Saturday, October 4, 2008

Peerless Coloring, Hidden Flowers & Challenges Galore

Today I'm going to share a little about the Peerless Watercolors (to see the 15 colors included, click here!). I am certainly no expert, but I am very happy with the results I'm getting and love how easy they are to use. I will try to provide step by step samples on how to shade of the flowers in my new set (and over time, you'll probably see each one in every color here!) there are better people to learn from than I, and the coloring can be more realistic or painterly depending on the effect you want to achieve, but because of the layering of some of the petals, regardless of where the light source is, you will find that some places shadows are consistently needed between each sample you see, from designer to designer.

Above you can see two roses I stamped onto watercolor paper. Watercolor paper gives such a different look, but I have also been thrilled with how these blend on plain white CS. The top one is complete, using "Japonica Red"(becomes more pink as it fades). The bottom one I have gone over with just one drop of the concentrated pigment from the the "Royal Crimson"sheet (becomes more orange as it fades), by "licking" my pen to the corner to pick up the color and spreading it all across the rose for my lightest shade. (I'm using an Aquapainter here, but I have the Niji waterbrush on order and I can't wait to try it out!) TIP: To make a rose that is less full blown than my illustration, omit the outer 4 petals. Now you can make a garden of roses in various states of blossoming with the one image! :) Now I'm going back in with the same color to darken a few areas (petals that are further back, the undersides, and places where meet, you can also blend the two different reds in the book) Below is the same photograph with a few lines I added and numbers to show what I'm doing. Area "1" is a deep fold, you can also see there are some lines in my image to add a shadow to the illustrations, concentrate your color to these areas. The white lines show when I'm adding a shadow under a petal, I just follow the line (in "3", see how it follows the curves?) , and then blend. "4" shows a deep crevice between the petals: go over that line where they meet, then pull color out toward the edge of each petal. As you come to the edge, have the shape of the darker area match the outer edge, like "2". The lines you see at the tips of each of the petals are the tiny separations you get in the petal, as the "veins" in the flowers move outward. Pull your color in strokes towards each of these lines (I didn't number that sorry but see the middle part of the flower on the bottom?(labeled "4" above it)


Here is my completed card after I cut out each rose, and mounted on dimensionals. I made this for Beate's Weekend Sketch WSC60, SCS Limited Supply Challenge LSC 188 (no ribbon or embellishments), and Ways to Use it Challenge WT186 (quotes, this one from Say it With Flowers) The Cameo Coral and Sage Shadow layers are Cuttlebugged with the Leafy Branch folder. Quote and base are Shimmery White. I am thrilled with how well the two roses and layout go with with saying.

One last thing to share today about these colors, the pigments side looks much darker than it is, the backside shows a more true color for your reference, I'm folding it back here to show the "Royal Crimson"(that looks so dark in my first pic). I really like the description they give you, what types of things to use It for, and other colors in the book you can blend it with to achieve new colors. There is also a gray in the back that can be added to any of the colors to deepen them or create perfect shadows, which I will show another day. Again, I can't stress how deep and vibrant these colors are when you first pick them up on your brush (which gives you a HUGE range of colors as you dilute it!), so you'll want to have a plastic surface to mix or dab off the color or a piece of scratch paper to brush it off when you need to tone it down (or if you have watercolor paper just keep pulling the area out until it fades to the desired shade) At only 12.95, peerless watercolors are a must have!! (IMHO)

In the comments section, please let me know which flowers you would like to see shaded, in which colors, or what questions you have on coloring or tips you'd like to add from your experience, I'd love to hear! I've only had lessons in public school, eons ago, but now I would really like to take a watercoloring classes to take my technique to the next level. Rare advice from my DH, who went to architecture school (and almost never has feedback on my cards): the beauty of watercoloring is not exact (I'm paraphrasing!) and you don't have to stay in the lines or color in every portion of your drawing. I'll be back sharing my attempts at this more "painterly" approach as well... have a great weekend!!!

19 comments:

A Stroke Above said...

I love your roses. One tip I can offer as a watercolorist for many years, use a razor blade on dry surfaces you have colored to scrape off color to reveal the layers of paper underneath and thusly add highlights back that you may have omitted by coloring the whole surface. usually when you watercolor, it is reverse of most other mediums. i.e. you leave open the white as highlight areas or light areas, and add darks in layers. I see nothing wrong with your technique, but you mentioned lessons so I offer one. Just a tip, really. Watercolor is not a forgiving medium but it is an understanding medium. I mean by that: mistakes are very hard to correct without making " mud " but most artists forgive mistakes and understand that they happen. Try to be a preventative painter and you won't have mistakes. I like your technique and for the paper hobbist this field is wonderful. You can achieve the watercolor look with crayons, watercolors, colored pencils, inks and there are no set rules to the application. One can do as little or as much of the "fine" art process as you wish. I hope my tip is useful and I hope you continue to do florals and share with us. I would love to see an orange Gerbera daisy. It is my favorite. I had never heard of Peerless watercolors and at this small price, I definitely plan to try to find some. Can you give me a heads up on where to buy them> Thanks for all you do! Linda Crowder

Pat (mspfd) said...

Beautiful card and watercoloring. I love the look of watercoloring but am not usually happy with my results. I am going to give your technique and Peerless watercolors a try. I would love to see a yellow rose, my favorite.

Sandy Knecht said...

Your card is beautiful. I forgot about my Peerless Water Colors. I have many and have used them only once in the last three years that I've had them. They must be hidden away. I'll have to look in a cubby. Thanks for bringing them to life.

jacki jones said...

This is absolutely beautiful. Your water coloring is awesome. I can't wait for my set to arrive!

Leslie said...

Hi, I love your flowers! I would like to see the Gerber daisys in any colors you want. I love that now there are so many different options to color stamps. I'm going to try the peerless and see how I do. Thanks for the beautiful flowers and sayings!

Beate said...

Fantastic card and wonderful tips!
I am glad you had time to play! Have a great weekend. Hugs and smiles

melissa.flieg said...

Beautiful card and thanks for the tutorial on how to use the Peerless watercolors. Because of all you beautiful samples at the release party the other night I have not only your wonderful new stamps sets on their way to me but the peerless watercolors also.

Chris said...

I love Gerber Daisies and would like to see them in any color. I have been trying to do sunflowers but have gotten frustrated with my watercoloring skills.





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Janet S said...

I love your tutorial on the Peerless watercolors. I don't have any yet, but they are now on my wishlist. One flower that I struggle with as far as coloring is a pansy. I have yet to try it because it looks like it would be intimidating with the color variations on one flower.

Anonymous said...

mel i wud luv to c a blu rose or daze yor coloring iz gr8 i thinc i ma have to tri this if mi hands shake u thinc i wud stil b able to watr color i wil just have to tri and find owt thanxs for the totorel have a wundrful wecend

merri

Ying said...

Thanks for the wonderful tutorial. I have never done watercoloring before, but it looks interesting and your card looks fabulous. I would love to see how you color the sunflower. What brand of watercolor paper do you use? Does the peerless has any shimmer to them?

Charmaine (CharmWarm) said...

This is absolutely gorgeous, Melanie! You colored those roses fabulously!

kerianne said...

WOWZA!! Awesome tutorial!! Now I am sad that I didn't order these with my goodies from Gina K...next time ;) I will be referring back to this when I get them! I love the card...and how you color only some of the petals and cut them out...limitless possibilities with your set when you do that!! You are amazing!

Lee (LuvLee on SCS) said...

Thankyou, Thankyou, THANKYOU!!!!!!!!!! I soooooo wanna be able to watercolor and have gorgeous flowers like you!!! I need to put my order in for the watercolors and the Niji.....and then just start playing with them!!!

Anthonette said...

Congrats on releasing the new sets, Melanie! Your work is gorgeous. Thanks for showing us Peerless watercolors.

Jessie/knightrone said...

Absolutely fabulous Melanie, totally gorgeous!!

Mel M. M. McCarthy said...

Incredible! You have done such a perfect job explaining all the details on here. WOW! The card is stunning and I love how your posts are each such a labour of love with numbering of photos and immaculate instructions on how to repeat your results. You're a painting pro in my book and it's great to read all the tips that Linda added too. :O)

buggin2stamp said...

Thank you for sharing a tutorial for using the watercolors. I too would love to take a class on watercoloring, now that I actually care to learn it. I didn't have a lot of interest in art in school. The watercolors are a great compliment to your new set. I would love to see an orange and/or bright pink Gerbera Daisy and a traditional sunflower. Thanks for sharing your amazing talent. Have a super week.

Theresa said...

Gorgeous water coloring! Your tutorial is fantastic and very easy to follow. I am taking my very first water color class this semester and loving it. I am sure you would, too.