The first thing I played around with was simple watercolor backgrounds. There are so many ways to do it. A clean variegated wash is lovely. I also love just a pool of color - but even these pools can have variety - you can get a lot of those wonderful watercolor lines by using a heat tool to move the water around. So first I created a few different backgrounds.
The next thing I played with are the sampling of Zig Clean Color pens that I picked up just to play around with. I grabbed a stamp set on my desk that included leaves. After coloring dozens of them - I realized I wanted to use them on something and as luck would have it, I had the blue backgrounds sitting on my desk!
The first background was so clean, and the stamps are "doodly" - so I kept the colors bright and almost cartoonish. I used a light sentiment stacked on some dark to give it a shadow and spritzed it with some shimmer mist.
The second background looked more stormy to me, so I puddled various colors on each leaf to get a richer more variegated look.
The backgrounds on these cards use classic watercolors - in this case Kuretake Gansai Tambi. I love swirling these colors around in a pool of water and I would imagine these would continue to be an important part of my cardmaking. These cards also used the Zig Clean Color Brush Pens on the leaves. LOVE them too. It was so easy to get into the corners of these leaves and then to layer the colors up for a very rich look. (Of course, you could do this with a regular palette of watercolors and a quality fine trip brush - but it was very easy with the pens.)