December 6, 2010

Watercolor Crayon Technique Cards

Thanks to your overwhelming response to Penny Black’s first Technique Week that they have put together Technique Week II featuring alternative ideas for coloring.  All this week, each designer’s project will feature step-by-step photos and instructions.

The coloring medium I am working with is watercolor crayons and I have two projects.

The first features new releases from Penny Black’s 2011 Valentine collection.

Purr-fect Message (40-040), Good Catch (30-064)

All the details and stepped out photos for this card can be viewed on the Penny Black blog here.

The second watercoloring crayon tutorial is a holiday card and shows how to use kosher salt to create a wintry backdrop.

Step 1:  Stamp image with black pigment ink on watercolor paper and heat emboss with clear powder. 

Tip:  Heat setting the powder from underneath will eliminate small pieces of powder from being scattered and melted in area that will be colored.  At first glance these melted specks are not visible, but will resist the coloring medium once painting begins and can cause tiny white flecks.  The embossing also acts as a “fence” and is helpful in keeping the watercolors from bleeding beyond the edge of the image and gives a very sharp and defined outline. 

Hint:  Some types of watercolor paper have a rough front surface and smooth back surface.  I typically use the smoother, backside.

Step 2:
Using a damp paint brush, lift color directly from the crayon and apply to the image.  Start with the lightest color first.  Notice that some areas have been left “white” or uncolored.  This will allow room for additional colors to be added and blended and will also serve as a highlighting feature when the piece is completed. 

Step 3:

A darker color in the same hue is applied.  Here you can see the gradual difference building and the colors are becoming more prominent. 

Step 4:

Continuing adding color and blending until the desired shade is achieved. 

Step 5:
Here is a trick if you find that you don’t have the right color crayon – you can make your own shade!  Simply apply color from the crayons directly to watercolor paper then blend with a small bit of water.  This becomes your own personalized palette.  The two colors here were blended to create the “blue” shade used for the bird.

While watercolor is still wet apply kosher salt.

View after salt has been brushed away.

Step 7:

One way to create a large batch of color is to put a few drops of water on a plastic surface and then scribble the crayon through the puddle until the desired concentration is achieved.  Here a batch of blue was created for the sky and painted onto a piece of watercolor paper.  While the paper was still wet, coarse kosher salt was sprinkled on top.  Once dry, brush away the salt to reveal a stippled design.

Step 8:

Create a decorative frame from the ornate corner flourish in the Slapstick set called “Peace Everyday” and watercolor.  I like to “fussy” cut and trimmed the outside edges as well as removed the interior panel.   

Step 9:
Assemble the card.  The bear and bird were trimmed and positioned in the ornate frame with the blue stippled cardstock as a backdrop.  Random paper piercings adorn the white cardstock around the frame.  A red and gold mat were added before applying to a card created with Penny Black's Christmas Music paper.

Supplies for Be Merry:


Decorative Paper:

Watercolor Crayons- Staedtler-Mars, Ltd.
Onyx Black Pigment Ink - Tsukineko
Clear Embossing Powder
Paint Brush
Heat Tool

Thank you for stopping by.  I appreciate all your visits and comments.

Have a happy day,