Colouring Techniques by Sherrill Willis

Hello fellow crafters! Today, I’m going to talk about a new project I’ve been working on. Do you remember the “Paint with water” books from when we were kids? I loved those! They were my absolute favourite, and while they do still exist today, I was inspired by a few of the Hochanda presenters to try my hand at making my own. If you have ever wished you could whip up a quick interactive card for a little one in your life, this blog may help you in that endeavor!
First, I tried all sorts of different inks, pens, pencils, etc to find which ones worked best for me. Full disclosure: I’m no artist, seriously, I struggle with drawing stick figures. So, I really needed to find something that did not require me to draw anything, and I came up with a couple different solutions that work well for me.
The first (and easiest) are the colouring books that allow you to use the sheets in your cards for sale or gifts. Crafter’s Companion’s Spectrum Noir has a great line of these, pictured below, and I did use one as you will see, but there are a few that you can do that with. This is handy, since all the pictures are already there, and all I had to do was add colour that would then turn to “paint with water” later. Here’s some of the pads that I have that can be used to make & sell cards (if that is your wish), and another that shows everything I used for this blog:
Here are some close ups of all the different mediums I experimented with including Distress Markers, Koi Brush Pens, Derwent Inktense and Tombow Dual Brush…
I do have more Aqua pens, but do you think I could find them? Nope. Anyway, I thought I would do one page using all the mediums to give an overview of how they worked for me. Again, I’m no artist, and not trying to say I’m an expert on any of this, but it is so fun, I had to give it a go!
Here’s a sample of one of the pages I did with several different mediums:
The yellow is Inktense, and hopefully you can all see which is what, and read my handwriting. I do wish I had done the Tombows in a brighter colour, because they really do work great! Have a look at what happened once I added the water.
Isn’t that awesome?? I loved how bright and vibrant the Aqua turned out, but to me the real winner here is the Inktense for a few reasons. But first, I have to admit how surprised I was by the distress markers, that coverage turned out great, in fact, all of them were good – I really do like how the Koi kept it’s shape, meaning, the lines were still easy to see, and now that I know that, I have other ideas for those! The prismacolour watercolours are rich and creamy, and had I not used so much water, that would have kept it’s “shape” better. But I was thinking of a child, because I will be making a colouring book for my friends’ daughter, and was trying to test out how she might do it.
Now, you might be thinking: Well this is all well and good, but what if I don’t have those colouring pads? Then what? Read on, dear crafter, read on.
Most of us have stamps and if you do, and have some waterproof ink pads (like Memento, which I used), then you, too, can do this! How cool is that? (I get so excited over little things, and I am Very Excited about this!!)
Side note: I love, Love, LOVE my new Tim Holtz stamping platform! It has literally changed how I craft. I was not very good at stamping, even got a stamping pad and still I was terrible at it. But look at this, one take!
I am so impressed with how easy this is!!! I have the smaller, travel version, but it suits my needs perfectly. If you have any trouble stamping, like I did, I highly recommend treating yourself to one of these stamping platforms. I went from being a terrible stamper with uneven, squashed results to WOW! Okay, back to what the point of this blog is.
So, after my perfect stamping on watercolour card, I just scribbled colour on them using my Inktense pencils.
Look at that coverage!
Here is why I love these: they dry permanent. So no bleeding. I was able to “paint” one colour at a time, waited for it to dry, and even with my very rudimentary skills, was able to do this:
Do you see what I mean? Yes, I made a few mistakes, but overall, the colours don’t blend, bleed, or move once they are dry, and that is not true of the other mediums I used. Now, someone with artistic talent could absolutely do a much better job than I did. But, I really wanted to show the range of capabilities that anyone can do, and hope that is how this will be viewed. I’m so excited that I have found a way to do “paint with water” cards, I wanted to share it with all of you. If you have done anything similar, or have further ideas, please do share them below. I would love to see your take on this! I had so much fun doing this experiment, and can’t wait to get started on the colouring book for my favourite 5 year old. I hope you all are having just as much fun in your craft space, and thank you so much for spending some time in mine.
For the next blog, I will be reviewing some Halloween dies that I love, because it’s never too soon for Halloween! Until then, happy crafting!

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