Hi everyone, Heidi here, in the previous year I have shown you many projects where I used Lindy’s products to create a watercolored look, but I have never shown you the basics, so that’s is what I’m going to do today!
What do you need to get started using Lindy’s products for a watercolor look:
- Brushes: for painting small objects use a small brush, I prefer a round one, for larger projects, like backgrounds, use a larger brush, you can also use a flat brush for this. Try whatever brush you have! Clean with a mild shampoo and lots of water.
- Watercolor paper: you don’t need the most expensive watercolor paper out there to make your projects look pretty, I’m showing three different affordable papers in this post, but try whatever (watercolor) paper you have, just make sure it’s thicker, that it can handle water well and look at the texture: I prefer a smoother paper for smaller objects and a more textured paper for background projects. Try whatever paper you have at home!
- One or two water containers (whatever you prefer: if you use two then one is for clean and one for dirty water).
- A palette to hold your paint colors: I prefer one with deeper wells.
- A water-sprayer or pipette to add clean water to the powdered pigments.
- Paper towels: to clean and/or dry your brushes off on or to use for dabbing water of the paper.
- And of course your Lindy’s products (in either liquid or powder form).
- Fun stamps to create images you can color.
- A graphite pencil (H) and kneaded eraser if you like to draw your own images to color;
- If you stamp your images use an anti-static powder tool before stamping, use a water-proof ink or stamp with a juicy black ink pad (like Versafine Onyx Black) and clear heat emboss afterward using Lindy’s Stamp Gang Clearly Clear Embossing Powder, or use any of the other gorgeous colored Lindy’s Stamp Gang Embossing Powders to create colored line-work to work with.
- If you have finished your coloring and you lost some lines, you can go over them using a (black) fine liner;
- Did you lose some highlights or do you want to create additional highlights, use a white gel pen or white ink.
- Create a Swatch Book of the Lindy’s colors you have: little swatches of the wet and then dried product so that you will easily know what color actually looks like in real life.
- You can use masking fluid but apply with an old brush, let it dry completely before adding color and don’t leave it on too long because it can destroy the paper underneath.
Basics in watercolor painting
- Watch your highlights and your shadows: when you’re coloring a 3D-image there are always parts that are highlighted (where the light source is hitting first) and shadow parts (where the influence of the light source is less visible). Highlights will be lighter and shadowed parts will be darker. I always (unless there is a light source visible in the image, like a candle) pretend the light source (the sun for example) to be in the top left-hand corner.
- Any colored image comes to life when you use enough contrast: make your highlights as light as possible and your shadows as dark as possible.
- Choose your colors wisely, use colors that complement each other, don’t add to many colors to one project. If you don’t know anything about color theory than Google Search for Color Wheel Theory or complimenting colors. Also know that if you would like to create a new color and you mix three primary colors (yellow/red/blue) you will create mud: that is why for example purple mixed with yellow turns into brown because purple already contains red and blue.
- Let your layers dry in between: finish one layer, let it dry on its own or use your heat gun and then add another layer.
- Always remember that when you have created harsh lines or edges where you don’t want them that probably is because that particular area of your paper stayed wet the longest or the water pooled in that spot and then dried slower than the rest of the paper. Distributing an even layer of pigment/water is the most difficult part of watercolor painting, but with some practice, you will surely manage! Work in one small area at one time!
Have fun! Remember that there are no rules in art, if you like the results you create then go ahead, create your own style!
How to create a watercolor paint using Lindys powdered products
Add some powder to your palette: the Magical Shakers distribute the pigment itself or use a fan brush for the Magicals (if you don’t have a fan brush use any other smaller dry brush).
Remember that a little pigment will go a long way!
Spray the powdered pigment in the palette with water or add water with your pipette and then mix the water with the pigment using your paintbrush. Now you’re ready to paint!
If you use Lindy’s Sprays or Squirts just add some of the liquid to your palette and pick up with your brush.
Things to remember:
- When you use Lindy’s products that contain shimmer: you will lose your lines underneath when you keep adding layers, you can go over the lost lines with a fine liner though.
- As with any watercolor product work in layers to create a feeling of depth.
- This is very important: once dry you can’t lift Lindy’s colors the way you can with real watercolor paints, while wet you can work with them, when dry, they are permanent! That’s is why I recommend working in a small area at a time (for example one petal of a flower).
I tested three (affordable) papers that are suitable for watercolor mediums: Canson XL Watercolor paper Cold Press 300 gr.; Strathmore Bristol Smooth Surface paper 270 gr.; Crafter’s Companion Watercolour Card 300 gr. Why did I pick these? Because that is what I had in my studio and what is widely available in the country where I live. Try out whatever paper you have that is suitable for watercolor mediums and see if you like the results!
I drew four rectangles for each color that I’m testing, one cool (Luscious Lime Magical) and one warm (Hibiscus Rose Magical) tone. Then I’m adding layers of colors to each rectangle: one layer to the first rectangle, two layers to the second rectangle and so on. For each layer I’m picking up the color from my palette and apply it pure to the paper, then I take a little clean water to the brush, dab of a little on the paper towel and wash the color out more, take more clean water to the brush, dab of a little on the paper towel and wash the color out even more, and then clean the brush and wash the color out to nothing. Make sure that the water isn’t pooling on the paper, as it will create a harsh edge.
This is also a good practice for evenly distributing water on your project.
These examples of testing paper were made with only one color per rectangle. But you can create even more depth to an image by adding more colors. To the Hibiscus color, I added another two layers of the darker Jazzy Jivin’ Purple Spray and to the Lime color, I added another two layers of the darker Tibetan Poppy Teal Spray.
Putting theory to practice I stamped one of the flower images and one of the leaf images from the Altenew Beautiful Day stamp set onto Strathmore Bristol Smooth Surface paper using black ink and clear heat embossing afterward using Clearly Clear Embossing Powder. Then I colored the images using the Lindy’s colors mentioned before, paying attention to where my highlights and my shadows should go, pretending that the light source is in the top left-hand corner. I worked fairly fast because once dry the color won’t move, that’s why I also worked at one petal at a time, move to a different petal to let the other petal dry before adding a new layer.
When the coloring is done I fussy cut the images leaving a small white border and adding additional highlights using a white gelly roll pen.
Now I’m ready to create the rest of my card project:
- For my background, I die cut a rectangle panel two sizes smaller than my card base. Then I sprayed the front of a stencil (in this case TCW5016) with the Tibetan Poppy Teal color that I used before and then used the stencil as a stamp, stamping multiple times, creating the design you can see in the background. When dry I created splatters using Lindy’s Squirt in Maple Syrup Bronze and a brush.
- For my sentiment, I die cut the Hello Sunshine text using this Phrase Die by Stamplorations from matching green card stock. Then I added VersaMarker (sticky ink in a marker form) to the top part of each word and melted three layers of Lindy’s Embossing Powder in Desert Moon Turquoise, for just that added interesting detail.
- I also die cut a slightly larger rectangle mat from matching dark red card stock. I adhered both rectangle panels together using liquid glue.
- Then I cut a strip of 5 cm wide from vellum, wrapped that around the combined panels and adhered on the back using regular tape.
- This combination I adhered to a card base using one-millimetre thick foam tape.
- To finish the card I adhered the colored images and the sentiment on top using one-millimetre thick foam tape and see-through tape runner.
- Embossing Powder: Clearly Clear, Desert Moon Turquoise;
- Magicals: Hibiscus Rose, Luscious Lime;
- Sprays: Tibetan Poppy Teal, Jazzy Jivin’ Purple;
- Squirt: Maple Syrup Bronze.
Other products used:
- Brush, watercolor paper, stencil, stamp, die-cut sentiment, vellum.
That’s it for today’s Watercolor 101 project! Let me know if you have any questions about watercolor with Lindy’s products or aspects you would like to know more about.
I wish you a creative day!