Sunday, August 28, 2016

VIDEO: Loose Watercolor with Yana Smakula

Hello everyone! This is Yana Smakula and today I’m sharing a gratitude card featuring loose watercolor technique.

I am very much addicted to watercoloring these days and I’m using it more and more to color various images for my projects. There are many different ways to watercolor and in the past, when using watercolors, I’d color my images completely and would leave no white space. Recently I discovered a new-for-me loose watercolor look that I simply adore.

Even if you are not a watercolor enthusiast I think you'll find this way to watercolor very enjoyable.

Watch above or watch in HD at YouTube

To create my card I started by stamping leaf outlines from the Autumn Leaves stamp set in Coconut Husk ink. I wanted a softer look with a little less contrast, so instead of using black I went with rich brown color and stamped my images onto watercolor paper.

My watercolor medium of choice these days is Distress Inks and I used two colors of Distress ink for each leaf. The lighter colors were used for the base layer and than I used darker colors to add shadows. I really love how simple and beautiful my background turned out. And this watercoloring technique can be applied to a variety of different images, especially flowers. You can also use other, more traditional watercolors for this.

If you’d like to learn more about watercolor I highly recommend taking Dawn’s Watercolor for Cardmakers class from Online Card Classes - it will blow your mind (not to mention greatly improve your watercolor skills).

After my background was dry I trimmed it down to 4 ¼ by 5 ½ inches and adhered onto an A2 top folding card base made out of white cardstock.

I wanted this card to have a fun and playful look so I also stamped an adorable puppy from the Friends For All Season: Summer set, watercolored him using the same technique and cut out using a coordinating die.

To help my puppy stand out on the background I added a layer of vellum. It not only helped to mute a portion of the vibrant fall leaves background, but also ended up being a great place to house my sentiment.

I heat embossed With Much Gratitude from the Grateful Greetings stamp set and used Copper embossing powder to try to match the color of my heat embossing to my outline image stamping.

I adhered the pup onto the vellum layer and foam mounted my vellum onto the card base. Lastly I adhered several clear drops in various sizes.

I love how I was able to mix images from the more traditional Autumn Leaves stamp set with a fun and playful Friends For All Seasons set to create this Thank You card.

Featured Supplies

For your convenience, here is a list of the supplies (or equivalents) used on today's project(s), along with links to purchase. Please note: this list does contain some affiliate links.


  1. Maybe it's just me, but I can't seem to get the video to work (I'm on a Mac)? I'd love to watch Yana create this card - it's stunning!

  2. I can't get it to work either:(

  3. Yana, I love this. Every time I watch one of your videos I want to run upstairs and try to copy it. Since I have trouble staying "inside the lines," this loose water color technique is perfect for me.

  4. the links don't work on my Mac, but found this link works -

  5. I love this ... the white makes it so light.

  6. This is absolutely adorable!! I LOVE how you created that background!!

  7. Love your water coloring on this card with the vellum. It all makes for a very pretty card. Sorry the video didn't work out so I could see it.

  8. So sweet and pretty, awesome coloring!

  9. A beautiful card and great video tutorial. (I couldn't get the video to work either on the blog but at the bottom of my email where it shows the video, I clicked on that and it took me right to it! Hope this might help others???

  10. Such a pretty card! I love this loose watercoloring and should give this technique a try!;)

  11. Yana, your watercoloring is so beautiful. I am searching for some vellum asap! So pretty and playful. Love it!

  12. I love your technique with this card - it's very cute too!! Thanks so much!!!


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