Watercolor Stamped & Painted Poppies with Ingrid Blackburn

CatherineGallery, Projects

Hi everyone, its Ingrid…I thought I’d kidnap Catherine’s blog for the day! I racked my brain trying to think of the perfect project for you, and I kept going back to the last time Catherine and I were together.

I had brought some of my recent cards with me and Catherine wanted me to show her how to do a particular watercolor stamping/painting technique. We did a quick periscope together and I thought I’d do a more in-depth tutorial for you and for Catherine here today!

On StampNation, we had a Challenge a few weeks ago that focused on one of our members – Gail Hislop. The challenge was to use one of Gail’s many cards in her gallery as inspiration. She had so many great ones to choose from, so I chose one with this very image on it and did a whole watercolored field of poppies. Be sure to check that out and add yours to the mix – challenges never close on StampNation – I just love that!

(Catherine CASEd Gail last week, too!)

I thought I'd tweak the card I did for a watercolor stamping & painting tutorial for you today. So let’s get right to it:

You’ll want to ink up your stamp in the colors you will be water coloring with. I chose the poppy image from Blooming Garden by Penny Black as my focal image. For the perfect butterfly image to compliment the Penny Black stamp, you’ll want two stamps from Butterfly Notes – part of the Lovely Notes Stamp of Approval Collection by Catherine Pooler Designs – they are the perfect fit! This project uses Ranger’s Distress Inks, since they are so great to watercolor with.

Screen Shot 2016-08-11 at 3.15.21 PMWatercolor Painted Poppies Tutorial:

First, ink up the poppy flowers in Spiced Marmalade with a little Barn Door at the bottom. Next add a little Peeled Paint to the stems.

Spritz lightly with a mini mister, it’s key to have a fine mist so you don’t overdo it. You want your stamp to be moist so that when it’s stamped it has a watercolored look, but not be so wet that you lose all the detail. 2-3 mists should be fine.

Mask off your dried images with a piece of scrap paper and watercolor stamp a few buds and the smaller poppy in open areas.

Create a light Spiced Marmalade wash and add a light shade to your flowers with a #10 brush or one you are comfortable with. Tip – When working on the buds, leave a light area. If you made it too dark, go over one small spot with a clean brush and lift off a little color.

Dry your light layer and go over from the bottom with a medium wash creating depth and dimension in your petals. Add this color also to the tops of your poppy buds and back petals for variety. Tip – to effectively showcase the layers of color, it’s important that you leave a little of the previous layer untouched.

Dry layer and repeat with a darker wash that has a little Barn Door mixed into it for a more orange-reddish hue. Keep this layer focused to the bottom and only upward in smaller strokes. Like before, leave some of the previous layers untouched. The goal is to have depth and variety in hue, but if you paint over what you have previously, it will all blend together.

Once your layers are dry, add a light wash of Tumbled Glass to your card around all your images. The key when doing this is to work in sections. First wet an area with a clean brush, then add the Tumbled Glass. Smoosh your ink pad into a craft mat or acrylic block and spritz with water. Spritz one side a bit more to get a lighter shade.

Tipin watercolor, you can always build up color, but it’s hard sometimes to take it away. If you aren’t sure of the strength – test it out on a piece of scrap watercolor paper first.

Screen Shot 2016-08-11 at 3.19.42 PM

If you’ll notice in the photo, I kept the Tumbled Glass darker toward the bottom right and lighter as it went upward.

Next, you’ll use two images from the Catherine Pooler Designs stamp set – Butterfly Notes. You’ll want the transparent winged butterfly – a perfect complement to the poppies, and the scripty Thanks.

Once your sky is dry, watercolor stamp the butterfly. I love this image – it’s delicate and I love that the front wing is transparent.

Add a super light Tumbled Glass wash to the front wing to help fill it in, but keep it super light.

Add some Peacock Feathers with a 3/0 watercolor brush. Using such a small brush helps me to ensure that I don’t get carried away. I’m also able to re-trace the fine lines in the image to darken them after the tumbled glass wash.

Add the body and antennae details with some Ground Espresso and the 3/0 brush.

Watercolor stamp your greeting in Ground Espresso, but only spritz it once – you don’t want it to get too watery…just enough to look like it was painted.

Spritz some smooshed Ground Espresso into your mat & spritz. Pull the ink up with a #6 watercolor brush and flick it at your card. Be sure your card is dry first! Immediately heat set your splatters so they stay nice and brown – it is Distress Ink after all!

Matt your watercolor paper to a dark brown card stock, and then a rich red. The red helped the poppies to really pop. When I had it on a white background – it lightened them a bit.

For a finishing touch I offset the Poppy panel to the right and added some paper piercing top and bottom on the left.

Measurements: Watercolor Paper – 3 ¾ x 5 ½”, Espresso – 3 7/8 x 5 ½”, Cherry – 4 ¼ x 5 ½”

Thanks for letting me create for your readers Catherine. I hope you enjoy giving watercolor stamping and painting a try. It’s actually quite a relaxing project and looks hand painted when you’re through.


Catherine here…my goodness!  This card and tutorial has blown me away.  Be sure to check out Ingrid's blog if you haven't already.  She's pretty amazing!


  • Butterfly Notes (Catherine Pooler Designs)
  • Early Espresso, Cherry Cobbler Cardstock (Stampin Up)
  • 3/0 watercolor brush
  • Paper Piercer





« »