I have a lovely set of Windsor and Newton watercolour paints that my husband bought me for Christmas a couple of years ago, so I decided to play along with the challenge this time. I found that painting the backgrounds was quite addictive and I got carried away and painted thirteen of them! I picked out the best ones and ended up making eight different cards, all using Papertrey Ink stamps and Zing embossing powders.
The background on my first card was painted in blocks of green colour, gradually becoming darker to give an ombre effect. All stamps used are from the "In Bloom" set. The sentiment and leaves were embossed using white Zing embossing powder and then I painted the leaves using some more of the same green paint. The flowers were embossed using Blush Zing embossing powder onto PTI coloured card, then I fussy cut them out and mounted them onto the card using foam pads for dimension. The background panel was then layered onto New Leaf card stock before adding to a white card blank.
My second card was made using two shades of paint, Zing white embossing powder, and stamps and the die from the "Floral Foliage" set. The tree was stamped with Dark Chocolate and Ocean Tides ink, then mounted with foam pads.
Card number three is one of my favourites and uses stamps from the "Friends 'til the end" set. The background was painted in a blue ombre effect, then I embossed the sentiment and flowers using the white embossing powder as before. I painted the flower petals with white watercolour paint and used a darker shade of blue for the centres. The whole panel was layered onto blueberry sky card stock, before mounting on a white card blank.
My fourth card uses the same "Friends 'til the end" stamp set and white embossing powder, but this time I tried the mottled effect on the background, making it slightly darker towards the bottom where I wanted to place the large sentiment. I painted the leaves with more of the same green paint and the two flowers were embossed onto Hawaiian Shores card stock and the petals painted white.The whole panel was also layered onto Hawaiian Shores card before mounting on a white card blank.
My next card features the same type of mottled background, but this time I used three different shades of paint. When it had dried it reminded me a little of Monet's waterlilies, so I decided to use "Boy Basics: Frog Hop" stamp set and matching dies to make this fun card! I layered New Leaf and Blueberry Sky card stock onto a kraft card blank before adding the painted panel.
I stayed with the mottled background look for card number six, but kept it subtle with pale olive greens. I thought that the ferns and sentiment from the lovely "Meadow Greens" stamp set would make a nice Sympathy card. I embossed the sentiment using the same white powder, then repeatedly stamped the two ferns around the edges with Simply Chartreuse and Ripe Avocado inks. I over stamped the ones in the top left with Vintage Cream ink as I wanted it to look like there were shafts of sunlight coming into the clearing. I deliberately made the bottom edge darker so that it would appear to be in shade. I was really pleased with the overall effect (it looks much nicer in real life).
I reverted to the ombre colour blocking method for the background on my seventh card. All the stamps are from the "Harvest Berries" set. I used Ripe Avocado ink to stamp the leaves and the sentiment and berries were embossed with white Zing embossing powder. The whole panel was layered onto some Simply Chartreuse card stock and added to a white card blank.
My last card is my favourite from this batch. I used Ripe Avocado card stock to make the card and the watercoloured panel was done with two shades of paint onto Bockingford Watercolour paper. I went for a mottled look again and blended the two colours to look like sky and grass. All stamps are from the "Meadow Greens" set. I embossed the sentiment and flower heads using white powder, then stamped the stems and leaves using Ripe Avocado ink. The heavier paper gives a lot of texture to the piece and in my opinion it looks more like a watercolour painting.
If you have read this far, thank you very much for looking and I hope that I have inspired you to try this technique out for yourself.
EDITED to say that shortly after I'd posted this we had a visitor, so I wasn't able to link up to the Papertrey challenge list after all (I missed the deadline by 5 minutes)! Never mind - at least I have some cards ready!