Thanksgiving Reverse-Pattern Fall Leaf Watercolor Card

Today we’re making a Thanksgiving themed card based around a color palette involving orange, brown, and gold card stocks.

I started out using my Kuretaki Gansai Tambi pallete to mix up some yellowish, orange, and red colors. I knew I wanted this watercolor background I was creating to have a lot of color variation and interest, like you’d see on a real fall leaf.

First I wet the entire paper to do a wet-on-wet technique. I’m using my trusty Grumbacher 12 round brush as it is just the right size for this technique. Next, I start dropping in some yellowish orange, almost brown color. I let the watercolors do their thing for the most part, dabbing where I want more concentrated color.

If you’re interested in watching me make this card step by step, be sure to watch the video below:

Red comes next – I try to be more spare with it, and let it mingle in with the color that’s already on the page. Then I dry that layer with my Ranger Heat It Craft Tool, rewet the surface, and go in with more saturation. I don’t mind when colors pool up, because I am looking for a blooming effect.

Next, to determine the cut-out pattern, I decide to make a stencil. I draw a leaf on a piece of scrap paper with pencil, then outline it with micron pen so I can see exactly where to cut. Then I fussy cut the shape using detail scissors.

Giving some thought to the placement and that this will be a reversed-out image, I start tracing the stencil onto a piece of Poptone Hot Fudge card stock in the 65 lb weight. Then I take an exacto fitted with a brand new blade to aid in the cutting process.

I then take a small bottle filled with Ranger Multi Medium Bottle, 0.5-Ounce, Matte and dot it on the back of the finished cut-out. Once you add it to the watercolor background, you get a great negative-space effect.

To finish the focal image, just trim it down to size and erase any pencil lines with a soft eraser – be careful not to snag it on a piece of cut paper.

I cut and scored a piece of Curious Metallic Mandarin card stock to be an A2 size top-folding card. I also cut a strip of Stardream Metallic Antique Gold to use for the sentiment underneath.

For a final detail on the focal image I decided to use some Ranger Tim Holtz Distress Ink Pad, Vintage Photo. First I blended it on around the edges before bringing it in a bit softer so I could spray some water and distress it a bit. Once it’s all done, I go ahead and attach it to the card with some tombow mono aqua glue.

For the sentiment, I decide to use some Scrapbooking Studio G Miniature Wooden Block Rubber Stamp Alphabet and Punctuation Marks Set, Lower and Upper Case Letters that come on little wood pegs. I decided to spell out “thankful” with a period. Once I had it spelled out, I taped the set together with washi tape so I could stamp it all at once. I tried it out in two different orientations – justified to the right and centered – before deciding on the later.

I stamped the final sentiment with Staz-On jet Black on Classic Crest 80 lb solar white. I then brought in some more Distress Ink in vintage photo so I could make the paper look more weathered. Once trimmed down, the strip fits perfectly on top of the gold. It just needed a little bit more contrast, so I inked up some more Vintage Photo around the edges before gluing it all onto the card base with Tombow mono aqua.

Finally, I detailed the letters with a white gel pen and a micron 01.

This card is a little more labor-intensive than most, I know. You could totally use a die set, but I wanted to show you could do it even without dies!

Thanks for following along and see you next time.

– Haley

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