Happy New Year! It’s a new year, and what better way than to kick off with a Challenge?!! This month’s Christmas challenge over at Happy Little Stampers is Jingle. You might be going – Christmas, what? Well, I didn’t create NEAR enough cards last year, so I”m excited to be getting an early start!
I scoured my stash and would you believe it…I don’t have a single jingle bell stamp or die! So I got a little creative. I thought I could draw and watercolor one – well, let’s just say that didn’t go so well….lol!
So, I knew I had this great saying – actually three jingle sayings, so I decided to go with the spirit and place the word prominently instead! After all, the song Jingle Bells does say…Dashing through the snow and Over the Hills we go! Now I know this isn’t a one horse sleigh, but I imagine this to be a little of the scenery that I would see from the sleigh. That’s where this all started from.
I hope my project inspires you in some way to add a little jingle to your Christmas cards and get an early start for your 2016 stash. For more details, be sure to keep reading!
Be sure to stop by the challenge over at Happy Little Stampers and see all the amazing creations made by the Design Team! And this month we have a wonderful Guest Designer with us – Sarah from Funky Fossil Designs.
Watercolor Tips & Techniques for Christmas Cards
- Watercolor cards work well on good quality watercolor paper. I used Canson 140 pound cold pressed paper and a #6 round brush.
- For this scene, I decided to use some brand new stamps that Santa brought me this past Christmas – Natures Gifts and Prancers by Penny Black. These two sets are perfect to evoke the scene I had envisioned along with my Jingle greeting from the Mixed Christmas Sentiments by Happy Little Stampers.
- To create your snow drifts, add a little water with a #8 round brush where you’d like to have a snow drift. Dropwatered down Broken China and a little Weathered Wood to to base of the line. Paint your snow drift using a clean wet brush to blend it outward creating a light took upwards on your bank. I’d encourage practicing this on scrap paper a bit first. It takes a bit to get the hang of it.
- Stamp your pine cones and needles at the top right. To get a painted look, use the watercolor stamping technique – ink up your stamp, then spritz a few times to get the ink wet before stamping onto your paper. Move the ink around with a wet paint brush if needed. I used Peeled Paint and Forest Moss for the greenery and Gathered Twigs/Ground Espresso for the Pine cones and trunks.
- TIP – find a balance between the amount of water and ink.
- Once you have your snow drifts and pine needles/cones in place, add a top edge to your drifts with a mask – I cut into a piece of Painters Tape. To paint your sky, you’ll first want to wet your area. Try not to touch your needles or pine cones too much to keep the color from bleeding. A little works – too much is a mess.
- Once your sky is wet, add a little Broken China Distress Stain – keeping the darkest of the color at the top and blending it out with a wet paint brush toward your horizon.
- Stamp your trees using the watercolor stamping technique and the Broken China Stain. I used the two smaller trees from the Prancers Set.
- Stamp your front trees, masking off the bank with a torn piece of painters tape in the general shape – I didn’t worry about being too perfect. I used the same shades as the pine needles and cones. Watercolor stamp and under layer that gives a great shaded base. Once a bit dry, re-stamp without spritzing for a bit of detail. TIP – if this part is too wet, you’ll lose all your detail.
- Allow your project to fully dry.
- I needed a greet greeting, so I pulled out my trusty Mixed Christmas Sentiments by Happy Little Stampers.
- Stamp your greeting in Versamark and emboss in Espresso Embossing Powder.
- Add the snow using Pro White by Daler Rowney and spatter flicking with a toothbrush.
- Paint snow onto your pine cones using the Pro White and small paint brush.
- Cut scene to desired width if necessary – mine is 5 1/2 x 3 7/8″ and mounted onto a top folding A2 card in Early Espresso.
I just love the watercolored snow drift look in this card. I am a huge admirer and personally am always inspired by two great stampers and watercolor artists – Heather Telford and Micheline “Mimi” Jourdain both on the Design Team for Penny Black. I’ve learned a ton from Heather over the years, and have to admit, that I myself have gotten into watercolored cards and flicked snow because of her artistry over the years. So thanks Heather!
Now if you find any tiny little part of this card inspiring, please hop on along to the Jingle Challenge over at Happy Little Stampers this month and play along with us. The Design Team has some great inspiration for you, and I can’t wait to see what YOU do!
Keep those fingers inky!
If you liked this tutorial and would like to see a similar project that goes into depth and detail including a step by step video and PDF – be sure to Click Here to check out our 12 Days of Christmas 2015 class!