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May Challenge: Watercolor

May Challenge

Hi All!

It’s the first Monday of the month, so it’s time for the next challenge. For May, it’s watercolor! Now, I know this is kind of a general subject, but (a) who doesn’t enjoy watercoloring and (b) who doesn’t like admiring watercolor cards? If you are intimidated by watercolor, then I encourage you to let go of fear, let go of perfection (hard, I know), and just let it be.

You don’t need watercolor paints or special watercolor pencils. All you need is some ink (pigment or dye), a brush, and some water.

If you are new to the community, I encourage you to check out the Challenges Page for detailed information about how the challenges work.

The last day to submit your entry is Sunday, May 31st, 11:59pm CT. One random winner will be selected from all entries and announced on Monday, June 1st.

Peerless Palette Peerless Palette

I have a VERY fun and interesting prize this month! It’s a mini travel palette of Peerless Watercolors. Beth over at OliveMeArtsie sent it to me to give away. Isn’t she awesome? Thank you Beth! The entire palette is 6″ x 4″. Each color is 3/4″ square.

Even though a random winner is selected at the end of the month, the challenge is open indefinitely. Please continue to post to the challenges. Continuously seeing everyone’s new work is a win for everyone’s inspiration!

Okay, just to recap the main rules:

  • Your entry must include the use of watercolor in some way.
  • You can submit as many entries as you like! However, please submit only one entry per card.
  • After submitting your entry, leave a comment on the entry just before yours.
  • Leave more comments on entries, if you’re so inclined. 🙂
  • To be eligible for a prize, you must be an active member of LiveLoveCards at the time the winner is announced.

Are you ready to enter? CLICK HERE!

If you’re experiencing technical problems, go to the Help Page or select the “Challenges” category in the Forum.

I created a couple of watercolor cards with the Baby Party Animals set using Peerless watercolors. If you want to learn more about these watercolors, you can check out my product review video. For the first card, I stamped the images in black and colored them in:
Baby Party Animals

To be honest, I wasn’t very happy with this card. I felt like the grass and sky were realistic, yet the animals were cartoonish. The styles didn’t match. So, I created this card by stamping a very light outline and adding more shading with the Peerless watercolors:

Baby Party Animals

I was much happier with this card, and it’s the card I recorded in the video.

I can’t wait to see what you come up with! Enjoy the video and have fun with the challenge. 🙂



To purchase at Ellen Hutson, click the EH link. To purchase at Simon Says Stamp, click the SSS link.

Baby Party Animals
Baby Party Animals
Peerless Watercolor Basic
Peerless Watercolor Basic
Peerless Watercolor Bonus
Peerless Watercolor Bonus
Handwritten Notes
Handwritten Notes
Altenew Sentiments and Quotes
Altenew Sentiments
Pumice Stone Distress Ink
Pumice Stone
Black Soot Distress Ink
Black Soot
Versafine Black Onyx Ink
Versafine Black Ink
Strathmore Watercolor Paper
Watercolor Paper
Avery Elle 6x6 Neutral
Avery Elle 6×6 Neutral
ATG Tape Runner
ATG Tape Runner


Sorry, the uploaded entries are no longer available.


  1. wrote on May 4th, 2015 at 8:30 am


    Oh yeah! I’m stuck on watercolor cards right now! So this is a made to order Challenge!

  2. wrote on May 4th, 2015 at 1:43 pm

    Caly Person

    Love your tip on not wasting patterned paper! Thanks Darlene! This is such a cute card!

  3. wrote on May 4th, 2015 at 1:48 pm


    Darlene I think you are crazy! The first card is super adorable! I think I like that one more than the second one even though that one is super cute too. But here is a tip for you since you have the MISTI this will work great for you. The problem I always have with the “No line watercoloring” technique, is that the faces always turn out a little off for me. So if you want that nice crisp face, you can go ahead and use your Black Soot distress marker, or any other marker that you can use on your stamps, and re-stamp the faces so that they are nice and crisp. This to me makes a world of difference and I have heard other people say the same thing. So just a suggestion if you want to try it and see if you like it 🙂 Thanks for the cards they turned out really adorable and I just got this stamp set in so I am super excited to use it 🙂

    • wrote on May 4th, 2015 at 10:18 pm

      Darlene DeVries

      Thanks for the tip Beau. I actually contemplated doing that, but then I would have to stamp and watercolor each animal one at a time. The animals overlap a little and couldn’t all fit on the MISTI at the same time. I just couldn’t get my mind around that approach – I needed all stamping done first so I could get the big picture in my head.

  4. wrote on May 4th, 2015 at 2:13 pm


    Oh my gosh Darlene, I LOVE TO WATER COLOR!!!!! WOO HOO!!
    I just love your card, this little critters are so darn cute and you did a marvelous job with them.
    I too sometimes do not know when to stop, I’ve ruined a card or two by just keep adding color and shades, ughhh!!
    I don’t waste DSP either, I don’t buy the double sided paper, no matter how pretty the designs on both sides, I feel like I’m actually wasting paper by condemning one of the sides to obscurity. I have pattern paper but I buy it only if it’s one sided.
    Anyway, this challenge is right up my alley, how much fun I will have again.
    Thank you so much for this fabulous video, I hope everybody participates in the new challenge. Water coloring is very forgiving, that is the beauty of it. 😉

    • wrote on May 4th, 2015 at 10:19 pm

      Darlene DeVries

      I knew you would love this challenge Maria! You made me LOL with your “condemning one of the sides to obscurity”. Haha!!

  5. wrote on May 4th, 2015 at 2:41 pm


    How adorable this card is. A lot of time spent in a small space! Love the tip for saving patterned papers too!

  6. wrote on May 4th, 2015 at 3:46 pm


    Very sweet…and your coloring is perfect.

  7. wrote on May 4th, 2015 at 4:49 pm

    Mary Jane

    The card is so cute!!!
    I do have a question for you. I have not gotten into the peerless yet but I do have a set up the Gansei Tambai water colors. Is there a big difference between the two?

    • wrote on May 4th, 2015 at 10:22 pm

      Darlene DeVries

      The biggest difference I see is that the Gansai watercolors are thicker and more opaque. They require more blending by you. The peerless are more transparent and seem to blend easier on their own. Do you need both? Probably not. Unless you want both. 🙂

  8. wrote on May 4th, 2015 at 6:17 pm


    This is a great challenge. I love watercolors. Is it OK to upload cards completed before the challenge began?

    • wrote on May 4th, 2015 at 10:24 pm

      Darlene DeVries

      Actually, it’s supposed to be a challenge to get you going during the month, so I would prefer if the card was made after the challenge is announced.

  9. wrote on May 4th, 2015 at 10:38 pm



  10. wrote on May 5th, 2015 at 4:18 am


    Darlene, I really love the card. I agree with you, the second turned out exceptionally well 🙂 Although these stamps are not really my style, I learned a lot by watching you use the watercolours to colour the images. The use of a single colour is great.

  11. wrote on May 5th, 2015 at 6:47 am


    What an adorable card! Even though I haven’t used watercolor paints since about the 4th grade, your tutorial is so encouraging. You are a true artist!

  12. wrote on May 5th, 2015 at 7:48 am


    A little nervous about the watercolor challenge because I haven’t used them before (distress inks, yes, but I’m going to try the real deal this time!). One thing I have always liked about your videos is the tips you have given to economize, especially since I just started cardmaking last fall and don’t have a lot of product.

    The animals are adorable! Now I’m off to watch watercolor videos and find the perfect beginner project! I appreciate these challenges. Thank you!

  13. wrote on May 5th, 2015 at 9:00 am

    Mary Jane

    Hi Darlene, can we use stamps that we have colored and then used a water brush on. I have some artful impressions stamps that I was going to use but not sure if that would work. I mean you use water to soften the lines and such but I’m not really using real watercolors just markers with water.

    • wrote on May 6th, 2015 at 10:30 pm

      Darlene DeVries

      Of course that counts! I use markers and water all the time. I consider that watercoloring. 🙂

  14. wrote on May 5th, 2015 at 10:25 am


    Such a cute card! You are so brave for doing the stripes on the kitty. Oh goodness…I just don’t know if my hands are steady enough to do that!! hehe Thanks for sharing another awesome card, Darlene! You’re the rock star!! =)

    • wrote on May 6th, 2015 at 10:31 pm

      Darlene DeVries

      Sandra, hold your breath and move quickly. 🙂

  15. wrote on May 6th, 2015 at 1:13 am


    I loved the first card at first sight and thought, no, this couldn’t improve… wait, I love the second one too!! : )
    Thanks for the challenge!

    PS My misti is here! (it’s beautiful and waiting to be used, but I had trouble putting the vinyl on. It has lots of tiny air bubbles between it and the lid which do not want to go away regardless)

    • wrote on May 6th, 2015 at 10:34 pm

      Darlene DeVries

      Hi Anita, I know what you mean about the bubbles. It took me a few tries to get it right. I would apply it slowly starting on one edge and working your way across while using a ruler to push it flat.

  16. wrote on May 6th, 2015 at 3:51 am

    Anna D.

    Darlene, the distress ink you used for the outlines didn’t bleed into the watercolors? I finally got my first pad of Strathmore Watercolor Paper this weekend! I’ve been going wild trying out watercolor techniques from your videos.

    • wrote on May 6th, 2015 at 10:35 pm

      Darlene DeVries

      Hi Anna. It may have bled, but it’s such a light color that it didn’t affect the color I was applying.

  17. wrote on May 15th, 2015 at 6:56 pm

    Patty Beers

    I really try to comment on the card before me in the challenge but when the link takes me to Pinterest it wont allow me to comment.

    • wrote on May 24th, 2015 at 10:34 pm


      Sign up for a free Pinterest account. Even if you do not post any images of your own, you can pin things you like onto your own board, and comment on others.

  18. wrote on May 26th, 2015 at 5:05 am


    Darlene, you make watercolouring look so easy. Each time I watch one of your videos I am inspired to try your techniques. I have now had a couple of attempts with watercolouring and will definitely persist. Thank you so much for your ongoing inspiration.

  19. wrote on May 27th, 2015 at 6:50 pm

    Barb H.

    Wow. I just looked through the gallery of cards for this challenge and all the entries are amazing. I’m going to have to spend a weekend going to each card to see them all in more detail.

  20. wrote on July 12th, 2015 at 7:54 pm


    I have been watching the gallery pictures and am just amazed at your water coloring ability! Just awesome. I have recently purchased some Tim Holtz background embossing folders to try some emboss resist coloring. Hopefully will get to it this week. I would love to be able to water color somewhat like you. Thanks for all the inspiration. Beth

    • wrote on July 15th, 2015 at 5:20 pm

      Darlene DeVries

      You’re so kind Beth, thank you!

Reply to Mary Jane

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