Wednesday, April 18, 2018

My Perfect Buddy Card Colored with Arteza Watercolor Pencils

Here's another sweet image by Dreamerland Crafts. I found an interesting quote in one of my paper pads that I thought would be kind of cool with this image. Since the paper is green, I decided to use complimentary colors (red/green). This could be used as a holiday greeting card or just a winter greeting.

Arteza Watercolor Pencils and Paper

To color the image, I wanted to try my new Arteza Watercolor Pencils and Paper. When I swatched the colors, they were nicely pigmented and dissolved pretty well with water. The swatches were on a different watercolor paper; this was my first use with Arteza's paper. Unfortunately the Arteza combination proved to be a bad one. Despite appearances, it was very difficult to use the watercolor pencils with water on this paper. It seems to have too much sizing - the pigments lifted too easily; glazing (layering), even on completely dry paint, just reactivated the first layer and moved it around, often down to the white of the paper.

Using the pencils on wet did not work at all - it basically scraped the wet pigment off the paper instead of depositing more. The only way I could get this to work was by coloring an area completely (including shade and highlight colors), using water in a gentle circular motion over the entire area, waiting for it to dry, then finally going over it with the pencils again - using them more like colored pencils instead of watercolor pencils. Often I had to burnish areas to get enough contrast. The pencils seem waxy when both wet or dry. I tried a few colors on a scrap of another type of watercolor paper, wetted them, let them dry, then tried glazing; this seemed to work a bit better but still had some of the same issues. I still have to do more testing with other types of paper to see if performance will improve. I certainly agree with the "Expert" designation on these watercolor pencils in that it will take an expert to get them to work with this combination.

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Making the Card

1. Stamp image in Ranger Archival Jet Black Ink (or other waterproof ink) on Arteza Watercolor Paper (at least 4x5 inches, i.e. leave plenty of room for die cutting). I recommend using a Stamp Platform or Stamp Positioner due to the texture of the paper (in case you need to stamp again). You may need to heat set the ink before continuing. Add a line indicating the ground with Black Copic Multiliner .5.

2. Color the image with Arteza Watercolor Pencils. The best way to do this is in sections - color a full section, including shading and highlighting colors. Apply water a little at a time in small circular motions. Let dry then add more pencil as needed (likely the dark areas will need more pigment to give the image enough contrast). See below Supplies for a list of colors I used.

3. Die cut image with Cross-Stitched Oval die. Die cut red cardstock with next size up die.

4. Cut green cardstock 7x10 inches; fold in half to form a 5x7 inch card base. Cut red cardstock 4 3/4 x 6 3/4 inches. Run red cardstock, watercolored image, and red die cut cross-stitched oval through Xyron 9" Creative Station with permanent adhesive. Rub around edges. Adhere red cardstock to card base and watercolored image to red cross-stitched oval (set aside the latter).

5. Find green watercolor looking patterned paper with quote "everything you can IMAGINE is real" (Artist Paper Pix, Paper House). Measure the amount of space on each side of quote to the edge of the paper. Mine was 1/4 inch larger on the right side - I wanted the quote centered so I trimmed 9/16 of an inch from the left and 13/16 of an inch off the right side, leaving 1/16 inch border. Trim off white at top of paper.

6. Die cut Scrollwork from green cardstock (note: the die was discontinued, but Royal Swirls looks like it is similar; you could also use a decorative edge punch or other decorative edge die). Trim left side with rounded edge; on right side cut off furthest bit, rounding the element as best as possible (see photo). Check that nothing sticks out from behind top of patterned paper from step 5. You might want to tack patterned paper onto card with removable tape while you get the design lined up as desired. Run through 1.5" Create-a-Sticker, rub around design, adhere to card where shown. Take off removable tape from patterned paper if you used it; apply Mega Runner adhesive to back of patterned paper and adhere to front of card.

7. Adhere cross-stitched red bordered watercolored image where shown. From green cardstock, die cut smallest bow plus associated small rectangle (I used the old die Bow Tied, the new release is Thinlits Bows). Curl back bowed out areas using a watercolor brush handle or pen (something round and smooth). Fold tails forward. Hold tails in place and use Tiny Attacher to secure bow. Adhere small rectangle over staple (it should fit perfectly over it). Adhere to card where shown.

8. From My Perfect Buddy Stamps & Dies, stamp small and large hearts on red cardstock in Jet Black Archival Ink. Die cut and adhere where shown.

9. Apply Holly Stickles to green swirls on green die cut as desired.

Arteza Watercolor Pencil Colors Used:Basil A093, Emerald A094, Sage A098, Matcha A006, Pink Macaroon A083, Apricot A034, Burnt Ochre A113, Blood Orange A073, Rose Red A001, Garnet A027, Space Grey A047, Cinnamon A027, Cocoa A027, Camel A110, Elephant Grey A035, Noir A012, Indigo A007

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