Wonderful Watercolors

Exciting products by Ken Oliver • By Jackie Shenise

Color Burst, Liquid Metals, and Mineral Burst come in a rainbow of delightful colors. These Ken Oliver products combine fabulously to take watercolor to a whole new level.

Color Bursts are powdered watercolors packaged in a small bottle perfect for sprinkling. When mixed with water, the colors explode into delicious bursts and designs creating fabulous splatter effects.

Liquid Metals are a powdered paint which also come in small bottles. They have a gorgeous shimmer to them and add a metallic luster to any project. Liquid Metals can also be used with a paint brush to add metallic highlights.

Mineral Bursts are another way to add sparkle to your art. They are a highly concentrated shimmery paint medium which comes in array of fabulous colors.

These wonderful products can be combined to create beautiful backgrounds and are a perfect start or addition to any project. They are great for use in journals, canvas, cards, scrap book pages, etc.

Immersed in art

When I am playing with these mediums, I try to have many substrates available and make multiple backgrounds. The extras are great to have on hand for future use. It’s fast and easy and every one is unique. They are so fun to play with I find myself getting lost in them.

They come in many vibrant colors that you can adjust from light to dark just by adding layers. Each layer can be dried with a heat gun or added directly on top depending on the outcome desired.

I like to get the paper really wet and purposely tilt it to make the water run to areas I choose. These are great to play with and so unique that you never know where they will end up taking you.

Sometimes, based on what emerges, I let the finished background determine the project. Once the background is finished and dried, I decide how I will use it and what I want it to become. There’s a nice element of surprise doing it this way.

You can purchase Ken Oliver’s media boards, which have an amazing surface. If you don’t have these on hand, try watercolor paper (hot or cold pressed), mixed media paper, canvas, etc.

The best tip I can give you is to just freely play and experiment on every surface available until you find the one that suits you best. For more of Ken’s product and techniques visit his website at kensworldinprogress. com.


The background on this card was created with Color Burst and Liquid Metals using a wet-on-wet technique. For this piece, I wanted more mixing, so I first sprayed the watercolor paper and let the water soak in. I then randomly sprinkled several colors until I had a pleasing mix.

As I added colors, I slightly tipped the paper, allowing the colors to run and mix. I purposely left some areas white for contrast. If you get your paper too wet, you can always blot it lightly with a paper towel. Before the colors dried, I dripped Liquid Metals into the puddles and allowed them to spread naturally.

The images were stamped using black permanent ink. Once dry, I colored the gentlemen with watercolor paints. (I prefer Jane Davenport paints, but any will work.)

The hat and pocket watch image were stamped on a separate piece of watercolor paper, painted, trimmed, and adhered to the center. All the images were highlighted with black glitter glue to make them pop.

I used a back permanent marker for the swirl and stitch lines around the images. The final step was to mount the project onto black cardstock.

Gentlemen / Jackie Shenise
Gentlemen / Jackie Shenise
(Stamp and product credits: Grid, Steampunk selfies—Stampers Anonymous; numbers—Impression Obsession; words—Stampin’ Up!; ink—Tuxedo Black Memento by Tsukineko; Color Burst, Liquid Metals—Ken Oliver; watercolor paints—Jane Davenport; Stickles—Ranger.)

Spill Your Story

For this piece, I chose a Color Burst background I had already created because it reminded me of fluttering. I wanted this piece to have a flow-y feel. I sprinkled Color Burst powders, then spritzed them with water. On some areas I used very little water —this keeps the color separated. On other areas I spritzed more heavily, so the colors would flow together.

I stamped the girl on a separate piece of watercolor paper then painted her with watercolors. I trimmed the image and adhered it to the background, highlighting her eyes with blue glitter glue and her hair with brown glitter.

The butterfly was stamped on a leftover scrap from another background, cut out, and adhered to the piece. The saying was stamped with permanent black ink. Swirls and stitching were added with a permanent black marker.

Spill Your Story / Jackie Shenise
Spill Your Story / Jackie Shenise
(Stamp and product credits: Butterfly, girl with braid—Stampendous; sentiment—Dina Wakley/Ranger; ink—Tuxedo Black Memento by Tsukineko; Color Burst, Liquid Metals—Ken Oliver; watercolor paints—Jane Davenport; Stickles—Ranger.)

Bewitching Woman

I created this beautiful background with Color Burst on watercolor paper. After choosing
a few coordinating colors, the powders were lightly sprinkled on the paper. I sprayed a fine mist on the powders until they started to pop.

I prefer Ken Oliver’s spray bottle because it’s adjustable and you can control the force of the spray. It’s best to go slowly at first until you see how much water is needed to get the amount of color desired. If you soak it too much you can end up with an uncontrollable puddle. For this card I wanted the colors to just mix ever so slightly, so I was very conservative with the water.

The images were stamped with permanent black ink on watercolor paper and allowed to thoroughly dry. I used black glitter glue to accent the eyes, nose, lips, tree, and numbers. With a black permanent marker, the swirl completed the design. I then mounted the finished piece on black cardstock.

Bewitching Woman / Jackie Shenise
Bewitching Woman / Jackie Shenise
(Stamp and product credits: Chilling (face in trees)—Stampendous; numbers—Impression Obsession; ink—Tuxedo Black Memento by Tsukineko; Color Burst—Ken Oliver; Stickles—Ranger.)

Dream Girl

This background was created using a combination of all three products: Mineral Burst, Color Burst, and Liquid Metals.

When using a very watery background, Mineral Burst can completely or partially replace the water giving the background a beautiful sheen finish. Instead of saturating the paper with water alone, I put down a very watered-down coat of Mineral Burst. While it was still wet, I dropped in the Color Burst and Liquid Metals and allowed them to spread.

The girl image was stamped with permanent black ink on watercolor paper, painted with watercolors and cut out. I adhered the image, then highlighted the flowers with glitter glue. Once completed, I mounted it on a piece of black card stock.

Dream Girl / Jackie Shenise
(Stamp and product credits: Girl—Prima; ink—Tuxedo Black Memento by Tsukineko;
Color Burst, Liquid Metals, Mineral Burst—Ken Oliver; watercolor paints—Jane Davenport; Stickles—Ranger.)