Tuesday, July 3, 2018

Taylored Expressions: Big Butterfly in Watercolor

Taylored Expressions has recently released a line of liquid watercolors.  I am late to the watercoloring trend although I love what I see from everybody else.  I'm fairly certain it's because watercoloring involves letting go of control and that is way outside my comfort zone.  I had a wonderfully free weekend and a craft room just calling my name so I decided I needed to get comfortable with watercolors.  I want to be able to create soft backgrounds or vibrant backgrounds; I want to be able to create the stunning dimension that you can get with layers; and I want the realistic look of coloring images with it.  Now I'm not going to say one weekend made me proficient - far from it - but I'm more comfortable.

I did it with the help of the Liquid Watercolor posts on the Taylored Expressions blog - starting here.  Day 1 starts with Color Mixing and Painting.  Then if you click to Day 2, it's Color Wash and Shimmer Liquid. Day 3 is Detail Painting. Day 4 is Smooshing and Day 5 is Painted Plaid.

I worked through all of those days and have a lot of cards for my personal stash, but not quite good enough to share here.  However, you have to check out Day 4 Smooshing.  First of all, it's the most beautiful card that I've ever seen.  Secondly, Gayatri has done a fabulous video that walks you through each step and at the level that I need.  For instance, you can see exactly how much liquid watercolor to put down to smoosh with, how different water misters acts, how to build up dimension (both in smooshing and then she adds detailed color later), how to splatter it and more.

I went through the video step by step, pausing it and replaying it repeatedly while I worked on my own card.  Not in a million years do I have the skills set to replicate exactly what she did - but I'm happy with my card.  And more importantly, I'd actually do it again!

Taylored Expressions Big Butterfly 

I do need to continue practicing.  I didn't get the layers of watercolor - mine almost looks more like a wash than a smoosh. (And that's an odd sentence to type!)  I did go back and add depth to portions of it by painting directly as Gayatri did on hers.  I also splattered like she did but for my white I used white acrylic paint, slightly watered down. (The Oreo Liquid Watercolor is fabulous for black speckles.)

Taylored Expressions Big Butterfly Flat 

What I learned this weekend is that while I cannot claim to be a skilled artist, there are tools and lessons and products available to help.  By the time I was done with this butterfly, I truly felt like I would do it again.  I don't think there's any simpler way to get that vibrant color than literally some drops of watercolor, misted with water and smooshing paper on it.  It's quite amazing how it works.



  1. OMG! KIm! That butterfly is BEAUTIFUL! Love the shading you have achieved on it. Fabulous! I love it. The cool colours are gorgeous. Great job. I am so happy my video was of help to you. THANK YOU for your know words on my work. <3 Big Hugs! Gayatri xx

  2. You've blown me away with this one Kim, SO BEAUTIFUL!!

  3. GASP! Your butterfly is gorgeous, Kim! I'd say you have this technique mastered! In awe...heading back to gaze and admire your artistry for a while longer...


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