Watercoloring using distress ink and archival dye ink

Hello friends, today I have a card to share where I used two non-watercolor mediums to watercolor. Yes, for all the coloring you see on this card, I used distress inks and one Archival Dye ink.

I just stumbled upon the fact that you could watercolor with archival dye inks. I was looking for the perfect shade of blue for painting my leaves and the only ink pad I had with that color was one from Colorbox – Archival Dye Glacier Lake. I tried picking up the color using my waterbrush and it worked like magic. That is what I call an happy accident!! :-)

Well, these days life has been keeping me on my toes. I am not getting as much time to craft as I’d like. It is going to be this way for the next few weeks. And all that action kinda makes me anxious. Simple things like stamping and laying down the colors on those images makes my brain to slow down a little and that helps calm me down. It is truly therapeutic!

Well, back to the card now.

Watercoloring with distress and archival dye inks

The technique in this card is really simple. I stamped all images from Altenew Adore You stamp set using Ranger Archival Blank ink, which is a waterproof ink. That way when I came in to color with water, the lines would not smudge. I used Strathemore watercolor paper and trimmed it to be tinsy bit smaller than an A2 size card.

I used my waterbrush on each petal / leaf / area and made it wet. Then I used my waterbrush directly with the ink pad and picked up color. I laid down color straight to the area where I wanted it darkest. From there I simply pulled the color away to the areas where I wanted them lightest. For the centers of flowers + back side of the petals I used Fossilized Amber distress ink, for the petals themselves, I used Festive Berries distress ink.

I did the same technique with leaves, except this time I used Colorbox – Archival Dye Glacier Lake ink. It worked beautifully. I also added some Bundled Sage distress ink in between the flowers and leaves. I love all the different floral and leaves images from this set. It’s great to have such a wide variety of sizes and shapes. 

After laying down all the colors, I went over some areas with Wink of Stella. I also added some tiny dot images from SSS Best Mom stamp set. I have considered doing splashes of colors on my images, but the control freak in me has a hard time doing it. So tiny images like these dots here are wonderful – I get the control I need and the images add just enough fun to the otherwise somewhat-serious look. I also went over those dots with Wink of Stella.

For the sentiment, I used the same Glacier Lake ink + my trusted MISTI. I rounded the corners of my watercolor panel as well as my card front using a 1″ corner rounder craft punch from Ek tools and mounted my watercolor panel onto the card base.

At this point, I realized I had some cute little butterfly confetti and one of the colors was exactly matching my sentiment color. So I did more stamping and coloring on the left corner near the sentiment. I layered two butterflies to give an appearance of it flying and adhered it to the design. Finally I added Nuvo drops to the mix and called it done.

Watercoloring with distress and archival dye inks 2

Supplies List

For your convenience, I am sharing links to the supplies I’ve used for these cards – click on the picture or link to go directly to the product. Wherever available, I have used affiliate links, which means when you make a purchase, I receive a small commission (at no extra cost to you) which I use to run this blog. I truly appreciate your support!


Thanks for dropping by!
~Varada

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