Monday, June 10, 2019

No Line Coloring with Watercolor/Gouache Greeting Card

Recently I posted a no line coloring card using only colored pencils (here's another example as well). This time I used gouache to block in the colors and then went over the image with Polychromos colored pencils to add gradients and details. Gouache reactivates when painted over so it's difficult to achieve smooth gradients, especially if the gouache is student grade. I first tried Arteza Gouache, before I planned to use colored pencils, but it was really not working for me so I switched to Holbein Gouache.* It was a little better but still moved the paint too much. If you are going to use colored pencils in the end as recommended, either gouache should work.

*A note about gouache: there are two types of gouache, one that reactivates with water and one that does not. The latter is called Acryl or Acryla gouache (depending on brand); these are more like acrylic paint. They are permanent once dry, thus you may layer these without affecting the previous (dried) layers.

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Making the Card

1. Cut watercolor paper to about 4x6 inches or so. I used 5x7 precut sheets. Use Stamp Platform and Antique Linen Distress Ink to stamp Just Dance with Me (Dreamerland Crafts). The Distress Ink will react with water and should just about disappear while painting.

2. Use a Copic Multiliner SP Black .3 pen to trace the eyes, eye brows, and mouths - be sure to do this before coloring or you might not be able to see where to put them. Use gouache to block in colors of the image (I used Holbein and some Arteza - see introduction for more information). You can mix darker and lighter colors trying to blend as you go but you may not get a great gradient. Also, details will be easier to add with color pencil (next step).

3. Once the image has dried, use Polychromos colored pencils to add shading, gradients, and details. I found this especially useful for the hair and cheeks. Keep the pencils out for the next step.

4. Use a pair of detail scissors and a craft knife (on a self-healing mat) to cut around image. Use colored pencils to gently go around outside of image in matching colors to hide white edges.

5. Cut white Soft-Finish Cardstock to 5 1/2 x 8 1/2 inches; fold in half to form a 4 1/4 x 5 1/2 inch card base. I like the soft texture on the front of this cardstock and, since the reverse side is smooth, it is easy to write inside the card. Cut purple plaid paper (Perfectly Plaid Rainbow, Lawn Fawn) to 4 x 5 1/4 inches. Adhere to card base.

6. Die cut white Soft-Finish Cardstock using die from Double-Stitched Circle Set (or other stitched circle set) - see the image below for size. Use the next size up to die cut blue cardstock. Adhere white circle to blue. Adhere to card where shown (if you want to check placement, just hold off gluing until later). Use dimensional/mounting tape to adhere colored image to white circle.

7. Prep a the back of a piece of white Soft Finish Cardstock with powder tool; stamp "Just dance with me" using Purple Hydrangea VersaMagic ink (I recommend using Stamp Platform, especially if you want to stamp on the front of the cardstock where there is texture). Heat emboss using Silver Pearl Ranger Embossing Powder (you may also use clear but the pearl gives it a beautiful subtle shimmer). Die cut with stitched circle. Adhere to card where shown using dimensional/mounting tape.

8. Adhere purple sequins where shown; I recommend using a Crystal Ninja Tanto pick up tool for placement.

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