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Watercolor for Non-Watercolorers + GIVEAWAY

Hi there, stampers. One thing I know for sure – I am not great with watercolor. I don’t know the “rules” and honesty don’t have a desire to learn them. 🙂 Instead, I like to find ways to use watercolor in a carefree, effortless way! And today I am sharing those ideas with you, along with lots of tips.

No-Effort Watercolor Video by Jennifer McGuire Ink

[All supplies are linked to multiple sources in the thumbnails at the end of this post. Multiple stores are also linked in the parentheses following the product name. Compensated affiliate links may be used at no cost to you.]

Watercolor is a beautiful medium with the potential for amazing results. There is a lot to learn about them… and lots of resources! (See below.) But for me, I just like to PLAY… without learning longer techniques or “rules”. If you are like me – and want to play with watercolors without being a “watercolorer” – these ideas may be for you.

In the video, I used the new Altenew Watercolor 36 Pan Set (SSS | ALT). I will be honest – I was not planning on being in this hop (more on that below) because I didn’t think I needed to use a new watercolor. But I tried them… then emailed Altenew asking them to add me in the hop last minute. 🙂 That is how much I like this watercolor!

The Altenew Watercolor 36 Pan Set (SSS | ALT) is a set of 36 vibrant watercolor half-pans. They are smooth and easy to use. And the best part? The colors match the Altenew Ink Line (SSS | ALT)! This makes this cardmaker’s heart very happy. Be sure to watch the video to learn more about them.

No-Effort Watercolor Video by Jennifer McGuire Ink

My video also shares a few effortless watercolor techniques. All of my images were stamped with VersaFine Onyx Black Ink on Tim Holtz Watercolor Paper and clear heat embossed. I find the heat embossing acts as “walls” to control the water I add.

My first card shows what I call “tilted watercolor.” I painted in the embossed Altenew Perfectly Perfect (SSS | ALT) flowers with a heavy amount of water. I then touched a bit of Puffy Heart Altenew Watercolor (SSS | ALT) towards the center of the petals. I tilted the paper up about 45 degrees when it was still wet and let it dry in that position. This causes the bottom of the image to be vibrant in color… and the top tips much lighter. I did the same with the leaves using Forest Glades Altenew Watercolor (SSS | ALT).

No-Effort Watercolor Video by Jennifer McGuire Ink

For my background, I made an impression of the Altenew Leaf Frame Die (SSS | ALT) onto white cardstock using my die cut machine and a Spellbinders Embossing Mat. However, before making the impression, I lightly rubbed Puffy Heart Altenew Ink Pad (SSS | ALT) over the cutting edges. I love this soft look… and that the ink matches the watercolor perfectly.

The sentiment is from the Altenew Cross Stitch Flower Stamp Set (SSS | ALT).

No-Effort Watercolor Video by Jennifer McGuire Ink

My next card features the Altenew Happy Heart Stamp Set (SSS | ALT) and another simple watercolor technique. I painted in the heat embossed flowers with a generous amount of water. I then touched a bit of Puffy Heart Altenew Watercolor (SSS | ALT) towards the center of the flowers… and a bit at the tips. I let the water do the work for me… creating darker areas and soft highlights between. So. Very. Easy.

No-Effort Watercolor Video by Jennifer McGuire Ink

For a soft backdrop, I added a bit of pink ink over a Altenew Feeling Dotty Stencil (SSS | ALT) stencil. The sentiment is from the Altenew Starry Flowers Stamp Set (SSS | ALT)… and I added dots of Black Nuvo Drops at the center of the flowers.

No-Effort Watercolor Video by Jennifer McGuire Ink

You can also effortlessly use more than one color together. Here, I painted in my heat embossed Altenew Perfectly Perfect (SSS | ALT) flowers with water. I dropped a bit of Coral Berry Altenew Watercolor (SSS | ALT) towards the inside of the petals and a touch of yellow towards the outside. I let the water do the work as it dried… and the results are vibrant.

No-Effort Watercolor Video by Jennifer McGuire Ink

I stamped the Altenew Starry Flowers Stamp Set (SSS | ALT) sentiment with the matching ink colors… and added it to a panel cut with the Altenew Dotted Scales Debossing Die (SSS | ALT).

No-Effort Watercolor Video by Jennifer McGuire Ink

Here is another example of easily using two colors together. I painted in my heat embossed Altenew Starry Flower (SSS | ALT) with soft blue Altenew Watercolor (SSS | ALT). I then touched dark purple to the centers. So easy.

I stamped the sentiments with the matching Altenew Inks (SSS | ALT) and stamped a portion of the Altenew Pinstripe Stamp Set (SSS |ALT) along the side.

No-Effort Watercolor Video by Jennifer McGuire Ink

Here is a closer look at the results. Effortless!

No-Effort Watercolor Video by Jennifer McGuire Ink

I also like to use watercolor for carefree, non-realistic looks… such as my rainbow flower. 🙂 Just fill the image with a generous amount of painted water… then add in the colors. Easy!

No-Effort Watercolor Video by Jennifer McGuire Ink

Watercoloring images like this is a great way to experiment with the colors you have.

No-Effort Watercolor Video by Jennifer McGuire Ink


As I mentioned, I like to use watercolor in simple ways… just to play. If you want to learn more and improve your watercolor efforts, I recommend these:


Today I am part of the Altenew Watercolor 36 Pan Set Release Blog Hop. As I mentioned, I changed my mind to be a part of this hop after trying out these new products. I honestly love them! You can find them all HERE at Simon Says Stamp or HERE at Altenew.

The next stop on the hop is the blog of Svitlana Shayevich. You can always start at the beginning of the hop at the Altenew Blog.


Limited time offer! Receive a FREE watercolor pan case (value $5.99) with the purchase of the Watercolor 36 Pan Set for a limited time. The free gift will be added to cart automatically.


How would you like to win a $30 gift certificate to Altenew? For your chance, leave a comment here by 11:59pmEST on 8/15/18 telling me if you enjoy to watercolor. (To leave a comment, scroll down to the bottom of this post and click the green “leave a comment” button. The winner’s name will be randomly selected, emailed and posted on my “Winners page” after the giveaway closes. International folks are eligible, too!)

Also, Altenew is giving away a $50 gift certificate to SIX lucky winners! Head to the Altenew Blog.


Want to find the products I used? I have listed them below. (Compensated affiliate links used at no cost to you. Thank you! Affiliate and product disclosure can be found here. All products were personally purchased except those with from Altenew or with an asterisk. As always, this post was NOT paid for or sponsored.) Click on the icons below each product picture to go to a favorite store.

Altenew Perfectly Perfect Stamp Set
[ ALTN | SSS ]
Altenew Happy Heart Stamp Set
[ ALTN | SSS ]
Altenew Cross Stitch Flower Stamp Set
[ ALTN | SSS ]
Altenew Starry Flowers Stamp Set
[ ALTN | SSS ]
Altenew Pinstripe Stamp Set
[ ALTN | SSS ]
Altenew Leaf Frame Die
[ ALTN | SSS ]
Altenew Dotted Scales Debossing Cover…
[ ALTN | SSS ]
Altenew Feeling Dotty Stencil
[ ALTN | SSS ]
Altenew Watercolor 36 Pan Set
[ ALTN | SSS ]
Altenew Watercolor Pan Empty Case
[ ALTN | SSS ]
Altenew Large Watercolor Palette
[ ALTN | SSS ]
Altenew Medium Watercolor Palette
[ ALTN | SSS ]
Altenew Fine Watercolor Brush
[ ALTN | SSS ]
Altenew Medium Watercolor Brush
[ ALTN | SSS ]
Altenew Large Watercolor Brush
[ ALTN | SSS ]
Altenew Watercolor Brushes Bundle
[ ALTN ]
Water Wash Bottle
Tim Holtz Watercolor Paper
[ SSS | ELH ]
MISTI Stamping Tool
[ SSS | ELH ]
MISTI Mouse Pad Insert
[ SSS | ELH ]
MISTI Bar Magnet
[ SSS | ELH ]
Tim Holtz Tonic Glass Media Mat
[ SSS | ELH ]
Gina K Connect Glue
[ SSS | GNK ]
[ SSS | ELH ]
Laminating Pouches
Anti Static Powder Bag
[ SSS | ELH ]
Hero Arts Heat Gun
[ SSS | ELH ]
Altenew Ink
[ ALTN | SSS ]
VersaMark Ink
[ SSS | ELH ]
VersaFine Onyx Black Ink
[ SSS ]
Tonic Blending Sponges
[ SSS ]
Sizzix Big Shot Express
Spellbinders Embossing Mat
[ SSS ]
Lucy’s Cards Soft Snowball Pearls
[ SSS ]
Black Nuvo Drops
[ SSS ]

Leave a Comment

478 thoughts on “Watercolor for Non-Watercolorers + GIVEAWAY”

  1. I have tried my hand at watercoloring oodles of times. I never feel happy with my work. Your approach gives me hope. I am anxious to try again. These watercolors are beautiful. Thanks for sharing all your tips. Your cards are so pretty!!

  2. You’re work always so professional looking besides being amazingly stunning and pretty. It’s obvious that the saved the best for last. Your engineering brain has nothing on your creativity. When combining them together with your God given creative eye you get beautiful untouchable work.

  3. I loved the video and watched every minute! Thank you so much for the wonderful instructions! You gave me so many ideas to try!

  4. Amazing cards Jennifer! Your talent never ceases to blow my mind. I love your easy approach to watercolor and The stunning results! Watercolor is one of my favorite mediums and I don’t get to use it very often, but I am certainly going to try this gorgeous colors! Thanks for the inspiration and for all you share!

  5. I love when the colors match and are labeled. Your cards are gorgeous. Thanks for sharing tips for making water coloring fun.

  6. Great cards, thanks for sharing your inspiration with us! I love creating with watercolours but mostly they look more like oil paintings instead of watercolours, it’s hard to create the watercolour look sometimes I feel! The colours in this particular watercolour palette look amazing, right up my alley!

  7. I’m only 3 years into paper crafting and just started playing in different mediums. I’m thinking this new watercolor would be the answer to super results without much effort. I enjoyed your cards but the blue starry flower with purple added to the center is my favorite. Reminds me of wildflowers I would pick in our woods as a little girl.

  8. I have not done any watercoloring on cards yet but I love the look. Your techniques make it possible for someone without experience like me to make something beautiful. Thank you.

  9. Gorgeous cards. These watercolors look amazing. I think I am going to have to get a set. The colors blend so effortlessly. I also love how the colors match the Altenew ink colors.

  10. Great fun informative video. Glad you joined in this hop, this kind of advice is what I need till on feel confident enough with my paint & brush to move on to the rules. You made some excellent cards & some fun new technical terms, thanks.

  11. You just made watercoloring easier for me a beginner and your tips are appreciated too. So Helpful. The flowers on your cards look so awesomely real and ready to be framed. Altenew’s watercolor paints look vibrant and easy to blend making it fun for anyone.

  12. So grateful that you posted this to your blog and always wanted to do this type of watercoloring to a greeting card like what you’ve done. Love the creamy pan colors. Keep it up.

  13. Jennifer, I am glad that you entered this blog hop at the last minute! It sure does not look like any of your beautiful cards were created last minute–by far it looks like each one took days to make because they are all so spectacular! Thanks for always showing us so many different types of ways to utilize the products. I really like your comment on how you truly liked the palette so much that you wanted to be included. Thanks!!

  14. As always, your cards are wonderful. These colors are really vibrant and beautiful. I am not a watercolorer but, with this blog hop and especially your video, I want to try it now. TFS!

  15. Hi Jennifer!
    Love the video. I have a set of watercolors but have never used them because I’m intimidated by the process. But I believe I can manage the techniques you demonstrated in the video. I have some Alt&New flowers stamp sets that give me plenty of room to put in different colors. Thanks for sharing!

  16. I love how you take a simple stamp and, through watercolor, make it stand out. I am seriously going to try this technique and some of these products. Thanks!

  17. I’ve honestly been afraid to do watercoloring. I’ve failed miserably. After watching your video (they all are great), I told myself, “I can do that!”. I will be doing much better. TY Jennifer for the help.

  18. Gorgeous watercolor palette mix. Especially loved your “letterpress” technique with the leaf die and ink on the plate! Matching your watercoloring and adds such dimension! Your inspiration is contagious!

  19. The only watercoloring I’ve done so far is what I call “messy”–not staying in the lines done with Zigs. I have also done the dropping color into a wet image, but not in a long time & now I’m ready to try it again!

  20. I’m trying to learn to water color too! I love that a professional is doing this as well! Makes me feel much more confident. Thank you!

  21. The colors in this watercolor set look so beautiful…I am a carmaker and watercolor is such beautiful effect on a card, but I’m still a novice looking for simple but elegant watercolor techniques. Thanks for all your wonderful video tutorials…you make me feel like all things are possible! Many thanks!

  22. Thank you for the great tips for non-watercolorerers! Lately I have been attempting to play around with watercolor and since I, too, am a non-watercolorerer these will come in handy!

  23. Your using these watercolors in your video has given me hope that I might be able to use these to an acceptable degree in my card making. Love all your cards. I always get loads of inspiration from you, thanks.

  24. Thanks for sharing this great paint set from Altenew–love your video and all of the cards you made. You make it look very simple and so fun!

  25. I always love what techniques and tips you give us and loved your water colored flower cards. They are breathtaking! I watched you water color previously and I have to tell you that it inspired me to try it the other day. I was pleasantly surprised that it came out wonderful. Thank you so much for all you do! I do want those water colors now.

  26. Beautiful and elegant cards. Love the watercolor set and will definitely add it to my wish list. Thank you for sharing and making the technique look so effortless.

  27. Frankly, I’ve been afraid to actually tackle water coloring. I have some basic supplies, because I WANT to try it. . .I’m going to try it right now because you make it look possible, and you have assured me that perfection is not required. Fun ahead! Thanks!

  28. it’s such a great idea to diy cards without background of art experience. All people can become artist with these beautiful and easy tools. Good job! More videos. Jen🤗

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