Hello! I’m starting a mini series on different watercolor products. As mentioned in other posts and on my social media accounts, I have been organizing my watercolor paper, which means that I can start testing them with different watercolor mediums. I’m a bit slow, I know. I bought them months ago, but there’s a difference between just crafting for fun and then doing reviews for people. I am no expert when it comes to coloring, but I hope that my experiences do benefit others. 🙂
Instead of using ALL my watercolor paper and ALL my watercolor mediums, I have decided to feature each medium in different posts. Today, I am sharing coloring with Distress Inks since most papercrafters own them. I did turn them into cards just for you all! I am testing the following watercolor paper: Bee Paper 90#, Canson 140#, Strathmore 300 series 140#, Strathmore 400 series 140#, Ranger Tim Holtz 118#, and Arches 100% Cotton 140# today. All of these are cold-press, meaning they have some texture on the cardstock. Hot press is smoother. I have some other watercolor paper coming in this week and will add them in my series over time if I am able to.
When deciding on watercolor cardstock, creators usually consider cost, what medium they’ll be using on it, and quality. Does it hold up to water? Do colors blend easily? Can you remove pigment? Can you soften lines? White or off-white? Let me just say that I am still trying to figure that out. 😛 You should definitely check out the latest Online Card Class: Watercolor for Card Makers: Intermediate Techniques by Dawn Woleslagle (of WPlus9) because it’s AMAZING. So worth it!
For most of my watercolor projects, I was using Ranger Tim Holtz 118# panels because they already come pre-cut in A2 size (4.25″ x 5.5″) for card fronts. It made life easy. Also, it’s white! Most watercolor paper is off-white. Now that I’ve got my watercolor paper sorted, it makes it more convenient for me to see which ones will work best with different mediums.
Distress inks are amazing. They are so useful for papercrafting needs. You can try all kinds of techniques with them, particularly watercoloring. They are available in full-size (2″ x 2″) or mini-size (1″ x 1″), but I have switched to mini ink pads due to space constraints. When watercoloring, I stamp the ink directly onto acrylic blocks, add water and use watercolor brushes to color.
All the cards use different colors because I didn’t want to bore you 😛 I will mention if I intentionally used softer colors (by adding more water and less pigment) for a card. After I finished all 6 panels, I have to say that distress inks worked well on all watercolor papers — some more than others, but overall, they were good.
I started with my MISTI and stamping the newest WPlus9 stamp called Beautiful Bouquet: Ranunculus with VersaMark and heat setting with white embossing powder for each panel. Isn’t it just gorgeous?! I wasn’t ready to do no-line coloring 😛 The embossed lines help to keep the color inside the lines so I like that 🙂 I used only one watercolor brush in size 0 because it’s great for details.
BEE PAPER 90#
I was pleasantly surprised at how this turned out. There are some harsh lines so it was difficult to soften up the darker shades, but I don’t think it’s too bad. Since it’s a 90# paper, I didn’t add too much water because it would pill.
Colors used: Festive Berries, Mowed Lawn, Mustard Seed, Blueprint Sketch
Canson Paper 140#
Here, I deliberately used softer shades by watering down the colors. It was easier to soften the harsh lines on this paper. However, it did create some harshness near the embossed lines, which is noticeable on the flowers. Again, I didn’t mind this. It looks good to me. I believe that Canson is one of the more affordable papers and the pads comes in 30 sheets instead of 12 so I am happy about this investment for distress coloring.
Colors used: Festive Berries, Wilted Violet, Mowed Lawn, Blueprint Sketch
Ranger Tim Holtz 118#
This paper was a mix between Bee and Canson because some areas blended better than others. I don’t know if it was because of my own coloring or waiting between inks dried (my nephew was distracting me lol). I love how the small berries came out! So maybe it’s just my coloring! 😛 I like how it turned out though.
Colors used: Wilted Violet, Mustard Seed, Mowed Lawn, Blueprint Sketch
Strathmore 300 Series 140#
As you can see, it turned out pretty similar to the previous card panels. Strathmore is much thicker so can handle more water without pilling.
Colors used: Mustard Seed, Festive Berries, Pine Needles, Blueprint Sketch
Strathmore 400 Series 140#
So what’s the difference between 300 series and 400 series? 300 is “better” and 400 is “best” according to them. 400 is less textured as well. For this card, I decided to use more vintage-looking tones.
Colors used: Victorian Velvet, Mustard Seed, Blueprint Sketch, Forest Moss
Arches 100% Cotton 140#
Arches is supposed to be one of the best watercolor paper out there. There are actually two type: paper pad and blocks. I have never tried the Arches block paper but I hope to purchase some soon to test it out. It might be the same, but I can’t say for sure yet. For now, I used the Arches 100% Cotton, Cold-press, 9″ x 12″, 12-sheet paper pad. Beautiful, thick watercolor cardstock. Just look at this card and the colors. Maybe it was the colors I picked, but they are SO vibrant. This paper is expensive but definitely worth it. If you’re planning on creating watercolor work for sale or professional use, this is the most recommended.
Colors used: Festive Berries, Spiced Marmalade, Mustard Seed, Pine Needles, Forest Moss
What do you think? What watercolor paper do you use most and what are some of your favorite watercolor mediums? I appreciate all your comments and feedback!
Thank you for visiting! ♡
Don’t miss out on my Crafty Adventure Series! I have giveaways for each day. You have until February 27, 11:59 pm EST to leave comments. 🙂
- Personal Development (giveaway: Foxy Fix Wide Leather Notebook Cover)
- Planning & Journaling (giveaways: Filofax A5 Planner, Planner Sticker Lot, and Planner Stencil + Planner Stamps)
- Handlettering (giveaway: Journal + Small Notebook)
- Stamps (giveaway: Love Cynthia’s You and Me)
- Dies (giveaway: MFT Scenic Safari Die)
- Organization Methods (giveaway: 5 Organizers)
- Tools (giveaway: Ken Oliver Craft Mat)
- Paper Products (giveaway: SSS cardstock + sampler pack)
- Inks (giveaway: variety of ink pads)
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