I cut the background out using the Big Shot and the Top Note die on vanilla cs, then I cut two more Top Notes out of Chocolate Chip and used them as layers. Got to love that Big Shot!
I stamped the rooster on in black, as well as the filigree detail. To get the opposing filigree, I stamped onto the image sheet from my Stamp-a-ma-jig, huffed on it and placed it opposite of it's mate. The bee image is from the old Botanicals set.
When I watercolor, I take the ink directly off the Classic Stamp Pads with my aquapainter. I lay down the lightest color in a wash, then layer deeper and deeper colors over it, until I get the shading how I want.
Note re shading: try to imagine your stamped object in strong light and figure out where the shadows would naturally fall -- that's what your eye wants to see.
The great thing about SU inks is that they naturally fall into lighter/darker combos. For the red part of the rooster, I used Rose Red, Riding Hood Red and Bravo Burgundy. The golds were Summer Sun and More Mustard. The tail was Ballet Blue, Night of Navy and highlighted with Not Quite Navy. Close to Cocoa makes a nice color to do the deepest shading in.
I love to use multiple backgrounds stamps, as well. Once all the watercoloring was done, I overstamped the entire Top Note with Canvas in Sahara Sand and French Script, then I added the postmark stamps from Winter Post and Letters From Home, also in Sahara Sand. To finish, I sponged the edges with Chocolate Chip.
SU stamps: Rustic Rooster, Winter Post, French Script, Letters From Home, Botanicals, Canvas
SU cardstock: Riding Hood Red, Chocolate Chip, Vanilla, Raspberry Tart ds
SU inks: Rose Red, Riding Hood Red, Summer Sun, More Mustard, Close to Cocoa, Chocolate Chip, Old Olive, Night of Navy, Ballet Blue, Not Quite Navy, Sarhara Sand
SU accessories: Big Shot, Top Note die, sponges, aquapainter, 1" red/vanilla striped ribbon, pieces from Aged Copper Hodgepodge Hardware, dimensionals, navy 3/8" grosgrain ribbon