Watercolor Technique Using Reinkers

Have you ever thought about using watercolors but weren't sure how to go about it? Or you didn't really want to spend the money if you weren't sure if you would enjoy it?

Well I have a technique for you to try out using supplies you probably already have.  The reinker watercolor technique is super easy, and I'm betting you already have the supplies to do it.

I decided I wanted to watercolor the horse in the “Let It Ride” stampset by Stampin' Up!. I don't have any fancy watercoloring supplies, but I do have a brush that has a water well attached to it and the reinkers to my stampin up ink pads.  You can use this same technique with any water based ink.

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Supply List

Watch the video tutorial

Step by Step Instructions

Stamp your image

I decided to use the Misti stamp positioning tool to stamp the image. But before I decided where to place the stamp, I wanted to make sure I had enough room to stamp the image and be able to later die cut the image using the rectangle framelits. So I just laid the stamp down and adjusted it to where I had enough room for the framelit.

I used watercolor paper to stamp the horse image.  I knew that the water color paper was likely to soak up the Memento Black Ink and not give a real rich black outline, so I stamped it on the Misti.  Using the Misti allows me to position the paper on the tool and restamp as many times in the exact same place as I need.

All you have to do is re-ink the stamp and close the tool again to restamp the exact same image. And as you can see, the image came out darker the 2nd time around.

Use Re-inkers to create a water color

The two colors I used on the horse was Soft Suede and Early Espresso from Stampin' Up!.  You could also use AlteNew's Sand Dunes and Espresso or My Favorite Things Natural and Milk Chocolate.  You only need a drop and I put it right in the ink pad well.  That way I can reuse the ink later if I need to and I'm not wasting it.

Use a water color brush and dip it in water or just a pen like this Pentel Watercolor Brush pen that has a water reservor built right into the brush pen. Just give it a gentle squeeze and the water will flow into the brush.  Then pick up just a small bit of color.

I like testing out the color I have on a scrap piece of paper to make sure it is the correct shade and that I don't have too much water on my brush.

If it looks like you have too much water or that the color is creating small flecks, then use a paper towel to soak up some of the excess.

I think it gives you a little control when it seems you have too much water on the paper.

I suggest working in sections.  I decided to use the lighter color to color the entire horse first.  I would color a section, then use the paper towel to dab up extra water, and then continue onto the next section.

Next go in and pick up some of the darker color to add some shading around the edges of the horse.  I imagined the sunlight coming from the direction he is running, so I choose to add shading around the backside of his neck, legs and rear end. I also used the markings of the stamp to help me decide where to put more emphasis of the darker color.

Then I went back in and picked up the lighter color to try to blend the two colors a little more.

I think blending it once again gave it a more smooth natural look.

This was only the 2nd time to use this technique and you can already tell the 2nd one looks better.  Although the 1st one does have certain style to it as well.  Point being that it doesn't take much to master this technique.  I know you can too!

Then I just added a little Old Olive (SU product) green to the grass. I bet AlteNew's Forest Glades would also look awesome here for the grass.

Then as a final touch I colored in the horses hooves with some basic gray.

Die cut the image

Use removable purple tape to tape your framelit down so it doesn't move when you run it through the Big Shot.  I just discovered this tape and absolutely love it!  I was using blue painters tape but discovered that I could guarantee it wasn't going to pull up the paper when I took it off, and I ruined alot of projects that way.

Prep the card panel

I used one of the designer series paper from Stampin' Up! Wood Textures.  I love how realistic the image is on this paper.  It looks like real wood! But I find the paper to be a bit thin to adhear the jute twin behind it.  So I decided to go ahead and beef it up a bit with some Neenah 110lb Solar White cardstock behind it.

Have you ever noticed that sometimes it is hard to cut paper to the exact dimension you want? Even with very fancy paper trimmers, it still may be difficult to get the exact measurement because ultimately you are eyeballing the tick mark on the measurement tool on the trimmer.  Well I just discovered that My Favorite Things has nested framelits in my goto dimensions, 5.5″ x 4″, 5″ x 3.75″, and so on.  I love that I can diecut my paper to the exact size I want, and it will be that size on every card if I decide to make multiple.

Go ahead and die cut the patterned paper and the cardstock if you like, but I just cut the cardstock with a paper trimmer because I was not concerned about the cardstock being the exact size.

Next adhere the patterned paper to the cardstock. I used Tombow's Xtreme taperunner.  Stampin' Up! used to sell this and labeled it as Fast Fuse so I was super excited to see Amazon sells the Tombow version of it since Stampin' Up! discontinued it.

Tie knots

I used some basic jute twine with my card, but you could use any kind of baker's twine.  Just pick a color that looks rustic.  I laid out my horse image and the sentiment on the patterned paper so I could determine where the best place was to tie the knots so it would not get covered up or be in the way of my stamped image.

Once I was satisfied where I wanted the twine, I laid down a line of Xtreme tape down on either side of the back side of the cardstock.

Then I wrapped the twine around to the backside of the card and laid the tails down on the adhesive strip.

Assemble the card

Before you adhere the image down to the card panel, I would suggest adding some more adhesive to the back of the cardstock and then adhere to the card base.  This will allow you to press down onto the card base and get a good solid stick! Then you are ready to give the stamped image and sentiment a little dimension by adding some foam tape behind them and then adhearing to your card.

Final Project

Yeah! Now you have a really cute rustic card to give to that horse lover in your life.  I also think these cards make really great alternatives to masculine cards.

Here is the 1st one done and then my 2nd attempt.  Both look great and artistic in their own way.

Download the PDF tutorial with all of the dimensions

Want to recreate this card for yourself? Fill out the form below and you will get access to my Free Resource Library where I have a pdf with all of the cut dimensions to this card.

Join the Balloons & Banners Birthday Card Swap

Would love for you to join me in my Color Theme card swap that is taking place February 9, 2019. It's a mail in swap.  You can get details of the card swap here.


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