Doodling with Debby: Watercoloring with Distress Inks

Hi friends! Happy Sunday! Welcome to the latest (and might I add super ADORABLE) edition of Doodling with Debby! Every month Debby Hughes shares a new and fun card design! Be sure to read on, watch the video, and enjoy!


Debby's DoodlesHi It’s Debby here and I’m delighted to be joining you with this month’s Doodling With Debby feature. Today I have a video using Distress Inks to watercolour the cute Funny Food set. I did wonder about creating a bunch of cards with each having just one of the fun foods. However, I loved how playful the foods all looked together on the stamp sheet and so decided to arrange all the foods on one piece of card.

Doodling with Debby Watercoloring with Distress InksI laid everything out in the Mini Misti and then as the watercolour card is textured I stamped the images multiple times with Versafine Onyx Black ink to get a good impression. I used a waterproof black marker to fill in any gaps in the stamping and then taped my card down to a piece of board to help prevent it warping as I painted. I used a piece of acetate as a palette, rubbing Distress Ink minis on to the acetate to leave a puddle of colour then adding a little water to get the ink to a paintable consistency but not too much as I wanted the colours to stay strong and vibrant.

Doodling with Debby Watercoloring with Distress InksI used a variety of different Distress Ink colors, which are listed in the supplies section below. I added the ink around the edges of the food images and then rinsed my brush and used water to blend that out. While the ink was still wet I added more colour to the shadow areas and let the water do the work to soften and blend that out. I dotted around the card colouring different areas so that each area had time to dry which meant it didn’t bleed in to the adjacent area.

With the food characters painted I wanted to give them a nice background to really help the colours pop and so I added Broken China to my acetate palette and painted around the images. I kept it loose and uneven to add interest. The only difficulty was that as Distress Inks are so reactive with water that on occasion when my brush touched an area I’d already painted the colour bled out in to the background slightly. I added some faded jeans to the background to give some variation.

Having dried off the panel with my heat tool I then added splatters of water to the background and lifted some of the colour with a tissue. I did this a couple of times but I think because the background wasn’t highly pigmented that the lighter areas where the colour had been lifted weren’t as obvious. So I resorted to my usual splatter of a solution of Perfect Pearls to give the variation that I was after.

Doodling with Debby Watercoloring with Distress Inks

Another of my favourite techniques currently is to add some extra depth and interest to a piece with coloured pencils. Finally I wanted to fill the gaps between the food with a small image. I looked through my stamps and spotted the perfect small heart in the Some Bunny Special set. I added that to an acrylic block and then stamped with Versafine Onyx Black ink to fill in any gaps. I pulled my acetate palette back and watercolored the hearts with Barn Door Distress Ink. I added foam adhesive to the back of the panel and mounted it to a side folding white card base.

Thanks for joining me today and I’ll see you for next month’s Doodling With Debby feature.

Watch the video:


Thanks for reading, and thanks to Debby for being our special guest!

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  1. These cards are just so much fun. I love the idea of making the food pieces into little people.

  2. Awesome coloring and fun design! I love that you matched the images and the puny sentiments, so creative! TFS

  3. Thanks for the inspiration Debby! These guys are so fun and I love how you achieved that range in your values from the light insides of the images to the dark outsides!

  4. So cute! I love how you used the colored pencils to add dimension to the watercoloring you did. Love the food stamps, just adorable. I love the card! Thanks for sharing .

  5. I love this food set…it’s one of my current favs. I’ve been coloring mine with Copics but I may try the watercolor look after seeing this cute card.

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