Friday, June 19, 2015

Watercolor Background

I have had the hardest time making the beautiful watercolor backgrounds that I've been seeing on blogs an Pinterest lately!  They looked so simple but would turn into a muddy mess when I put brush to paper!  I searched on line and googled but I couldn't find anyplace that explained this in steps. Maybe it's too simple to bother explaining but I needed help!  Thanks to some help from my friend, Carolyn, I am doing much better. She took me through the steps and helped to make sense of it for me.  I even made a card that I'm not ashamed to post!

It seems, I was using too much paint, too much water and not giving the watercolors the patience necessary to let them do their thing!  Also...I wasn't taping the paper down to keep it flat which is a very important step!  I'll start at the beginning.  Here is the board I'm using to tape my watercolor to.  It is the thick cardboard backing from a pad of Strathmore watercolor paper.  I covered it with clear contact paper so the tape comes off easier once my pieces are dry.  

Once the watercolor paper is taped down nice and neat, you use your brush to lay down a water base.  Don't soak the paper, just coat it with water.  Have a paper towel nearby to blot your brush.  Next with some water in your brush, you pick up some color and touch it to the paper.  With the water from your brush and the water on the paper, the color should move...tipping the board this way and that will help.  Let it do it's thing.  

When you are happy with the first color, clean your brush and choose another color.  Keep repeating these steps until you have a colorful pleasing background and then LEAVE IT ALONE and let it dry. I did notice a graininess to the Koi paints as they dried, but I like the texture it adds.  The graininess is less pronounced if you use less paint.

Carolyn told me that if the paper feels cold to the touch it isn't completely dry.  When it is completely dry, it will lay nice and flat and will be ready to use on a card.  The nice thing about this type of backgrounds is that they make up into beautiful cards without a lot of fuss.  The watercolor is so striking that just a sentiment and a flower or butterfly finishes the card nicely

Once you get this to work, it's addictive and you want to make more, more, more!  Don't say I didn't warn you!  Thanks for stopping by.  Have a nice day :)


Supplies Used:
Cardstock:  Strathmore 300 Series cold press watercolor paper 140 lb, Stampin' Up DSP, Cougar Opaque 80 lb
Paints: Koi Watercolors set of 24
Dies:  Tim Holtz Thinlits: Friends & Celebrate sets, MFT Butterfly and Lacy Butterfly dies


  1. This looks wonderful Janet! The colours you've chosen work so well together. You're right, the butterfly and sentiment do finish it off beautifully. Debra x

  2. What a pretty card! Your watercoloring is amazing!