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Watercolor with the Friends of Unity

Hello Friends!

I am so excited to be back hopping this month with everyone! Last month snuck up on me way too fast so I had to skip out but what an awesome hop it was, don’t you agree? The Friends of Unity NEVER disappoint and I know that this month will be no different!

This month our cue is watercoloring! I’ll be honest, I struggle with watercoloring but I absolutely love the way it looks when it’s all said and done. I have learned, however, that the paper you use is really important, controlling the amount of water in/on your brush is critical and patience… lots of patience to let the image dry in between layers of color. What’s one thing that I don’t have a lot of? Yep, you guessed it, patience! But I’m learning! So I was actually thrilled to get out my watercolor mediums for this hop and play along to see what happens.

Before we start-just a few housekeeping items to attend to! First, all of our lovely Friends of Unity members are so INKredibly appreciative of all the support we receive on our blog hops! Thank you so much for all the kind comments that you share with us each month. It means so much to all of us! Our blog hop is not sponsored by Unity Stamp Co, however they do give us their support and approval to showcase all the amazing products that they offer! And we, in return, love to support such a wonderful company and beautiful humans!

Second, at times, our FOU team offers give-aways simply for showing support through feedback and your thoughtful comments. Please know, the giveaways come generously from our own personal stash of goodies. How awesome is that?? So make sure to stop by each amazing blog today and say hello!

Lastly, if you’re not already following me on Facebook at My Incredible Life or on Instagram @stampinsarandrea I would be honored if you give me a like/follow! I share much more on social media but if you subscribe to my blog you will get updates as well as I post.

Ok! Let’s get started!

It’s fall here in the states and as much as I LOVE summer, I absolutely adore making Autumn cards. For my first card, I used a favorite set of mine by Angie Blom called ” November Girl”

November Girl

Now, I will admit, I got a little carried away with the bronze splatters here but I love the way it turned out.

For this card I started off with a standard white cardstock base. Believe it or not, I used Accent 80# white cardstock for the image. I stamped the image using Versaclair Nocturne Ink and heat set the image to ensure it wouldn’t run once I started coloring. When not using water color paper, it’s super important to make sure you’re brush isn’t too wet as it will certainly warp the paper. After a lot of practice (and patience!) you’ll begin to be able to judge what is “just right”

To color the image I used a simple watercolor pan set I got from Amazon. Nothing fancy. You can find the exact set I have here: Watercolor pans. For face and hair, I did splurge and buy the Prima Complexion pans. Yes, you want to get those!

Once the image was dry I took my Distress oxide inks and ink blended around the image to fill in the white space. I splattered some water droplets to get the ink to react and then I went a little splatter-happy with the bronze watercolor pans. Oops! But I loved the added interest it gave the card. Once all was dry I used a rectangle stitched die to cut out the image and adhere it to a black mat and then the card base. I stamped the sentiment in the same Versaclair ink, adhered it onto black mat and used foam adhesive for dimension. You can find the metallic watercolor pans I used here : metallic pans

I am not really a big fan of watercolor paper honestly so I try to use my pans whenever possible so that I can use standard cardstock. However, I found when using water based reinkers, watercolor markers or the watercolor brush markers (ex: Karins, Arteza) you really do have to use watercolor paper for the best results.

For my next card (and the remaining projects I share) I did use Canson XL Watercolor paper. I like the Fabriano hot press watercolor paper as well, especially with the Karin markers, but the Canson XL is a bit cheaper and seems to be the paper most cardmakers use.

I used the beautiful kit Shimmer and Shine and the background stamp A Faithful letter for this project.

Shimmer & Shine

I have three layers of mat on this card. I started off with an expresso colored base, cut a mat 1/4 inch smaller in Kraft and then cut my faux wood patterned paper 1/4 smaller than the Kraft cardstock and glued them all together. I stamped the sunflower in Versaclair Nocturne ink onto Canson XL watercolor paper and heat set until dry. I always use my Misti when stamping but even moreso when stamping onto watercolor paper as you’re almost guaranteed to need to stamp it more than one to get a crisp image.

I colored the image and background using my Karin markers. They are so incredibly pigmented so very little ink is needed. For me, I found that simply touching the damp paintbrush to the marker and then applying the ink works best but many cardmakers also color directly onto the paper. I like a bit more control. I guess it’s the OCD in me. Once dry, I stamped the sentiment also in Versaclair ink and heat set.

For a bit more interest, I inked up the A Faithful letter background stamp using Hero Arts Unicorn white pigment ink , stamped over my sunflower, and then heat embossed the image with detailed white embossing powder. The impact is very subtle but it’s really pretty!

For accents, I added some twine and a few sequins. The Shimmer and Shine stamp kit is such a beautiful sentiment kit and you can’t go wrong with ANY background stamps but A Faithful Letter is perfect for so many types of cards! Be sure to add them to your wishlist if you don’t already own them!

For my next project, I used an adorable kit called Lift me Up Birdies and the sentiment from Deck the Halls

Sometimes I have a creative block and need a little push. Did you know about Crystal’s Facebook group called Build Your Stash Holiday Cardmakers group? It’s a wonderful group to join if you aren’t already a member. It’s full of Winter Holiday card ideas as well as card sketch challenges! Crystal puts together a challenge each month using a sketch and I often visit just for the sketch ideas! This card, actually, is cased from one that she created. I use the sketch ideas for all holidays, not just Christmas! So, a huge THANK YOU to Crystal for sharing her ideas and talent!

Lift me up birdies

I started off with an apple green cardstock base and then some pretty patterned paper cut 1/4 inch smaller for use as my mat. I cut a smaller piece of coordinating patterned paper in rectangle shape and adhered it to my mat as shown.

The image was stamped in Versaclair Nocturne ink onto Canson XL watercolor paper and heat set. Using the watercolor pans I referenced above I colored up the cute little birdies and once they were dry, I cut out the image using a curved stitched border die and then adhered this to my mat.

The sentiment was also stamped the same onto watercolor paper so that it all matched color/texture wise then adhered onto a cardstock mat and attached with foam tape for dimension. I added a few sequins for accent. This was a really easy card to color up! With the holidays right around the corner it’s a perfect kit for quick winter themed cards.

My last card showcases my absolutely favorite floral stamp from Unity. You can probably tell it’s my favorite as I showcase it often. But the blooms are big so it’s perfect to practice your watercoloring! And it’s such a gorgeous stamp!

Blooming Peonies

If you havent recognized it by now, the kit I used for my last card is Blooming Peonies The image is HUGE and it really is perfect for watercoloring!

I stamped the image onto Canson XL watercolor paper with Nocturne Ink and heat set. This time, I used my waterbased reinkers from when I was a demonstrator for a “well known” stamp company. You only need a tiny drop of color which I simply dropped on my glass mat. I made sure that I added enough water to the drop/brush so that it diluted the pigment and then I simply colored the image. You can use any water based reinkiners to watercolor with, including your distress reinkers. A little drop goes a loooong way!

Once the image was dry I cut it out using a stitched rectangle die and matted the image onto pink cardstock and then onto my Kraft cardstock base. I used a Tim Holtz sentiment strip on the front of my card.

Well, that’s all I have to share with you today! I hope that you were inspired to pull out your watercolor pans, markers, crayons, pencils, reinkers… whatever you have on hand and give watercoloring a try! If you’re a pro already- I would love for you to share some tips in my comments! I’d love some tips, tricks and feedback!

Thank you for stopping by today! Before you go, be sure to let me know you were here! And don’t forget to follow me on social media for more INKspiration!

If you landed on here first, be sure to visit our talented friend —> Kim

If you’re ready to move forward, our talented friend ==> Gaylynn is waiting to inspire you some more!

Have an INKredible day!


Published by Stampin Sarandrea

Hi Friends! Welcome to my “inkredible” life where I will share with you TONS of creativity and how I turn my crazy life into one big, beautiful...well..mess ♥️

25 thoughts on “Watercolor with the Friends of Unity

  1. Amazing bunch of cards, April! Your first card is jaw-dropping gorgeous!! I absolutely love the depth of color in the background. So awesome!


  2. These are territic…. if this is your struggling I will continue to strive to struggle! I just got a metallic pan set at HL clearance and cant wait to test it out. I’ve only tried pencils…. not very good there. And practice with the round cheaper watercolor sets, so I’m excited to see the difference. I’m a Fall gal and really love the 1st pumpkin card and gal. Mayyyyybe I think it is still holding on to my precious Halloween a bit. LOOOOVE IT!


    1. Thank you so much for the kind comments! I can’t wait to see what you create! The metallic pans always add a nice dazzle! I love summer but I admit, fall cards are my favorite to make. (I love Halloween too!! )


  3. Each and every card is a beautiful creation! The girl with the pumpkin is gorgeous and I love the intense color and the splatters make it amazing. the large sunflower card is stunning and reminds me of a sunrise, wow! The white text is an awesome extra! the chicks and patterned paper card is just too cute! And your peonies are a true showstopper!


  4. Your cards are amazing! Thank you for the detailed information too – I’m just getting started with watercoloring, so all of the tips and techniques are greatly appreciated!
    – Teri Kellum


  5. I wish you could see your watercoloring as we all do. Absolutely amazing. Wow. Your first and last card just blew me away. I love when you do cards in the style of your first one my goodness!! You share so much detail about how you created your cards; how helpful that is to so many. Big hugs.


    1. Bobbie Sue you are so encouraging and kind. Thank you so much. I keep practicing hoping to become as wonderful of a colorist as you! I appreciate your kind words sweet friend! It keeps me from giving up!


  6. Gorgeous cards. I love the stamps and mediums you chose. Your coloring is amazing. Thanks for the inspiration. Happy Holidays, sweet friend!


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