Saturday, June 1, 2024

The Great Outdoors! Guest Designer Challenge #6 with Debbie Hedges

Happy June everyone!
Oh my gosh! The year is almost half over.
Wasn't it just Christmas?

It's the first of the month which means it's time for a new Guest Designer Challenge here at Art Impressions.

This month it's The Great Outdoors!

We want to see your cards that are set outdoors.
This could be a simple flower growing in the grass to an elaborate outdoor scene set in the woods, on a farm or at the beach. Maybe someone is outdoors grilling, fishing or golfing...great for Father's Day!  As long as your card shows the outdoors.


Before we see what our amazing Guest Designer Debbie Hedges made to inspire you, let's see who won our Anchors Away challenge.

Birds are from the Art Impressions #5069 - My Fortress Set
She created the sun using a die from 5719 – FB Fence & Window Set. (SO creative!)

She will be our Guest Designer in July.

Lisa,  please contact me at
so that we can discuss your challenge theme and to claim a free stamp set of your choice.

Now for the Lucky Random Winner of my Exclusive Raccoon Freebie from 2022.
Congratulations #5 Julie W.

Please contact me at with your address to claim your free stamp.
If you already have the raccoon, I have others to choose from.

Now for our June Guest Designer.

Debbie is a LONG time Art Impressions fan going all the way back to the 1990s.
She is an amazing watercolor artist and I know you're going to love her beautiful card.


Hello, my name is Debbie and my watercolor journey began as Bonnie was just developing “Watercolor the Art Impressions Way.”  I had met her several years prior and collected her cute bear and bunny stamps, but the watercolor stamps quickly became my favorite.  What I love about them is that it is a collection of elements and the creativity is endless!  Each project is unique even if multiple people do the same project with the same stamps.

As my three boys entered school, I didn't have as much time to stamp with a busy family life and returning to working outside the home.  About 7-8 years ago, I began to watch the newer tutorials and I have learned so much since then.   Each person develops their own style.  The tutorials are like a master class each time you try a new project. My style tends to be smaller projects -- usually with a container and flowers or a small scene with an animal.  Recently I have challenged myself to stretch and learn to create more complex scenes.

I am so excited to be chosen as the Guest Designer for June!  The theme is The Great Outdoors and I chose to do a more complex scene using a variety of sets.  I love spring and summer projects and I hope you will try something similar and join the blog challenge for June! 

I still use Marvy Le Plume markers for my projects.  Most of these can be converted to Tombow colors, but choose colors that work for you. These just happen to be some of my go-to colors for any project I work on.

I began with a rectangle of watercolor mixed-media paper that measured 4” wide x 7” tall.  I needed it to be wider than my project so I could cut it down with a rectangle die later.  I then inked the bicycle from #5124-WC Bicycle Set in Sepia (45) and African Violet (86).  I stamped it once on my acrylic plate and then stamped off once on a scrap piece of watercolor paper.  Using the acrylic plate, I moved it until most of the bicycle was off the edge of my project.  I then used my stamp positioner and stamped it onto my watercolor paper on the right side.  With a pencil, I then lightly drew in my horizon lines.  I needed the tree to be a little taller than the stamp I had, so I put the tree on a small hill that slopes down to the bicycle.  I inked the smaller tree from #5010 – WC Tree Set 1 with Sepia (45) and repeated the process with my positioner to stamp it on the small hill on the left side of my project. 

The next step was to add a color wash to my pencil lines.  For the hill in the distance, I used Pine Green (72) and for the two closer hills, I used Olive Green (15).  I then added my sky using Sky Blue (75).  I like to add sky before adding other elements (like tree foliage or flowers) so I don’t have to try to add it in later and avoid those elements.  The green stamps really well over the blue and you can just make sure it isn’t too dark in areas you know you will be adding foliage later.  Using my stamp positioner, I then added my rock cluster in the foreground by inking #AA1038-Tiny Stones (wood-mounted vintage stamp) in Sepia (45) and African Violet (86), being sure to stamp off at least once so the rocks didn’t have too much color.


 At this point, I just began taking one section at a time.  I tend to use my #1 brush the most unless I am doing large areas and will switch to my #4 brush.  I used #5061-WC Foliage Set 1 (teeny tiny grass) to add grass along my middle hill line in Olive Green (17).  I protected the tree with a small piece of Post-It note tape.  I then used my #1 brush to pull the color out. I wanted the grass in place before I added the foliage to the bike basket. 

I then carefully pulled the color out of the lines on the bicycle and added Steel Blue (17) to the body of the bicycle.  On my palette, I mixed Sepia (45) and African Violet (86) to get grey.  I used the grey for the bike tire.  For the flower basket, I used Sepia on the edges and left a highlight in the center.  For the foliage in the basket, I used #5009-WC Mini Flower set.  I inked the small foliage stamp in Olive Green (17) and stamped it multiple times – re-inking as needed.  With my #1 brush, I added a very small amount of water to the foliage.  Once that dried, I then used the small dot flower by inking it in Aubergine (93) and also stamping it multiple times.  I used my #1 brush very little on the flower dots so the dots were more visible.  With a ruler and a pencil, I then added a few spokes to the bike tire.

Now that the bike was complete, I used my #1 brush to pull out on the color on the tree trunk.  I then used Sepia (45) and Brown (6) to add some color to the trunk.  I used my teeny tiny grass stamp to add grass to the closest hill including the area under the bicycle.  This time I wasn’t worried about some of the grass stamping over the base of the tree trunk.  I then used my #1 brush to pull the color out on the grass. Using the small grass stamp from #5126-WC Foliage Set 4 and my positioner, I added some taller grass under the bike tire in Olive Green (17).  With the small tip of my Marvy, I then added some dots to the tops of the grass stems for interest.  For the flowers, I started with the small vine from #5126-WC Foliage Set 4  to add some foliage for the violas near the tree trunk.  After stamping it several times with Olive Green (17), I used my #1 brush to dab at the foliage.  The violas need a positioner for placement.  I use the flower bunch from #4603-Blooming Birdhouse, but any of the flower bunch stamps would work – you just need to use one single flower from the set.  I ink them first with Brilliant Yellow (43) so that the two bottom petals are yellow and then the top three petals in Aubergine (93).  It is better if you have an odd number, so I stamped a total of 5 flowers, re-inking between each.  For the violas, I was not concerned about light and dark, I wanted them to be bright.  For the purple flowers on each side of the violas, I used the heart flower from #5009-WC Mini Flower set.  I still used my positioner, but I inked the stamp in Violet (8) and then stamped twice before inking again.  Then I used my #1 brush to pull the color out of all the flowers under the tree.

For the tree leaves, I used the larger leaf stamp from #5126-WC Foliage Set 4 and inked it with Olive Green (17).  I stamped multiple times (re-inking as needed) until I felt the tree foliage was the size I wanted.  I then used my #1 brush to dab at the leaves and pull the color out.  To finish the hill in the distance, I used #5372-WC Mini Foliage.  I used my positioner to ink the row of foliage in Pine Green (72) and stamped it along the line I had created with my pencil.  I would ink, stamp in once and then stamp it again slightly higher.  I repeated that all along the hill on either side of the tree.  For the evergreen trees, I place some post-it-note tape along the base of my hill line. I then stamped it twice before re-inking.  I wanted light and dark and varying heights to the trees as I added them down the hill. 

For the small stones in the foreground, I carefully added a color wash around them in Sepia (45).  I didn’t add it prior because I wanted to be sure the tops of the rocks were really light.  I used the grey I mixed along with Sepia, Olive Green and African Violet to create multiple colors on the stones, keeping the bases darker and the tops lighter.  I then used my brown Twin Tone to add some extra dots for pebbles and put the definition back into the base of the stones.  I also used my Twin Tone to add some lines to the tree trunk.  I added dots of white to the grass on the middle hill with Bleed Proof White.  After it dried, I used the fine tip of my yellow marker to add yellow dots to the white, so it looks like flower centers.  I also used the fine tip of my Aubergine marker to add dots to the centers of my violas.  With my Micron, I added some detail to the bicycle and signed my project.  I cut the project out with the 2nd to the largest rectangle of #5063-Rectangle A2 Double Stitched Dies and layered it onto a card base.

I hope you will give this project a try! 

What a GORGEOUS card, Debbie!
That blue embossed panel framing your stunning art is so perfect.
Thank you so much!

I also have a little bonus prize!

For as long as I have duplicate stamps I will choose a random winner.
These will be for U.S. residents only since these will be mailed by me personally
and not Art Impressions.

This month I have the Promo Farm Cow from 2021.
You will be automatically entered to win when you upload your project to the challenge.

Good luck everyone!

Here is the fine print:

✻ Please make a new card or handmade crafty creation.
✻You can make any item you wish; this is not limited to cards!
✻ Limit two submissions per person. 
✻You MUST use Art Impressions stamps or dies! You may use other companies products but the main focus should be on Ai items.
✻If you win, you will receive one free stamp set of your choice. In return you will create a brief write up explaining how you made your item and email it to me. (ReneĆ©) and you will mail your project to Art Impressions at your expense. (cheapest method possible is fine) International winners may submit photos through email. We will share your creation on Art Impressions social media.
 ✻Please include your first name and last initial on your submission.
✻We love to comment on your entries, but keep in mind if you use a private group or a platform that you need to sign up for, we probably won't be able to.
✻ The Ai Challenge is open to everyone, international submissions are welcome!
✻ Include a link back to the Ai Blog or grab our button on the top right of our sidebar!
✻ Share the Ai love if you can, by clicking and commenting on your fellow crafters.
✻ Make sure to get your link up by the deadline to enter your creations.
✻ Good luck and happy crafting!

You are invited to the Inlinkz link party!

Click here to enter


Hunky Dory said...

Congrats Lisa! Your card is awesome! I love the girlfriends and your scene is spectacular!

Hunky Dory said...

Debbie - your card is beautiful and I love how you explain how to paint it. Great details. You give me motivation to try it myself. šŸ˜¬

Cynthia said...

Congrats Lisa! Great beach scene. Lovely water color inspiration, Debbie.

Sharon Caudle said...

Woohoo!! Congrats Lisa!! I LOVE your Girlfriends card! I could never see enough projects using these beauties!! So fun and beautifully painted!! Can't wait to see your feature next month!!

Debbie - you are just flat out amazing! This card is SO gorgeous!!! You amaze me every time you share! A huge congratulations for being the June Guest Designer. No one is more deserving!!

Lisa Ja said...

Debbie, I love you watercoloring you make it look effortless and beautiful! I am not very good at watercoloring and I appreciate your detailed explanation. ❤️