Last Saturday, my husband and I attended the Creating Keepsakes Scrapbook Expo up at the KCI Expo center near the Airport. I was so excited to finally meet Bonnie Krebs of Art Impressions. My sweet hubby purchased her watercolor DVD at a thrift store sometime ago for me, knowing I've been wanting to learn her watercolor technique.
He took a photo of the both of us!
Bonnie paints her rubber stamped cards using her watercolor technique beginning with Marvy Markers by Uchida and Strathmore's cold press watercolor paper cut to card size. She only uses a few Marvy Markers for her watercolor technique which she sells on her website, but she said to use what I have. I was beginning to purchase sets of Marvy Markers at Michaels with coupons when it looked like I was going to design for Posh Rubber Stamps, so I was happy to see an additional technique I could use the markers for! Her palette was a small square of white plastic at the show, but Bonnie said anything shiny smooth can be used for a palette including a corelle saucer. I believe I still have a marker palette I purchased years ago on clearance somewhere. It was for painting marker "folk art."
Bonnie uses the rough side for her watercolored images and the smooth side with Stazon permanent ink for her detailed girlfriend stamps. She said to use a small paint brush and pull the wet brush through your fingers to control the amount of water. Then she scrubs the marker color out on the palette and dips her damp paintbrush into the marker color to lift color to the image. She said brushing images in with color is much faster than coloring with markers.
After I visited her website, I discovered a whole series of Bonnie's You Tube videos. If you like, you can watch her beginning video here:
Some of her watercolor tips at the show were: Start by coloring a rubber stamp with a charcoal gray Marvy Marker on the rough side of the watercolor paper, then add a clean dampened brush to pull out shadows on the image. When you are stamping foliage in, color in bits and pieces of the stamps with the markers to make it look realistic. You don't have to use the whole image. Also "walk/pounce" the stamp across the area where you want it. Use pieces of paper to mask off sections if you are building up an image. Then pounce a clean damp brush into the center of the images and dabble tiny bits of the colored water around to make it look like watercolor. Don't add a lot of water or you will wash out (erase) the image or muddy the colors. She doesn't like to use aqua brushes just for that reason.
She said to also add a light grey or blue shadow to the images around the outside to make the image pop. Pretend the light source is coming from the top when deciding where to add the shadows.
I noticed Bonnie stamped her girlfriend rubber stamp mounted on a Fiskars sponge-ball mount. She said she didn't care for the thick heavy acrylic mounts because she found them difficult to maneuver. I found one at a thrift store a while back, still in the package, for $5.00, so enjoyed watching her maneuver the rubber stamp into position.
She said the secret to having faces that look alive rather than flat is to keep the center of the images white and add cheek color. Since the light source is coming from the top, give a margin of white at the top of the head; don't carry the color of the hair clear up to the outline of the stamp. And she said you don't have to color in everything, just the main portions of the images. Coordinate a blouse with your background colors of your base card.
And she said, be sure to sign your work, so here's an autographed copy of Bonnie's work she gave to me at the show!