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Watercolor Birthday Card for Pals Paper Arts

Maybe you’ve heard that coloring for adults is a new trend that is helping people relax and unwind. There are even coloring books you can purchase specifically for adults. Well I’m sure the folks at Pals Paper Arts could have told you coloring was relaxing; we’ve been doing it all along. Good! With that out of the way, we just saved you thousands in therapy.

Here is a watercolor birthday card I made with an image that I colored several days ago to do just that—relax. There was no intention to make a card or use this image for anything specific; just to color. I enjoy listening to music or a Podcast and letting my mind go while I color, or in this case, paint.

Watercoloring may seem daunting at first, but here are a few tips to get you started.

  • Stamp your image using a water-resistant ink like StazOn or our new Stampin’ Up! Archival Ink which will be available September 1 in the Holiday Catalog.
  • Squeeze a Classic Stampin’ Ink Pad while it is still closed to add color to the inside of your ink pad cover.
  • Use an Aqua Painter or a soft-bristle brush with water to pick up the color and begin watercoloring.
  • Work one color at a time and start with a light hand; don’t worry how it looks the first round.
  • Allow ink to dry and layer on some more color as needed. It’s also a good idea to allow ink to dry before changing colors—unless you intend for the colors to blend which is perfectly OK too.
  • For light areas, use more water and for dark areas, less water is best.

Lastly, remember not to worry if you go outside the lines. The best watercoloring happens by mistake; at least it does for me. For example, I didn’t intend to only use In Colors for this painting; it just happened. I also didn’t plan on my leaves to bleed when I painted the blue background, but I love it.

Now back to the Pals Paper Arts Sketch Challenge. This little painting was sitting on my desk for a few days, like I said, and this sketch seemed like the perfect way to show it off. I turned the sketch on its side—which is totally within the rules, I think— and began embellishing. I added a sentiment from the same stamp set, Butterfly Basics, and Linen Thread finished the look.

I hope you enjoyed this post. It is a little peek into my process. Most of my projects come to fruition in this way. I stamp, color, cut and walk away. Later I come back and find the perfect way to use the little bits and scraps I leave all over my desk. This no-pressure approach brings out the best in me. Give it a try. Maybe you’ll relax and enjoy making something beautiful while your at it.


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  • Reply lueftchen

    You card is amazing!

    June 14, 2016 at 4:22 pm
  • Reply Kim Jolley

    Can’t believe I missed this card. It is fantastic! Your watercoloring is superb!

    June 13, 2016 at 7:24 am
  • Reply GDP 040 - Geburtstagskarte mit viel Gold • Stempelwiese

    […] Also man hat hier relativ freie Hand und kann sich austoben Die Karte zum nachmachen ist heute von Shawn! Ich habe mir für das Layout entschieden. Für das Stempelset habe ich die Blume aus dem Thinlits […]

    June 13, 2016 at 5:01 am
  • Reply Ginger Toivonen

    Beauuuuutiful card Shaw and I love the artistic treatment of your sentiment. Welcome to the PPA team! Can’t wait to see your creations.

    September 3, 2015 at 10:46 am
  • Reply Rae in Reno

    Shawn, this is absolutely, fantastically, wonderful! Thanks for playing with us at Pals Paper Arts this week!

    September 1, 2015 at 12:43 pm
  • Reply Amy Lazzell

    FABULOUS!! Just stunning! Just love the coloring you did with this set!! Thank you for playing with the Pals!!

    September 1, 2015 at 10:38 am
  • Reply Linda Heller

    Oh my gosh, striking card and so well executed! Love it!

    August 31, 2015 at 3:01 pm
  • Reply JustB

    Shawn, that is truly exquisite! What talent you have. Thanks for sharing.

    August 28, 2015 at 8:05 am
  • Reply Pam Morris

    Amazing. You are simply amazing!

    August 27, 2015 at 4:54 pm
  • Reply Beth

    Shawn, such a gorgeous card. Makes me happy just to look at it.

    August 27, 2015 at 3:59 pm
  • Reply Windy Ellard

    Absolutely stunning watercoloring and I am so glad you will be joining the Pals Paper Arts team soon..Thanks for the inspiration!

    August 27, 2015 at 2:31 pm
  • Reply Donna Kish

    This is absolutely beautiful! Beyond that I’m speechless! Such a great card.

    August 27, 2015 at 1:41 pm
  • Reply Eleanor

    This card took my breath away! You are an amazing artist. If I had a tenth of your talent I’d be thrilled. Thanks for the watercolor lesson – gotta remember – let it dry before more coloring.

    August 27, 2015 at 1:34 pm
  • Reply diannescards

    This is a beautiful card. It’s even relaxing to look at. I need to do more water coloring!

    August 27, 2015 at 12:44 pm
  • Reply Debra Dickerson

    Shawn, your card is beautiful. I have a tendency to rush and can see the value of slowing down to let things dry and adding more color or other colors. Thanks for the lesson in watercoloring!

    August 27, 2015 at 11:04 am
  • Reply Nancy Grimaldi

    Wow! This card is beautiful.

    August 27, 2015 at 10:59 am
  • Reply Mary Lou Glick

    Shawn, what an awesome card!! My mouth dropped when I first saw it!

    August 27, 2015 at 10:58 am
  • Reply Brian

    SHAWN! This is crazy-beautiful! I love your artistry and your wonderful tips for watercoloring. Thanks for playing along with this week’s PPA sketch challenge.

    August 27, 2015 at 10:53 am
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