Watercolor Lifting

by Wendy Cranford

Make a beautiful two-tone background with this reverse resist technique.


  • Watercolor paper (strathmore 140lb watercolor paper used here)
  • Dye based markers or inks (Stampin’ Up! Emerald Envy, Cucumber Crush, and Dapper Denim Stampin' Write Markers used here)
  • Solid image stamps (Seaside Shore set from Stampin' UP! used here)
  • VersaMark ink
  • Heat tool
  • Clear embossing powder
  • Wide paint brush and water
  • Other supplies as needed to complete the card (used here: Memento Tuxedo Black ink, metallic enamel shapes, Stampin' Up! Fast Fuse adhesive, foam tape, Signo white gel pen, 2016-2018 In Color designer series paper, white embossing powder, Stampin’ Up! Whisper White thick cardstock)


  1. Step 1

    Prepare the card base, watercolor paper, and other layers for the card.

  2. Step 2

    Use water based markers or dye based inks to color your watercolor panel. Create wide strips of color for a gradient look.

  3. Step 3

    Use a flat, wide paint brush and clean water to blend the color in a side-to-side motion on the watercolor paper. Blend the ink colors back and forth until the lines from the marker begin to disappear. Use a heat tool to set the watercolor piece or allow it to air dry.

  4. Step 4

    Ink stamps with VersaMark Ink. Stamp randomly to fill the panel.


    Solid image stamps work best for this technique.

  5. Step 5

    Use clear embossing powder to cover the images. Be sure to remove any excess embossing powder that is not on the stamped images. Heat set.

  6. Step 6

    Use the same brush from step 3 to lift the color from the watercolor piece. Paint with clear water back and forth to begin to remove the pigment from the paper. Use a towel or microfiber cloth to dry the excess water off the watercolor paper.

  7. Step 7

    Use the completed panel to embellish a card or other project.


Your Turn

You've seen the tutorial, now you try it! We've got a section of the gallery set aside for Watercolor Lifting. Try this technique, then upload your artwork to the gallery. Show us your creations!

***Please note - Internet Explorer/Edge is not a supported browser, and will not allow you to see the videos. Please use Chrome, Firefox or Safari to view our tutorial videos.

Questions and Comments

We'd love to get your feedback or questions. Leave your comment below.

Looks like fun! Can't wait to try! Thanks for such a great video!
muscrat  |  Wed Aug 3, 2016 at 6:02 AM
I love this techniques thank you.
Angela Reed  |  Wed Aug 3, 2016 at 6:23 AM
Wendy---thanks for sharing this technique--I will try it with my Zig Clean Color watercolor markers! Great job! smile
Susanne Gleason  |  Wed Aug 3, 2016 at 6:54 AM
Thank you for such a pretty, and fun technique. Can't wait to try it today
Prissequito  |  Wed Aug 3, 2016 at 7:37 AM
Ooooh! I can hardly wait to give this a try! Love the resulting looks! Thanks for sharing your tutorial with us!
Bev Gerard  |  Wed Aug 3, 2016 at 8:36 AM
Wendy, TFS this fobulous and fun technique. Love the card you made. Will have to try it.
Martha Staalenburg  |  Wed Aug 3, 2016 at 8:43 AM
Wendy, thank you so much for instructions. Your video was very nicely done. Great card. Great technique.
kab  |  Wed Aug 3, 2016 at 9:07 AM
Wendy, thank you for a GREAT video and tutorial! I love your card and really think I need to try this one! And thanks for the step-outs as well as the video! Hugs!
Cheryl Scrivens  |  Wed Aug 3, 2016 at 9:52 AM
Great video and technique! Love your card... off to try it now....
kathy wright  |  Wed Aug 3, 2016 at 12:35 PM
Love love love this technique. Beautiful - fun. I can't wait to try it. TFS.
Cindy  |  Wed Aug 3, 2016 at 12:44 PM
Love this technique, thank you.
Rob Keogh  |  Thu Aug 4, 2016 at 7:03 PM
Thanks for sharing - what a cool idea!
Mary Ellen  |  Fri Aug 5, 2016 at 9:51 AM
Fun technique with a beautiful result! Thank you for the tutorial!
Greta H  |  Fri Aug 5, 2016 at 10:08 AM
I saw Jennifer's video on this, too. I really like your example!! Need to try this! TFS!
Michelle  |  Sat Aug 6, 2016 at 5:33 AM
Really awesome technique! Can't wait to give it a try!
Vicki  |  Mon Aug 8, 2016 at 12:30 PM
Great technique and beautiful cards! Thanks for the instruction!
Mary Davidson  |  Mon Aug 8, 2016 at 5:50 PM
Super cool technique!
Nancy Williams  |  Tue Aug 9, 2016 at 5:35 AM
Thank you! I loved doing this and the result. I just have to figure out how I am making into a card.
Sharon Madson  |  Tue Aug 9, 2016 at 6:39 PM
Love this technique!
Helen Gullett  |  Wed Aug 10, 2016 at 7:00 AM
Thanks for sharing this. I just got a heat gun and will give it a try.
Bertha Pilgrim  |  Sat Sep 10, 2016 at 4:37 PM

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