We have been meaning to post for quite some time on one of our most favorite techniques for coloring Inchie Squares - using Twinkling H20's to create a watercolor background. But before we get to the details we wanted to give a salute to LuminArte, the company that has been making these fabulous little glitter pot paints for many years. Sadly, it has just come to our attention that they are going out of business. According to their web site, the response to this news has been overwhelming. Therefore they have decided that they will continue to manufacture Twinkling H20's for a limited time so we can all stock up! So when you finish reading here...be sure and visit them at luminarteinc.com!!
Do you remember when you first learned about watercoloring? It was probably in the first or second grade and your teacher likely grew frustrated for all the improper handling of the brushes or casual use of water vs. paint. It wasn't until I was an adult that I revisited this whole experience and learned how much fun you can really have with watercolor paints...and like they say...it's all about the water...
For this project you only need a handful of white Inchie Squares, Twinkling H20 paints, a brushpen, rubber stamp (and ink) and colored pencils.
Speaking of water...and brushes...if you haven't used a brushpen you must give one a try. It's like a fountain pen, but filled with water. They are made by several different companies but be sure and get one that has a baffle or filter between the water reservoir and the pen tip. It's what controls the flow of water through the brush tip. Also, they are practically self cleaning, eliminating the need for a container of water.
Begin by moistening the paint pots with a few drops of water. You can do this easily with the brush pen by very gently squeezing the barrel. As you do this it will 'push' drops of water out through the brush hairs.
At it's most simplistic, there are two kinds of watercolor painting...dry and wet. When you bring a brush with paint to DRY paper the paint will stay just where you put it - this is called DRY painting. The opposite of this is when you bring a brush with paint to a WET paper - this is called MAGIC! Begin by moistening the white Inchie Square with water. As you practice you will learn the right amount of water to put down...too little and the paint doesn't bleed out...too much and you have a puddle on your hands and the edges of the Inchie Square will curl a bit as it dries. Amazingly, the solid core white Inchie Squares are of such high quality material that they react in a similar fashion to a #130lb hot press watercolor paper...they will absorb a lot of water...or Copic Marker...or any other moisture laden medium. (if you are painting more than one at a time you may have to go back once or twice and apply additional 'layers' of water to the squares)
Since you have everything out - it's always fun to do a batch of these at a time. Remember, you are not creating a painting (although that's another idea for an inchie!) rather, just a background; or a portion of the Inchie Square. Since the paint pots have been moistened, it's easy to 'pick up' a concentration of color on the end of the brush tip - you don't need much at all. Touch it a couple of times to the water prepared inchie and you'll see the magic as it spreads and bleeds. The hardest part is stopping....now! Don't overwork it, just a few gentle 'dabs'. You'll be pleasantly surprised at what happens after 10 or 15 minutes as the paint and water interact and spread over the Inchie Square. Not only that, but as it dries you will see the gentle shimmer that is characteristic of Twinkling H20 paints. This color happens to be Pink Grapefruit.
A very cool feature of the brushpens is how easy they are to clean when you want to switch colors. Just 'draw' the brush across a paper towel, turning the tip along the towel as you drag it. If there is a lot of paint on the brush you can also gently squeeze the barrel releasing a bit of water. Do this a few times and pretty soon the brush will not leave any more color - and voila - you are ready to paint again!
This purple is called French Lilac.
Now for a green one...Key Lime.
And finally the blue...Ocean Wave.
These were fairly dry when this picture was taken; you can see the subtle differences in color concentration and how the paint 'moved' as it merged and bled with the water.
Next step...to stamp the image. Make sure that everything is really dry. After all that work you don't want to put ink down on damp paper only to watch it fizzle. What you see is the very top portion of the rubber stamp that was pictured earlier - it's the Lockhart Sweet Peas #2100. This stamp is larger than an Inchie Square and so you only stamp a bit of it. The easiest way to do this is to ink the stamp with Tsukineko Memento Tuxedo Black ink and turn it rubber side up. Take a minute and think through two things: what portion of the stamp do you want on the square, and where on your watercolored square do you want that image? Now, bring the front side of your square down to the inked surface.
Finish the inchie by coloring with Prismacolor pencils. Their opaque coverage holds well, especially if you are coloring over areas that have some color from the paints. These three colors are Hot Pink, Pink and Limepeel - but any assortment of floral colors would be perfect!
Can you imagine the 'MAGIC' that might occur if using more than one color on each square?!