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Silhouette Sketch Tool & Watercolor Card Tutorial

Hi All - Melissa chiming in here from breathtaking Barcelona, Spain...Freebie Friday will return on May 22 when I am back stateside!  But today I have something even better for you - a guest post by the amazingly talented Terri Johnson of Terri Johnson Creates.  And stay tuned because we are teaming up again very soon and you won't want to miss the big announcement!!!


I'm so excited to be back at Silhouette School Blog (with my 2nd guest blog post) - while Melissa is away on her fabulous anniversary trip!! Hoping that she has a wonderful time & comes back with her batteries all re-charged and ready to get "back to school"! 

I recently discovered these fabulous pigment sticks by Faber Castell, called Gelatos - and fell in love with the luscious colors & ease of us. I knew right away that they were a perfect fit for my Silhouette (hey, that rhymes) - and the Designer Edition Sketch Tool! 

So, today, I'm sharing that with you how I created this card! The first thing I did was search the Silhouette Design store for flowers & flourishes. (The exact designs I used were "Flourishes" by Hero Arts, Design ID #18672 "Peony" by Donna Downey, Design ID #30647). Next, working with the flourish design, I needed to UnGroup it (Click on "Object" & use the drop down menu) -- so that I could work with them separately.

Silhouette Studio, Silhouette sketch tool, watercolor card, Silhouette Tutorial, ungroup 

Then, with all three objects selected, I opened the Sketch Tool Window & selected the Pencil option. I chose this look, because I wanted the design to have that "sketchy" look -- like someone (not me!) had actually sketched it out with a pencil. This default setting is much denser & darker than I want it to be -- but we'll fix that in just a minute. 

Silhouette Studio, Silhouette sketch tool, watercolor card, Silhouette Tutorial, sketch tool 

Scroll down in the Sketch Tool window & click on Advanced Options. (Don't panic, they're not that advanced). 

When you have selected "Pencil" for the sketch, the "rough edge" in Advanced Options is the default. Just leave it there. So, what I wanted here was a softer look for the background of the Gelatos, so I started by adjusting down the Density. When I used the slider bar to take the Density down, the other options began to change. I moved my Density down to 16 -- nothing magic about that -- it just looked like what I wanted. And that's it for the Sketch tool! (I told you it was easy.) 

Silhouette Studio, Silhouette sketch tool, watercolor card, Silhouette Tutorial, sketch settings 

Now, I want to combine my designs. I layered the peony on top of the two flourishes, rotating them to get the look I wanted. Something like this. Be sure you have the peony on top. If you aren't sure, right click on it, and "Bring to Front". 

Silhouette Studio, Silhouette sketch tool, watercolor card, Silhouette Tutorial 

At this point, I want to remove the part of the flourish that is behind the peony, so I simply select all 3 pieces, open the Modify window, and click on Subtract All. Voila! The result looks something like this! With all three pieces selected, group them together. 

Silhouette Studio, Silhouette sketch tool, watercolor card, Silhouette Tutorial, modify 

The next thing I needed to do was set up my design space & size my design. 

 I used purchased cards from Michaels that are 5x7" finished. So, unfolded and flat, they measure 10x7". So, that's what I set my design page to. 

Then, I used the line drawing tool to draw a vertical straight line. (Tip - if you hold down the shift key while drawing the line, it will be perfectly straight!) Select the line, open the Align Tool window & click on "Center to Page". Now I know where the fold of my card is going to be. Be sure to open the Cut Style window & click on "No Cut", or you will have a line drawn down your card! 

And now, I sized the design down to fit on the right hand side of my card. I simply grabbed the corner boxes and scaled it until it fit where I wanted it. I realize that some of the scroll is off of the work space, but I wanted that look - -and it won't draw on the mat. Also, I liked the idea of a little flourish wrapping around to the back! 

 I then added the phrase "thinking of you" on the bottom right hand side of the card, using the Sketch Serif Font from the Silhouette Store. 

Silhouette Studio, Silhouette sketch tool, watercolor card, Silhouette Tutorial, design page settings 

We are now ready to cut!! Or I should say draw!! 

For this project, I'm using the Faber Castell Pitt Artist Pens in the Blue/Green set of four. And the Copic Multliner (size. .03) in Cool Grey

So, since I want to draw in 2 colors, I'm going to select the flower/flourish design & say No Cut, while I draw the text in green. Can I just say that I love the Amy Chomas Marker Holder for drawing?!?? I'm using the Marker Holder for both of the above pens. You simply insert the Marker holder in place of your blade, use the included little spacer stick to be sure your pen isn't too far down, and then tighten the screw. 

If you click on the link above, Amy has video tutorials on how to use these holders. And, she has graciously given us a discount code for this blog post, so that you can receive a 10% discount on any purchase in her store. Use the code "Create10" to receive the discount! 

Silhouette Studio, Silhouette sketch tool, watercolor card, Silhouette Tutorial, marker holder 

After, drawing the text in green, I remove that pen & insert the Grey Copic Multiliner to draw the design. Select "No Cut" for the Text and "Cut" for the design -- then Send to Silhouette! Once it's all drawn -- it will look like this!

 Silhouette Studio, Silhouette sketch tool, watercolor card, Silhouette Tutorial, ungroup 

Now, this looks ok, as is. But its going to look so much prettier when we add our Gelatos! There are so many ways that you can use these, but I'm just going to share one with you today!

I put several colors on a scrap card to create a palette, of sorts. These are creamy, smooth pigment sticks, you simply use them like a fat crayon! However, for small areas like on our card, its best to use a tiny paint brush. (Like the one that conveniently comes with the Gelatos!). 

Silhouette Studio, Silhouette sketch tool, watercolor card, Silhouette Tutorial 

Using just a drop -- and I mean a drop - of water, I blended my colors and loaded them onto my brush and began painting on the card. It's so simple - like when you were a child and had a watercolor set!

A few tips -
  • Be sure to only use a tiny amount of water, as your card can become too wet & begin to ripple. If that happens, just wait until it dries, and you can use a low temp iron on the back to flatten it out.
  • While these really aren't messy, don't wear a new, white shirt while working with them. (Ask me how I know)
  • Use the side of your brush for narrow areas like the flourishes.
  • Don't worry about staying inside the lines -- its watercolor, remember!!
  • Have fun!
So, when you are done, your card should look something like this! Or your own personal variation. I used a pack of blue/purple Gelatos that I purchased at Michaels for $9.99 -- but this deal on Amazon is so much better for a pack of 28 colors!!

  Silhouette Studio, Silhouette sketch tool, watercolor card, Silhouette Tutorial   

Thanks so much for hanging out with me today on Silhouette School Blog! If you'd like to see more of what I'm up to and learn about my Silhouette retreats, you can visit me on my blog page at Terri Johnson Creates, or my Facebook page by the same name! 

If you visit my Facebook page, please leave a comment about today's post & you will be entered to win a free Chomas Marker Holder and a couple of these beautiful Gelatos! So hop on over & comment!  I will draw the name randomly on May 12th -- and announce on my page! Have fun sketching! - Terri
Note: This post may contain affiliate links. By clicking on them and purchasing products through my links, I receive a small commission. That's what helps fund Silhouette School so I can keep buying new Silhouette-related products to show you how to get the most out of your machine! 

Thanks for coming to class today at Silhouette School.  If you like what you see, I'd love for you to pin it!

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  1. Hi All! Sorry the link for the Gelato set didn't work! Not sure why, but here is one that should -- Terri

  2. You can also use a coupon at which ever big box store is near you to purchase Gelatos. I found mine at Joanne's on clearance in the children's section for $5!!! What a steal!

  3. Judy Witzel is the winner of the Chomas marker & Gelato Giveaway at Terri Johnson Creates! Judy - if you will email me at with your address - -I will send that right out to you! Terri

  4. Amazing post, so many details! I remember admiring top 5 resume writing services, because its authors always publish great articles, but your post here impressed me. Thanks a lot for writing it!

  5. Do you put anything on top of the gelatos after painting with them to keep the color from smearing?


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