greeting cards

Painted hellebore

I really struggled with designs for Mother’s Day cards this year. I could have got my Copics out and coloured more Power Poppy flowers, but I’ve lost track of which ones I’ve used for who and I just didn’t feel like trying to work it out; fatigue hits in different ways, sometimes it’s simply feeling physically run down, other times it’s more not having the mental energy to focus on certain things.

So, after another fruitless search for inspiration on Pinterest, I pondered my list of things I want to try and came up with the idea of a simple painted flower with a gilded background, inspired by the work of Liza Adamczewski — though she uses genuine gold leaf on her paintings, whereas I stick to gilding flakes or the pack of little gold, silver and copper sheets I picked up on Amazon ages ago.

I looked through my digi stamps and found a couple of small Power Poppy flowers — they sometimes include a simpler image along with the more complex ones — and then I edited them, deleting some bits to make them even simpler, and adding a square behind them. (I picked out two because I have to make Mother’s Day cards for my mum and my other half’s.)

I had to be careful choosing my paints: my watercolour and mixed media card is too heavy to go through my printer (it might work but I’m not risking it) and the Neenah card I used is not designed to take much water. So I grabbed the set of acrylic gouache tube paints that I have never used before and set to work.

These days I don’t worry that I’ve never tried something before — painting flowers with acrylic gouache for example — I just give it a go and it usually turns out okay, and even if it doesn’t I will have learned something from the process. In this case, it turned out okay. It’s not a brilliant painting, but it’s good enough for a first attempt and more than acceptable to go on a card.

Once I was happy with the flower, I painted gilding glue onto the background square, let it dry, and applied the gilding. I sketched a border around the outside with a lavender Copic multiliner. I trimmed it down and mounted it onto a matching card base and that was one Mother’s Day card finished.

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