Friday, August 17, 2012

Watercolor Wonder

Thanks for joining me today for this weeks Papertrey Ink Design Team Tip!

Watercolor is becoming wildly popular these days.  I’ve seen it popping up everywhere… from wedding/party décor, invitations, fashion, fabrics, home décor and paper goods (just to name a few). It's amazing what a little wash of color can do and it doesn’t take an artist to create a watercolor masterpiece!  I am in LOVE with this effect and I’ve been exploring a few techniques. So, let me share...

A watercolor effect can be achieved with, of course, watercolor paints.  But if you are like me and don't own any, there are other options.  Dawn McVey has a video on how to use your Papertrey Ink ink pads here.  I've opted to use bottled spray inks/color misters.  These are good for a high saturation of color, which was the look I was going for.

Let's get started shall we?!...
I was going for a watercolor panel on this card.  I began by heat embossing the flower and vase image, from the Sunflower Bouquet stamp set, in white. Then over that, I began with the lightest color and started painting in the top left corner.  Using back and forth strokes, I moved diagonally along the card front switching between colors until I reached the bottom corner.
Once dry... I embellished the card front with fine linen buttons and twine.

Just like above... I heat embossed a sentiment, from the Thanks All Ways stamp set, in white.
Using back and forth strokes I began to paint from just above the sentiment; allowing the color to fade and the brush to dry, as I painted down to the bottom.  I then repeated the process a time or two.
Using four different sized brushes, I painted lines across the card front in a simple back and forth motion.  Wasn't being too precise here.
Once dry... I stamped a sentiment from the Autumn Acorns stamp set.
This cheery card began by painting free form circles using different sized brushes.  Simply swirl the brush around a few times, giving each circle a neat layered-color look.

Once dry...  I stamped a sentiment from the Beautiful Butterflies stamp set and embellished with coordinating buttons.

Last, but not least...  this time I took my largest brush and pounced the color on.  Sort of like bouncing the brush up and down and swirling a bit to give the spots of color a more random look.
Once dry... I stamped the same flower image as above, from the Sunflower Bouquet stamp set, and a Think Big Favorites #19 sentiment in black ink. 

Here are a few handy tips:
  • For best results use watercolor paper or heavy weight cardstock (I've used both for today's cards and have achieved the same results with each).
  • When painting with spray inks, I chose to dip my wet brush directly into the bottle and scrape excess back into it.
  • Use a combination of different sized brushes.
  • When painting over a heat embossed image, wait until the paint is absorbed (but not quit dry) before wiping the embossing clean with a tissue.
  • Warping of the cardstock will happen.  So create your watercolor masterpiece on a block of cardstock that is cut to your desired size.  Once it is completely dry, attached the painted block to a card base using a good/strong adhesive. 
  • Take the time to play around and make discoveries.  Quickest way to learn this technique is to just do it. 
  • Remember... there are no mistakes!  Any mishaps just add to the uniqueness of your masterpiece.  :)
I've found a ton of inspiration via Pinterest and I've rounded them up, for you and I to refer to, here.

So go ahead! Pull out your watercolors, ink pads or spray inks and see what you come up with.  I do warn you though... be prepared to get messy.  Have fun!

Thanks for stopping by.

Sunflower Watercolor Panel Card

Thanks For Everything Card

Celebrate Today Card

Happy Birthday Card

Enjoy Card


  1. Thanks, Maile! These are certainly inspiring me to try more watercoloring. I had not made the connection of possibility with the Mr. Huey products. I do love the embossed images washed with color. Beautiful cards, every one!

  2. love the look of watercolors...thank you so much for sharing!

  3. Gorgeous, Maile! I've always loved the look of watercoloring but never felt I could achieve it due to being a non-artist. Your work has inspired me to give it a try!!
    Thank you:)

  4. Yeah, you never cease to amaze me with your work! I LOVE watercoloring--so soothing, PLUS makes me feel like an artist (lol). Gorgeous cards you've created here! You've inspired me to go and play with some watercolors again! (; Thanks for sharing your beautiful ideas with us. Have a restful and blessed weekend!

  5. Hi Maile,

    I love using watercolours but sometimes time is an issue as regards drying but seeing your gorgeous works of art has made me decide to just sit down, without pressure of needimg a specific card and just potter and see what happens!!

    So a big thank you for sharing.

  6. Hi Maile,

    I love using watercolours but sometimes time is an issue as regards drying but seeing your gorgeous works of art has made me decide to just sit down, without pressure of needing a specific card and just potter and see what happens!!

    So a big thank you for sharing.

  7. I love what you have demonstrated this time as always!! You are so creative!!

  8. Wonderful samples of watercolour masterpieces, Maile. I love the deep saturation of colours. Thank you for the tip, they will definitely come in handy :)

  9. These projects are absolutely beautiful! On my way to try it out!

  10. I have always loved watercoloring! You have given me the courage to give it on try on my cards! Thank you for providing such wonderful inspiration... yours and the Pinterest board.

  11. I like what you've done here, showing the effect of the different brushes, as well as, the technique you used to paint. I especially like the thanks and happy b.d. cards. I do not know how to use copics or other alcohol based pens, so I watercolor w/ink, pencils or crayons. :)

  12. This looks like tons of fun! I might take over the kitchen table to try it. DH already thinks the whole house is designated for my crafting, might as well make it so! :)

  13. These are beautiful! I love the polka-dots--I wouldn't have thought of that! I'm also glad to hear you experience warping--It always bothers me and adhering it later to a thick cardstock base sounds like a great solution. :)

  14. Great post, and thanks for the Pinterest link. I'm now follwing that also.
    I love my little Koi traveling watercolor set.

  15. Wow! You're so talented.This is very creative and beautiful.

    Watercolor Lessons

  16. Oh this are all so gorgeous as always Maile. Hugs! mojca

  17. I love watercolor and your cards are wonderful! Thanks so much for sharing!

  18. Simply beautiful. I love all of these projects.

  19. Love the pintrest inspiration link as well!

    Terri E.

  20. Those cards are so beautiful but my favorite one is the second! So simple but so stunning!
    Thanks for sharing!

  21. These are simply wonderful, each and every one of them. I love to play too so I'll be pulling out some watercolor fun soon.

  22. eeeek! are sooo amazing! I loove every single card! simply amazing :)

  23. These are looking so nice. The water color used has made these more attractive, I like this.

  24. Great cards! So many nice approaches to watercoloring. Since I'm not very good at coloring with pens, I do a lot of watercoloring. Your samples have inspired me. :)