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Tulips in Bloom

Arguably the best part of Spring is watching all the flowers bloom, and in a Spring where many things are different, thankfully, that is still true this year! But if there aren't any flowers blooming where you are, luckily you can make some yourself, with Hero Arts' Frame Cuts Tulip Dies.
Please note there is also a coordinating Tulip Greetings Stamp Set if you'd like to add outlines and sentiments; but this card only features the dies. Start by cutting a bunch of tulips and leaves from Canson Watercolor Paper. I always like to cut more than I think I'll need so that I can experiment with shading and colors!
I used Kuretake Gansai Tambi paints, which are really lovely. The key with watercolor is patience! (Admittedly not my best thing, lol!) You get completely different effects by building up layers and letting them dry in between, so if you'd like to have light and dark tones, like tulips have in real life, the key is to start with very diluted color and add a few "coats". Also, when you're painting areas where complementary colors will touch each other (like the red flower meets the green stem here) you might want to do those as separate layers so they're not both wet at the same time. In this case, the dies add a sort of dimensional ridge where the flower hits the stem, which really helped keep the colors separate. There are plenty of variegated tulips in the world, but I kept mine a solid color to try to illustrate where the layers of watercolor are.
As you add layers to your tulips, you can start to shape the upper petals. It's quite helpful to look at a photo of real tulips, where you'll see that all the layers are solid at the bottom of the bloom, but they take different shapes as they go up. Some are longer or shorter; some sort of curve around. Again, there's also a coordinating Hero Arts Stamp Set to go with the tulip dies, in which the layers are drawn in for you.
 
You can also add the suggestion of a rounded shape to the bottom of the tulips with watercolor, or you many find you have more control by applying ink with a Blender Brush or Sponge Dauber. I used the latter to add Charming Pink VersaFine Clair at the base and sides of the flowers and Pine Needles Distress Oxide to the lower parts of my leaves. To finish off, I used a very finetipped pen in a coordinating color (the new Emotts are awesome!) to add a little more detail to the layers of watercolor by very softly adding veins and a little more definition to the edges of the petals.
 
I used a soft green print made with my 6" Gel Press Round Plate as a background for my round card. I softly inked the edges of each layer in coordinating colors of VersaFine Clair, and made a base from Idea-Ology Metallic Gold Cardstock.
 
For a last little bit of realism, I curved some of the leaves inwards or outwards with my fingers, and added the flowers to the background at differing heights. Some flowers and stems are adhered flat, some on one layer of foam tape, some on two layers. You'd be surprised how much difference these little details make!
I hope you have lots of beautiful flowers in real life, but if not, I hope you'll be inspired to try making some yourself!
loves tulips, daffodils and tiger lilys!

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