Apr 4, 2019

Using What I Learn

I'm having a lot of fun doing the Learning with Inspiration series and thought I would make a card that applies some of the lessons I've learned. (Several people assumed that the series was over -- it's not; I'm just taking a break from it.)

For this card I used some watercoloring tips I learned through studying Natasha Volkovskaya and Jill Foster. You can see my posts studying Natasha here and here (I can no longer find a good link to her blog but she remains very active on Instagram as Craft Away With Me.) You can find my posts studying Jill on the Penny Black blog here, here, and here.

  • Nathasha makes fantastic backgrounds and by studying hers I was able to see that she leaves a fair amount of white space. Jill makes sure there is a lot of variation from light to dark. 
  • I often use a flat brush for a background. A flat brush leaves a solid area of color. The color ends up being, well, flat! That can be a great choice, but I wanted to create something that mimicked water and sky and had some white space and variation in tone. 
  • So, I used the water brush you can see in the picture below. The small tip allowed me to get the variation in color I wanted.
  • Used dye reinkers for the paint, rather than watercolor paints. This is something Jill does a lot and it allows for more intense colors. The more water I added the lighter the color. I went over the butterflies, leaves, and flowers with reinker and very little water so that they did not get lost in the background.

Supplies:  Penny Black Butterfly Dance; Altenew Many Thanks; Adirondack Dye Reinkers (Sail Blue and Clover); Gina K cardstock; Canson cold press watercolor paper; Versamark; Wow Bright White Superfine Embossing Powder.

MOOD WHEN DONE: Happy! I'm posting cards made before my heart procedure, but I continue to improve and hope to be stamping soon. A good friend is visiting next week and I'm very happy about that!

BTW, this large cling stamp is from Penny Black and is one of several Penny Black stamps I bought recently. Add that to the ones Penny Black gave me and some I had, but never used, and you can expect to see a fair amount of Penny Black on this blog in the near future!


  1. your background coloring is fantastic, Joan - i think you've got it!!

  2. Beautiful...wish I could watercolor like that!

  3. This is gorgeous! The colors you chose and the variations in tone are lovely. I don't know how to watercolor, and big background/scene stamps like that aren't really my thing, but your card has my brain making grabby hands at that stamp. I might not be able to CASE your card, but this post is going straight to my inspiration file regardless! Thank you for sharing what you've been learning.

  4. Thank you for explaining how you colored the flowers so that they did not get lost in the background. I look forward to more lessons. Hope your recovery is speeding along.

  5. Flat brush is a great idea. Your efforts are fantastic.

  6. Thanks for the tips. Love this card - the colors. Best wishes to you!

  7. The colors you used are so vibrant. I love this card. Thank you for sharing.

  8. Beautiful card, Joan! I am happy to hear that you continue to improve. This series has been one of my favorites on your blog. Thanks for the wonderful inspiration and information!

  9. Background, foreground -- both lovely! You achieved a nice water/sky appearance with your watercolor wash.

  10. I love this card!!!!!! And on the hunt for this stamp. I am truly enjoying your card making journey..learning lots and loving the 'eye candy'. Marvelous work Joan.
    Lu C


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