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No Line Watercoloring - MFT Poppies

Hello everyone! It's Ashlea here, and I'm thrilled to be sharing my first project as part of the Butterfly Reflections Ink design team. For my first post I decided to try a technique I have never tried before. Makes sense, right? Great!

As soon as I saw the Painted Poppies set by My Favorite Things, I knew I would finally try the amazing, beautiful, dreaded no-line watercoloring technique. Of course I've watched endless video on the subject and repeated "you can do it!" to myself but until I saw these poppies, I never really felt the *need* to try. These images have such a fun, whimsical design that lends itself so well to this technique and I'd love to tell you how I achieved the look.

For starters, I knew I wanted to make the watercoloring itself a bit easier for me since, well, I'm not really great at watercoloring. "What are you doing here?" I can almost hear you saying. Let's move on. I cut a piece of watercolor card stock to 5" x 7" and stamped the florals, stems, and leaf images with Distress Oxide in Antique Linen. This is a great no line ink to use because it is light and will blend in when watercoloring. I decided to dig out my Inktense pencils which are basically watercolor pencils but very saturated.  They lend themselves well to no-line watercoloring because you use water to push the color away from where you put the color. So, I used the pencil to draw in the areas that I felt would be most saturated on the flowers and leaves. Then I used a small round paintbrush and clean water to carefully push the color out to the less saturated areas. I would occasionally stop to clean the brush, and used just the edge of the color to draw even less saturation to areas I wanted to represent highlights like the center of the leaves and the very tips of the petals. 

After the flowers were complete, I masked all four edges of the card front and carefully applied clean water around the flowers. To the saturated area around the flowers and in the masked area, I applied a light blue watercolor. Once that was dry, I removed the masking tape and Inca Gold watercolor from Finetec to line the very edges of the blue rectangle. I thought this gave a little bit of shine to the card and also framed the flowers a little more. For the sentiment, I used "Hello" and "Lovely" from the Hello Lovely stamp set by Concord and 9th because I thought the script went well with the image. To finish off the card, I used some white Nuvo Crystal Drops

I hope that you have enjoyed learning a little bit about how I faced my fears and tried no line watercoloring for the first time. Let me know how you plan to color in these poppies! I'll see you soon!


  1. Well done. I am hesitant to try this technique, too. You explained your process thoroughly so I will give it a go today when I have some crafty time.


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