From Vivid to Muted; Three Ways with Watercolor Brush Markers and Paint-A-Flower: Coral Sunset Stamp Set

by May Sukyong Park

Hello, Altenew friends! Norine here today with three cards demonstrating the varied looks that can be achieved with Altenew's Watercolor Brush Markers. I love a product with a wide range of properties, and the Watercolor Brush Markers have that! From very deep and intense pigment to lovely pale shades when diluted, on watercolor paper or smooth cardstock, they do it all!

Altenew PAFCoralSunset 1

I used the Paint-A-Flower: Coral Sunset Outline Stamp Set for my cards today, because they have a loose outline that goes well with the loose painting technique I wanted to use. Starting from most vivid to muted, my three cards show a little of what you can do with the Watercolor Brush markers beyond using their brush tips to paint, as you would with a paint brush.

Let's begin!

Card #1

Altenew PAFCoralSunset WatercolorBrushPens 2

Starting with the most brightly colored of the three cards, I stamped the Coral Sunset stamp onto plain watercolor cardstock twice, with the left side of the stamp on the right side of the card panel and the right side of the stamp on the left side of the cardstock. I stamped with Obsidian Pigment Ink and heat set with clear embossing powder.

Altenew PAFCoralSunset WatercolorBrushPens 5

You might not guess this, but I used only 5 colors on this card and the next one – Purple Wine, Sunkissed and Warm Sunshine for the flowers and Moss and Dusk for the greenery. It just seems like there are more colors included because where two or more colors have touched, new shades are created.

Altenew PAFCoralSunset WatercolorBrushPens 7

Starting with Purple Wine, I scribbled some pigment onto a watercolor palette and spritzed with water to dilute slightly, and then “smooshed” the cardstock down onto the puddles of color approximately where the top and bottom flowers are positioned. I wiped off the Purple Wine pigment then repeated that step with Warm Sunshine and smooshed onto the small flower bud.

Altenew PAFCoralSunset WatercolorBrushPens 4

Then, before the Purple Wine and Warm Sunshine was fully dry, I scribbled Sunkissed (orange) watercolor liquid onto my palette and smooshed it on the one flower on the far right and let some of the orange blend with the Purple Wine on the left. Then, I moved on to do the leafy areas and the background with mixes of Moss and Dusk ink. Once everything was dry, I added some paint speckles and stamped a couple of sentiments from the stamp set to create this duo greeting. A thin strip of glossy black cardstock along the bottom finishes the card.

Card #2

Altenew PAFCoralSunset WatercolorBrushPens 10

If you know my style at all, you'll recognize that these intense shades aren't my typical go-to. I love them, but I'm also a little scared of them, so when I do attempt anything this vivid, I end up trying to rein it in a little, as I've done with card #2!

Altenew PAFCoralSunset WatercolorBrushPens 11

I began by stamping the Coral Sunset image onto vellum paper with clear embossing ink and black embossing powder, then fussy cutting the shape. Then, using the stamped vellum as a guide, I smooshed more of the same colors onto my watercolor palette and then onto the watercolor paper, starting with the pink, then orange, then yellow, and working quickly enough that the pigments could blend together on the paper.

Altenew PAFCoralSunset WatercolorBrushPens 14

While the first paints were still wet, I added some of the Moss and Dusk, again using the stamped vellum as a general guide.

altenewDT1 1

This is what the watercolor cardstock looked like before I adhered the vellum to the painted panel. The last step was adding some diluted green around the edges and it dried with hard lines, but because it's covered by the vellum I'm not too worried about it.

Altenew PAFCoralSunset WatercolorBrushPens 15

I used liquid glue on the back of the vellum, applying it in small dots on the most heavily stamped areas, and using my finger to spread it a little before sticking it to the watercolor paper. If you look closely, you can see the glue, but with a design as busy as this, it blends in. Otherwise, I'd have sprayed the backside of the vellum with aerosol adhesive to get a more invisible result. I combined another two sentiments in the Coral Sunset Stamp Set and finished with a few black enamel dots.

Card #3

Altenew PAFCoralSunset WatercolorBrushPens ScallopedScallops StamptemberFramedFriendship 3

If Cards #1 and #2 were bright and slightly less bright, #3 is a little more muted, yet with painting, the Coral Sunset flower bouquet using only one Watercolor Brush Pen – Lava Rock!

Altenew PAFCoralSunset WatercolorBrushPens ScallopedScallops StamptemberFramedFriendship 4

This time, I stamped on watercolor cardstock with clear embossing ink and heat set with Platinum Embossing Powder – a look I particularly love! It is also a shade of emboss that matches nicely with the Lava Rock ink.

Altenew PAFCoralSunset WatercolorBrushPens ScallopedScallops StamptemberFramedFriendship 7

I like to heat emboss images that I plan to watercolor because as minuscule as the ridges of the embossed lines are, they still manage to create slight barriers for water and color. So working one flower or set of leaves at a time, I washed a whole flower with clean water, then dropped in pigment in the shaded corners and let the color seep and blend outward and letting the natural barriers of the embossed lines do the work of color blending. After the first layer was dry, I went back and added deeper shades to create more contrast.

Altenew PAFCoralSunset WatercolorBrushPens ScallopedScallops StamptemberFramedFriendship 1

To complete the card, I finished with more Lava Rock paint speckles, and when they were dry, I stamped a greeting from an older, discontinued set called Framed Friendship.

To achieve the Platinum embossed scallop edge along the bottom, I trimmed the watercolor card panel using the Scalloped Scallops Die, running it through the die cutting machine twice to cut the narrow strip. I pressed the front side with my clear embossing ink pad and heat set with Platinum embossing powder. Then, I glued the strip to the bottom onto a piece of houndstooth patterned paper.

Thank you for stopping by today!  I hope you are inspired to try the “smooshing” technique for coloring floral bouquets, and discover the various ways the watercolor brush pens can inspire your creativity!


4X6 PAF 20Coral 20Sunset 2e1daf84 1cb7 4415 afe3 8531b7d243b0
Paint-A-Flower: Coral Sunset Outline…
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Ultimate Watercolor Brush Markers…
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Watercolor Paper Pad (9″x 12″)
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Vellum Translucent Paper (25…
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Obsidian Pigment Ink
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Altenew Creative Edges: Scalloped…
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Crystal Clear Crisp Embossing Powder…
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Platinum Crisp Embossing Powder –…
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Watercolor Palette – Medium – Altenew
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Embossing Ink – Altenew
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Altenew Artists Round Flat Watercolor…
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Yvonne Boucher April 6, 2021 - 10:11 AM

Beautfiul cards, Norine. I especially love the “lava rock, muted look. It can go for a man or woman.

Kimberly Mayes April 6, 2021 - 10:11 AM

Norine, I absolutely love all of your cards. I cannot wait for the weekend to try and make a card using vellum as you did. I am so excited. Thank you for sharing ❤️

Cindy C. April 6, 2021 - 10:20 AM

Incredible!! 💗

barbara lassiter April 6, 2021 - 10:25 AM

Beautiful cards.

Bernie Frisch April 6, 2021 - 10:29 AM

These are beautiful! Thank you for sharing with us!! I love the look of the smooshing!!!

Maureen Reiss April 6, 2021 - 11:46 AM

Beautiful cards!!!!

Carole April 6, 2021 - 12:58 PM

These are absolutely gorgeous. I never knew you could get such beautiful results with ink smooshing. I hope mine will come out half as pretty as yours.

tara prince April 6, 2021 - 2:38 PM

So very pretty!!

Sarah B April 6, 2021 - 2:41 PM

All three are amazing. As Carole said above, I didn’t realize such beautiful results could come from smooshing. This is now on my list of things to try. Any chance a video for the smooshed ones might be made? I love the Lava Rock one as well but your directions and the example should be enough to attempt on my own. Thanks for sharing these gorgeous cards.

llong932 April 7, 2021 - 12:16 AM

O, Norine!! your colorful cards are just beautiful! No one would guess they are out of your comfort zone. This would make a GREAT video (hint hint). how much scribble do you do on your palette? Do you add water? I will definitely be experimenting with the smooshing technique and dropping just one color through a whole water colored card front and remembering to let the water do the work. The monochromatic lava rock color is very elegant. Thank you for sharing!

Marisela Delgado April 7, 2021 - 12:21 AM

So beautiful, Norine!

momentsofcrafting April 7, 2021 - 7:02 AM

Your cards are stunning Norine! I love them all. Thanks for the how to! Stay safe! :)

Helen Budz April 7, 2021 - 4:20 PM

These cards are truly lovely, Norine. Thanks for sharing various ways to color, from vivid to monochromatic. Each has a unique look that shows this stamp set so well. tfs-stay well.

nanabritton April 8, 2021 - 4:51 PM

Thank you so much, Norine…all cards are beautiful, and I will try to do something a tiny bit close, but especially thank you for the ‘muted’ card using the same stamp set. I have so many gorgeous Altenew floral sets, and need a way to use them for male cards!

sdelane3 April 11, 2021 - 12:26 AM

Hi from NY all of these card are just wonderful. Thank you for the how to!

maria f. April 15, 2021 - 7:53 AM

Norine, you never cease to amaze me with all your beautiful, artistic creations.

Debbie Cote April 6, 2022 - 11:01 AM

Norine your work is amazing as always. Your watercolouring is always so so beautiful and can’t wait to see what you have for us next


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