Hi crafty friends! Today I have a card that was heavily inspired by the amazing Marika Rahtu. If you’ve never heard of her – gasp!! Something you should correct immediately, since her colorations, especially for Altenew, are breathtaking and real works of art. I keep struggling to copy her techniques, but I’m having a really hard time to get similar results to hers. Practice makes perfect, so I keep trying 🙂
This card, and the coloring on it, was inspired by this project Marika shared recently. I watched fascinated as she built up color and created such a realistic and dynamic flower. I have given this technique a few tries since then and failed until now. I usually used too much color, had too few highlights, or didn’t dare to go dark enough in my shadows. Two nights ago, I decided to go for it again and this time it worked!
I started out by stamping the outline of the flower in a light yellow distress ink and used a water brush to pull in the color from the stamped line into the shadow areas. I made sure to leave white areas on the petals where the highlights would be. That first step took me about twenty minutes, and then I added some distress ink in an orange hue to some plastic and picked it up with my water brush. I added that color to the shadow areas, again making sure to not extend it too far so I’d have space for the highlights.
I repeated this process with two brown distress inks – the first one wasn’t dark enough to emphasize the shadows, and the second one was super dark and I had to be careful to not overdo it. I actually added a bit of the first ink (a light yellow) after everything else had dried to warm up the image again. I strongly recommend watching Marika’s video to get a better understanding of the process, and I can only impart on you how important it is to not work in neighboring areas since colors will bleed into each other when wet.
Lastly, I grabbed my Inktense pencils and added some details to the petals of the flower, leaves, and berries – you can use any colored pencils you like! I didn’t active the Inktense with water, just used them for details. As for the berries – I stamped the image in a very light distress ink, and then added some half-circle lines with a darker distress ink and my brush to create the illusion of round berries. Took a leaf out of Dawn’s (Wplus9) book because she excels at that and keeps me amazed at her techniques.
I finished the card off by lightly spritzing the painting with Perfect Pearls – from a distance, and then moving my painting through the mist in the air! If you are too close, you will re-activate the water color and make it run! I die cut a border with a border die set by Pretty Pink Posh, and then added a few sequins, droplets, and a sentiment (also by Pretty Pink Posh) to finish off the card.
I hope you enjoyed the card as much as I did making it! My respect for Marika has now reached immeasurable heights as I only starting to grasp the intricacies of painting the way she does.
I’m sending this card off to the following challenges: Time Out #51 since I used both masking (covered up the petals to stamp the leaves) as well a spring theme (flowers!!); this card is also going to the Stempelküche #39 challenge “Stitched” since I used those gorgeous Pretty Pink Posh dies with a stitched border.
I’ve listed the products used for this project below. If possible, I link to Seven Hills Crafts for all European Crafters. Alternative shopping outlets linked to are Amazon US and Simon Says Stamp. Click here to learn more about which companies I am affiliated with.