Watercolor: Pencils vs Crayons vs Gel Sticks Part 2

Comparing Mediums Painted

Well, it is raining and quite gloomy here in Maryland this afternoon and so not the best day for working on my pictures for the upcoming eArticle. So I’m taking a break from that to play around with watercolor pencils, watercolor crayons and Gel-Sticks again. In my post yesterday, I compared coloring these three mediums directly on watercolor paper and gesso prepped paper as well as dry blending and water blending them on the same surfaces. Today I compared them using a different application technique: touching a waterbrush to the tip of each medium and then painting the color onto watercolor paper and two types of white cardstock.

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Watercolor: Pencils vs Crayons vs Gel Sticks

Comparing Mediums Dry

One thing that I think stampers deserve credit for is a broad knowledge of a lot of different art mediums. Most of us don’t claim to be experts in most of the mediums we use, but we know at least a little bit about a lot of them! I think this is one of the things that keeps stamping interesting.

This week I am working on the next VSN eArticle, “Watercolor Crayon Techniques For Stampers”. In working on this eArticle, I found some similarities between this art medium and the art medium covered in the current VSN eArticle, “Gelatos, Gel-Sticks & Stamps”. So this morning before getting back to working on the new eArticle, I played around with three similar art mediums: watercolor pencils, watercolor crayons and Gel-Sticks.

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So What Is Gesso Anyway?

Gesso and Test Sheets

This afternoon, I did another experiment using the Strathmore Premium Cover white cardstock I purchased a few weeks ago, this time looking at how prepping it first with gesso changes the way a variety of art mediums behave on it. All of the art mediums I tested are commonly used by stampers: regular colored pencils, watercolor pencils, watercolor markers, archival pigment markers, watercolor crayons, pastel pencils, alcohol ink markers and Gel-Sticks/Gelatos.

My inspiration to play with this traces back to my most recent “Gelatos, Gel-Sticks & Stamps” eArticle. In researching the topic, I learned that you can improve dry blending of Gel-Sticks or Gelatos if you first prep the surface with a light coat of gesso. After I purchased the Strathmore Premium Cover but wasn’t happy with the way it takes colored pencils, I wondered if some gesso might make a difference. So today I gave it a try.

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Searching For the Best White Cardstock For Stamping

White Cardstock Samplers

(Above: Trying out different art mediums on four types of white paper. Coloring is rough to get a feel for how the paper accepts the medium rather than working for careful shading. Art mediums include regular colored pencils, watercolor pencils, pastel pencils, watercolor markers – both Marvy and Distress- and Copic alcohol ink markers. Stamp: Time to Stamp)

I’ve been thinking about paper for stamping lately. I’ve been stamping for a long time and over the years have collected a wide variety of paper for stamping and/or layering. The stamping paper I reach for today is not necessarily the same paper that I reached for when I started stamping over twenty years ago.

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Stippling Inside a Stamped Image (Sort Of)

Stippled Flowers

You may recognize the card on the right from the most recent eArticle, “Sponge & Brush Techniques for Stampers”. On the left is a second take on the card that I created today using the same stamp images and the same basic color scheme. Both cards used stippled ink from an inkpad for the base color on the stamped flower. But there are some differences . . .

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