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 :)
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