Working with Watercolours


You may recall that I received 2 half pan Daniel Smith watercolour sets for Christmas. Well, I’ve finally had a chance to start working with them! I’m not taking any lessons (yet), so what I’ve done so far is just playing about on my own, and getting a feel for the paints, paper and brushes. I’ve found out that there is a lot to working with watercolours! And so much that I don’t know – but I’ll learn!


The first thing to do, I’ve learned, is to create swatches of the colours. This gives you an opportunity to see what the colour looks like, how it lays down on the paper, the granulation, etc. You are also creating a quick reference for yourself, for when you’re working on a project and deciding which colours to use.

Working With Watercolours

This first set of half pans is called ‘The Blues: – Serene to Dramatic’ -for obvious reasons! It includes (from top left to bottom right) Sleeping Beauty, Cerulean Blue, Lunar Blue, Indigo, Sodalite Genuine and Payne’s Blue Gray.  I swatched onto a piece of Arches Cold Pressed watercolour paper.

The second half pan set I got is called ‘Floral: Cottage Gardens to Botanicals’. It has Cadmium Yellow, Quinacridone Gold, Quinacridone Rose, Phthalo blue, Cascade Green and Green Apatite. Trust me, all of these colours, and the Blues, look so much prettier in person!

Working with Watercolours

Next, I need to create swatches where I combine the colours – but I couldn’t wait to actually paint something! So the combined swatching will just have to wait a bit longer.


The first thing I decided to try is to watercolour a stamped image. Since I can’t draw well (or much at all!) I thought this would be a good place to start. I used a retired SU! image from the Birthday Blooms set. I decided a larger image might be best to start with. I’ve coloured this particular flower image before, using Brusho Crystals, markers, and SU! Blends alcohol markers.


Working with Watercolours


First, I stamped the image in Tuxedo Black Memento ink.  I started by painting the leaves first. For the larger leaves, I use the Cascade Green. The smaller leaves are painted in Green Apatite. It’s important to allow the paint to dry between layering on the paint to add shadows. For the flower, I used the Cadmium Yellow and shaded with Quinacridone Gold. Again, patience is a virtue – that I’m having to learn – for shading. But luckily, having a larger image to paint means that by the time you start at one petal and work around the flower, you’re pretty safe to start adding more colour once you’re back at the beginning!

After I was satisfied that more adding wouldn’t improve things, I added a background of Cerulean Blue around the flower. My painting is definitely in the learning stages; learning how much water, how much paint, blending & shading….but it’s also fun!


One of my recent purchases has been this amazing Fadeout Ink by Ink on 3. It is PERFECT for no line colouring – where you want to stamp the image to paint, but don’t want to dark outline of the image. I thought this would be great to do a comparison using the same floral image, as above. The ink literally disappears, as you colour over it.

So, I used the same image, stamped on the same Arches cold pressed watercolour paper, but this time using the Ink on 3 Fadeout Ink. Sorry – I forgot to take a picture! I did do another no line project that I’ll be sharing in another post later.  I did change the main colours for the flower – I was dying to try out the Quinacridone Rose!

Working with Watercolours

So – what do you think?! I’m dying to hear your opinion – PLEASE leave a comment on this post! I used the same paints for the leaves, but tried to improve on them; not sure if that worked or not. I didn’t add as much ink, so the colour of the Cascade Green definitely is lighter.  I do need to work more on my blending/shading technique. For a first try though, I’m pretty happy with how it came out. And it was such fun to do! After the petals finished drying, I coloured the middle of the flower with Cadmium Yellow. Once that had dried, I went back and added dots of Quinacridone Gold.


Here’s a photo of the 2 panels side by side.

Working with Watercolours

So – no line, or lined? Which do you prefer? I didn’t add the blue background to the no line – no reason, other than I had to make dinner! LOL  Do you find that your regular life interferes with your crafting life, sometimes?! Oh, first world problems, am I right?


Like I said, if I learned nothing else, I learned that working with watercolours is a lesson in experimentation. Learning, experimenting, and having fun.  I’d love to read any comment you’d like to leave, whether it’s about my first attempts, or what you like to watercolour, or any tips/tricks/techniques you’ve learned! I did just order myself a book called ‘Everyday Watercolor: Learn to Paint Watercolor in 30 Days’ by Jenna Rainey. Several crafty friends (who are good at watercolouring!) have this book, used it, and recommend it. I’m sure it’s going to take me more than 30 days to learn watercolouring, but it’ll be a start!


If you’re interested in trying out watercolours, or adding to your stash, I’ve listed some of the supplies I use, below.

Compensated affiliate links are used where possible, at no cost to you. All products used are personally purchased, unless otherwise noted.

I don’t have an affiliate link for the Ink on 3 Fadeout ink, but you can go to their WEBSITE.

Written by 

I've always liked to create things, but I'm not a great artist, or sculptor, or any type of 'traditional' artist - but I love to create! I love the satisfaction of a completed project. Whether a card, painting or other project - as long as it can create a smile, evoke a feeling, or some type of reaction in the recipient. I hope you will enjoy sharing my creations, and occasional ramblings; I'd enjoy having you create with me! :)

6 thoughts on “Working with Watercolours

    1. Thanks for your comment, Buffy! I appreciate it. I had fun painting both flowers. It will take some practice to make the ‘no line’ truly no line! 🙂

  1. I love your no line coloring. I am going to have to try this sometime. I’ll need to take a class though. I don’t think I could figure it out without one. Your cards are beautiful

    1. Using the Fadeout Ink is the perfect way to try the no line colouring, Susan. You’ll love it!

I love to read what you have to say! Thanks for commenting ;)

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.