Kellie’s Watercolouring Tutorial

Hello everyone,  I am so super excited to be here helping out my awesome girl Kristy celebrate leading to her Birthday!
I have an old tutorial to share with you as some may had never seen it and my colouring style has not changed since then. I hope that in some ways I teach you something new or you walk away with a little inspiration. While this is how I water colour I do not claim to be an expert, this is just one of the many ways out there and this is my way…


***My first photo is a photo of everything I would need to water colour with distress inks :

  • my acrylic blocks that I try and wash once a week as I use double sided tape for un-mounted stamps if I am out of ezy mount and they can get rather sticky
  • I then have my tin full of my distress inks
  • my stamp & StazOn ink pad
  • my aqua painter, these come in 3 sizes and I mainly use the fine point and medium, in this tutorial I used medium tip
  • my Lil Lolita Evie stamp that I had already stamped hence her still having ink
  • my water colour paper (Stampin’ Up!)
  • I have my ink pallet that I picked up at a cheap craft store
  • and then of course the one re-inker I don’t have in an ink pad form, don’t know why, just one of those things…

So then we have the stamped image onto the water colour paper and using my acrylic block and stazon ink.

I squeeze the ink pad when the lid is on and then when I open it I use my aqua painter and the ink on the lid to colour with… I always start to colour with the skin tones and for that I use Tattered Rose Distress Ink Pad.
I always go over the skin in all areas first, just lightly as after I have done the last part I go back to the first area I coloured and go over it again and continue with the rest of the image and then once more I start from the start again to add that extra shading. You can colour as much or as little as you like to get the shade you desire. Below is how my image went from step by step.


Lightly coloured all over…


.. gone over a second time on face a tad darker …


… added shading around the edges of image to give depth.


After that by the time I get my ink ready it has dried already and I get my Distress Ink Pad Fired Brick and find the right shade by moving the ink around and squeezing my aqua painter to make more water to water down the colour a bit to then add to the cheeks, like below…



I often them move the colour around the whole image if I have added to much blush to her cheeks and it will give off a nice glow colour. If you add TO much to do this, wet the area with your aqua painter and then using a tissue push hard down on the area and it will lift the colour a shade.



So then onto the hair and I have gone with a dusty blonde and a different technique. I only use Antique Linen and I start of like the skin only going over it once lightly.


I then as per skin instructions go over it again in the dry areas and then once it’s dried to give the blonde effect I have a technique where I make darker outlines around the lines in the hair. I would usually do this with a lot more blending with other colours but found that the effect didn’t work as well on the Antique Linen.


Now she needs some colour in those gorgeous eyes of hers…. I use a 3 step process for this using 3 shades of Distress Ink colours below…Broken China, Weathered Wood and Faded Jeans and I do them in that order too.


First of I go light over them in watered down Broken China…


… then I go over the eyes lightly and watered down with Weathered Wood…


… And on the last process I use Faded Jeans and use it very dark around the outside and work the colour in. I usually do this 2-3 times depending on the depth I want to get the effect of it.


Right now onto the cute kitten ears Evie has. For this I am going to use Distress Re-Inker Walnut Stain and my colour pallet.


As you can see you can pull some ink out and then water it down to not get the dark effect right away. Most people dab on a spare bit of paper. Unfortunately for me no matter how many times I have tried this I always just use my hand and always have ink all over them, old habit!


As you can see from above I start at the base to give that depth right away with darker shades I feel this is easier.


Here is the second going over. I do find that with darker shades you do not need to over lay as many times as you do with lighter shades.


Now she needs a pretty pink dress. And I am going to give her a light pink dress with darker pink little kittens. First once again like the skin tones I start of with the lightest colour of Spun Sugar and colour all over and then going back to give a little more depth.


***And then I get my Distress Victorian Velvet also a new colour and give it some more depth in the places I require and then the places that don’t will still have the light Spun Sugar and then giving a all over effect. So as you can see below you can already see the effect taking place….

I then get my Aged Mahogany which I might add I LOVE using for vintage pinks. And I take it and colour in the kittens on her dress but only on one side of the heads and just basically one line as you can see.


Once they dry I then go over them with my aqua painter to move the ink just a little. I find that when the ink dries and you then colour over you only move a little of the ink and that is perfect for that light looking shade as you can see above.

Here is another Evie I have coloured up from before…


And then here is a card with her all coloured and looking fabulous…


Thank you for taking the time to read and look through my tutorial. I hope that it has taught you something new, or just inspired you to give water colouring a try.


All images are copyright to Kellie Winnell © and the tutorial itself is not to be copied and reproduced.
  • Maria Therese says:

    Fab tut!!

  • Brenda says:

    Great tutorial.

  • petraso says:

    Great tutorial! This way too coloring is one of the most common in sweden!
    ja Love to play with the distress pads and use the refills to coloring but í´m not so good as you!

  • Eulalia from Italy says:

    Great tutorial, great card, great odd girl!!!
    I’m inspired by your amazing work. Thank you for your sharing.
    xoxoxo Eulalia from Italy

  • Kellie's Watercolouring Tutorial | says:

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  • Pat R says:

    That was an awesome tutorial! Thank you Kellie! I only have a few distress inks, but I am so going to have to try this! I just got into Copics, so I have stamps to play with. Have you ever tried printing digis on the watercolor paper? Does that work? Just curious, as I have an ever-growing collection of Kristy’s digis.

  • Wendi R says:

    oh wow that tut was great!!!! I LOVED the step by step and learned sooo much!!!!

  • Denise says:

    Wow, I am so loving seeing all these great projects! It has my head spinning with ideas! Thank you sooo much!!
    Crafty Hugs,

  • Diana Fisher says:

    This is great! Love the step-by-step!

  • Annie says:

    Omg…such a great technique! I love using water color but never tried the aqua pen with distress inks…I need to go and try it myself now! Thanks for sharing…love the card and color combos 😀

  • Lucianna says:

    What a fun tutorial, I will have to try this! Thank you and beautiful coloring 🙂

  • Corry says:

    I struggle with distess, but now i have that funky holder for the refills too, so maybe I’ll have better luck. It’s gotta be the ink holder right!?!? lol Thanks for sharing Kellie. I love your creation! Old or not ! It’s still great!

  • Some Different Stamp Storage says:

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  • Linda Citronlime says:

    Superb tutorial!!! 🙂
    And a lovely card!

  • Kim H says:

    Great tutorial, and a beautifully finished card. I love the colors and textures. The lace, the flowers, and distressing are all wonderful details. Thank you.

  • lizzie says:

    wow miss boss lady you sure do color pretty!!

  • Calypso says:

    Great tutorial Kellie!!! I really love the look of water colored images!!!


  • Corinne says:

    Awesome tutorial!! Thanks so much!!

  • Sharman says:

    Awesome job. I have never water colored before but this is a awesome tutorial to start with. Thank You.

  • Donna says:

    Great tutorial Kellie,
    Thanks for doing this, I love to water color, especially with the distress pads, so much fun and so many colors can be achieved!!

  • Arabella says:

    Great tutorial Kellie! Thanks! I wondered how people were doing this technique!


  • Sheila says:

    Wow Kellie! That is awesome.


  • Leah Martin says:

    Love water coloring!

  • Jess Marin says:

    I just love Kellie’s tute. I used it for my first time with DI and it was very helpful.
    Thanks Kellie!
    Jess M

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