Onto the gift tag project – the circular file revisited – or not

Since I’ve finished the latest stone barn picture, I decided to try out the gift tags project. I thought that it would make a nice accompaniment to the bookmarks – just not laminated. I decided to try to run the watercolor base on a whole sheet of paper instead of each individual piece and then cut it up and decorate it. Easy, right? Guess again.

Wavy paper mess

I have this nice little watercolor paper stretcher thingy and tried to use it. It holds a sheet of watercolor paper about 14″x21″ and I thought that if I ran some mixed color washes over it, it would make some interesting backgrounds for sketches on the tags after I cut it up.  I followed the directions for stretching the paper and locking it into the frame, but I must not have soaked it thoroughly enough. When I tried the washes, major buckles occured.  The colors ran in not so interesting fashion and I spent my time trying to “artistically” mop up the pools of color.  Not good.  I had to stop and let it dry, hoping that it would at least flatten out again and maybe parts would be salvagable.  the good news is that it did dry flat enough to use.  I am going  to try to cut up the paper into useable pieces.  I am afraid if I rewet it and add more paint, the colors will run into a more muddy mess.  I hope that at least a number of pieces will be usable when I cut it up – otherwise most of it will end up in the circular file.  I will have to be better at stretching the next piece today. 

I am encouraged enough after the bookmark experience to try again.  I think most of the difficulty arises from my inexperience with the heavy watercolor paper.  I need to keep experimenting with it and maybe use a lighter weight.  I just have a large stock on hand of the heavy.  I’ll post a picture of the barn next time.  Next on the list of to-dos is to put it up on etsy.

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