Tuesday, 8 December 2020

VIDEO: Watercolor With Embossing Powder & Right Brain Painting

Do you find it challenging to paint and draw because the logical side of your brain is too critical? Today, I'm sharing how you can activate the creative side of your brain with an easy right brain painting exercise. In the process, learn how to watercolor with embossing powder. 

Hi friends, Amber here with a video and post that is different than my usual content. While searching for an art book for my daughter, I discovered a fascinating interview with Betty Edwards. Betty wrote Drawing On The Right Side Of The Brain which revolutionized art instruction. 

This book was originally published in 1979. However, this book is new to me because I don't have any formal art training. I ordered Betty's book and can't wait to start reading it. The interview struck a chord and I already look at art differently.

Whether you believe in left and right brain theories there are incredibly useful principles and techniques to be learned from Betty's book.

Watch this cardmaking video tutorial here or in HD on YouTube. While you're there we'd love it if you like, subscribe, and share with your crafty friends. 

Heat Embossing With Water

Heat embossing with water isn't a new technique, but if you haven't tried it before, you need to. I filmed this video before watching Betty's interview but, did the voiceover after. During the voiceover, I realized painting with water forces you to use the creative right side of your brain.

When you paint with water, it's almost impossible to see the shape and contour of what you paint. That prevents the logical critical part of your brain from kicking in. You may be asking yourself, why does that matter?

Try drawing a circle with a pen or other medium that you can see. Do you automatically want to correct the shape and make it perfectly round? I know I do and I'm often disappointed that it's not "right".

Now try painting a circle or many circles with water or a medium you can't see. The systematic part of your brain can't kick in and it's not able to criticize or correct what's on the page. While it might be uncomfortable at first, it's quite relaxing to paint shapes without pressure to be precise. 

You start to focus on the outline or edges and negative space of the page. And you end up with imperfect and incomplete circles with an artsy feel. 

Paint fairly quickly and use a very wet brush to ensure the water does not dry before you add the heat embossing. Next, sprinkle on some embossing powder to reveal your pattern. Repeat the process with a smaller brush and different embossing powder. 

Embossing Powders

Here I used WOW! Alexandra Renke embossing powders in Judith's Blush, Gitty's Power, and Ulla's Cognac. I adore the color combination of pink, dusty coral, and yellow ochre/gold. 

The pink powders are translucent whereas Ulla's Gold is comprised of fine translucent yellow ochre powder and chunkier metallic gold powder. Just gorgeous!

Gotta Love A Twofer

Don't you love a good twofer? Use a rectangle stacking die (or any shape) to cut the background panel. Center the die to create a frame and smaller panel. Voila, you've got yourself the makings of a twofer.

To fill in the center of the frame, I stamped an image and sentiment from Altenew Eucalyptus Jar with Rouge Crisp Dye Ink. Altenew Frosty Pink and Rouge Crisp Dye Ink coordinate perfectly with Judith's Blush and Gitty's Power embossing powders respectively. 

As you can see I filled in "hi" with a black fine liner and added a sub-sentiment for contrast. 

Hush Your Inner Critic!

My inner critic definitely reared its ugly head with this card. I worked hard to silence it and it was worth it. As you can see the yellow ochre and gold stripes are totally broken up. I started with those stripes and it took everything I had not to trash the card. 

I didn't intend for the stripes to be broken and distressed and I didn't like the look at all. But, I persisted with the next set of stripes and again started to see the negative spaces. And, I figured a sentiment would fit perfectly in the negative space of the first stripe. Altenew Rosie Posy has this perfectly simple hello sentiment stamp.

As you can see, Ulla's Gold is the star of the show here. I wanted to see more of those chunky metallic granules. To ensure the chunky powders don't blow away, start heating the powder from beneath the cardstock. Once the powder has started to melt and embed the chunky granules you can move to the front. 

Despite these projects making me uncomfortable, I had a lot of fun with this exercise and I hope you do too! Thanks for joining me and I'll see you soon with more inspiration.

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  1. You're right about being self critical Amber and this makes you 'go with the flow' as it were, and your results using the three different embossing powders were very pretty. x

    1. Thanks so much, Pat. I tend to overwork the shapes when I paint watercolor patterns so this exercise was so interesting to me. Glad you enjoyed it.


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