Sunday, July 6, 2014

Using Your Smooch: Part 3

We've looked at using Smooch ink to add dots to an image as in Celtic manuscript painting and to embellish parts of stamped images, and today, we're going to use it like watercolor paint.

I mucked around trying a variety of watercolor wash techniques using brushes and met with limited success. The ink tended to look blotchy and weird. When I tried using a sponge and a LOT less water, however, things got much prettier:

 I made two panels of color on one piece of watercolor paper. Here's how to get the look.

1. Put a generous amount of two shades of the same color of Smooch in a palette well and add a few drops of water with an eyedropper. I used the light orange and dark orange on the left and light pink and dark pink on the right.

2. Using a make-up sponge wedge, pick up some of the watered-down ink of the lighter shade and rub it all over the paper using a sideways, back-and-forth motion.

3. Quickly, before the ink can dry, pick up a fresh sponge, dip it in the dark shade, and rub up from the bottom of the lighter shade, blending as you go. As you can see, I picked up too much of the dark orange and lost the fade that shows so clearly on the pink. So watch it. Some of the colors are REALLY strong. 

I decided to use these panels as large backgrounds on cards.

Of course I went autumnal with the orange background, adding an old and very pretty PSX leaf (in a visual triangle) and a sentiment from Papertrey's Signature Greetings in timber brown Staz-On ink. It was pretty, but the card lacked something, so I added some brown bling.

And yes, that card base is SU chocolate chip. I used colored card stock for a card base. Because this looked really weird on a white, cream, or kraft base. Believe me. I tried them all before resorting to chocolate chip. I like it!

But not enough to do it too often. It sorta doesn't feel like me.

The pink card, however, is epically me.

This tall, thin card fits some ready-made envelopes I bought at Marco's Paper. I wanted to show off the fade of the pink (it's even prettier in real life!), so I paired it very simply with a Papertrey Signature Greetings sentiment in Hero Arts Soft Granite and added the bling for a bit of focus and to direct the eye to the left of the card...where you open it. Without the bling, there was no real movement for the eye, no sense of direction, and the card definitely felt like it was missing something. The bling fixed the problem.

Bling usually does make everything better, don't you think?

Substitution Tip: If you have shimmery watercolors (like Twinkling H20s), I imagine they would work just as well with the sponge. Standard watercolors and acrylic paints would likely work, too, although I imagine you'd have to work really fast with the acrylics if you want to blend them...they dry fast and waterproof.

stamps: PSX, Papertrey
ink: Staz-On brown, Hero Arts soft granite
paper: watercolor paper, Papertrey white
accessories: rhinestones, Smooch, make-up sponges


  1. Both of these are beautiful.

  2. These cards are amazing on multiple levels, Susan. The ombré look has nice depth, particularly on the pink card. The leaves on the first really catch the eye, and I love how you placed the bling. The placement of the sentiment above the pink panel is inspiring, as is the bling. Your designs rock :)


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