Crafty Adventure Series: Watercolors (+ Giveaway)

Hello friends! Welcome to part ten of the Crafty Adventure Series. If you missed out, here are earlier links: #1 Personal Development#2 Planning & Journaling#3 Handlettering, #4 Stamps, #5 Dies#6 Organization Methods, #7 Tools, #8 Paper Products, and #9 Inks.

crafty adventure series In today’s post, I will cover some of my favorite watercolor products and a few that I’m also hoping to try based on good reviews or feedback 🙂


Distress Inks: I posted more details about inks here. Distress Inks are very popular among cardmakers. They are available in 61 colors in full-size ink pads, individual mini ink pads, sets of 4 mini ink pads, markers, paints, sprays, and reinkers. All these products can be used to watercolor. I have used ink pads, markers and reinkers to color with. You definitely get more pigment when using reinkers. I’ve used them for backgrounds. Distress inks react to water even after the ink has dried so you can create various cool effects. Here is a card I created by stamping and coloring with Distress Inks:

Winsor & Newton Professional Paints: I recently invested in a few professional watercolor paints that come in tubes. They are available in 96 colors and have high permanence rates, which means the pigment will last for generations. The paints are available in 5 ML tubes, 14 ML tubes, half pans and large pans. If you want to test them out, I’d recommend starting with 5 ML tubes because a little goes a long way. Retail costs start at $9.29 and are based on the Series number. 1 is the least expensive and 5 is the most expensive. The higher the Series number, the more expensive the cost of the pigment. You can read more about the composition here. This is a card using these paints:

Peerless Transparent Watercolor Sheets: These are unique because they are dry sheets, available in 2″ x 2″ or 2″ x 6″ swatches. There are various color combinations, and the one I have is the Bonus Pack in Small (2″ x 2″). There are 40 colors in that set, but there are 55 colors available overall. The are highly concentrated pigments and the colors are beautiful. I store them in coin pocket holders, but people have created unique swatches for them. You can cut them down to whatever size you want to make it easier for you to carry around or use. Here’s a card using Peerless watercolors:

Geometric Lattice Coverplate 1
Kuretake Gansai Tambi: Available in sets of 12, 24, or 36 colors. I first started with 24 colors but then switched to 36 because it has the gold and shimmer colors. 🙂 The pigments come in little pans that are removable, with the numbers on the back. The inside of the box has a place for you to color in each pigment to use as swatch reference. Colors are vibrant and have a creamy texture. Here’s a card using these watercolors:

Fabulous 1
Zig Clean Color Real Brush Pens: Available in a total of 80 colors. There are sets of 12, 24, 36, 48, and 60 colors, while the remaining 20 colors are only available individually. The colors are very vibrant. You can use them on regular heavy cardstock if you’re not going to add water. You can add water to blend out or lighten colors. You can also mix shades between brushes! Some people even use them for handlettering since they are brush pens. Here’s a card using these, with both coloring directly without water on the flower images and also by adding water in the background for a watercolor look:

Derwent Inktense Pencils: I just got these recently and LOVE them. They are as versatile as watercolor pencils, but with a firmer texture. They are available in strong, vibrant colors which work beautifully on their own or can be mixed together to create rich, subtle tones. Inktense pencils can be used dry for rich, intense color or washed out with a little water to create a vivid translucent effect. Once dry, the color is permanent and can be worked over with other media. Pencils are pre-sharpened. The pencils can be purchased individually or in sets of 6, 12, 24, 36, and 72. 

Morning Glory Garden 1
Simply Art Watercolor Cakes: These are really cheap watercolors. I bought them to test it out. At $5-6, they’re not bad. I let my nephew use them when he crafts with me. There are 36 colors. They have a cake-like consistency and often go dry so you’ll need to add water each time you pick up a pigment. There are no color names. I would recommend these only if you want something cheap and fun to try or to give to children. 🙂

Rubeena - Mondo Magnolia


Paper: You can read more about the watercolor paper I use here.

Brushes: Brushes come in various shapes, sizes, and types. The smaller the number, the smaller the brush so sizes 0000/000/00/0 are great for detail coloring and larger sizes like 10 or 14 would be for backgrounds or large paintings. For A2 cards, I tend to use size 0, 2, and 4 round brushes the most. For backgrounds, I sometimes grab sizes 6, 8, 10 or even 12. Brushes are available as angular, spotter, detailer, rigger, mops, flat washes, etc. So many types! I’m still learning and playing around with them. 🙂 Riggers are great for very fine details like grass. Detailers are great for dots (like adding white details to images or lettering). Flat washes are great for thick lines. I’ve linked some of the ones I use and like.

Palette: I only use one palette right now for my Winsor & Newton watercolor paints, and purchased a second one because I’m planning on adding more paints to my collection over time. 🙂

fave banner
GIVEAWAY #10: To qualify, answer the following questionWhat are your favorite watercolors?
For more entries, share the post and let me know where you shared it.  For even more entries, connect with me (leave a separate comment for each):

Commenting ends Saturday, February 27 at 11:59 pm EST. All winners will be contacted via e-mail, and I will also post the list on my blog by Saturday, March 5.

I am giving away a small package of products to use for watercoloring. 🙂

Thank you for visiting! ♡

This post contains a few affiliate links. This means that if you happen to purchase something, I get a small commission (at no additional cost to you!) as a way to support my blog. Thanks so much for your support!


  1. Shelly

    February 29, 2016 at 3:17 pm

    I know I’m late commenting…;) Though, this is another great post! I’m still in the stage of ‘trail and error…remember to breathe’ with watercolors, meaning I get frustrated with them at times. lol However, when I do create something with them, its usually using distress inks, pencils, or a plain old watercolor set. 🙂 Thanks for sharing and your cards are beautiful!

  2. Shari

    February 28, 2016 at 12:42 am

    Kuretake Gansai Tambi are my absolute favorite, with that being said, they are also the best quality of watercolors I have. So, I don’t have a lot to compare them to, but I do love them! 💗💗💗

  3. Miriam Prantner

    February 27, 2016 at 9:51 pm

    My favorite are the Kuretake Gansai and Inktense pencils, I’ve tried and do like others, but those are the ones that can really get me through 90% of what I want to do.

  4. Rosali

    February 27, 2016 at 1:39 pm

    So interesting to read about your watercolor mediums! And I loooove ALL of these cards!! … I recently invested in a Holbein set and I also have a Daniel Smith Try Sheet-and I really love the artist grade paints. But I also often use Distress Inks.

  5. Michelle C

    February 27, 2016 at 12:45 pm

    I liked you on Facebook.

  6. Michelle C

    February 27, 2016 at 12:44 pm

    I follow you on Instagram.

  7. Michelle C

    February 27, 2016 at 12:43 pm

    That’s a lot of goodies! I only have distress inks now as watercolours and it’s so much fun!

  8. craftmommy

    February 27, 2016 at 12:42 pm

    I love Winsor & Newton Professional Paints. They are the best.

  9. Kim S.

    February 27, 2016 at 11:40 am

    So much information!! Thank you for sharing! My personal favorites are the Daniel Smith and Windsor Newton tube watercolors. The zig markers are fun for travel and Kids sporting events.

  10. Kristie G.

    February 27, 2016 at 9:19 am

    I follow you on Instagram!

  11. Kristie G.

    February 27, 2016 at 9:02 am

    I follow you on Flickr!

  12. Kristie G.

    February 27, 2016 at 9:01 am

    I follow you on Pinterest!

  13. Kristie G.

    February 27, 2016 at 8:48 am

    I get your blog emails.

  14. Kristie G.

    February 27, 2016 at 8:43 am

    Such great information and samples here. LOVE it! Thank you so much.
    I love my Zig Markers for watercoloring! So quick and easy to use.

  15. Lisascreativeniche

    February 27, 2016 at 8:00 am

    Wow, lots of great info here about some of the products I own and didn’t even know, so thank you! I do love my gansambi water colors as my tube ones are just cheap ones. I do also love my distress inks and markers as they are so versatile.

  16. Hussena

    February 27, 2016 at 7:14 am

    Hi Ruby,
    I have just started reading your Crafty adventure series and this is the first post I have read.
    Thank you so much for all the info regarding the different coloring mediums …I absolutely love all your cards shared here using different watercoloring’s amazing to see how different each watercoloring medium is from another and the end results are so different too.
    Personally I have only been using Distress inks for all my coloring and yet to invest in any professional medium.But the gansai tambi colors are in my wish list for now.

  17. Shona Chambers

    February 27, 2016 at 4:23 am

    Thanks so much for this Ruby, I didn’t realise there were so many different ones and maybe there are many more. Always good to hear what others think of things before you invest. Really enjoying your series by the way!!

  18. KT Fit Kitty

    February 26, 2016 at 8:55 pm

    I already follow you on Pinterest!

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