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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. Beautiful cards! I love to watercolor with my pencils but always wanted to try this pan sets to get more control with the colors.

  2. I love all of your gorgeous cards Jennifer! For playing you sure get some beautiful results! And also give me the inspiration to try again! Thank you so much for all of your great information and inspiration!

  3. Do I love to watercolor? If I was better at it I would love it. Not giving up yet going to take your advice and just play. Thanks Jennifer!

  4. I love to watercolor! 😍 I like how the watercolors react/move with the water, it’s so mesmerizing

  5. I like to watercolor, but I stink at it, LOL.
    Your cards are beautiful. I like your term watercoloring for non-watercolorers, gives me hope that I could do it.

  6. Hey there Jennifer, I am right there with you on not wanting to worry about all the do’s and don’ts of water coloring. But I must say, your cards all look fabulous and as though you know all about this technique 🙂 Thanks for the chance to win a $30.00 give away. Should I be so lucky, then maybe I will splurge and buy this new set of paints from Altenew !! 😉

  7. You make it look so easy. Guess I need to relax , stop being so OCD and go with the flow, so to speak. You’ve convinced me to give it a try. Thanks!

  8. So glad you decided to join this hop!! Your cards are so beautiful and the video so helpful. Thanks for explaining how you get these gorgeous watercolor results.

  9. I do enjoy watercoloring a bit. I use my Tombow markers and a waterbrush. Love these cards! You explained the process so well. Looks like great paint to have.

  10. I have not done much water coloring at all, but with your helpful blogs, I just might try it. Thanks again for your great tutorial!!

  11. I love your cards! the florals just pop off the backgound. LOVE THEM!!
    I am brand new to watercolor having just picked up my first set of paints a couple of months ago, so I still kinda stink at it. But I LOVE it! I shake my head when ever I put paint to paper, remembering how easy it was to slap on paint as a child. Now how I struggle at times to control where the water is going and how much water to use and why on earth don’t I remember worrying about how it curls when I was a kid… But I do so love how relaxing it can be once I stop worrying and just enjoy the learning!!

  12. I have only been using watercolor for a short time, but I love it and am hoping to learn more and more about it!

  13. As someone who isn’t a perfect watercolor person I am thrilled to see your simple and wonderful samples. I love to watercolor but it doesn’t always look like I would like it to. I will try your way.

  14. these are are wonderful! i do like to watercolor but i’m not very good at it so i end up using watercolor pencils a lot. Ill have to try these tricks!

  15. Jennifer, Quite frankly, these are just beautiful. Many of us who appreciate your sharing so much inspiration with us are nowhere as good as some watercolor artists out there, so it’s wonderful to know that we can hope to create great cards at our less-than-professional levels of watercoloring! I especially love the Perfectly Perfect with the Dotted Scales die. So many uses for cards like these. Thanks.

  16. I am just learning to watercolor and now I’m convinced that I need to get this gorgeous set of watercolors. Your cards are lovely and you made it look so easy.

  17. Now this is a technique I think I can manage; I am definitely a non-colorer. These are so pretty, Jennifer,thank you.

  18. I have used watercolors in the past but lately I have only used distressed inks to watercolor. This looks like a wonderful set. Thanks so much for sharing.

  19. I’m not good at watercoloring so these were great ideas! Thanks for the tips! I think I will try it again. I love learning something new, especially since I’m self taught.

  20. I do love water coloring, and though I am not really good at it, I just enjoy playing with it. Your cards are gorgeous and your technique looks easy to follow. Thanks for another great video!

  21. Wonderful video. So much inspirations and great info. I love watercoloring and am trying to learn more about it. This is a great technique for blending color. Thanks for another fabulous video.

  22. Awesome Jennifer – just fabulous cards – love them. Your time, talent and expertise comes through in all you do. This vibrant set is great, hope to get it one day. Thanks,

  23. I love the look of watercolor art but don’t enjoy water coloring very much. I need to learn to relax and simply enjoy the process.

  24. Like you I prefer to not learn the rules, that way I’m free to do what I like LOL. Your cards are beautiful, my favorite is definitely the non-realistic rainbow flower, it’s my kind of flower :). I always know I am going to like your creations, I have learned a lot from your posts/videos and continue to do so so Thank You.

  25. Love the way you explain the process and technique when colouring your cards. these are beautiful and the colours so bright and cheerful.

  26. Oh you know me, I love to watercolour, but I am with you Jennifer, I don’t really do it in a technical way. At the moment. But I’d definitely like to learn more. in the meantime, it’s fun to ignore the rules and make pretty cards without worrying! I think your cards are gorgeous 💕 Lisa xx

  27. I’m very new to this medium and love how beautiful these look! I love the idea that inks match the colors as well.

  28. For someone who is not great at water color, your cards are just gorgeous! I don’t know the rules either, I just love playing with color.

  29. I love to watercolour, It’s my favourite medium! The colours in the set are so vibrant yet subtle. I love the cards that you created and I would definitely love to try and recreate a similar card! Thanks for the inspiration!

  30. I learned about watercolor now. You make it so easy to make it. You always inspired me with your projects. Hope I can get all your supplies but I did slowly in some of your projects. Love your creations and will definitely get the Altenew Watercolor set.

  31. Oh my goodness! These are wonderful, I love you sharing a simpler way to watercolor beautifully, Thanks so much for the video! I just had my young teenage grandaughters for a week. They made 10+ (7 1/2 X 11 inch) watercolor backgrounds, (mainly washes and drippage) Then wrote inspirational quotes on them. We went to see the new Christopher Robin movie & of course there were a couple of Pooh quotes too. We added ribbons to hang them.

  32. My previous experiences with watercolors have not been pretty. After reading and watching what you did in this post, I am encouraged to try again. As always, you are such an inspiration. Thank you for sharing.

  33. These watercolours look amazing! I love using watercolour pencils and have been wanting to try paints and these are the most perfect colours I’ve seen in a set!

  34. Thanks for you for this. I love the look of water colors but struggle with doing it. Maybe this tut will help. Maybe I need better watercolors too!

  35. Still learning how to watercolor. I started with acrylic, but have since found water coloring, and love it! Stamping and embossing make it way easier! Thanks for your great tutorials!

  36. I love following your creations. You make it all look to easy yet so polished and beautiful and these cards are definitely inspiring as well.

  37. Always such wonderful cards and great techniques! I try to watercolour and should play around with it more, but tend to agitate to my copics more often.

  38. I love these cards. I love water coloring, but I will have to try your technique. And of course, anything from Altenew is fantastic!

  39. You are an inspiration. I’ve been struggling with watercoloring and love your techniques. After watching your video I know I can do this. Thank you so much.

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