“In this class we will get lost in the world of watercolor. We’ll put together a mini palette and spend some time exploring color mixing, seeing what magic we can create with a limited color palette. While we’re exploring, we’ll learn a few watercolor techniques and paint a pretty poppy and background.”

Instructions for Assembling Your Palette:

  1. If you purchased the SAF kit, the first thing you’ll want to do is assemble your mini palette.  Attach a small piece of magnet sheet to the bottom of each watercolor pan so they will stay put inside the tin.  You may also want to write the color name of each paint onto the pans for future reference.  The paints are Daniel Smith brand, and contain the following colors: Dark Blue = Phthalo Blue (Red Shade), Yellow = Hansa Yellow Medium, Orange/Red = Transparent Pyrrol Orange, Magenta = Quinacridone Lilac, Black = Lamp Black
  2. Now it’s time to play a bit with your new mini palette of paints and create a fun wrap for the tin that doubles as a reference swatch!  So many colors and shades can be made by mixing the four paint colors in the palette (not including the black).  The SAF kit includes a printed wrap with a grid that can be painted with all of the different shades.
  3. There are five rows on the printed band, each with ten squares.  Paint the first square in the first row blue, straight from your palette, and the last square of that same row with pure yellow.  Now gradually begin adding just a bit of blue to your pure yellow paint, and paint that color in the next square.  Continue doing this, adding just a bit more blue to the mix each time, until the entire row of squares is filled in. You should see the colors gradually changing from yellow to green, and finally to blue as you come to the end of the row.
  4. Use this same process to fill in all the rows of the wrap, experimenting with all of the different color combos.  Your rows should be mixes of the following colors: Yellow ———> Blue, Orange ———> Magenta, Yellow ———> Orange, Orange ———> Blue, Magenta ———> Blue
  5. Wrap your finished swatch strip around your palette tin once it’s dry, and secure the ends with a bit of adhesive.
Project Instructions:
  1. Stamp the poppy image onto watercolor paper using Soft Stone ink.
  2. Begin watercoloring the petals, almost like a paint-by-number.  Start with the large oval petal on the left side of the flower using the dark orange watercolor paint.  While the orange is still wet, drop in a bit of the magenta paint towards the center of the flower to add some deeper shading.
  3. Work on painting all of the petals, being careful not to paint petals that are next to each other while they are still wet, or they will bleed into each other.  Experiment with some different shading techniques such as wet-on-wet, dry brush blending, etc.  These will be shown in the video tutorial.
  4. Mix some blue and yellow paint to create green for the stem and leaves.  Paint those, adding shading and details as desired.
  5. Paint the center of the flower yellow.  Allow to dry, then add the stamen detail with black paint.
  6. Look at your swatch strip and decide on a color for the background. A lighter, more watery color is best so it doesn’t over power your flower image.  Mix up a fair amount of this color and add to the background around the flower using a wet-on-wet technique.  Drop in some areas of a second color to add more interest if desired.
  7. Once your piece is completely dry, stamp a sentiment of your choice using black ink.  Adhere the finished panel to a card base.


  • STAMPS:  Painted Poppy SAF set, or an outline floral image of your choice
  • INK:  Soft Stone, True Black
  • PAPER:  Watercolor paper (a high quality cotton watercolor paper such as Arches, Fabriano, etc, as some of the blending techniques will be much more difficult on lower quality paper), Cardstock color of your choice for the card base.
  • OTHER:  Mini palette tin and watercolors from the kit, or watercolor paints of your choice, paintbrush (smaller round)

CLICK HERE to visit Betsy’s blog

CLICK HERE to view our live broadcast from Cincinnati!

  • Now it’s your turn!  Create a watercolor project.  You can choose to re-create the exact project from Betsy above or design your own using the same concepts. Your project must also incorporate at least one Papertrey product.
  • Post your project on your blog, in your gallery, Instagram or on any other photo-hosting site (such as photobucket or flickr).
  • Add your project to the InLinkz list below.
  • You will have until 7am ET, Thursday, August 30th, to add your link to the list to be eligible to win. One project per person please.

  • One randomly selected winners will be chosen from all of the InLinkz entries on this post on Thursday, August 30th. The winner will be posted on our Stamp-A-Faire 2018 Winners Page after 9pm ET on Thursday night .  The randomly selected winner will get a $20 PTI gift certificate to spend however they like!
  • One randomly selected winner will be chosen from the comments of this post on Thursday as well. You will have until 7am ET, Thursday, August 3oth to add your comment and be eligible to win. The randomly selected winner will get a $10 PTI gift certificate.

Heather Nichols

Author Heather Nichols

More posts by Heather Nichols

Join the discussion 72 Comments

  • 1
    Sandy S. says:

    oh, Betsy: i notice I always have a bit of trouble hearing your videos, but I’ve got both volume controls turned all the way up. and this one is almost impossible to hear. Luckily, I think I’m pretty clear on the concept.

  • 2
    Colleen F says:

    I had trouble with the volume control also…full volume but could barely hear you. Love your poppy and the water coloring is gorgeous!

  • 3
    Jeni says:

    Beautiful cards Betsy! You made it look so easy. Can’t wait to give this a try this weekend.

  • 4
    Noelle says:

    These are lovely! I need to practice, enjoying your step by step teaching.

  • 5
    Joy Stagg says:

    love watercolors cards…gorgeous!

  • 6
    Mary W says:

    I really love watercolor and these cards I just adore. Gotta go – getting my paints out now.

  • 7
    Donna Dewey says:

    Love this! Oh Betsy,you make me feel like an Artist! What fun!

  • 8
    Helen F. says:

    LOVE LOVE LOVE the way Betsy watercolors her gorgeous flowers. This Poppy stamp is beautiful and her cards are works of art that need to be framed! I am probably only in the “dabbled with watercolors” category and need to watch the video a few more times, but definitely will give this challenge my best effort 🙂

  • 9
    Woendi Levitt says:

    What a great video. Unfortunately I couldnt watch all of it. I was straining to hear.

  • 10
    Linda H Craig says:

    Love the project but can’t hear very well. You make it look so easy.

  • 11
    Greta H says:

    Your painting is so beautiful! I’ve tried a bit of watercoloring like this, but have never been very happy with my results. Thank you, Betsy, for the great video!

  • 12
    sentsue says:

    Beautiful. Need to go try this right now! Thanks for the tips Betsy.

  • 13
    Becky Green says:

    Betsy! I LOOOVE water coloring! Your watered flower came out WONDERFULLY! Maybe now is the time to ask, is PTI coming out with more lined images for those of us that LOVE to color/water color? I would be in heaven then! LOL Otherwise, PTI is missing a whole group of ladies they could be marketing to! BEAUTIFUL WORK, Betsy!!!! 😉

  • 14
    Victoria h says:

    Wow- amazing tips. I love your watercolouring and will give it a go.

  • 15
    Joyce says:

    Absolutely gorgeous. Can’t wait to get home to watch the video .

  • 16
    Susan W. says:

    I’ve always enjoyed watercolored pieces tho I’ve never been able to achieve any myself. Guess I need to practice, practice, practice. Thanks for the step-by-step process, Betsy! Maybe I will have more control over my watercolors following your process. There seems to be a learning curve of the balance between water and paint.

  • 17
    Kathy Mc says:

    Agree with others that the highest volume on my iPad still makes it difficult to hear Betsy clearly. I’ll watch her process later because I love her results. Speeding up the video made it challenging for me to follow her watercoloring the wrap by mixing two colors. Practice, practice, practice! TFS, Betsy!

  • 18

    I love this watercolor look, although I really struggle getting this look. Will give it a try, though.

  • 19
    Melissa S. says:

    Watercoloring is such a challenge for me, but hopefully after watching your video, I might get better at it.

  • 20
    Nancy M says:

    Watching Betsy teach this class at SAF was so rewarding. She shared so many tips while helping people with their watercoloring. I wish I was there in person for this session.

  • 21
    Julie says:

    So helpful to see this technique in action. Thank you!

  • 22
    Catherine Milne says:

    I have always been such a sucker for anything watercolored. I think watercoloring on a card adds a personal, hand crafted touch, even if it’s just a background.

  • 23
    Kim Heggins says:

    Simply stunning…amazing and beautiful flowers!

  • 24
    Carmela says:

    Dreamy flowers! I love the look of watercolor on cards for backgrounds as well as flowers. Thanks for sharing this class, Betsy!

  • 25
    CathyL says:

    Gorgeous watercoloring, Betsy!

  • 26
    JanetS says:

    This is my absolute favorite! I want to try water coloring a flower soon!

  • 27
    Sharon D says:

    Betsy’s water-coloring is amazing! I learned so much from listening to her. I haven’t been too much into the water-coloring trend, but Betsy makes me want to try it now.

  • 28
    Rema DeLeeuw says:

    Beautiful projects. Could not hear a word Betsy was saying. Volume was all the way up.

  • 29
    Donna Gourley says:

    Betsy, you watercolor with a lot more ease than I do. I think we needed a slow motion option on your video. I hope one day my projects will look as nice as yours.

  • 30
    Marta G says:

    Betsy, your card is beautiful and your watercolor tips were so precise and clear. Thank you for the great tutorial!

  • 31

    Oh my goodness. I thought this wasn’t going to be a bust. I used one of the few line images I own, Floral Sketches. Mine turned out much better than I could have imagined. Awesome instructions

  • 32
    Jill A says:

    Very pretty. I wish I had the poppy stamp–great stamp for watercoloring.

  • 33
    Pat Ackley says:

    I loved watching Betsy’s video class. She is not only a talented artist but a wonderful teacher as well!

  • 34
    Terri Trotter Earley says:

    I adore your videos! Love that we can hear your sweet voice not just music

  • 35
    Patty says:

    Just love you beautiful work. Thanks for sharing.

  • 36
    Krissie says:

    Love the watercolor look using stamps. Your video was great and I love all your projects.

  • 37
    Ann says:

    Thank you for a wonderful tutorial on watercoloring. Time to give it a try.

  • 38
    Pat from sd says:

    I love all of your work and this one is just wonderful. Thanks for sharing.

  • 39
    LR says:

    Betsy, what a beautiful watercolor project! I can’t wait to try it. Thanks for the instructions and inspiration!

  • 40
    Janet Goshorn says:

    Beautiful watercoloring

  • 41
    Kate says:

    While I created with the class on-line, I tried another flower last evening and it was much much better. Thanks for your tips and encouragement Betsy. I am loving using watercolor and learning the new techniques. Betsy’s and the rest of the design team’s creations are wonderful and I learn from them all the time.

  • 42
    Leigh Penner says:

    Beautiful cards! I’m looking forward to watching the video and getting tips from one of my favourite watercolour artists!

  • 43
    Super Stick Chick says:

    Wonderfully inspiring! Love to watercolor and learn new techniques! Can’t wait to try it!

  • 44
    Aunt Min says:

    I like watching Betsy mix the colors! And seeing how the dry vs wet brushing leads to a different look.

  • 45
    Lori B says:

    Love all the tips & kind, encouraging words shared by Betsy. I need to watch the video again & write down some of her tips!

  • 46
    Rachel says:

    I just love Betsy’s watercolor cards. When I have time I will definitely sit and watch her at work in this video.

  • 47
    BeverlyBL says:

    Aaaah. Your poppies are lovely.

  • 48
    Paula e says:

    Love to see all the beautiful work Betsey does with watercolors. Her instructions were so helpful. Will have to give this a try.

  • 49
    storymusicgirl says:

    These cards are just gorgeous, Betsy!

  • 50
    Annette Gordon says:

    I just loved your video, when I have more time I am going to have to try and recreate your watercolouring!! But with 3 young kids and a move next weekend and a new job… = no time. 🙁 Thanks so much for sharing.

  • 51
    Keri H says:

    One of my most favorite challenges of the weekend! Beautiful project, Betsy. Gotta turn my newly watercolored panel into a card, and get it posted.

  • 52
    Christine Lawlor says:

    Beautiful cards and thank you for the instruction! It was fun to try no line watercoloring!

  • 53
    Shelly S says:

    Betsy your watercoloring skills are amazing! Love how you used two different techniques to capture shading!

  • 54
    Becky K. says:

    Betsy – you make it look so easy! Love all your projects, this stamp set is beautiful.

  • 55
    Isabel Z says:

    Betsy, you are such a talented artist. Thank you for sharing your beautiful creations.

  • 56
    JuneW says:

    Wow! Loved this! Can’t wait to practice more! Enjoyed the live video-learned so much especially hearing as you answered questions and helped those at the table, what a great stamp a faire this year! Thanks!

  • 57
    Elena Chen says:

    The painted poppies are gorgeous! Can’t wait to try watercolor on my next card project!

  • 58
    lainey says:

    You make watercoloring look so easy!

  • 59
    Marilyn Gabriel says:

    Now that I understand the techniques, I’m hoping to practice more and improve my watercolor skills. Thank you Betsy for this class!

  • 60
    Cynthia C. says:

    I’m looking forward to trying this on other images, the dry brush to blend thing is a game changer. Thanks for the fabulous and useful content, and it was such a pleasure getting the chance to learn from Betsy in person!!

  • 61
    Josiane says:

    Betsy, thank you for taking the time to take the watercoloring classes and sharing your techniques with us. Your cards are gorgeous!

  • 62
    karen b says:

    Simply stunning! You make it look so effortless, you are a true talent!

  • 63
    Sandy Dayhoff says:

    Gorgeous watercoloring – making artists out of everyone!!

  • 64
    Betty Neville says:

    Wow! These are gorgeous!

  • 65
    Dawn Y. says:

    Oh, Betsy! It was such fun to paint along with you during the livestream. I chose an image that had three blossoms and I could see my skills growing as I followed along with each technique. For the first time ever, I felt successful with the wet on wet and dry brush techniques. The pale background looked so nice, too. Today I’m planning to ‘water’ some flowers again. Watercoloring takes practice, practice, and more practice! Heartfelt thanks, Betsy, for sharing your skills and inspiration. I enjoyed every moment! 💗

  • 66

    I’d love to take a whole weekend of workshops from Betsy! She’s so organized and has such attention to detail. I thoroughly enjoyed this class. I’ve been wanting to learn the art of no line watercoloring for awhile now!

  • 67
    Tammy W says:

    Amazing watercoloring, Betsy! I love seeing everyone’s projects too!

  • 68
    Marilyn in Michigan says:

    Beautiful card, Betsy! Some day I’ll be brave and try this.

  • 69
    Carrie P says:

    Such lovely watercolor projects! I just love how each one turns out unique and beautiful!

  • 70
    Karen Briguglio says:

    It was fun to try watercoloring again. I love the soft effect.

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