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

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

  1. Beautiful colors – I can see why you changed your mind. I haven’t done much water coloring, but after seeing this, I would like to give it a try.

  2. Excellent video, Jennifer! I’m new to watercoloring and these are the kind of tips I was looking for. Love the fun styles you showcased here, and I’m definitely going to try them out. Your cards are beautiful, as always!

  3. I really love how the flowers are still vibrant. I love watercoloring but the colors seem to fade some after they dry. I even like the rainbow colored flowers! The backgrounds with the small dots and the blue diagonal stripes are so soft to the eye too.

  4. I do like to watercolor, but I mostly just make washes that I use for backgrounds or die cut from. I haven’t been very successful at coloring images with watercolor, but I’m eager to try your methods out! Won’t work on critter images, but its perfect for florals like these!

  5. I love all of your tips. I love to watercolor as well but I’m a free spirit watercolorer,using the emboss technique and love how I get something different every time. Thank you for sharing.

  6. Awesome release! Thanks for taking the time sharing your talents. These watercolors are so vibrant , love the starry flowers card the most, they’re all so beautiful !😊

  7. I enjoy water colouring but I don’t always enjoy my efforts! Thanks for your tips – I’m going to try them out and hope the results as as pretty as yours.

  8. Beautiful cards. I really love to watercolour with dye ink and distress ink, and markers and even sometimes with actual watercolour. I love how effective your simple techniques are.

  9. I just started watercoloring after Junkie Fest!!! I am learning as I go. It is enjoyable and a challenge!!! I loved your video about using watercolors and I am trying your suggestions!!!!!!! Thank you!

  10. I’ve been intimidated by watercolor but I’d really like to start learning it. Your cards are a great inspiration.

  11. Your cards always look so amazing, well done you! I love to watercolor, unfortunately, I’m just not very good at it! : )

  12. I’m always amazed by your tips and techniques. All these cards are gorgeous and so unique. I love these new watercolors and the colors are so vibrant. So many possibilities.

  13. I love to watercolor and use techniques like these when I’m busy and slow it down a bit when there is time. The most important thing is to have fun and not stress!

  14. GORGEOUS cards Jennfer….and it looks sooooooo easy!!! Will have to do some practicing!!! Thanks for all the tips!
    Paper Hugs,

  15. Your projects are fab for a beginner such as myself. I’ve been making cards for less than a year and I’m new to water colouring. I’ve been working with water colour pencils over the last few months and just bought my first set of tubes. I do enjoy the process very much and look forward to improving my skills.

  16. Your cards are gorgeous! I’m pretty new to watercoloring, but I enjoy trying it. I appreciate your coloring tips and the advice to just have fun with it 🙂

  17. Do I love to watercolor? You bet I do! I have some water color paper that I haven’t used yet but I used to watercolor on plain, old, white card stock. I think watercolors are fun to use & we used them in my art class in high school & in art in grade school. I was always obsessive about my watercolors & hated when the pans got messy from someone else in art class. I have 3 sets of watercolors. Lots of Twinkling H20’s which I love, 2 sets in pans & I even have tubes of watercolors from a Christmas Tree Shops. I’m not exactly someone who follows any watercolor rules either. I just like to color & that’s what I do!
    Your cards are so colorful & pretty. I love flowers! I also see you used my favorite color in the whole wide world on one of your cards, yellow. 10 points for you! LOL Thanks for showing us your pretty cards & for giving us the chance to win something. I love blog hops!

  18. As always, your cards are fabulous! I struggle with watercoloring, but I love trying – you make this look so easy! With the Altenew watercolor set and this video, I think I can get back to practicing and hope to fine tune my cards.
    Thanks for sharing your talent with us!

  19. Everything you do looks so elegant, pretty and easy! Thanks for sharing your talent with us, it’s always a nice time to watch your video.

  20. I love the way that watercoloring looks but I’m quite new at it! I enjoy it so far but I really want to learn more. Thank you for the easy techniques that you presented at your video, I’ll surely try them out. The resulting cards are amazing! Thank you also for presenting the new Altenew watercolor pan set, the colors in it look awesome, and for this great giveaway!

  21. I’m like you. I like the look of watercolor, but not great at it. I do try and I am getting better.

  22. These are stunning Jennifer. I have to say water colouring is something I’ve not really had a go with, but these are so amazing looking, I need them so I can recreate some of the fantastic colour combinations. I cannot put into words how superb the colour combinations are so I will be buying these despite all the colouring mediums I already have. They are that gorgeous.
    Thank you for sharing.

  23. These cards are lovely! They look so professional. If I’m honest, I am not a huge fan of water coloring-I’m not good at it, and have no sense of how to blend colors to make them look good, but I love your easy techniques, and am definitely going to try them! Thanks for giving me hope 🙂

  24. Thank you for doing this post. I too consider myself to be a novice with watercolouring, but I love it so much. I can’t wait to try some of these techniques out when my new AN watercolours arrive!

  25. Since you have reviewed various watercoloring mediums, is there one you could recommend? I have never watercolored, but would like to. I just don’t know which set to buy. LOVE your cards and the seeming effortless way you colored them. Thanks for your help.

  26. I really do love watercolouring…something really relaxing about it. I love how you created these cards. Thanks for the tips esp the one about embossing with dies and adding a little bit of ink so it goes into impression.

  27. Watercoloring is a little intimidating but you make it look so easy! I love your tutorials so much because they are always so well organized, clear and concise, and have close-ups so you can really see the effect you are demonstrating. I don’t know where you find all the time to devote to instructing, but keep doing it please. You are the best!

  28. Jennifer,
    I have seen many beautiful cards from other people, but I do want to say that I have never seen a card that you have made that I have not wanted to try making. You are truly an artist. You do beautiful work.

  29. I have never tried watercolor painting, but you have truly inspired me to give it a go! I love the clear embossing tip to stay in the lines. The smaller pots are just my ticket to try a new technique. Thank you so much for your videos, they are my favorite because of all of your examples!

  30. I have only watercolored just a few cards. I like the look, but I don’t have much experience or confidence in watercoloring. Thank you for sharing your techniques. I appreciate your inspiration and creativity.

  31. Love these new watercolors and their compact case—and, as always, your cards are fabulous! You inspire me to get some watercolors out and play!

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