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No-Stress Distress Inks #11 – Watercoloring

March 22, 2011

Are you ready for this? This has been one of the most requested lessons of this series, and I think you’re going to be giddy when you figure out that you can get an easy watercolor look with every distress ink that you have! Here’s the video for this lesson:

Watch Here | Watch on YouTube | Watch in HD | Subscribe to my Channel

Here’s the finished card:

03-22-11 NSDI 11 Feel Better Poppies-1

Here’s a close-up that shows the pretty watercolor effect:

03-22-11 NSDI 11 Feel Better Poppies-2

Supplies: Cardstock – Papertrey Ink (Simply Chartreuse and Vintage Cream-Tag only), Watercolor Paper – Canson, Ink – Ranger (Distress Ink in Worn Lipstick, Barn Door, Fired Brick, Peeled Paint and Forest Moss and Jenni Bowlin Studios Ink in Brown Sugar) and Tsukineko (Versamark), Stamps – Hero Arts (CL449 Delicate Blossoms) and Papertrey Ink (Tiny Tags), Die – Papertrey Ink (Tiny Tags), Ribbon – Papertrey Ink (1/4” Silk), Embossing Powder – American Crafts (Gold Zing), Brown Marker – Stampin’ Up! (Chocolate Chip).

The Print-Out

The lesson PDF that you can download and print for free is here.

Techniques in the Video

  • Start out by embossing your image on watercolor paper (watercolor paper results in much more vibrant colors for this technique especially). You can also stamp in a waterproof ink, but I like embossing because it helps me stay in the lines when painting.
  • Tap your three coordinating (mixable!) colors onto your non-stick work surface. Spritz each blot of ink with a couple sprays of water. This is your palette.
  • Begin coloring your image using a thin watercolor brush. (You can buy a beginner’s tiny brush set for under ten dollars at a big box or local art supply store.) Color one area at a time, starting with the lightest color and adding darker colors as desired.
  • Once done with coloring the flowers, wipe of the mat with water an a towel and make a greens “palate” (using the same technique as before) to make puddles of green to color the stems.
  • Carefully color the stems with a thin brush. If you go outside of the lines. Try to get as much of the color out as possible by painting over it with a brush with clear water. This works much like a Copic colorless blender.


Terri: I was wondering if some of your techniques would work well with the distress stains. Do you think you’ll experiment? I’ll bet you could do fabulous things with the new Faber-Castell products too.

Answer: I do have a couple distress stains, and I’m looking forward to trying some of these techniques out with them. I  know emboss resist works very well with them (thanks to this post from Jennifer McGuire), but I haven’t really got to play with them yet. And I’d love to try out the new Faber-Castell products. Anyone want to send me them for free? Hehe just kidding.

If you have any other questions, post below! Thursday is the last lesson for this series, so I want to do a wrap-up type video (it might be kind of long!) where I incorporate a lot of techniques. Let me know if there’s anything specific you’d like to see. In a few weeks, I’ll also be releasing the whole series + pretty PDFs + bonus videos and pdfs for sale as a package here on my website. I’d love some input for that as well. Tell me what you want to see! :)

Thanks for stopping by today! Today’s been dreary and mopey in general, but I did work out and am inspired to get lots of homework done tonight. Woot! My theory is that if I just keep moving, I won’t give myself the opportunity to crash… haha.



9 Comments leave one →
  1. Aparna permalink
    March 22, 2011 8:23 pm

    This is sooo pretty. I’m going to have to invest in some water color paper–do you have a fave brand?

  2. Terri (blindstamper) permalink
    March 22, 2011 8:34 pm

    Another great video. I just watched all your distress series in the last two days. I may have OD’d…but what fun! Now to find time to experiment. So glad I found your blog!

  3. March 22, 2011 8:48 pm

    I just watched at YouTube! Do you prefer people to comment here or at YouTube? I also was wondering if your watercolor paper was textured?

  4. March 22, 2011 8:56 pm

    Beautiful finish to this card Brit! I have tried watercolor effects on my cards, and I’ve never had a result I liked, I think I just need to keep practicing!

  5. diana permalink
    March 22, 2011 9:26 pm

    Very pretty card and another great technique video. And thanks for reminding me how pretty embossing with gold can look on a card. It’s good sometimes to be nudged out of my black & white embossing rut. ;-)

  6. March 22, 2011 11:52 pm

    You tugged at my heart! This is one of my favorite stamps and you reminded me why I love it so much and why I’ve been hounding eBay for a good deal. Shipping costs way too much to India..and if I can’t get a good deal..I don’t buy it! (Being out of a job has its downfall)…but this..oh my that gold embossing and pretty pretty colors! Love it

    p.s. one question, what is the weight of the Canson paper? is it 200 or 300 gsm? Coz when I use 300 gsm, it makes my card stock heavy in one direction. my CS is 200gsm. I end up having to add a backing paper to the card and the card overall becomes too bulky to my liking!

  7. Pippa67 permalink
    March 23, 2011 3:09 am

    This is gorgeous Brit. Just love it. I should give it a go. Thanks for showing.

  8. March 23, 2011 3:55 am

    Hi Brit,

    This one is just lovely; it give such a lovely classic impression with the gold embossing powder, too!

    Thanks :)


  1. A Look Back on the No-Stress Distress Inks. Class « Britta Swiderski

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