Monday, October 17, 2016

Creative Watercolor Course Launch Blog Hop

Hello, friends! I know it's been a while since I blogged, but I continue to create and share my projects Instagram. Today, I have a special reason to revive this little blog of mine. My fellow crafty friend, Angela Fehr, is also an extraordinary watercolor artist. She is launching a new watercolor online course, Creative Watercolor Techniques, that will be specially helpful to paper crafters like me and you. If you've followed me on this blog, my FB page and/or Instagram, you now how much I love watercoloring. So, I was more than excited when Angela asked me to participate in today's hop.

Please bear with me as this is a long post, but I hope it'll be worth it to read to the end. I'm sharing lots of photos, info, tips, a huge discount code, a list of hoppers and a GIVEAWAY (leave a comment to win access to the course).
Creative Watercolor Techniques
A Little History:
Back in 2015 when I had to take a break from blogging due to a family health situation and temporary relocation, I had to make do with limited creative supplies. I had been dabbling with watercolors for my cards, but was limited in my supplies and skills. That Christmas, I received some fancy watercolor paints and papers. I then discovered Angela Fehr's Watercolor YouTube Channel and quickly enrolled in her online courses. I've been slowly learning to combine my love for cardmaking and watercoloring by painting small pieces of art that I make into cards. You can see what I've been up to in that area through my Instagram account.

About the Course:

Watercolour isn't just for single-minded painters! In this course, artist Angela Fehr demonstrates watercolour techniques and applications for using watercolour in your creative pursuits, whatever they might be! 4.5 hours of video content in 12 lessons. Covered in this course are:
  • basic techniques and an overview of watercolour terminology
  • tools and materials recommendations and how to use them
  • using watercolour with masks & resists
  • wet-in-wet techniques
  • watercolour special effects
  • product demonstrations: pigment markers, pigment powder, watercolour pans, masking fluid, pen & ink, watercolour pigment sheets & more 
  • is priced at $59 USD, however until November 18th, students can get the course for $29 (50% off) using the discount code FIRSTDIBS. If you win the giveaway after you already enrolled, you will be refunded the course amount.
My Thoughts about the Course:
I consider myself an amateur watercolorer, but have learned so much in the last year about this art form by reading several books, watching videos, taking online classes and just doing art. The Creative Watercolourcourse touches subjects that I never encountered in my previous learning experience. Some new things that were new to me include products like Brusho paint and watercolor ground. New techniques to me include using transfer papers and watercoloring on canvas. 

The Creative Watercolour course will encourage the paper crafter to do more with the supplies they have on hand, and produce better projects. They can even begin the process of going beyond being just a hobbyist to a more serious watercolorist. 

My Projects Inspired by the Creative Workshop Course: 
Since this course has paper crafters in mind, I decided to use my crafter supplies, rather than my artist watercolor paints. I used Ranger's Distress Inks for the first projects below. In this exercise, I want to show you the importance of good paper. 
I dabbed my Distress inks on my pallete as below. 

***TIP: My pallette is a dollar store picture frame. The small indentation is perfect for Distress Inks watercoloring. I inserted a white cardstock to show the colors.
I painted two floral bouquets using the inks above, one on Tim Holtz watercolor paper (left), another on Arches 100% cotton watercolor paper (right). You can see the difference between the two. The colors just blend well together on the Arches paper.
I wasn't that satisfied with the saturation level, so decided to use the Distress ink refills or Distress Ink Stains for the samples below. The photos didn't capture the colors well, but the results are way more vibrant and beautiful. Again, you can see, especially on the leaves, how much better the paints blend and shade on the Arches paper on the right over  the Tim Holtz paper on the left.

I have found after a year of casual painting, paper is the most important of the three items you need for watercoloring (paper, paint and brushes). You can work with cheap paints (even kids' paints, water-based markers, distress inks, etc) and cheap brushes (some professional artists I follow use them) and produce good art. But when you use cheap paper, I just found it harder to make the painting work and I ended up being frustrated. It makes a huge difference when you use good 100% cotton paper. I have used both Arches and Fabriano Artistico.

***TIP: An economical way to get the 100% cotton paper is by buying them in bulk and in large sheets (22" x 30") and cut them to card size. I get mine from Jerry's Artarama (around $43 for 10 large Arches and $35 for 10 Fabriano sheets). Large individual sheets of Arches can be purchased at Hobby Lobby and Michael's for around $5 with a coupon. One 22" x 30" sheet can be cut into 28 sheets of 4.25" x 5.5" card size. That ends up cheaper than the Tim Holtz paper that retails for around $5 - $6 for only 20 sheets.

More Projects:
For my card below, I used a stamp set I designed for Penny Black called Animal Wisdom. I first stamped the image with the Versafine ink, then with the Distress Ink. The Versafine is not water soluble, so the stamped image line art stayed. I then colored the rest of the image with a waterbrush by moving the water-soluble Distress ink. For the background, I did the wet on wet technique using the blue Distress ink.

***TIP: In order to keep the line art intact, yet still achieve the watercolor look, stamp the image first with pigment ink (Versafine) then with the water-soluble ink.

Here are a few more cards I created for the hop. The top left is the closest I can to copy Angela's style of free and loose. The top right includes calligraphy using watercolors. The bottom is ink and wash, also covered in the Creative Watercolour course. And finally, the one on the bottom left is just my attempt to create a pattern using leftover paint.

Finally, as I was cleaning up my desk, I happened to have more diluted Distress Ink leftover. I used it to practice my hand lettering and calligraphy, using a dip pen. These can also be used to make cards!

Blog Hop List:
Please check out the rest of the hop participants below.

Finally, the Giveaways:
I'm giving away a free access code to the Creative Watercolour: Techniques class. You can enter a maximum of two times for my giveaway. I will pick the winner by the end of launch week.   
  • First, leave a comment below
  • If you want another entry, please follow me on Instagram (where I am most active) and leave another comment below to say you've followed me there. If you're already an IG follower, please leave a comment below to say so.
And don't forget, you can also go to the bottom link for Angela's grand prize that includes both the class and the kit. If you win the prize after you already enrolled, you will be refunded the course amount.

Remember, Creative Watercolour: Techniques is priced at $59 USD, however until November 18th, students can get the course for $29 (50% off) using the discount code FIRSTDIBS. If you win the giveaway after you already enrolled, you will be refunded the course amount.


  1. I'd love to win a place, I'm new to watercolour

  2. I have been trying to create a watercolor winter scene for a Christmas Stamp for about a week. And I still haven't created one good enough to keep and send. I think this is just what I need! And thanks for the tip about the paper. I am going to try better paper and see if it helps!

  3. What a big difference in papers! Would love to learn how to watercolor the right way!! Thanks for the opportunity to win!

  4. Thanks for the good watercolor tips in this post.

  5. I am just a beginner and attempting to learn this new skill. Thanks for the ideas.

  6. I would love to learn more about watercoloring. I do find it somewhat intimidating!

  7. I'm following you on IG (@amymaddux)

  8. Beautiful samples, I am going to check my WC papers now- thanks! I tried to enroll, but cannot find a place to put in discount code......

  9. Thanks for hopping with me today, Nina! I've loved seeing your watercolours progress as you have taken my courses and continued practicing on your own. You have such a beautiful style.

  10. I'm new to watercolor. I think this is a good place to learn. Thank you.

  11. I'm new to watercolor and would love a chance to learn! I followed your on Instagram!

  12. Hi, I followed you on Twitter.

  13. Nina, It has been a long time and I was so glad to receive your email this morning. I hope you are doing well. Hello from Wisconsin and Illinois.

  14. Hi, Nina. I love your quotes- so inspiring!

  15. Love your paper comparison. I was interested to hear about the Tim Holtz paper -- I have seen it but was not willing to jump in and buy until I read a review, so Thank You! Looking forward to the Creative Watercolor class.

  16. Thanks for the watercolor tips, awesome work!

  17. Always have been a big fan of your work Nina. This seems like quiet an informative class and I need to learn to get better. Thanks for a chance to win.

  18. Thank you for the information about the paper. Your cards are very pretty. Also, thank you for an opportunity to win.

  19. I'm loving this blog hop! I'm finding so many fun new people to follow, and I really hope I win a chance to take the course!

  20. Your cards are beautiful! Those flowers are simply gorgeous! Love them!! Thank you for sharing.

  21. Followed you on instagram, mariawicks89

  22. I need a;; the help I can get! The class sounds awesome!

  23. I am new to your blog and anxious to explore some of your techniques. Thanks for offering the chance to win enrollment in Angela's new class!

  24. Your work seems very lovely. I'll be checking back here for more inspiration


Thank you for your kind comments.

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