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Old 01-12-2014, 08:54 AM
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Default January 2014 Week 3 Technique Challenge - Due 1/18/14

Well what an interesting time I had this month coming up with the challenge for you. My plan was to expand on the ombre used in the week 2 challenge but I learned TONS along the way - I hope to share with you all that I learned to pass on all the goodness (and headaches....) Maybe you can avoid the headaches!!

I'm going to have to post this in a couple of posts so bear with me and read this in order....I think it's helpful to see the pictures in progression.

So my original plan was to use some of the 6x6 stencils/templates that PW sells with colored pencils and perhaps gelatos. (One reason is I STILL haven't found my ink pads, so I'm using what I have to work with!)

I haven't worked with colored pencils a lot so I started out with minimal work and thinking I could depend on the water to do a lot of the work. Turns out that is not so. The first picture you will see is my first attempt - I kind of scribbled the watercolor pencils and used a good amount of water. What ended up happening - I didn't get smooth transitions from color to color and the water was creeping under the template.

So then I had brainstorm #1 - how can I keep the water from getting under the template? I recently purchased some Stick n Spray so I sprayed the back of the template - that worked like a charm!!

I still wasn't getting good transitions, so I also learned that you can't really depend on the pencils and the water to do all the work - you need to practice your blending techniques a little - the more work you do up front before you add the water the better. AND, I also learned that less is more when it comes to the water. A lot of water is really only good if you want to bleed out the color lighter and lighter to the edges of a section. Less water - just enough to blend worked better.

The biggest brainstorm #3 was that I wasn't using watercolor paper - I thought I was but I was really getting frustrated that the blend wasn't good - I was still seeing pencil marks and the color gradation wasn't gradual enough. I pulled out some paper that I knew was watercolor paper and it made a HUGE difference. What I thought was a piece of 12x12 watercolor paper wasn't!

I was getting a better result but I still wasn't completely happy. I then moved to Gelatos. In the last several pictures (probably in the next post) look at the difference between the non-watercolor paper and the watercolor paper - even with gelatos, the blend is more even, you don't see as many stroke marks on the watercolor paper as you do with the other paper.

For this particular template, gelatos did a much better job in giving a clean line. The watercolor effect is more truly watercolor with the pencils - and it should be.

So - do some experimentation this week yourselves - pull out your watercolors, your gelatos, or if you don't have those - try taking some water-based markers and mark on a plastic plate, and then use a watered brush - that works too!
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Old 01-12-2014, 08:56 AM
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Next set of pictures....
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Old 01-12-2014, 12:32 PM
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Looks like fun Nancy. I'll have to drag out some of my stencils and see what happens.
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Old 01-13-2014, 05:33 AM
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I just ordered that Stick N Spray myself, but don't have any 6x6 templates like you are using. I will have to see what I can do to participate... The last challenge taught me a lot about using gelatos, so maybe I will try water colors this time.
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Old 01-13-2014, 01:16 PM
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Sounds like a great challenge. I don't have any stencils but I think I can create one from one of my PW dies. That seems to add another element to this challenge for me. Hmmmm, let's see now.....
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Old 01-13-2014, 07:33 PM
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That's a great idea Karen. And those of you who have Cricuts or Cameos could cut out something as well and use that as a stencil/template (and a bonus-you won't have to clean it when you're done!
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Old 01-13-2014, 08:42 PM
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I bought the Mini Swirly Garden template during a Mom's Warehouse Sale a couple years ago and haven't used it, so I decided to get it out for this challenge.
For my first attempt, I used watercolor pencils. It took FOREVER to fill in all those tiny spaces and the painting took almost as much time. I'm not thrilled with the results. Next, dusted my airbrush off and grabbed a few shades of lavendar, blue and green I'm much happier with the way it turned out. After that, I found my Ranger Mini-misters. I haven't used them in a long time either. One had blue alcohol ink, the second one had something green in it. I think it was probably perfect pearls, and the third had a tiny bit of gold, but not enough to spritz, so I added several drops of gold alcohol ink and then put in a little 91% alcohol to thin it a bit. I really like the way this one turned out. You can't tell from the scan, but it shimmers.
Now I just have to figure out what to do with them.
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Old 01-14-2014, 05:08 AM
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Card backgrounds! The really bright one would be good for a kid's birthday or even get well card. The other 2 would be lovely for almost anything. I think maybe we're learning that pencils are just not the best thing to use with templates! A true artist I'm sure would make them work -I've seen amazing things done with pencil - unfortunately I am not that talented!
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Old 01-14-2014, 06:11 AM
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Judy, I applaud your patience - coloring that template with pencils - I would have run screaming from the room!

I really like the other 2, very pretty. I agree with Nancy about card backgrounds - gives me an idea for my challenge. It is probably large enough to make a card and matching tag for a b-day or some other kind of gift.

I love my templates and misters just don't use them enough (of course).
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Old 01-14-2014, 07:05 AM
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I agree with Penny, Judy you've got patience! I like all three of your examples Judy. Nancy alot of thought went into this challenge, thanks for all the examples, and the challenge
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