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Dabbing a Christmas Tree

November 26, 2010

Hi gals!

I had one last holiday card to make, and I wanted to play around with dabbing again. I like the dabbing technique, mostly for the different look you achieve compared to using a sable-haired round brush. You can use either the paints or felt tips with this technique. For the tree, I chose to use paints.

As you all know, due to my location I do try various supplies that are more easily obtainable when ordering online is not a desirable option. However, for the paints the Pergamano brand are well worth the wait. I say this because the pinturas have a lovely shine to them that other, more readily available acrylic paints simply do not have. And, more importantly, the Pergamano  brand paints (pinturas) will stretch with the parchment paper, when you emboss, without cracking the paint.

I also wanted to play around with the Pergamno Multi-grid #20. That is the multi grid with the various oval borders. It has nicely shaped ovals to wrap around or frame images.

For dabbing, you use brushes that have short hard bristles.

Generally, while doing the dabbing technique you use up to three complimentary colors to work with. However, for this card I used two colors and a base of white. Starting with white, I loaded the largest brush and dabbed off the excess paint on my tile, then filled in the tree and trunk.

Next comes the medium color. For the trunk of the tree I used cinnamon pintura and for the tree, I used light green pintura. I also used a smaller dabbing brush. Be careful not to dab too much as you can’t go back!

Finally comes the darkest color. Use the darkest color and a small dabbing brush to add the shadow.

The dabbing technique is also great to use for a border. If you are making a border with the dabbing technique, you first need to protect the rest of your project. I like to use painters tape, found at most any hardware stores and craft stores. If the tape is too sticky, stick it to your pants or shirt and peel off a couple of times, this way the tape won’t stick so tightly that it tears your project. Tape off both sides of your border and dab away, starting with the lightest color. For highlights, you will want to finish off with a tiny bit of white (when using paints). Here is an older card and bookmark that I made in the dabbing technique that also included dabbing the border.

Dabbing card and bookmark

As for the Christmas tree, I have put the pattern up on the Free Patterns page in pdf format. I hope you enjoy practicing dabbing and perhaps make a last minute card!

  1. November 26, 2010 5:10 pm

    Another very informative article, Chiara. I’ll have to give this technique a try when (and if) I ever get my mojo back again!!

    • November 26, 2010 5:21 pm

      Vickie, thinking about it, this might be a good technique for you. It would be a whole lot easier for you to control.
      But, I do understand about the mojo. Hope you get it back soon!

  2. November 26, 2010 5:41 pm

    A very pretty Christmas card Chiara! A gorgeous tree!

  3. Chris Watson permalink
    November 26, 2010 6:34 pm

    Love it , Tried the dabbing technique on a Teddy Bear , struggled with it. Then again I didn’t have your informative description. Thank You Chiara will give it another go.
    Love Chris

    • November 27, 2010 8:42 am

      Good luck Chris, I’d love to see what you do. If you have any troubles, don’t hesitate to ask!

  4. November 26, 2010 8:32 pm

    Spectacular results Chiara. More inspiration for us all.

  5. Nelly permalink
    November 27, 2010 4:58 am

    Lovely Christmas tree, Chiara. I recognize my little brushes on your photo…..LOL……they are good, aren’t they? Still alive after 2,5 years. I think you “hang” the balls in the tree by making dots with a ball tool and paint, isn’t it?
    Can you put a photo here showing how we took off the sticky glue from the tape?? If you don’t have one, I have. I think it’s nice to share that photo……….what do you think?
    Any way, it’s lovely to do this technique again. I just was pretending to do this technique in my classes next week.
    Looking forward to your next mail.

    • November 27, 2010 8:46 am

      Yes, Nelly! I left out dip-dotting the ornaments. those were sort of a last minute addition, my poor little tree looked bare.
      Mary Price had a landscape design a few months ago in PC mag using the dabbing technique. It’s in my (ever growing) pile of designs I want to do. It’s such a fun technique, and can give such stunning results.
      I’ll play around with the photo to get it in there.

  6. SueJ permalink
    November 27, 2010 5:49 am

    How lovely, thank you for supplying the pattern, will defiantly do this one. Thanks for the oval as well.
    You’ve done your last Xmas card!!!!

    • November 27, 2010 8:49 am

      Sue, unfortunately I did not do as many Xmas cards as I have in the past. I was a little more selective about who would get a parchment card this year.
      Would love to see what you do with this tree!


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