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Watercoloring 101

Have you caught on to the watercoloring trend? This isn’t your grandmother’s version of watercoloring. It’s simple. It’s easy. You can’t mess it up. Welcome to Watercoloring 101! First step: Pick a super-cute stamp set to showcase eye-catching watercoloring. Begin!

I mainly use three different types of watercoloring:

  1. Shape outlining
  2. Direct-to-stamp
  3. Stenciling

I chose to use the ridiculously cute Hello Love Stamp Set. Grab your Aqua Painter, fill it with water, and let’s get started.

I like to keep my ink pads nice and tidy, so to obtain my ink I simply use one of my clear blocks. Stamp your clear block directly on your ink pad and you’re set. Dip your Aqua Painter into a color and begin.

My favorite paper for using these techniques is the Watercolor Paper. I love the texture it brings to my projects as well as the color effects with the paint and water.

Shape Outlining:

To get this great effect, I used the new Large Polka Dot Embossing Folder along with the Word Bubble Framelits Dies.  After you’ve run both through your Big Shot, start coloring. There’s no wrong way to do this. The only rule I follow is to leave a little bit of the embossed image uncolored. This makes your design pop more and look less perfect, which is what you’re going for anyway. Begin by applying ink to your Aqua Painter (I used Bermuda Bay and Melon Mambo for coloring the dots and the heart) and applying the ink to the watercolor paper in a painting motion. Color until you like what you see and let it dry. To finish off this card, I used Soft Suede Ink and Pumpkin Pie Ink, Kraft Cardstock, Dazzling Diamonds Glimmer Paper, Itty Bitty Accents Punch Pack, and Crushed Curry Baker’s Twine.

Here’s the up-close view of this awesome effect:


Do exactly what it says: color directly onto your stamp with your Aqua Painter. I stamped my image on Whisper White Cardstock so my image would look a little more blurry. I’m pleased with this look. I paired this technique with the Shape Outlining technique on the word bubble and I’m quite pleased. To finish off this card, add some a Pumpkin Pie Stampin’ Write Marker (for the doodling) and some Dazzling Diamonds Glimmer Paper for the super cute and tiny banner at the top of your card. If you want to stamp on top of your watercolored image, use the Jet Black StāzOn ink, but wait until your image is completely dry.

Up close:


To get this great effect, I used the new star punch from the Itty Bitty Accents Punch Pack and punched a Post-It note on the sticky part.  Punching on the sticky part helps your mask stay flat while you’re using it as a stencil. Mine looked like this when I was finished:

 Place your stencil on your watercolor paper, dip your aqua painter into Pumpkin Pie ink (from your clear block) and trace/color. Do not reapply ink each time. By doing this you’ll get color hue variations in your stars. Love!!

To finish this card I used the Banner Punch and the shape tracing technique, the new Tangerine Tango Baker’s Twine (it looks like Melon Mambo next to the Pumpkin Pie stars), Kraft Cardstock, and Dazzling Diamonds Glimmer Paper.

All of these cards would be easy to show at a workshop or class.  Once you start watercoloring, you can’t stop. Just think how cute it would be to color embossed images and use them in your Project Life projects (US/CA). Oh, the possibilities!

Jane Lee
2013–2014 Artisan Design Team


  • Donna C

    Feb 11

    Love this idea! Great for a workshop!

  • Linda Jones

    Feb 11

    I hit the enter key before finishing my ? Do I paint the stamp by picking up the color from ink pad by using the aqua painter, covering the stamp and then stamping? I know this must be a dumb question but I'm having a mental block over this. Thanks.

  • Christie Ciccarelli

    Feb 11

    How cute! Will be making this for sure!!

  • Linda jones

    Feb 11

    I'm a bit confused about the direct to stamp technique. Do I color the stamp with the aqua painter after I pick the color onto the aqua brush

  • Becky Cowley

    Feb 11

    AMAZING! Love all of these! Watercoloring is so in right now, and what GREAT ways to showcase such a fun technique!

  • Melody

    Feb 11

    Super cute stuff, Jane! :)

  • Susan Elise Morton

    Feb 11

    Love this ~ nicely done!!!

  • Patty Bennett

    Feb 11

    Amazing techniques!! LOVE them!! Thanks Jane!

  • Sarah Sagert

    Feb 11

    These are awesome and so are you, Jane! Thanks for sharing your talent :)

  • Chrissy Nielson

    Feb 11

    Beautiful projects done with a fun technique! Love it!

  • Michele Zygmunt

    Feb 11

    Love these ideas!