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Polychromatic (AECP Level 2)

Today's post is about polychromatic cards, which means 'of two or more varying colours', Oxford Dictionary.

I have three cards to share as part of my Altenew Educator Certification Program.

Here are my three cards, with more info on how I created them below:

The cards were made for my assignment based on the Altenew Academy's Polychromatic Masterclass by Nina-Marie Trapani. There were six lessons in this masterclass, each with a different perspective on how to use colour.

Here are my takes on the assignment:

Card One - Pastel Polychromatics & No Line

My favourite class in the series was lesson 5 - Pastel Polychromatics & Faux No Line Colouring. I've done no line colouring with Copic markers, which was the technique in the video, so I thought I'd have a go at using the same method with Prismacolor pencils.

I started by stamping the Altenew Golden Days* outline flowers twice onto some Strathmore Tan Mixed Media cardstock, using Altenew Vanilla Cream Dye Ink (from the Delectable Delights Mini Ink Cube Set) to keep the lines very light. I chose pastel colours for my palette as per the masterclass. I prefer to use strong colours, so I always find pastels a bit of a challenge! I coloured two flowers, one lilac and one pink. At the time of writing, this set is on sale.

Next, I stamped the leaves from the same set using the Altenew Firefly Dye Ink (from the Green Valley Mini Ink Cube Set) and coloured these green.

Top tip: Go out of your colour palette comfort zone. It's a great way to stretch your skills; you never know what you might learn.

I wanted to keep the tips of the petals light, but using a tan cardstock made things a bit trickier, so I used a white Generals charcoal pencil to create some white at the tips and then coloured the rest of the flower as normal.

I played around with many different backgrounds, but where I wanted the flowers to be front and centre, the background ended up competing. Instead, I went for an embossed central panel in the same tan cardstock using the Altenew Organic Linen 3D Embossing Folder, to which I added the flowers and leaves. I edged the panel with Enchanted Gold pigment ink by running the ink pad to brighten it.

Top Tip: When creating your backgrounds for floral arrangements, notice what your eye is drawn to. If your background is competing, consider using something more simplistic. That way, your flowers are the star of the show.

The card still lacked something. It needed an additional pop of colour to bring everything together. I added a simple dark purple cardstock border behind the linen panel and stuck the layered panel onto the card base.

I created a sentiment using the Altenew Essential Sentiment Strips Die Set, cutting the top layer in white and inking a gold cardstock underneath. I created this by running the Enchanted Gold inkpad across a piece of white cardstock to create a gold strip of card. I assembled the two together and attached these to the front of the card.

Here's a list of the Prismacolors I used:

  • Lilac Flower - Dahlia Purple, Lilac, Lavender, Greyed Lavender

  • Pink Flower - Process Red, Magenta, Pink, Deco Pink

  • Leaves - Peacock Green, Grass Green, True Green, Light Green

  • Flower Centres - Dark Brown, Terracotta, Burnt Ochre, Mineral Orange

I haven't used the tan cardstock for colouring before. I would highly recommend it. It's lovely to use Prismacolors.

Finally, I added some Altenew sequins in Satin Gold to match the gold edging.

I'm entering this card into the Paper Players colour challenge, which is all about pastels:

I'm also entering this card into the Simon Says: Happy Birthday challenge.

Card Two - Monochromatic Colours

Lesson 2 was about Monochromatic Colours, so I thought I'd use a vibrant blue for a change. I've taught this super simple card as a beginner workshop. With a change in stencils and colours, your card can look completely different.

Here's how I made it:

I started by stencilling the main panel onto white cardstock using the Altenew Leaves & Berry Stencil with the Altenew Glacier Caves mini ink cubes - specifically Sapphire and Caribbean Sky. I used the No.7 Detailed Blending Brush because the berries are quite small. This was then die cut using a rectangular stitched die.

Next, I die-cut a larger rectangular stitched die and inked the edges with Sapphire ink to match the panel. I attached the stencilled panel to the plain background and added both to a card base.

Top Tip: Use different-sized brushes on your stencils. For more detail, reduce the size of the brush, and where areas are more open, increase the size.

I then die-cut three large and three smaller hexagon shapes for the central panel. To create a 'chipboard' effect, I layered the large shapes together, then the smaller ones. To finish the panel, I added the smaller hexagons onto the larger hexagons and set them to one side.

Using some Altenew silver metallic thread, I created a loopy pattern that I adhered to the back of the central panel. I added this to the card base to ensure all ends were tucked in.

To finish the card, I die-cut the phrase 'Happy Birthday' using the Altenew Just a Number shadow and die set in navy and white cardstock. Next, I adhered them together and added them to the central panel.

Top Tip: If you want to add something to your card but don't necessarily want to go all out with glitter or sparkle, using some thread can create some added interest. You can use any colour of cotton. I chose some metallic for a bit of shine.

On a side note, I thought I'd share another project I've been working on. I must be in a blue mood, lol. Over the past few weeks, I've been making a little crochet blanket for our new grandson to use in his car seat. I thought I'd create a simple matching tag using my Altenew Artist Markers to colour the fox from the Altenew Hug Me stamp set. I don't have the dies for this set, so I just fussy-cut him and stuck him onto the tag. The label die is a very old one. I couldn't even tell you which brand it is.

Card Three: Watercolouring with Similar Colours

I thought I'd play with my Metallic Watercolor 14 Pan Set and Paint-A-Flower: Poppy Outline Stamp Set for my third card. I only learnt recently that these stamps are designed for you to practice your colouring skills, so they have lots of open space.

I only recently purchased the metallic set and wasn't sure what they were like. They are an absolute dream to work with, so creamy and vibrant. I created a simple swatch so that I knew what I was working with. Aside from the quality of the paint, I love that each little pan is labelled and removable.

The masterclass discussed using similar colours, so I used blue and purple together.

I dusted some anti-static powder over black cardstock and stamped and embossed the flower in the Altenew Rose Gold Crisp Embossing Powder. I then set about colouring the poppy using the following colours:

  • Rose Quartz, Rhodolite, Prasiolite, Jade

Top Tip: When you have a beautiful stamp using metallics, you don't need much more design-wise, so keep your design simple.

I kept the card fuss-free and simply die-cut the coloured panel using a stitched rectangle die that I mounted onto a piece of gold glitter cardstock, then attached this at an angle to another black piece of cardstock that I also die-cut using a rectangle die.

I stamped out the Happy Birthday sentiment from the poppy stamp set in Altenew's Obsidian Pigment Ink on white cardstock and layered it onto another strip of leftover cardstock to create some dimension.

To finish the card, I added some Gold Pearl paint splats from the metallic set to add some splats and attached three Satin Gold sequins.

Top Tip: Adding splats ties all of the gold elements together, plus they're fun to do!!

While I had my metallic watercolours out, I created a second card using different colours. Let me know in the comments which one you prefer.

Supplies Used:

Please note: I've linked to various companies in the thumbnails below. Some of these are compensated affiliate links, and I may receive a small commission if you choose to buy something after clicking through. This is at no additional cost to you. I really appreciate your support.

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Erum Tasneem
Erum Tasneem
Apr 30, 2023

You have been working hard, Ruby!! Your cards look fanatastic!!

Ruby 2 Shoes
Ruby 2 Shoes
Apr 30, 2023
Replying to

I have. It's been fun 😃


Apr 14, 2023

What a fabulous collection of cards - and I loved reading your tips and tricks, Thanks for playing with my pastels challenge over at The Paper Players this week!

Ruby 2 Shoes
Ruby 2 Shoes
Apr 14, 2023
Replying to

Thank you, it was fun!


Apr 12, 2023

Ruby, Such beautiful cards. I appreciate all of your useful tips. Your coloring is exquisite. Thanks for joining in The Paper Players challenge this week. Oh, and I love the name Ruby 2 Shoes- so fun!

Ruby 2 Shoes
Ruby 2 Shoes
Apr 14, 2023
Replying to

Thank you. I got the name from a friend and it kinda stuck!

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