I know it’s only October but…and I can’t believe I’m actually saying this…but I’ve made my own Christmas cards! Sorry! It’s most unlike me.
Moving swiftly on, if you have always been put off by the time and effort that making your own cards usually entails, then perhaps you should reconsider.
There is an abundance of inspiration and tutorials online. This is the one I used.
First you make a triangular stencil and place it over the centre of the card. Then, using water on a brush, paint small squiggles within the triangle and follow through with a small brush containing green watercolour paint, once again, squiggling loosely. I decided to splatter as well.
The photos are a bit pants but you get the idea.
The card paper didn’t react well to wet-in-wet watercolours as does proper watercolour paper, but once the triangular stencil was removed, the overall effect was still pleasing.
Craft stores sell economically priced blank cards with matching envelopes and everything else required – just don’t get carried away and buy up the entire store as I did. In this case, less is more effective. I used some self-adhesive glitter stars and tiny gem embellishments. I already had some gold ink for writing “Happy Christmas” inside, but you can even buy stickers for that.
This was a really simple, fun thing to do.
Apologies again for mentioning Christmas so early – I find nothing more soul-crushing than walking into a store and seeing Christmas supplies on the shelves at this time of year. I’m not sure what came over me.
I’ve always wanted to paint flowers but held back because for some nebulous reason I feared they would be too difficult. Sometimes you just have to go for it. Watercolour is utterly perect for painting flowers!
These Crocosmias (I had to look them up) were painted on dry paper using luscious, raw, thick watercolour paint, straight out of the tube. Before the paint dried, I went back in with a clean, damp brush to tease out the colour. A brush handle dipped in the paint became a handy mark maker.
One of my biggest challenges is knowing when to stop; I’ve ruined so many paintings at the last minute – although on this occasion I managed to step back in time….just.
Where has the sun gone?
This Hydrangea sketch is my attempt to defy indications that the British summer has already bowed out. It’s still July and I’m not ready to put my sandals and sunglasses away just yet.
Based loosely on the principles of negative painting, I worked around the petals and leaves to define their shapes and bring them forward.
Transparent colours were used as several layers of increasingly deeper tone are required to develop the shapes.
For quick reference I use a Winsor & Newton chart of hand-painted professional waercolours which has proved invaluable to me. It not only clearly demonstrates what each colour looks like from intense to watery pale, but it also lists whether they are transparent, semi-transparent or opaque. It also saves me the bother of making my own chart.
It is important to allow the paint to dry properly between each glaze…something I’m particularly bad at.