Watercolor Backgrounds PreClass

Welcome to the PreClass session for this class! This lesson includes information about supplies both needed and recommended for class.

Note that you can likely try out the supplies you already have for this class. You can also use whatever colors you desire – change it up from the colors used in the examples. 


Daniel Smith Watercolor tubes are what I use…no need to get these! I’ve changed my palette several times over the last few years….so it’s all personal preference.

Also totally okay to use:  Koi Sketchbox, Gansai Tambi (these are both a little more like guache so they don’t layer as nicely as the Daniel Smith paints)


If you’d like to create a palette like mine, here’s more on how I set it up (see the blog post HERE in 2017) – pdf is HERE.

Making cards

This class does not cover the creation of cards in the videos. The backgrounds are taught, then below each video, finished cards are shown and a description is provided with basic tips. You can use these backgrounds along with any of the card design videos you find on YouTube!

TIP: Once you complete some practice pieces, start a stash of backgrounds to grab when making cards at a later time, OR find some stamps to use and create a card as soon as your paper is dry!

All backgrounds created in videos for this class were mounted onto black cardstock as they were completed. Then all in one day, they were turned into cards using these stamps in the Essentials by Ellen collection below to finish them all off. You can use stamps you already have to make cards – flowers, hearts, sentiments, etc. Or if you really love just that background, put a sentiment on the inside, and send the card out as a small piece of art! (This can work REALLY well for sympathy cards that are so hard to make already.)

Stamps used in this class have been discontinued.

Other tips for watercolor cardmaking

  • Adhesive: Watercolor paper is textured – so I recommend using a really strong adhesive. I use either Be Creative Tape or ATG tape in generous quantity –  and the Be Creative tape is by far stickier and more permanent. For extra flattening, adhere watercolor paper onto a base piece of cardstock, then attach that cardstock with any of your favorite regular adhesives. Both foam tape and Xtreme tabs are sticky enough for watercolor paper.
  • Ink: If you’re just stamping on top of pre-painted paper and don’t need to add any more water, you can use any ink. It’s only BEFORE painting that you need to be sure it’s waterproof ink.
  • Embossing: Be sure to use a powder tool to prepare your watercolored paper for embossing. This removes the static from the paper so when you shake on the powder, it’s less likely to stick.
  • Stamping: A MISTI stamping tool can really be helpful when stamping on watercolor paper because it allows for repeated stamping. Watercolor paper is textured and can require some extra attention.