Sunday, April 15, 2012

Zen and the Art of Watercolor

Happy Paper Players Sunday, friends!  I'm so excited to share my card with you today!  But first, let me tell you about this week's challenge with Jaydee as our hostess:

Truth be told, I used to be afraid of watercoloring but I've been practicing and get the I think I can say that I actually like watercoloring!  So, I busted out some watercolor paper, my ink pads and an Aqua Painter to make this birthday card for a dear friend:

I needed a masculine card so the clean-and-simple approach was perfect.  The demure little bonsai in the Plant Hope set is ideal for my friend who likes Asian themes.  I think the key to watercoloring, for me, is to layer the color by starting with the lightest shade.  With several light applications, you end up with a shade that has more dimension than an image colored with a single color.  Use the darker color to add shading allowing some of the light color to peek through. 

For the pot, I started with several light coats of Calypso Coral only adding Poppy Parade on the edges.  For the tree, I started with  Pear Pizzazz and added a punch of color with Lucky Limeade while the tree trunk and branches was a blend of Crumb Cake and Soft Suede. This method does take some patience as the water needs to dry between each coat otherwise it will run.  Of course, I wouldn't know anything about, not me, not at all!  LOL.  To finish it off I added two score lines with my Simply Scored board and tucked a piece of Lucky Limeade ruffled ribbon underneath.  You can't really tell in the photo but that's a piece of Brushed Gold cardstock under the ribbon--it adds just the right touch of glam.  Coz, even guys like a little sparkle!

I hope you liked today's card--I would love to know what you think!  Be sure to check out the rest of the Design Team for their fabulous take on this challenge.  I hope you'll join us in The Paper Players gallery--the challenge will close on Friday, April 20th at Noon (PST).

The Paper Players Design Team
Shirley Pumpkin (April GD)

Stamps: Plant Hope; Teeny Tiny Wishes
Ink: Calypso Coral, Poppy Parade, Pear Pizzazz, Lucky Limeade, Crumb Cake & Soft Suede classic ink; Timber Brown Stazon
Paper: Basic Black, Brushed Gold CS; Watercolor paper
Xtras: Lucky Limeade ruffled ribbon; Simply Scored board; Aqua Painter


KarrenJ said...

This is one gorgeous card! Love the simple elegance of it. Great job on the watercoloring, too!

Shirley Pumpkin said...

I do love your card today! I love all the detail you gave in how to do the watercoloring. I think I should have used watercolor paper on my card too. Your card is the most beautiful card I have seen with this stamp set!! (for real girl) It is Zen!


Dana said...

This is really pretty. Nice job.

Linda Callahan said...

Like it?? I love it!! I don't watercolor at all - it is always a disaster. Maybe I should try again - this is simply gorgeous! Very zen........and peaceful......and perfect!

Christina said...

Beautiful watercoloring, and you know I love the CAS design!

Mitzi said...

Love your card... simple and perfect for a guy.

Nancy said...

Nance this is such a gorgeous card, love the simplicity of the design and your watercoloring is great.
The scoring adds just the right touch!

Lesley said...

Clean and simple at its finest Nance! Yes waiting for areas to dry is not my strong suit either! LOL! A perfect masculine CAS card!

LeAnne said...

You already know how much I adore this card!! I love the little score lines and will be casing that cool idea for my next camp!!!

Marisa said...

Love the little bonsai tree!! Great CAS card!

Joan said...

Oh Nance - the simplicity is just stupendous. What a fabulous card - and the watercolour is perfect!

Anonymous said...

I love the card it is so clean and pretty.

I think I will do some watercoloring too. I don't do it much because it seems no matter how careful I think I am the paper pills up.
Diana from Wisconsin

Rach said...


I had to pop by and tell you your card took my breath away with it's simplicity and and perfect zen-ness. I feel peaceful just looking at it. I love the watercoloring and the scored lines and the hint of ribbon. It's WONDERFUL!


Bonnie said...

Thanks for the watercoloring tips, Nance. I need to practice a lot more, but you've mastered it quite well. I love all the white space which gives more attention to the beautiful bonsai.

Margaret said...

Simply gorgeous! I really appreciate the details of how you painted the image! I'm a novice at water coloring and am still at the muddled mess stage! TFS your tips!!

Anne Marie Hile said...

Wax on, wax off...(channeling The Karate Kid)...that is one bodacious bonsai! This is CAS perfection, my friend! Yes, you totally made me want to get this set before it retires, too. Ugh, enabler...yet again! That spot of gold card stock is awesome, too. Hope you had a marvelous Monday! Hugs! :)

psucolleen said...

That's absolutely beautiful! I love the simplicity of the image, the gorgeous detailed technique and the embossed lines. LOVE it! I really enjoy watercoloring on cards; I just don't do it enough! Great inspiration, Nance!

Heidi said...

Nance, what a great CAS card! And your watercoloring is AWESOME. Dare I say I am a bit jealous that you have this technique down to a science. Love that you finished it off with some score lines and other pops of color with the ribbon and gold paper. Great card!

Barb King said...

I love the simplicity of the card, and the score lines give just the right amount of interest. I always enjoy your posts, I feel you use the SU materials in a more modern way. Thanks for sharing!

Ann Schach said...

Beautiful, Nance! Definitely zen-like in its qualities. It is so serene and calming. Ahhhh! It is relaxing just to look at it. This is clean and simple perfection!!!

jaydee said...

Nance, this is clean and simple perfection! Love it.