technique-Tuesday


Robbie the Raccoon Card Tutorial

Hi everyone, Happy Monday Morning! This is Bev and today we are welcoming Allison Arbour and Robbie the Raccoon to our blog. Allison has put together this playful raccoon card and a tutorial to go with it. I hope her project and tutorial inspire you to make some cute raccoon projects of your own! Here's Allison...


Today I'm going to show you how to create this cute card using the Robbie the Raccoon Stamp Set, the matching Robbie the Raccoon Crafting Dies and the Essential Stitched Labels Crafting Dies.

Robbie-blog-tutorial-Allison-A-Technique-Tuesday-1


Step 1: I stamped Robbie and the sentiment on a white piece of cardstock. I used Versafine ink, and heat embossed using clear embossing powder. Using Copic markers (colors W1, W3,W5, & R11) I colored Robbie in, then die cut him using the matching die. Then I cut out the sentiment using the smallest label in the Essential Stitched Labels Crafting Dies. 

Robbie-blog-tutorial-Allison-A-Technique-Tuesday-4


Step 2: Next I die cut the largest label from a piece of white cardstock. I used the negative space as a frame for the card and stamped Robbie’s feet in Versafine ink. I heat embossed the feet using clear embossing powder.

Robbie-blog-tutorial-Allison-A-Technique-Tuesday-5


Step 3: Next I lightly watercolored the label with Distress Inks. I used Picked Raspberry and Fossilized Amber.

Robbie-blog-tutorial-Allison-A-Technique-Tuesday-3


Step 4: Finally, I glued the watercolor panel down to the card base. I popped up the sentiment and frame using foam tape to add dimension. Then I cut a small slit between Robbie’s tail and body so that I could wrap his tail around the bottom of the frame. I added a drop of glue to keep Robbie in place and a piece of foam tape behind his head to prop it up.

Robbie-blog-tutorial-Allison-A-Technique-Tuesday-2


Thanks so much for sharing your Robbie the Raccoon card with us, Allison!

If you are a member of the Animal House auto-ship program, we shipped Robbie to you earlier this month. I hope Allison's project inspires you to get out your raccoon stamps & sentiments and use them on your own projects. Not a member? Robbie and his matching dies are available for individual purchase on our website.

Technique-Tuesday-Bev-Sig

Robbie Raccoon Stamp Set Robbie Raccoon Crafting Dies Essential Stitched Labels Dies


You Are a Blessing Card Featuring the Fresh Peonies Stamps and Dies

Hi Everyone! This is Bev. Today we are welcoming the very creative Ana Anderson to our blog! I am so glad you are joining us. And you're going to be happy too when you see Ana's beautiful classic card and her step-by-step instructions! Take it away, Ana.


Hello friends! Ana here today, with a card created with the gorgeous new addition to Greenhouse Society Collection of flower stamps and dies.

Blog-Post-March-2019-Fresh-Peonies-AnaA-TTc

When I first saw this Fresh Peonies stamp set I couldn’t wait to color it with as many coloring mediums as I could think of. For today’s card I chose to watercolor this beautiful image with Zig Clean Color Real Brush markers.

To start I stamped the image with Versafine Onyx Black ink and chose the marker colors I would be using on it – Dark Pink and Light Pink for the flowers and Mid Green, Pale Green and Deep Green for the leaves.

Blog-Post-March-2019-Fresh-Peonies-AnaA-TTaa

Once the image was colored I used the matching Fresh Peonies die to cut it out and started working on the background.

To create the frame, I used the largest Essential Stitched Labels die and cut a piece of striped patterned paper I had in my stash.

Blog-Post-March-2019-Fresh-Peonies-AnaA-TTb

Next, I dry-embossed a piece of white cardstock to add some texture and interest to my background.

Blog-Post-March-2019-Fresh-Peonies-AnaA-TTa

I stamped the sentiment (which came with the Fresh Peonies stamp set), trimmed it into a flag shape and then started assembling my card.

To my card base, I added a piece of black layering cardstock, then adhered the embossed panel in the center.

Blog-Post-March-2019-Fresh-Peonies-AnaA-TTd

To complete the card, I added the die cut patterned paper frame, my beautiful peony image, and the sentiment using foam tape.

Blog-Post-March-2019-Fresh-Peonies-AnaA-TTe

Thank you so much for stopping by today, and until next time I wish you Happy Crafting!


Thanks so much for sharing your project with us, Ana. I hope you all enjoyed seeing Ana's card and tutorial. If you'd like to see more of Ana'a projects, here'a link to her blog. Plus you can see more cards and tags featuring the Fresh Peony stamps and dies on our website!

Technique-Tuesday-Bev-Sig


Fresh-Peonies-Greenhouse-Society-Clear-Stamps-Technique-Tuesday Fresh-Peonies-Greenhouse-Society-Crafting-Dies-Technique-Tuesday Essential-Stitched-Labels-Crafting-Dies-Technique-Tuesday


Masking a background for the Kind Cosmo flower.

Hello, Julie here. Today I am sharing a video showing you how to use masking to create a watercolor background on a flower card. (I've also made a step-by-step tutorial of the same project, in case you would rather read than listen.) I used the the Kind Cosmo stamp set for my card but this technique would work well with many of the stamp sets in the Greenhouse Society Collection.


Step-by-Step Tutorial

Starting Out

Cosmo-coloring-blog-post-image-0

To begin I stamped my Kind Cosmo image on watercolor paper with waterproof ink.


 

Marking the background

Cosmo-coloring-blog-post-image-1

First step was figuring out and marking where I wanted my background to be. I used a ruler that has a zero in the middle on one side, so I could keep things symmetrical. I decided that I wanted my masked background to be two inches wide. I centered the ruler at the top of the page, marked it at 1 inch on each side of the zero, and then I marked the same points down at the bottom. Next was the height of the masked area. I decided that the masked area should be 2.5 inches tall, and that it didn’t need to be centered top to bottom, so I centered the ruler vertically on the side, then looked at my zero and marked 1 inch below zero, and 1.5 inches above. I marked that on each side, and then used the ruler to find and mark where the lines intersected with little tiny pencil marks. I didn’t want those marks to be very big or dark, so they’d erase easily later.

Next was the masking part. I took my washi tape, and stuck it down just over those little marks, so that it barely covered them. This is so that when it came time to remove the mask and erase the lines, I wasn't erasing through paint. I put down all four sides and pressed the tape down to seal it. I sealed it well enough that paint couldn’t get under it, but not so well that when I removed it I tore the paper.


 

Starting the Gradation

Cosmo-coloring-blog-post-image-2

Once the masking was done, I was ready to start my painting. I wanted my background to be sort of a gradient from green to blue. I got my watercolors set up, along with my handy dandy water pen, and a piece of paper towel. I started out with my water wash. I didn't start out all that precisely, because it’s just open background space, but I did get precise when I came to around the edges of the flowers. I wanted them to be white, which is why I decided to do a background – so they’d stand out, and not look like I just didn’t bother to color.


 

Turquoise Next!

Cosmo-coloring-blog-post-image-3

I took the green about half way up, and then started in with the turquoise. I started with the wash, and as I went I took the opportunity to touch up a bit of the green that didn’t go on quite as smoothly as I would have liked. I overlapped the green a bit to get a smooth gradation, adding a little green to the turquoise. Once again, I went more slowly and precisely around the edges of the flowers. I spread the turquoise to about three quarters of the way up the background. I went back in around the edges of the flowers and darkened the color up just a touch to add contrast.

I kept an eye on it as it dried, since as I go back over previous colors, sometimes I end up with uneven spots. When that happens, I just go back in with my color and touch things up.

 


Dark Blue

Cosmo-coloring-blog-post-image-4

I started in on my darker, bluer blue next, beginning with the water wash before the blue. I got tired of adding blue slowly, so I added a bit more water to my blue paint block, and picked up a lot of color on my brush. Because I got my water wash in really well, I could just touch my brush to the page, and my extra intense load of color flowed from the corner beautifully. I may have put a bit too much color in here, but I just used my brush and clean water to pick up and spread it out a bit. If I had decided that this was too much color to spread around, I could have used a dry paper towel to blot it up while it was still super wet, and then started over again.

And because I had such an intense bit of blue here, I added a bit more of the turquoise to balance the intensity.


 

Yellow Centers

Cosmo-coloring-blog-post-image-5

Next were the centers. First the water wash, and then I went in to the centers of the flowers, adding a bit of yellow to each. As Bev has pointed out, cosmos come in all kinds of colors, but they all have a nice yellow center. So you can be pretty creative with the color of the petals, and as long as it has the yellow center, you’re good. I added a little bit of orange for some shading, and kept going on it. I went back into the colors, adding a bit more color, smoothing and spreading the color some more, and then darkened the color around the flowers for some extra contrast.


 

The Unmasking!

Cosmo-coloring-blog-post-image-6

Next I very carefully took off my masking tape. I went very slowly so I could stop if the paper started to tear, and I pulled it off at a very sharp angle, which seems to help avoid the tearing.


 

Clean Up

Cosmo-coloring-blog-post-image-7

After the tape was all off, I took a clean eraser (clean is important, as a dirty eraser can leave marks) and removed my little marks. The corner marks are most important, because I planned to cut the paper down to go on my card and would end up cutting off the marks on the edges anyway. I went around and erased all the marks.


 

Finishing

Cosmo-coloring-blog-post-image-8

As you can see, my example piece has been cut down to about 4 by 5.25 inches, and put on a 4.25 by 5.5 inch card front. My final piece is on the right. I really had fun with this project!

I hope you enjoyed learning a little bit about masking a background and that you can use something like this on your next project. Thanks for stopping by!