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Friday, August 8, 2008

Watercoloring with dye ink

This is a simple tutorial on using dye based inks to create a watercolor effect.

For this set of cards, I used the Art Impressions Watercolor Garden stamp set, available in the Paper Garden Projects store. This is a clear set that has all these stamps plus more. There are more flowers shapes and a gate in case you would rather create a garden.

These stamps are specifically designed for this technique, but you can apply the technique to other stamps as well.

In addition to your dye based inks, you will need a waterbrush (or paintbrush and water) and some watercolor paper. This technique really works better on watercolor paper as opposed to cardstock.

First, stamp your container. I like to use the Distress inks for the container because the juiciness helps in the next step.










Use your waterbrush to pull color from the stamped lines towards the center, keeping the middle lighter than the edges. Its OK if the stamped lines get a little blurry, it adds to the watercolor effect.











Give the pot a few seconds to dry and mask it with Eclipse Tape (or a post it note).

Then stamp your foliage using any of the foliage stamps in the set. As you stamp each set of foliage, dab the ink with water, then move on and repeat with the next stamp and color. The water will cause the ink to bleed slightly and soften the stamped edges and creating a more watercolor effect.

Remember to rotate the stamps to keep the look varied. You can also use just portions of the stamps.


You can add flowers using any of the flower stamps in the set. Try stamping once and then stamping again without re-inking to get two ink shades. Remember to dab with water before moving on to the next color.










Keep adding foliage and flowers, dabbing with water after each color to soften the look.

If you are using Memento inks like I am here, you don't need to worry about too much water. If you use Distress inks for everything, you need to go light on the water so they do not bleed too much.









The last step is to remove your mask and add some grass at the bottom to ground the image. Here I blended the grass and also added a little green ink by wiping my water brush across the the ink pad and painting it on.




The set also contains a watering can that can be used in a similar way.


You can create any arrangement and color combination.

This is a very fun stamp set to play with. My daughters love it because its so easy for them to create arrangements.

But this same technique could be used with other stamps. The idea is to blur the stamp lines slightly to give color variation and soften the stamped image.


Happy stamping everyone!

10 comments:

LittleSeaOtter~Kecia said...

These are fabulous! They are all so beautiful.

LadyDoc said...

GREAT tutorial, Cathy! I have these stamps and enjoy them a LOT- but I learned some new tricks and tips reading here. Your results are BEAUTIFUL!

Etha said...

Oh gosh those images are just gorgeous the way you colored them! thanks for the step by step!! I have not used these inks yet, usually do watercolor with SU classic inks, right from the lid.

Zarah said...

Wow... Seriously WOW! Not "only" are these stamped images FAB - your cards are soooo beautiful!

Anonymous said...

These are beautiful! Thank you so much for the detailed tutorial. Love these! -Kathy

Melissa Craig said...

So very pretty! Thanks for the tutorial, too.

~Michelle~ said...

I so stink at these stamps....but yours are works of art! LOVE them!

GailSK said...

Cathy, this is wonderful! Thank you so much for sharing! I love your blog!

Lori said...

What wonderful images! Thanks for the tutorial.

Beth Norman said...

Gosh, these cards are outstanding. Thanks for the tutorial. It's done in a way I have never done before.