5 watercolour techniques for card making


Learn how to master five watercolour techniques to enhance your card making, including how to make a watercolour background, with this handy tutorial.

Watercolouring creates a beautiful, arty effect but did you know you can use different mediums to produce it? Talented contributor Isha Gupta shows you five different ways… 

Watercolouring in layers
Watercolouring with Distress inks
Watercolouring with markers
Watercolouring using a stamping block
Watercolouring using smooshing

Card making watercolour techniques

By Isha Gupta.

Watercolouring in layers

watercolour-technique-in-layers-floral-card

What do I need?

  • Watercolour card 
  • Blue card 
  • Tree Ring stencil, Incredible stamp set & Simple Beauty stamp & die sets by Altenew
  • Clear embossing pad & Metallic Gold embossing powder by Wow!
  • Mermaid Lagoon, Blueprint Sketch & Black Soot Distress inkpads 
  • 109, 113, 118, 170, 121 Albrecht Dürer watercolour markers by Faber-Castell
  • Gold Gansai Tambi watercolour by Kuretake 
  • Gold sparkle crystals by Studio Katia

Method

  1. For the dark blue background, trim blue card slightly smaller than your chosen card front and place the stencil on top. Sponge Mermaid Lagoon and Blueprint Sketch inks over the stencil. Add Black Soot along the edges only.
  2. Remove the stencil and flick ink from a gold watercolour pen over the card. Allow to dry.
  3. For watercoloured blooms, stamp the floral cluster using clear embossing ink onto watercolour card. Sprinkle with gold embossing powder and heat set.
  4. Apply the watercolour pens to the stamp, spritz with water twice and stamp on the card. Let this layer dry. 
  5. Stamp the rest of the layers of flowers from the set using the same technique but different shades of pens as above and let them dry.
  6. Create the leaves in the same way as the flowers, stamping them around the flowers. Trim to size and fix to your blue panel. Add a sentiment and crystals to finish. 

Top tip! Let the layers dry fully before stamping the next layer – this will make sure the layers can be seen separately. 

Watercolouring with Distress inks 

Apply Distress inks directly to a stencil (for a background) or stamp (for a main image) and spritz with water for this watercolour effect!

watercolour-technique-with-distress-inks-leaves-on-card

What do I need? 

  • Watercolour card 
  • Vellum 
  • Retro Plantines & Watercolor Halftone stamp sets by Altenew
  • Picked Raspberry, Fossilized Amber & Wilted Violet Distress inkpads
  • Fancy Foliage stencil, Amazonian Leaves, Skinny Circle Frames & Stitched Circles dies by Heffy Doodle
  • Iridescent tiny bubbles by Studio Katia

Method

  1. Trim watercolour card slightly smaller than your chosen card front. Apply Picked Raspberry, Fossilized Amber and Wilted Violet Distress inks to the stencil, creating an ombre colour effect.
  2. Spritz it with water from about 12 inches away. Put the stencil onto the card, ink side down. This is like stamping using the stencil! Remove the stencil and let this dry.
  3. Apply the Distress inks to the leaf stamp, spritz with water and stamp onto watercolour card. Let it dry and stamp over again to get an intense colour.
  4. Die-cut two of the leaves using the coordinating dies. Add to your background with a die-cut vellum circle and frame. 
  5. Finish by adding a stamped sentiment and tiny bubbles. 

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Watercolouring with markers 

watercolour-technique-with-markers-floral-card

What do I need? 

  • Watercolour card 
  • Watercolor Halftone stamp & die set by Altenew
  • Peacock Feathers Distress inkpad
  • Stitched Hearts Background by Heffy Doodle
  • 109, 113, 118, 170, 121, 136, 172, 112 Albrecht Dürer watercolour markers by Faber-Castell

Method

Top tip! Having a stamping tool, like a Mini Misti, can be a big help for repeating stamped layers.

  1. Trim white card slightly smaller than your chosen card front. Sponge Peacock Feathers ink around the centre and when dry, emboss a background.
  2. To create the focal floral cluster, stamp each element of the cluster individually so the colours don’t mix. For the first layer, apply the markers directly to the flower stamp, spritz with water and stamp onto watercolour card. Let this layer dry. 
  3. Next, apply the darker shades to get the depth, adding colour only to where needs the darker shades. Once the flowers are stamped, let everything dry and start with the leaves in the same way.
  4. Once dry, die-cut and adhere to your panel. Finish by stamping a sentiment below the flower. 

Watercolouring using a stamping block 

watercolour-technique-using-a-stamping-block-floral-card

What do I need? 

  • Watercolour card 
  • Incredible stamp set & Wild Flora stamp & die set by Altenew
  • Twisted Citron, Fossilized Amber, Mermaid Lagoon & Blueprint Sketch Distress inkpads 
  • Metric Stitched Rectangle die by Heffy Doodle
  • Acrylic stamping block

Method

Top tip! Choose the shape/size of the acrylic block you like and feel comfortable with. There are so many possibilities!

  1. Trim watercolour card smaller than your chosen card front and die-cut using the stitched rectangle die. Mount on slightly larger orange card. 
  2. Apply Fossilized Amber ink to the middle of the card by smooshing the ink onto a craft mat, spritzing with water and applying this to the card.  
  3. Dab the remaining Distress inks onto your acrylic block, spritz with water a few times and put it straight onto the watercolour card. Let it stay for a couple of minutes, then remove the block. Allow to dry. 
  4. Stamp the floral image over the ink, then add a sentiment below it.

Watercolouring using smooshing 

watercolour-technique-using-smooshing-floral-card

What do I need? 

  • Watercolour card 
  • Watercolor Halftone stamp set, 7 Leaf Clusters stamp set & Incredible stamp & die set by Altenew
  • Clear embossing pad & Opaque White super fine embossing powder by Wow!
  • Shabby Shutters, Peeled Paint, Mermaid Lagoon & Blueprint Sketch Distress inkpads
  • Iridescent tiny bubble by Studio Katia

Method

Top tip! To get intense colours, use a stamp positioner tool and re-stamp the image.

  1. Trim watercolour card slightly smaller than your chosen card front. Dab some Mermaid Lagoon and Shabby Shutters ink onto a piece of plastic or craft mat. Spritz with water and apply this directly to the watercolour card. Allow to dry. 
  2. Apply the Distress inks to the leaves, spritz with water and stamp directly to the card. Allow to dry.
  3. Stamp the flowers on another piece of watercolour card (apply the Mermaid Lagoon ink towards the centre and Blueprint Sketch towards the edges), spritz with water and stamp. To get intense colours, re-stamp the image.
  4. Stamp the flower centre in the same way as above. Once dry, die-cut the flowers. Attach to the smooshed panel.
  5. Add a white embossed sentiment across a flower to complete. 

What’s next? Boost your backgrounds with our tutorial on distress oxide backgrounds and background inking. Or learn how to create a night sky or how to create clouds for your card making – endless possibilities!