Wednesday, January 3, 2018

Bright Summer Flowers on a Cold Winter Day

Note: I've got some tips on making "paint splat" cards below, so scroll down if you're interested.

I hope all my U.S. readers are staying warm. Yesterday, every state in the CONUS recorded temperatures below freezing, so even our southern states are shivering. We in southwest Ohio might have a school delay for wind chill tomorrow and Friday mornings. Brrrr.

So here's a happy, colorful, summer-y card to cheer us all up!

These cute flowers (Hero Arts by Lia) are colored with Arteza real brush pens directly from the brush, with no water added. These colors are so vivid and happy!

The real brush pens have real brush tips on them...with a very fine point for getting into tight places. 

I just love this little flower set, called Just for You (Hero Arts by Lia Griffith). It's fun and easy to use and cheerful.

Awkward segue.

Now for some tips on making paint splat cards like this one here. Sometimes, such cards end up looking like a messy mess rather than an artful mess. Here are some ideas for skewing the odds toward artful mess.

1. Use a MISTI. It's often hard to get a clean image when stamping such large, solid stamps, and the MISTI allows for multiple inkings-and-stampings of an image until the color is even. The MISTI is brilliant and absolutely worth every penny.

2. You'll get a more harmonious mess if you choose analogous colors--colors next to each other on the color wheel. I chose shades of green and aqua for my recent splat card, and have also used yellow, orange, and pink with happy results.

3. Avoid red paint splats...they look too much like blood splatters from a murder scene. Ewww.

4. Use dye inks. Pigment inks are thick and don't layer attractively.

5. Decide on an area to splat. It's a good idea to stick with splats on about one-third or less of your available space, especially if you're aiming for clean-and-simple cards. This card takes a third out of the middle, with the sentiment centered on the panel as a kind of anchor for all the crazy splats, and this card leaves even more white space to balance a much larger sentiment.

6. As you stamp using the MISTI, fill in almost all the white in the area splatted. You can leave small bits, but larger holes in the splats make it look messier. Designers call those holes "trapped white space," and they muck things up. Just keep stamping until the space is largely filled in while the edges are ragged looking.

7. Try to balance the colors as you go. I sort of use the Force for this...and mostly it works out for good, especially with analogous color schemes.

8. Remember the key rule of stamping: IT'S ONLY PAPER. You can always recycle your pretty trash if you make a mess and try again. So Yoda's advice to "do, or do not" doesn't apply. It's not life or death!

I hope this helps. Happy splatting!

Mercy, grace, peace, and love,

stamps: Hero Arts
ink: Archival black
paper: watercolor paper
accessories: Arteza real brush pens, rhinestones


  1. In regards to the ink splatters and speaking from experience, be careful if using a bird image, it just looks like crap, literally! I only did that once and it actually took me a bit to figure out why I didn't like the card. Live and learn!

    1. OHMYGOSH! I sent my mom a card with splats on it, and she thought to herself, "Why did Susan send me a card with bird poop on it?" Hahaaaa!

  2. Very colorful and made me smile this wintry morning~

  3. Thank you for those splatting tips! Your flowery card is just right for a very cold day today.

  4. Thanks very much for this, it is really good of you to take the time to share. I have a device similar to a MISTI so I will have to give it a go.

  5. Lovely bright flowers. Just what we needed.


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