Friday, November 24, 2023

Christmas Cards - Watercolor Ornaments - Process

I decided I wanted to make some special cards for my family.  I wanted to use watercolor and ink. What to make? I considered using die cuts so that I would have a framework to work within.  I did get rid of quite a few so I had to investigate what I had left.

Gingerbread - nice size but not enough artistic options

Snowman - too big and limited artistic options

I have quite a few ornament dies.  

Some too big.  These don't leave any room for a branch or other thing to have the ornament hang.

Others too small.  Not enough to stand alone, then I could make 3 three but that is 3 times the painting and design.  Are they all the same color and design? 

This one is one of the Stampin Up Keepsakes Ornaments as are the 2 small ones above. 

I could have used the three different ones but again a lot of decisions to make and designs to come up with.  

It was very cute.

I decided to use a permanent marker instead of the dip pen because I had watercolor containers, several brushes and several palettes out so I could have easily dip the wrong tool into the wrong liquid.

This is the Sizzix Ornament #2 die which was the right size. It had a nice hanger. 

It had this bump below the round part and here was my first attempt.  I did not like to highlight it by tracing it with the marker. Then it should be shaded to make it look nice.

I could cut the bump off as you can see in this photo.  Yes, that was better.  I was inclined to create the main part of the ornament as a circle which would limit my options.

Then, I remembered that I had designed a digital ornament quite a few years ago. You can see it in this post.   I decided to pursue this option.      Pros: Using my own design was a great idea.  It meant I could size it exactly the height I wanted. It had a hanger. Cons: I would have to cut them out myself.  I decided that would add to the handmade original feel.
I traced the shape onto my nice mixed media paper with a pencil.  I then cut them out and then added the black line with the marker. Eventually, I learned it was better to do the line first then erase the pencil lines and then cut out the shape.  Here is one of my rejects.  I was not happy with the green watercolor on the outside, the circle limited my designs, then I used acrylic gold to try and save this one and I was not happy to mix mediums.
After a lot of trial and error I finally found a process that worked for me. I wanted to put these ornaments on a green watercolor background then onto a card base.   I had problems with the green watercolor layer as well.  I used salt to create texture but it must not have been wet enough so I got very little of it. This is one of my cards.  I'm not sure about just having it stuck there.  It should have a connection but I don't what it will be. Should it be a bow? a ribbon?  Would have been better to think of that before I adhered it.  We shall see what I come up with. 

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