Brandi Kincaid shows us how trial and error are such a wonderful part of the creative process as she watercolors outside the lines with the Essentials by Ellen Backyard Bird Friends and creates beautiful cards!
Tale as old as time…no, not Beauty and the Beast, but I think just as timeless. Girl buys watercolors, girl buys brushes, girl has good intentions, girl loses all but one brush (where in the heck do they go – vacationing with the single sock?!), girl tries artfully painting birds, girl gives up, girl try again, but colors outside the lines this time, and magic happens! See? Classic story, right? Okay, maybe not for everyone, but if you’re still with me, it might be similar to one that’s happened to you, so let’s talk about that magic that comes from trial and (so many) errors.
I am so in love with the new Backyard Bird Friends set, and had all these lofty watercol-or dreams of bringing it to life, but after finding myself with only one fat brush during the precious hours I’d carved out to play with paper, I had a lot of messy birds on my hands, so I decided not to give up, and instead to make messy into magic. I love the simple resist of opaque white embossing powder and watercolors, so instead of being sad that my feeble attempts to color those delicate hummingbirds with my ogre sized brush, I stamped and embossed my paper, and painted colorful circles around the birds.
Once they dried, I used the matching dies to cut them out, and added them to a simple black and white stamped background to make there color pop.
Painting those colorful circles was such an easy, but satisfying process, that I decided to keep playing. I painted pages of these bold circles, blending colors to make two toned dots, and varying the opacity of the paint with more and less water. Once all my dots were dry, I stamped the simple bird outlines, adjusting them so that some of the natural lines of the paint made it seem like the feathers of the birds were painted in varying colors. Instead of trying to paint inside the bird to capture the color play, I was able to just have fun with the paint and then line up the stamp later to maximize what was there.
I grabbed a few of the birds to make a colorful card that would shoo away anyone’s white winter blues. I just love these colorful pops on the paper.
One of my painted dots went a little wonky on one side, so I stamped in a way that left a little more white space for my bird. Once he was cut out and added to the nest, I realized how perfect that little swath of red sat against the background.
Even mistakes can end up joyful, I’d say.
And of course, because I couldn’t waste all that color left behind on the paper after the birds were die cut, I grabbed some simple circle dies and got to work on my scraps.
I love that the relief cut of this little bird is the perfect size for the “tweet” sentiment, so I used both to create a simple tag to add to a gift. By raising the cut out bird circle off the base with a little foam adhesive, it makes the words pop a bit against the colorful out-line.
Speaking of leftovers, one of the circle sheets I painted ending up being less varied in color, but I loved the uniformity of the circles, so instead of using them for birds, I punched them out as circles and created a simple background. I would have just left them on the sheet as-is and added the pieces on top, but somebody (cough me cough) put her ink stain hand down on the card and smudged up the side. I added a simple black and white branch to help the colorful bird have its own glory on top, and then a sentiment to the lightest circle at the bottom. Nothing wasted when I sit down to play with paper these days.
And speaking of nothing wasted, I couldn’t let that colorful blotting paper towel left over after painting be trashed, so it made the perfect background for a simply stamped bird that I’d started to paint, but realized my brush was too big to do it justice.
Once I’d added the bold background, that little dot of green seemed just right after all.
It’s amazing what a big brush, some circles of colorful paint, and stamps can do! I can’t wait to see how you add color and life to these feathered friends.