I've been posting pictures of my adventures as a watercolour beginner pretty incessantly on Instagram and Snapchat lately (if you're not following me already, find me as lauravlaeren), so it's finally time to bring my addiction over to the blog! Today I'm going to be showing you how to make this brightly coloured rainbow piece. My inspiration comes from this card by the incredibly talented Kristina Werner, who was also my inspiration for starting to play with watercolours.
You will need:
- Watercolour paper
- Kraft cardstock
- Washi tape
- Watercolour paints in 4 colours (Any watercolour medium will do, just play around first to find the best paint-to-water ratio. I'm currently obsessed with Distress Inks, so that's what I'm using.)
- A brush and clean water (I love using waterbrushes for the convenience, and as a bonus you don't waste lots of water.)
- Adhesive or foam tape
- Paper trimmer (optional)
- Teflon bone folder (optional)
- Paper towels (optional)
First, trim your paper. I cut a 10 cm wide strip of kraft cardstock from an A4 sheet and folded it in half to create a top-folding portrait card. Use a bone folder to get a crisp fold. Trim your watercolour paper to be slightly smaller than the front of your card. Mine is 9 cm wide by 14 cm tall. I am incapable of cutting in straight lines, so I used my paper trimmer.
Now mask off your window areas using washi tape. I first stick the tape against my arm or the back of my hand to remove some of the stickiness (so that I don't damage the paper when I remove the tape). Use your scissors to cut a strip of tape in half and use the thinner pieces to make a cross for the centre of the window. I also used an addition piece of tape at the top to hold my piece down on my work surface. I then used my bone folder to gently press the tape down.
Now it's time to grab your paint. To use my Distress Inks as watercolour paint, I squish the ink pad onto a sheet of white paper that I laminated. I can then use my waterbrush to pick up the colour. When changing ink colours, I just squeeze a bit of water through the brush and clean the tip on some paper towel. I'm starting off with Picked Raspberry, a bright pink. Start off in one corner and fill in half of a square, using more water to thin out with colour closer to the centre. When painting near the tape, always drag your brush from the tape off onto the paper, not from the paper onto the tape. This will avoid paint seeping under the tape.
Now grab your second colour and complete the square from the opposite corner. Blend the two colours together in the centre. Be sure to choose colours that will blend nicely, not complementary colours that will go muddy. Here I used Peacock Feathers, a turquoise.
Taking your second colour (here, the turquoise) move to the next square. Again, start in the outer corner and blend inward.
Grab your third colour and fill in the square. I used Mustard Seed, which forms a beautiful bright green when blended with Peacock Feathers.
Using the same process, fill in your remaining two squares. First I used Mustard Seed and blended in Spiced Marmalade. Then, in the fourth square, I used Spiced Marmalade with the first colour I used, Picked Raspberry.
Once your first layer of colour is down, add in some more colour to add depth and texture to the windows.
One of the things I love most about Distress Ink is how they react with water. I haven't tried this process with traditional watercolour paints so if you want to try this, first test this on a scrap. Using my waterbrush, I added drops of water, varying the size of the drop, onto my work. I let the water sit for 15-30 seconds and then used a paper towel to dab up the water.
As you can see, this process lifts some of the colour, giving an interesting look to the paint.
Once the paper is dry, carefully remove your washi tape to reveal the final piece.
Adhere your watercolour panel to the front of your card. You can use any adhesive for this. I like using foam tape as it adds some dimension to the card.
And that's it, your card is finished! I made a large stack of these to keep on hand for any occasion. I like to stamp an appropriate sentiment on the inside of the card together with a handwritten note. Because in this digital age, it's really nice to get a tangible card or note with kind words (or at least, that's how I feel!)
And that's it on my first ever real crafting tutorial! I got all the supplies for this at my local PNA, a store which is basically my bank account's worst nightmare, but you don't have to spend a lot of money to give this a try. If you've never played around with watercolour before, go pick up a cheap kid's watercolour set and give it a go - it's honestly so much fun and I find crafting very therapeutic for a busy mind!
Come back on Friday for my next watercolour tutorial, where I'll show you how to live out your Pinterest fantasies and paint floral wreathes!