The picture is not the best. The surface of the card is really shiny. That’s what I want to share more than anything.
I had nearly two months to come up with a design for this ATC and nothing was coming. I had no clue and I was down to days. After watching this video from thefrugalcrafter, I had some inspiration. I loved her background. I was brainstorming how I would recreate it and then I remembered I had gotten pearlescent watercolors for Christmas. I played with these watercolors but I didn’t have a project for them. So this worked perfectly.
Let me tell you a bit about these watercolors because they are so accessible. They seemed like such an extravagance but they were only $5 at Michaels. These watercolors are part of their new art sets that are only $5. They have a wide range of products in this line. I’ve used their soft pastels so I was sure I was getting something that could be fun but it wasn’t going to be the end all be all.
But I was wrong. They were fun to play with but until I did this background I had no idea. Let me stop babbling and get to the point. I started with plain ole white cardstock. I painted it with a mix of blue, red, and violet watercolors. I used tube paints because I needed something that didn’t require a lot of water to get the color on the page. I wanted a dark background. I let the colors mix and create a sort of night sky effect. (I wish I had taken pictures as I went.)
I let that layer dry before adding the pearlescent paints. I stuck with the blue, red/pink, and purple mix. I forgot to say that I painted the underlayer side to side and then did the top layer at an angle to make it kind of a fun effect. It came out so beautifully.
Since I was experimenting, I pulled out some dark purple cardstock and paint the pearlescent watercolor over that. The effect wasn’t as full but it created some awesome papers.
After that, I had to come up with a design. I went with the Dreamcatcher after watching Whitney Freya’s course on dreamcatchers. I drew the main part with white colored pencil, then accented with trimmed turkey feathers and paint pens.
Nothing used on this card is top of the line – wait I lied, I did find a prismacolor pencil in my stash but I’m not sure I actually bought it. I like to buy bags of colored pencils at thrift stores and garage sales so I can tell you I didn’t pay full price for that pencil.
Anyway, back to my point. The watercolor tubes were a Royal and Langnickel set. The pearlescent watercolors were from Michaels, as were the paint pens – all generic brands. The turkey feathers were those cheap craft feathers they sell in the kids section of craft stores. I don’t recommend cutting them unless you have a lot of patience.
What amazes me is that the colors are vibrant and I feel like a real artist. This isn’t art that is going to get me into MOMA or recognized as a professional but it is art I can look at with pride and know that my creativity has a purpose. I don’t have to feel guilty that I can only afford $5 paints. I’m proud that I can do so much and have it cost so little. The best part is that I know I can replace those paints when I have used them up. They will never be too precious to not use. They will bring me joy.
My mom felt a little guilty that the paints were all she got me for Christmas. Not only were they $5 but they were the only full price item she bought that day so she got them for something like 40% off.
To me, it just goes to show that the right gift doesn’t have to have a large price tag.
I’m thinking I’ll be hitting Michaels up to see what other fun watercolors they have because I remember there being several sets.