Altenew: Color Your Day


Life is like a box of crayons – John Mayer

Homemade Color Wheel

So what’s your favorite color? Personally, wearing teal makes me feel happy, confident, ready to take on the world – the bolder the color the better. However, when it comes to my environment I gravitate towards soothing shades of green letting teal be a background player.

Color is such an individual thing and using a color wheel to inspire as well as reign in our inner child holding a box of 128 Crayolas is so helpful. Several years ago I was inspired to create my own color wheel using a template from Sandy Allnock. It may not be as fancy as the store-bought model but I find using it so satisfying and pleasurable to use and it was certainly fun to make!

Challenged by the Altenew ‘Color Your Day’ class to incorporate a color wheel into the design process, I thought why not take the color wheel itself as the inspiration. I know, I know, I could have just as easily said rainbow and virtually have had the same pallet but somehow color wheel conjures up something different – at least in my mind. So you take the color wheel and couple it with Altenew’s ‘Arabesque Medallion’ and you get the following card – the eye just floats around and around like a Ferris Wheel of color.

Watercolor Arabesque Medallion

This card is fairly basic – the image was stamped with Versamark ink and then heat embossed in white. Watercolor paints were washed across the image to create the color wheel effect and I made sure to blend/overlap colors to get intermediate color values. I repeated the wash process to get the right intensity of color and then moved into the image itself to create very saturated colors within the embossed wells. Once satisfied with the result I left the painted panel to air dry. One trick I tried was to wet the paper on the back side before starting to paint. This seemed to keep the paper from curling but then again Arches is an especially good watercolor paper and can absorb a lot of water. I’ll have to try this trick with another brand of paper to see if it really makes a difference.

This card ended up being a top fold 5.5” square card mounted on a Neenah card base. I added a black sentiment strip that was white heat embossed; the ‘Thank You’ sentiment is from the Arabesque Medallion stamp set. Black jewels were added as well as a large teal jewel in the very center to finish this card.

One final thought – so a color wheel is a great reference for putting pleasing colors together but what about choosing the colors themselves? For this task a second tool is just as valuable – a swatch chart. The swatch chart won’t give you the complete set of options for a particular color but it does give you the basic color family which is very useful when selecting a color for further testing. The paints I used for this card, Kuretake Gansai Tambi, have a color swatch chart built into the lid whereas for my Altenew watercolor paints I created my own swatch chart. If you haven’t created a swatch chart for your watercolor paints I strongly urge you to do so … and get – or make – a color wheel too!

Stamps: Altenew: Arabesque Medallion
Watercolor: Kuretake Gansai Tambi: Carmine Red (35), Orange (33), Bright Yellow (42), May Green (51), Cobalt Blue (62), Purple (139j
Paper: Arches Cold Press; Neenah Crest: Solar White 80lb., Black
Ink: Versamark
Other: Hero Arts: white Embossing Powder; Black Jewels;Teal/Holographic Jewel; Silver Watercolor Brush #8

  1. Avatar

    WOWZERS! Deb, this is so simple yet so brilliant! I think you have done a wonderful job with your post, description, and photos. Love the project, I always love reading your posts too… they are like short stories 🙂
    Thank you for entering your fantabulous work to the AECP assignment gallery. Amazing work! Keep it up!

    Reply
    • Deb Hurtig

      Whew! I’m so pleased you liked this project – it seemed almost too simple for an AECP submission and I debated with myself whether it might not be enough. As for the storytelling comment – thank you! Must be channeling my Dad, now passed. He always had a story to tell and I often think of him when working on creative endeavors!

      Reply

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