Tutorial by Linda Fields
How incredibly difficult it must be for the people of Maui – to persevere in the face of such horrific devastation and loss. I admire their courage, and above all, their faith. This card continues where my last tutorial, Psalms of Hope, left off – remembering those who are suffering.
I dedicate this card to the native people of Maui.
A Test of Faith
It took several steps of faith to create this card. I doubted my ability to even do it. I absolutely love watercolor painting but this is new territory for me. It’s not enough to learn a technique, it must be applied and continually practiced to be perfected. Did mistakes happen? Yes they did, but I persevered! I was determined to create a card I could proud of. In this tutorial I’ll point out my successes as well as mistakes because that’s how we can all learn and grow.
Into the Light
Light, the very essence of Faith, became my inspiration for the medium I used. I used Metallic Watercolors to paint the Iris above. It’s difficult to photograph to show exactly what happens but compare the before and after to see how light reflects off the tiny metallic particles in the paint – changing everything you saw in a whole new way!
- Watercolor Paper (Hot Press 140 lb)
- Mechanical Pencil, Blending Stump, Gum Eraser, Compass, Ruler
- Sakura Micron Drawing Pen
- Altenew Paint-a-Flower: Iris
- Metallic Watercolor Set
- Castle Arts Colored Pencil – Cerullian Blue
- Round Watercolor Brushes 1 & 3
- Tim Holtz Distress Inks – Black Soot, Ground Espresso, Vintage Photo
The colors you choose are just as important as your design layout. Do the colors play nice or do they fight to dominate each other? Do the emotions they invoke match the story you’re trying to tell? I wanted to show courage, will power and determination so I chose a bright, bold blue for the backdrop. I stamped the delicate, beautiful Iris from Altenew because the flower always returns despite it dying off every year. I chose complimentary, soft pink and purple hues to represent it’s fragile yet strong willed nature. I painted layers of watercolor, finishing with colored pencil and pen details with graphite for depth.
I started with a soft pink but had problems from the start. I was doing a wet in wet technique but the paint didn’t vein and spread. If your paper soaks up too much of the initial water you lay down then the paint can’t move. The paper you choose makes all the difference! You can also “stretch” your paper in advance – something I did not do. Get your paper soaked with water, laying it down and securing it with tape and/or stapling it to a board until it dries naturally. In doing this, when you’re ready to paint, the water will sit instead of soak into the paper fibers.
TIP: Work in layers, building up the color for depth, adding water to lighten it.
TIP: Use a separate piece of the same paper to test your colors – something I didn’t do.
TIP: A different medium can add texture and interest. Colored pencil leaves a soft, velvety look.
TIP: Use a darker color for the recesses or things in shadow. Add graphite to deepen it.
After erasing all the unwanted lines, after painting and coloring my card, after I was satisfied with the Micron Pen details and added pencil shading, it was time to transform the paper. I used Tim Holtz Distress Inks to darken and age the edges. I like to hold my paper up when using the applicator to give added texture. I didn’t have enough water on my brush when creating the black splatters so I hit the brush a little too hard, lost control, and ended up with an ugly black smudge across the card. It was terrible but I didn’t give up and scrapped off the top layer of paper instead. Yes, it left a bit of a bruise but it added to the overall vintage charm.
Your patience will pay off. Practice! It’s the only way to learn. Time does much for those willing to stick it out. Keep the Faith! For it will become more beautiful than you could have ever imagined.