step by step Watercolor Tutorial | Leaning In - No Beginning and No End by Amy Bruce | Illustrated Faith 'Tis The Season #if_tistheseason | Illustrated Faith by Bella Blvd CHRISTmas collection

Advent Greetings Beloved Illustrated Faith Family!

It’s good to be back.  I have missed you!

Advent, oh Advent… it’s my favorite time of year.  I love it because it’s filled with light, love, and giving.  My Christmas tree is sitting right in plain view of my art space (aka dining room table) and all of the twinkling lights make my soul just sing.

Advent.  A time of anticipation.  A leaning in time.  A tender and special time. When we become still, lean in, and listen, He teaches us and wraps us up in His loving arms.  Oh yes….love it.

I am so enjoying the Illustrated Faith Devotional Kit for Advent this year.  And it’s not too late if you want to join in.  I love the short, beautiful prompts that lead you into scripture; and of course, all the stamps and paper pieces to make journaling a snap.

Day 7 captured my heart.  Melody Miller writes,

His love for us has no beginning and no end; it is always, forever, never-ending.

It made me think of a circle, no beginning, no end.  Never ending love that endures forever.  Psalm 100 and a picture of a colorful ornament came into my mind.  Viola, an illustration for truth.

Let’s journal truth friends.

 

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I started by tracing a circle and roughing in an ornament top and string.

step by step Watercolor Tutorial | Leaning In - No Beginning and No End by Amy Bruce | Illustrated Faith 'Tis The Season #if_tistheseason | Illustrated Faith by Bella Blvd CHRISTmas collection

The technique I am going to show you involves “dropping” saturated color into a wet surface.

To make sure I had a good supply of the colors I wanted to drop in, I used my favorite surface (a whiteboard) to prepare some puddles of color.  You want saturated pools of color – so very little water.  The whiteboard provides a great mixing surface and is super easy to clean.

step by step Watercolor Tutorial | Leaning In - No Beginning and No End by Amy Bruce | Illustrated Faith 'Tis The Season #if_tistheseason | Illustrated Faith by Bella Blvd CHRISTmas collection

Next, I prepared my ornament with a good wash of clean water.  It’s important to use clean, clear water.  The brush that came with the Illustrated Faith watercolor set is perfect for this technique because the bristles hold lots of liquid.

step by step Watercolor Tutorial | Leaning In - No Beginning and No End by Amy Bruce | Illustrated Faith 'Tis The Season #if_tistheseason | Illustrated Faith by Bella Blvd CHRISTmas collection

Once my ornament was prepared, I tapped my brush on a paper towel so it would be good and thirsty.  I picked up my first color and gently touched the wetted surface of the ornament, “dropping in” the color.

I continued dropping different colors onto my paper, making sure to rinse my brush in between colors and tap it onto paper towel.  Why clean and tap you say?

  • If you don’t do this, you will contaminate the colors with extra water diluting them into a pale wash.
  • You want a wet surface but not a big pool of water.  Bible paper is not equipped to take lots of water.  Plus the more water there is the more movement there will be which is great on watercolor paper, not so great on Bible paper.  Drying your brush a bit in between will guard against a wet mess.
  • Another danger when you don’t rinse well and tap your brush on the paper towel  is contamination with another color, which has the potential of making mud!  Tapping your brush on a paper towel not only takes extra water out of the brush, it is an extra check to be sure your brush is clean and not retaining the former color you used.

step by step Watercolor Tutorial | Leaning In - No Beginning and No End by Amy Bruce | Illustrated Faith 'Tis The Season #if_tistheseason | Illustrated Faith by Bella Blvd CHRISTmas collection

Once I had my base, I used my Ranger Heat tool to dry it just a bit.  Then I went back in and added some blue and more saturated pink, green, and yellow in the areas that were still wet.  The colors won’t move around as much once some areas are dry; so where you place color at this stage, it stays put.  Watercolor only travels to areas that are wet and will stop at dry edges.

step by step Watercolor Tutorial | Leaning In - No Beginning and No End by Amy Bruce | Illustrated Faith 'Tis The Season #if_tistheseason | Illustrated Faith by Bella Blvd CHRISTmas collection

Next I dried the beautiful ornament completely.  This is important to do when you are happy with the colors.  It will stop any further movement or smearing.

step by step Watercolor Tutorial | Leaning In - No Beginning and No End by Amy Bruce | Illustrated Faith 'Tis The Season #if_tistheseason | Illustrated Faith by Bella Blvd CHRISTmas collection

Out comes the mechanical pencil.  I knew I wanted Melody’s words written around the ornament so I penciled them in.

step by step Watercolor Tutorial | Leaning In - No Beginning and No End by Amy Bruce | Illustrated Faith 'Tis The Season #if_tistheseason | Illustrated Faith by Bella Blvd CHRISTmas collection

Next up, my Illustrated Faith .65 pen.  I traced over the lettering and added detail to the ornament and my signature “refuse to be perfect” scribbly lines.

step by step Watercolor Tutorial | Leaning In - No Beginning and No End by Amy Bruce | Illustrated Faith 'Tis The Season #if_tistheseason | Illustrated Faith by Bella Blvd CHRISTmas collection

I actually love the page right here, just as is but I kept going — aghhh — knowing when to stop, it’s an art and I haven’t mastered it yet.

But then again, what’s a journal page without a tab.  Yep, keep going.  I grabbed the kit and started cutting and punching.  I had decided I was going to make all my tabs for the Illustrated Faith Advent this year out of a scalloped punch I have in my stash so I grabbed a beautiful bright pink sheet out of the Bright and Brave collection for the tab.

step by step Watercolor Tutorial | Leaning In - No Beginning and No End by Amy Bruce | Illustrated Faith 'Tis The Season #if_tistheseason | Illustrated Faith by Bella Blvd CHRISTmas collection

I added “Advent 2016” to the tab, made a scribble bow bracket on the side of Psalm 100 to highlight the text and adhered all the pieces down.

And there she is my beautiful reminder that God’s love for us has no beginning and no end.

step by step Watercolor Tutorial | Leaning In - No Beginning and No End by Amy Bruce | Illustrated Faith 'Tis The Season #if_tistheseason | Illustrated Faith by Bella Blvd CHRISTmas collection

For the Lord is good;

His steadfast love endures forever,

and His faithfulness to all generations!

Psalm 100:5

May His love and light encircle you this Advent.

hugs – amy

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ESV Leather Journaling Bible | Illustrated Faith Bella Blvd Devotional Kit – Tis the Season | Illustrated Faith Bella Blvd Bright and Brave – Thank You Jesus |  Illustrated Faith Bella Blvd Watercolor Set | Illustrated Faith Bella Blvd Precision Pens | Daniel Smith and Sennelier Watercolors | Illustrated Faith Bella Blvd Tape Runner | Illustrated Faith Bella Blvd Christmas Collection – Borders # 1390 (inspiration) | Illustrated Faith Bella Blvd Christmas Collection – Paper Pad #1395 (inspiration) | 1″ circle punch | Fiskars 1.5″ scalloped circle punch | White board | Ranger Heat Tool

7 Comments
  1. So beautiful!!! Might just have to replicate your design.

  2. Monika Alston-Miller 2 years ago

    Oh I just love how your brain works, circle to ornament is just fabulous. One of these days I want you to come over and just say, let’s journal truth friend. That would make my year!

  3. Author
    Amy Bruce 1 year ago

    I hope one day we will meet sister!

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