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Sympathy Cards: Linda’s View

By: Linda Selymes, Artistic Guide


Finished Card Size: 5.50" x 4.25"

E1703 - Silhouette Fern (Hero Arts)
H5424 - Exotic Bloom (Hero Arts)
L015  - With Sympathy (Stampendous)
Watercolor paper cut to 3.75" x 5.0" (Canson)
Black card stock cut to 3.875" x 5.125" (Bazzill)
Half Sheet (8.5" x 5.5") violet card stock (Bazzill)
Adirondack Brights Purple Twilight Ink Pad (Ranger)
Small and medium size Water Brushes or Paint Brushes
Small spray bottle filled with water
Paper Towel
Water-based Dye Ink Markers: (Tombow)
373 - Sea Blue
173 - Willow Green
249 - Hunter Green
623 - Purple Sage
676 - Royal Purple
Paint palette or non-porous surface such as a sheet of plastic
Paper cutter
Scoring Board (Martha Stewart)
Double-sided adhesive or paper glue
Heat Tool (Optional)
Stamp Positioner (Optional)


    1. Spritz water on the watercolor paper to make it wet.  Scribble a generous amount of 373 Sea Blue marker ink onto paint pallette.  Using water and the medium size paint brush, cover the watercolor paper generously.  It should be pretty wet.  While still wet, wad up a paper towel and dab off some of the color.  This will create a lightly mottled look, reminiscent of a sky.  Allow to dry or use heat tool to dry.  Paper will be slightly curled, but that's not a problem.
    2. When paper is dry to the touch, color the fern stamp with 173 - Willow Green, and stamp repeatedly in an arc on left side and bottom of dry watercolor paper.  Re-ink stamp each time.
    3. Ink sentiment stamp with the Purple Twilight ink pad and stamp in the upper right quadrant of the card.  If desired, use a stamp positioner.
    4. With darker green marker (249 - Hunter Green), quickly ink the leaves on the exotic bloom stamp.  Ink the three blooms with 623 - Purple Sage, and stamp 3 times over top of previous stamping, reinking each time.  (See picture below.)  You may need to "huff" or blow warm breath on the stamp before stamping to keep it moist if you don't color very quickly.

    1. Dip the smaller paint brush, into water, then squeeze out most of it with your fingers.  Using light strokes, pull out some of the color in both the leaves and the blooms.   Be careful not to lose all definition, especially in the leaves.  Clean your brush when switching from the leaves to the blooms so you don't mix the colors.

  1. When paper is dry to the touch, ink up ONLY the blooms, using  676 - Royal Purple.  Over-stamp the top bloom once or twice, without re-inking.   Repeat this process on each bloom.  It is only necessary to re-ink when you move to each of the next blooms.  Again with only a slightly damp brush, pull out color on the blooms.

  2. Now look closely at your completed scene and see if you need to make any adjustments.  I decided to take the small point on the end of the darker purple marker and add small strokes at the very bottom of the lowest bloom.  I also had two small leaves that ended up purple, so I overcolored them with the green marker.  If your leaves don't look full enough, stamp a few more leaves.  Add more watercolor, if necessary.  When you are satisfied with your painting, and it is dry, back it with the black card stock, and adhere to the half sheet of orchid card stock which you have scored and folded into a 5.5" x 4.25" top folding card.

Just a couple of tips on this technique, which I call "Faux Watercolor".  Many stamps will work with this technique, but I've found that relatively simple stamps, requiring only one or two colors at a time work best.  Also it seems to work best on smaller bold or silhouette stamps.  It doesn't seem to work as well on very detailed, lined stamps.  Once complete, it is often difficult to tell that the images were stamped, they look so much like an impressionistic watercolor.  As always, be proud of your art work and sign it.  This might be a good one to sign on the front!  Happy Stamping!

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4 Responses »

  1. Linda, this a lovely card and a great technique. It inspires to try the technique that I have heard about but never tried. Ann Taft.

  2. Linda: This is a lovely sympathy card; love the colorful flower.

  3. Linda this is beautiful. I would like to learn more about using the markers this way.

  4. Very nice and pretty. Flowers always seem appropriate to me as well. I like this design very much.