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  • Writer's pictureRick Adkins

From Novice to Pro: Master Watercolor Pencils and Create an Adorable Fox Card!

Hey there, fellow card makers! If you're reading this, I'm guessing you're just as excited as I was when I first delved into the magical world of watercolor pencils, ink blending, and masking. Trust me, I've been there - struggling to get those adorable critter-themed cards just right, and feeling a bit overwhelmed by all the techniques out there. But fear not! Today, I'm here to share my journey and all the tips and tricks I've learned along the way, so you can master these techniques and create your very own Thinking of You card that'll make hearts melt.

Playing in the Rain thinking of you Watercolor Pencil Card byRick Adkins Blog Banner

You know, when I first started card making, I was drawn to watercolor pencils because of the gorgeous effects they can achieve. But let me tell you, it wasn't all smooth sailing! My initial attempts often left my images looking more like a perplexed raccoon. But over time, with practice and a few "aha" moments, I finally cracked the code to mastering watercolor pencils.


Before we dive into the nitty-gritty, let's gather our tools. You'll need a set of watercolor pencils (I'm loving the ones from Stampin' Up!), watercolor paper, a water brush or a small paintbrush, and, of course, the fox image from the Playing in the Rain Stamp Set. Got everything ready? Great, let's begin!


Getting Started with Watercolor Pencils:

Okay, let's start at the beginning. Watercolor pencils are like the love child of colored pencils and watercolors - super versatile! When I first tried them, I was amazed at how you could color like normal pencils, but then transform your creation into a watercolor masterpiece with just a little brush and water. Genius, right?


Now, I know it can be tempting to go wild with all the fancy tools and materials, but let's keep it simple for now. Grab some good quality watercolor pencils, a water brush (or a regular brush and water cup), and your trusty fox image from the Playing in the Rain Stamp Set by Stampin' Up!


Tip: Start with light layers of color and build up gradually. You can always add more, but taking color away is trickier.

Playing in the Rain thinking of you Watercolor Pencil Card byRick Adkins

Basic Watercolor Pencil Techniques:

Confession time: my first attempts at watercolor pencil coloring were more like abstract art than anything else. I was pressing too hard, not blending enough, and my poor little critter ended up looking like he took a dip in a puddle of rainbow colors! But hey, we all start somewhere, right?


Don't be discouraged if your initial attempts aren't perfect. Practice makes progress! Experiment with light strokes, layering colors, and blending with the water brush until you find your sweet spot. Once you do, the magic will start happening, and your fox will come to life right before your eyes.


I vividly remember the "Eureka!" moment when I discovered that gentle circular strokes made my fox look incredibly fluffy. It's the small victories that keep us going, right?


Coloring the Fox Image:

Ah, the fox image - the heart and soul of our card. I vividly remember my 'aha' moment when I discovered that adding a bit of orange around the eyes gave my fox a charming and expressive look. I couldn't help but squeal with delight!


Get playful with your color choices, and don't be afraid to mix things up. Remember, foxes in the wild come in all sorts of shades, so let your creativity run wild too. Just imagine the look on your friend's face when they receive a card with a unique, hand-colored fox that's just bursting with personality!


Pro Tip: Use a light pencil and draw faint lines to guide yourself before adding color. It's like drawing a map before going on an adventure!

Playing in the Rain thinking of you Watercolor Pencil Card byRick Adkins Front View

Mastering Ink Blending for Backgrounds:

Okay, I have to admit - when I first attempted ink blending for backgrounds, I felt like I was back in kindergarten, finger painting with my eyes closed! But, like all skills, it gets better with practice.


Start by choosing a couple of complementary colors and blending them together on some cardstock. Don't worry if it's not perfect at first. As you keep blending and experimenting, you'll discover the joy of creating beautiful, dreamy backgrounds that make your fox image pop like never before!


Playing in the Rain thinking of you Watercolor Pencil Card byRick Adkins Side View

Masking Techniques for Sentiments:

Masking? You mean like a Halloween party? Nope, not quite! When it comes to card making, masking is like creating a little stencil to protect certain areas while you work on others. This was a game-changer for me when I learned it.


To nail those perfectly placed sentiments, use some masking tape or sticky notes to cover the area where you want to stamp. Stamp your sentiment, and when you remove the tape or notes, it'll look like pure magic - a fox standing in a sea of heartfelt words!


Tip: Use some low-tack tape or sticky notes to mask off the area where you'll stamp your sentiment. You'll feel like a card-making magician!

Playing in the Rain thinking of you Watercolor Pencil Card byRick Adkins Top View

Congratulations, you've come a long way from being a watercolor pencil, ink blending, and masking newbie! I hope my stories and tips have given you the confidence and inspiration to create your own adorable Thinking of You card. Remember, it's not about perfection; it's about the love and effort you put into your craft.


So grab those watercolor pencils, blend those inks, and let your creativity run wild like a playful fox in the woods. I can't wait to see the amazing cards you'll create! Happy crafting, my friends!


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Happy Stampin'

Rick Adkins


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