In the new Occasions Catalog, Stampin' Up! (finally) introduced Brusho Crystal Colour (page 26 in the catalog). The description of Brushos in the catalog goes like this: "Watercolor ink crystals -- mix with water to make watercolor washes and designs. Sprinkle directly on water washed paper and watch the colors burst. ... Acid free."
I've been using Brushos for quite awhile now, having ordered them from Dick Blick. But it's awesome that they are now available through Stampin' Up! The video below is from Stampin' Up! and shows interesting ways to use the Brushos. Be sure to check it out!
Yesterday I decided to do a little experimenting with the Brushos. And, I must admit, I had a blast.
If you check out the previously mentioned page 26 in the Occasions Catalog, you will discover a delightful stamp set that works well with the Brushos, Beautiful Day (#145912/145915).
Using the butterfly from the set, my creation is done on 140 pound cold press watercolor paper. This is very heavy/thick paper, so it responds to the excessive amounts of water without warping too much. I did not tape the paper down before working because I wanted to have the freedom to manipulate it. And it stayed reasonably flat throughout the process.
Below is the end result of all my experimenting.
I first embossed the butterfly in gold on the watercolor paper. I know it doesn't look too metallic in the photos; the light was weird. But by embossing the image first, it gives the look and feel of leading in stained glass. Which is great, as it compartmentalized each of the wing sections, making this very technique simple to do.
To get the wings to be such a vivid color, I used my Aqua Painter.
I first worked on the green sections by loading each of those areas with water with the larger of the Aqua Painters, filling the entire individual compartments. I then carefully tapped green Brushos into just those areas. Then, using it like a concentrated watercolor, I "painted" the color within the sections with the Aqua Painter. When I was satisfied with the look of the green, I carefully cleaned off my Aqua Painter and moved on to the blue, repeating the process. I didn't move on to the blue though until the green had been thoroughly dried with my Heat Tool.
The photo below shows a close-up of one of the wings after completion. From what I just finished describing, this is NOT the look you end up with. Read on.
I wanted the background to have a similar look, only not as specific and having more freedom and less vibrant color.
What I actually did was sprinkle a little of the yellow Brusho onto my craft mat and added water from my Aqua Painter to that. I then proceeded to dip the piece into the resulting large droplets of yellow. Unfortunately, it did not go quite as I had planned. Picking up the yellow reactivated the color in the butterfly's wings, adding blue and green to the background mix.
Oh well. I continued dipping and dripping, drying it in between, then continuing the process. When I had enough on the background, there was lots of pooled color on the piece. So, I folded a paper towel and blotted the excess liquid.
Uh oh. Now the wings had a very mottled -- and unattractive -- look that I did not care for whatsoever. Since the color was still somewhat wet though, it was easy to even out the color with the Aqua Painter, once again being careful to do each color separately to preserve the blues and greens.
The photo below shows the background a little closer. It is quite subtle, but a nice complement to the starkness of the butterfly.
Once I had the butterfly's wings back to normal, they seemed too flat and characterless to me. To remedy that situation, I spritzed water into the palm of my left hand, then picked up water with the fingers of my right hand and flicked the water onto the butterfly. After letting those water droplets sit for several minutes to dry naturally, I ended up with a look that I really love:
Because the butterfly was embossed in gold, I matted the piece onto a metallic brushed gold cardstock, then onto a square of Pacific Point cardstock.
The possibilities with Brusho Crystal Colour are almost limitless. And the playing and experimenting are loads of fun!
What do you think? Have you ever used Brushos? Have you had good experiences with them?
If you have never used them, now is the time to join in on the fun without spending a whole lot of money. The product number for the Brushos is 144101. Watercolor paper, #122959, can be found on page 194 of the big catalog. Finally, a necessity in any stamper's stash, whether you use Brushos or not, the Aqua Painters (#103954) can be found on page 200 of the big catalog.
And guess what!?! You can order it all from my store! Just click on the Shop Now button on my blog.
While you are making your purchase, keep in mind that, until the end of March, Sale-A-Bration is in effect. During this time, for every $50 you spend (before shipping and tax), you can choose one freebie from the Sale-A-Bration catalog. Just click on Catalogs to access all the current Stampin' Up! catalogs, including the Sale-A-Bration flyer.