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Wednesday’s Card: Easy Watercolor Technique!

Easy Watercolor

Hi All,

I’ve been trying to come up with a good way to use water with my Inktense Pencils for some time. If you are not familiar with these pencils, they have incredibly vibrant color, sharpen with ease, and also function as a watercolor pencil. I’ve really just used them direct to paper so far because the colors are so vibrant and beautiful. Every time I used them as a watercolor, the color would fade and I found it hard to get good dimension. In other words, the color would spread uniformly over whatever I was coloring.

A few weeks ago I saw a video by Jill Foster where she watercolored an image by not diving straight into the color. Of course, I thought! So, I broke down the coloring of these flowers into just a few simple steps. If you follow the instructions, you should be able to get the same look very easily.

Today marks the third time I have used this Secret Garden stamp set. There are three outlined flowers in the set – I used the other two flowers HERE and HERE. Oddly enough, although I didn’t plan it, I used the Inktense pencils on each of the cards! The Secret Garden stamp set is part of the Stampin’ Up! Spring Catalog, which is active until May 31st.

A few more words about the Inktense Pencils… I have the 72 count set only because my husband went overboard at Christmas! If you are looking to purchase, I think the 24-count set is probably sufficient. By the way, Dick Blick has the 24-count for $38.99, compared to Simon Says Stamp for $59.99 (not sure why the big price difference — Copics are cheap at Dick Blick too!). One thing I noticed is that the color of the pencil may be completely different than how it comes out on the paper. So, I downloaded THIS CHART to display all the colors. On the left I colored them direct to paper. Then, I watercolored them out to the right of the box. You can see, especially in the purples, browns, and blacks, how different the watercolor is from the direct-to-paper color. I love these pencils more and more every day. 🙂

Easy Watercolor

Anyway, enjoy the video and have a great week!








  1. wrote on March 20th, 2013 at 8:53 am


    Very pretty. Copics are cheap at Meri Artist. They ship very fast.

  2. wrote on March 20th, 2013 at 10:05 am

    judy mathena

    this is so cool, I’m getting into coloring and trying to find ways to color flowers: got pens and just can’t seem to find what I like, but this is really nice; so it will be what I’ll try next: I want my flowers to look real, and can’t seem to get that effect any other way. Do you have a video for Copic pens on coloring roses? or the water color effect for roses? would appreciate all your help

  3. wrote on March 20th, 2013 at 11:07 am


    The subtle background that you created is so beautiful! It is really amazing how you used one flower stamp to create a piece of art! Loved watching your coloring technique. The Inktense pencils seem really good for water coloring, would love to try them sometime.

  4. wrote on March 20th, 2013 at 12:13 pm


    Darlene Easy ≠ Susan Easy!
    This is simply gorgeous!!! But to me a lot of work! I may give it a try, though….first gotta get my hands on some inktense pencils. I see that Michael’s has them, too….and there is always that 40% off coupon…I think they only carry the 24 set though…not sure about that.

  5. wrote on March 20th, 2013 at 12:33 pm


    Boy did you make this seem so easy. The dimension on the flowers is awesome.

  6. wrote on March 20th, 2013 at 12:40 pm


    Darlene – thank you so much for this post! I, like you, have always wanted to do better with the watercoloring and your video is in a word “excellent”!

  7. wrote on March 20th, 2013 at 1:48 pm


    Very pretty flowers! Oh, and by the way, I think Sale-a-Bration is through Friday the 22nd rather than tomorrow. And also, Jennifer McGuire has several videos on the Inktense pencils, too. So, much wonderful info on the Internet. It’s like taking classes all the time. After I had to stop working it was such a relief not to have to take classes regularly to renew my certification and at that time I said I’d never take another class. But, this kind of continuing education is fun!

    • wrote on March 20th, 2013 at 2:52 pm

      Darlene DeVries

      CC, my bad! You are right. SAB ends Friday, not tomorrow. I got my dates mixed up. I updated my post. Thank you!

  8. wrote on March 20th, 2013 at 1:59 pm

    Joyce Bodo

    Absolutely beautiful. thank you for sharing.

  9. wrote on March 20th, 2013 at 2:04 pm

    Gloria Charter

    This is so clever, I cannot wait to try it. I love all your work

  10. wrote on March 20th, 2013 at 3:19 pm

    Maria Rodriguez

    Hello Darlene: I’m a bit late getting here, sheeesh!! but I love your card today, the tip for watercoloring is fantastic, I love, LOVE water colors, that’s how I do all my cards, although lately, I’ve done some using Prismacolor Pencils.
    I can’t get over how you get the background color so even with the ink, I need to practice more, sometimes I get those nasty lines, ughhh!!
    This card is wonderfully cheery, I love that SU stamp set, it lends itself to this kind of beautiful coloring. Thank you for the tip on how to apply the pencils.

  11. wrote on March 20th, 2013 at 3:33 pm


    Absolutely awesome card – thank you for showing how to use your watercolor pencils.

  12. wrote on March 20th, 2013 at 4:47 pm


    Absolutely love this card – watercoloring is one of my favorite things to do and you’ve shown me how to get a much better result than what I’ve been getting so far.
    Thanks again for another great video – I know I say this all the time but I learn so much from your videos and it makes my card making so much easier and with much better results.
    Keep up the great work – it’s very much appreciated!

  13. wrote on March 20th, 2013 at 5:08 pm

    Elaine R

    Absolutely beautiful, I have to try this technique.

  14. wrote on March 20th, 2013 at 5:30 pm

    Debbie B

    Beautiful card. Makes me want to go out and buy these colored pencils! Thanks for sharing. I learn so much from your videos!

  15. wrote on March 20th, 2013 at 5:37 pm


    I love this technique and the finished product. You always seem to make it look so easy Darlene. The Secret Garden is a favourite for a lot of SU demonstrators. Thanks for sharing. Oh and I am not feeling well today so I appreciated the Get Well Soon greeting. .

  16. wrote on March 20th, 2013 at 5:43 pm


    What kind of water color paper do you use? I always look forward to your Wednesday video. Thanks for sharing!

    • wrote on March 21st, 2013 at 10:08 am

      Darlene DeVries

      Hi Sue – On this card, I just used regular Neenah cardstock. I use watercolor paper from Stampin’ Up!, although I don’t use it very often.

  17. wrote on March 20th, 2013 at 6:25 pm

    Embossing Queen

    I love this card Darlene! It is so pretty and elegant and my mind is now racing with ideas….now to find some spare time to have a play.

  18. wrote on March 20th, 2013 at 8:54 pm



  19. wrote on March 21st, 2013 at 3:34 am

    Melissa D

    So pretty, I just wish I had your patience for colouring. Inktense pencils are on my list for next Christmas I think, in the meantime I can try it with my regular ones. Love the simple clean greeting with the busy card front.

  20. wrote on March 21st, 2013 at 8:26 pm


    Another beautiful card. Thanks for continuing your amazing videos!

  21. wrote on March 21st, 2013 at 9:52 pm


    Darline – just now got to my emails and opened yours first. What a lovely card and a great tutorial. I think I will order those pencils. You find the best things to use on your cards. Thank you so much for sharing your talents with all of us.

  22. wrote on March 22nd, 2013 at 10:20 pm


    Beautiful card! Thanks so much for taking the time to produce a video. Very helpful.

  23. wrote on March 23rd, 2013 at 4:45 pm

    Anna Jernigan

    Hey, thanks for the Inktense Chart. I have the middle set, wish I knew about Dick Blick, I got my set at SSS. Oh well. I didn’t know your blog then, so. Well, I am sure loving the watercolor set also. I really like your tips in the video using the steps to achieve that gorgeous dimension! Glad you found that method and passed it along to us. TFS Boy, what a fantastic end result, the card is fabulous. You make loads of Thank You cards, do you get so many presents? LOL Just saying…I notice everything. (Observational skills were important as a Nurse, especially for babies, who can’t talk!) LOL I am still enjoying your videos, but do you take requests? I might have one, but not yet, still watching all your videos at present. Nice job, BTW. Love your style!

  24. wrote on March 24th, 2013 at 2:33 am


    Simply stunning water colouring of those flowers Darlene 🙂

  25. wrote on March 26th, 2013 at 8:46 pm

    Teresa R.

    Beautiful card! Thank you for breaking down the technique into easy to understand steps. These pencils seem so much easier to master than Copics ( which I am trying to learn to use, but finding I’m Copic impaired LOL). I have this stamp set & have been very inspired by your 3 beautiful cards. Thank you.

  26. wrote on March 28th, 2013 at 7:22 am


    Hi Darlene, my first time commenting on a blog , I discovered your videos on You Tube and your videos are my absolute favorites. I love the way you show the card first, your instructions and even the speed. They are very informative and a pleasure to watch. I really love this card. I have seen the Secret Garden Set and didnt really care for it, that is ….until now….needless to say the set is now ordered. : ) I tried to order the large pack of Solar White cardstock online as its not available where I live, but the shipping was more than the paper cost. : ( Look forward to your cards, I am always learning something new from your videos. : )

  27. wrote on March 29th, 2013 at 3:35 pm


    The shading of each petal is so lovely, thank you for sharing your how-tos. Off to try it now.

  28. wrote on April 10th, 2013 at 10:35 am

    Laura Jane

    Thank you for sharing this technique..via video! I’m a visual learner:)

  29. wrote on April 14th, 2013 at 5:57 pm

    Renee VanEpps

    Those flowers are gorgeous!!! Love this technique, thanks so much for sharing!

  30. wrote on April 15th, 2013 at 4:00 pm


    This looks so yummy! I wanna eat your card! And this technique so clever, never try this before.

  31. wrote on April 17th, 2013 at 5:29 pm

    Cathy R

    Stunning card. Thank you so much for sharing this technique. Your video is fantastic. The step by step instructions are so clear. Your method for making the bg all using the same stamp is awesome. 🙂 Cathy

  32. wrote on April 20th, 2013 at 8:00 pm


    I also love the Derwent Inktense water color pencils. I have the whole set of the regular Derwent water color pencils, plus many of the Inktense pencils. In all I have 6 different brands of watercolor pencils. To keep them all straight plus see the colors of each I made a book that I can refer to when I want to order from Blick for more colors. This is one way that I do not duplicate the colors…..
    I love your new web set up. Clean, simple but elegant.

  33. wrote on May 16th, 2013 at 6:30 am


    Beautiful tutorial. I have the pencils but wasn’t sure quite how to use them. Thank you so much for sharing this technique.


  34. wrote on May 24th, 2013 at 4:12 pm


    I have the inktense pencils, too, and LOVE them! But thank you so much for the tip–I think I’ll get much better results now…

    LOVED your card!

  35. wrote on July 28th, 2013 at 4:18 pm


    Beautiful card and coloring technique!

  36. wrote on September 13th, 2013 at 10:57 pm


    I am having serious difficulty with the first step on this card – my background with the barn door red distress ink always comes out way too dark!
    Any ideas?

    • wrote on September 15th, 2013 at 11:04 pm

      Darlene DeVries

      Hi Diana, it sounds like your applicator has too much ink on it. After dipping it into your ink pad, rub it off a little on some scratch paper before applying to your cardstock. That way, you’ll get a lighter volume of ink. Kind of like “stamping off” with your applicator. Let me know if that helps!

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