Watercolour butterflies

watercolour butterflies Heather Telford

I have more water colouring for you today but I didn’t use my pencils this time. I used three colours of Memento inks and a large acrylic block. I stamped the ink pad directly onto the acrylic block and then picked up ink with a aqua painter . The aqua painter already has water in it so the ink immediately diluted a little.  Any way I am jumping ahead with my description.

Back to the beginning…I stamped the butterflies in versamark and and embossed in clear powder onto watercolour cardstock. At this point I hadn’t decided how to use the butterflies so I taped the panel down on my work table so it wouldn’t warp once I started painting. I worked on one butterfly at a time, painting it with water first then adding colour blue, green and purple to different sections of the butterfly and watching the ink blend. As the ink dried and the intensity of the colour decreased I added a bit more here and there with markers which I then blended with water.

Once I decided to cut around all three butterflies I knew I would not attempt to cut our their antennae ( you know I am not a “fussy cutter”).  The Less is More challenge this week is to use beads so I found some tiny beads which matched and started searching for thin wire to thread them together. I ended up using a discarded violin string (not uncommon around here) but it was too thick so I unwound the very fine wire which is tightly wound around the inner wire. Too much information? Anyway it worked and I made little four-bead bodies with another bead for each antenna.

watercolour butterflies closeup


Stamps:  Free FlightIn my Thoughts (PB)
Inks: Memento Elderberry, Cottage Ivy, Nautical Blue & Versamark (Tsukineko)
Cardstock: Fabriano Hotpress 25%cotton watercolour paper
Also: Clear embossing powder, tiny beads and wire from a violin D string

40 Comments on “Watercolour butterflies”

  1. Doris says:

    These are just beautiful! Can Spring be far off?

  2. MA says:

    Gorgeous! I pull wire from ‘wired’ ribbon for my butterflies and such.

  3. Lindsey says:

    The butterflies are beautiful watercoloured this way! That’s always my hesitation with fussy-cutting butterflies; I feel so badly for antennae-less ones. 🙂 Tiny beads and wire are certainly one solution.

  4. ednamburgess says:

    Beautiful job. Love it. Edna

  5. Mary H. says:

    How lovely. Such an elegant & clean card. Thx for the how-to’s.

  6. Janet Castle says:

    Beautiful….as usual with your creations….and, makes me want to break out a few butterflies and my water pen, etc. TFS Heather!

  7. Cathy R says:

    Beautiful butterflies Heather, and what a fantastic solution to use beads as the body and antennae!

  8. Breathtakingly beautiful!

  9. Vicki B says:

    I’m not even sure what word to choose to describe your butterflies…..Awesome, Gorgeous, Beautiful, Delicate……..I could go on! Have you guessed that I love them?

  10. LaVon says:

    Heather, this card is just so fabulous! Love the idea with the beads and wire. Thanks for sharing.

  11. Lucy Miranda says:

    Wire and beads, what a great idea. Thank you for sharing your ideas. I will try this one. I love butterflies and I was having problems with the antennas. I decided to color them with Liquid Pearls before cutting the butterfly, I let it dry overnight and carefully cut. Problem resolved. But definitely I will try the wire.

  12. Jill says:

    Beautiful butterflies…thank you for sharing how you did them…

  13. Sathya Kala says:

    Absolutely Fab!!! Love the butterflies….

  14. Julie says:

    This is so gorgeous,I keep meaning to try using white embossing,the effect it’s given here looks so clean! After lots of accidents snipping antennae, I’ve just started using my butterfly dies to cut little antennae then transplanting them behind the fussy cut image. Have a great day, Julie x

  15. serendipitydragonfly says:

    An absolutely stunning card Heather. The colours are so gorgeous. I must admit to always cutting off their antannea……..life’s just too short!

    Karen x

  16. Pat says:

    What beautiful colours you’ve chosen, thanks for sharing with us.

  17. Beautifully done 🙂

  18. Marja says:

    Gorgeous Heather, I LOVE IT. Love these beautiful butterflies and that great colors.
    lovely greet

  19. Erika N says:

    Love this card. It is really light and airy.

  20. Valerie says:

    Stunning card Heather, love those butterflies!
    Val x

  21. Francie in Montreal says:

    This is simply beautiful. You’ve chosen such lovely colours to work with. And what a neat way to make the antennae. I must file this away in my clever & beautiful ideas folder.

  22. Maureen Chandler says:

    Beautiful butterflies – love the watercolor and the antenna solution!! Thanks so much!

  23. Linda W says:


  24. Denise says:

    Hi Heather, as ever with your cards, this is soooo beautiful, I usually draw the antenna in..TFS..I will keep a look out for some fine wire! hugs..denise x

  25. Jen says:

    this is simply stunning heather

    Thanks for joining us this week
    “Less Is More”

  26. Elaine says:

    Love your butterflies – they’re beautifully coloured!

  27. Nancy says:

    Your card is stunning!

  28. Anita says:

    This is simply gorgeous, love those butterflies!

  29. Chrissie says:

    I just love the combination of colours you used here Heather and the addition of the beads looks fab!
    Thanks so much
    “Less is More”

  30. Viv says:

    How beautiful this is Heather – love it to bits.

  31. Anne F says:

    Beautiful butterflies and love your technique such gorgeous colours


  32. Claudia says:

    Sooo pretty, those butterflies are wonderful!

  33. stempelomi says:

    soooo beautiful!

  34. Carla says:

    this is a beautiful card, love the colours

  35. This is so gorgeous, love the pretty butterflies 🙂 Viv xx

  36. Anne from France says:

    Stunningly gorgeous!

  37. This is just so gorgeous, Heather, the merged colours really give such live to the butterflies! Anita 🙂

  38. Lizy says:

    Wow! Just beautiful!!
    Lizy x

  39. Sue Orchard says:

    Heather you always inspire me, I love your creations and this is so fabulous. I just have to try it myself. Thank you for sharing.
    Sue x

  40. Shellie Nelson says:

    I wonder if they sell small stamens from the center of fake flowers to use as butterfly antenae. I’m lazy so I’m going to check it out. Love your water coloring and card. Thanks

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