Exploring Watercolor Techniques

As you know, we love exploring new techniques here at Close To My Heart, but we also love expounding on old favorites. Recently, we’ve had a lot of fun playing around with various watercolor techniques, and we’re so excited to share a couple with you today! We asked a few of our artists to demonstrate some of their ideas in speedy video clips, so you can see them in action, too!

Exploring Watercolor Techniques #ctmh #closetomyheart #watercolor #technique #diy #painting #cardmaking #scrapbooking

The first technique we’ll be looking at today is a splatter technique. This watercolor method allows you to add a little “controlled crazy” to your project. J

As you can see in the video, you’ll start by using a waterbrush to activate your watercolor paints by adding a drop or two of water. Once you’ve selected and activated all the colors you’d like to use, dip the waterbrush into your color of choice and swirl it around a bit, making sure to get a decent amount of paint onto the tip of your brush.

When you feel like the brush is sufficiently saturated, bring the brush over your page and lightly tap it against your index finger. This will send a series of splatters raining down onto the page to create a fun, haphazard feel.

Exploring Watercolor Techniques #ctmh #closetomyheart #watercolor #technique #diy #painting #cardmaking #scrapbooking

For our next technique, we’ll be showing you how to create and replicate a soft color transfer.

To recreate this look, paint directly onto your All-purpose Mat with your waterbrush. The paint will probably stay in small droplets and won’t want to spread across the mat, but that’s just fine. When you’ve added all the colors to your mat that you’d like to use in the paint puddle, gently lay your card or page down over the paint.

When you lift it up, you should have achieved a color transfer that is both soft and seamless. If you’d like it to be blended out a little more, you can swirl your card or base page around in the paint, creating the look you see here.

Exploring Watercolor Techniques #ctmh #closetomyheart #watercolor #technique #diy #painting #cardmaking #scrapbooking

The last technique we’re showcasing today is a combination of two different techniques. (Technique combinations help you to really personalize each project, so don’t ever be afraid to experiment!)

Tip: For pages like this one, it’s not a bad idea to use actual watercolor paper. When you paint over a large surface area, the paper will start to absorb the water and can curl or ripple, which distorts your project. Using watercolor paper is more resilient and shouldn’t ripple or curl as your paint.

For this page, we started by selecting various shades of blue from our watercolor palette. Then, we painted long strokes down the page with a waterbrush. Once we made a couple strokes with our first color, we moved on to our next shade of blue, creating a sort of stripe sequence down the page. By sticking with a single-color theme, it’s easier to achieve a nice blend as you move across the page, and you can avoid unintentional color combination.

Tip: If you’re unsure of how a color will look on the page, it’s a good idea to do a test stroke on a piece of scrap paper. This is especially helpful if you’re mixing two colors together.

Continue alternating between your various colors or shades until you’ve covered the width of your page. Then, you’ll revisit the splatter technique we showed you earlier on in this post. Select one or two of your favorite colors and splatter it across your page. This is another place to be aware of color combination, so we recommend choosing colors that you already used in your stripe sequence. For this example, we stuck with the tried and true blue.

If you want to shake things up even more, gently blend out some of the larger splatters on your page. You can even paint a few new strokes if you want to. It’s really all up to you!

We loved sharing a few of our favorite watercolor techniques with you today! What are some of your favorite ways to wow with watercolor? Let us know in the comments below!

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Shading Flowers with Watercolors

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Today is National Floral Design Day, and to celebrate, we want to share with you a fun watercolor technique for getting beautifully shaded flowers, like those on this card from our Seasonal Expressions 1 idea book.

Step One

Mix your favorite watercolor paints with water to create a mixture that has roughly the same consistency as milk. Then, using an ink color of your choice, stamp your flowers. We stamped ours with Whisper ink.

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Step Two

Paint a light coat of your watercolor mixture onto your first flower, covering the entire surface.

How to shade your stamped flowers using watercolors #watercolors #watercolortechniques #howto #painting #crafting #cardmaking #wedding #bridalshower #ctmh #closetomyheart

Step Three

Mix a darker shade of the same color, and start adding it to just the “shaded” areas of the flower. You want to add it as a thick line. It won’t look pretty and blended yet, but that’s the look you want for this step!

Not sure where to add shading? A good general rule is to shade the edges of the petals that are closest to the center of the flower. If you prefer, you can also look at real photos of flowers online and follow the shading you see there. Continue to step four before the paint has dried.

Step Four

Rinse out your brush. Using a small amount of clean water, gently blend the color out toward each petal’s edge without going all the way to the edge. Allow to dry.

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That’s the gist of the technique! Repeat for any additional flowers and leaves that you want!

Here are a few general tips to keep in mind when painting with your watercolors:

  • You’ll notice we didn’t use our waterproof Archival Black ink to stamp this image. You can use dye-based inks when coloring with watercolors, but you’ll want to be careful not to touch the edges of the stamp image with your brush or else it will make the ink bleed.
  • If using dye-based ink, we recommend using a lighter color. That way if there is any slight bleeding, it will not be too noticeable. A lighter color also draws the eye to the watercoloring of the flowers rather than the outline of the flowers.
  • If you want a “no line” look, you can use a light ink color and carefully color the lines completely. If you like to see the lines though, you can reinforce the stamp image by stamping the image again after the paint is completely dry. Both methods have their own beauty.

Happy painting!

Recipe

4¼” × 5½” You’re Invited Card (Vertical)
X7216B Hello Lovely Paper Packet, 1385 White Daisy Cardstock, Z3146 Watercolor Paper, Z2872 Whisper Exclusive Inks™ Stamp Pad, Z2864 Sorbet Exclusive Inks™ Stamp Pad, Z3313 Blush Shimmer Ribbon, Z3312 Gold Glitter Gems, Z3132 Watercolor Paints, Z3188 Paintbrush Set, Z3301 Hello Lovely Cardmaking Thin Cuts Bundle (includes stamp set C1670), Z2046 Piercing & Embossing Tool Kit, Z1852 Stitch Guide, Z3247 Simple Chevron Embossing Folder, Embossing/Die-cutting Machine, Thread

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