Friday, May 5, 2017

NSD Watercoloring Techniques

Hello to my Disney Scrapper friends! I am so glad you could join me over here on my blog for a fun tutorial using watercolors.

Watercoloring is a hot new trend in the world of scrapbooking. There are many different ways to use this fun medium and today I wanted to share a few of my favorite techniques.

Don't have watercolors? You can make your own with an ink pad, a water spritzer, an acrylic block or non-stick mat, and a paint brush. I have found that dye inks work better for this technique, especially the Tim Holtz Distress inks and the Stampin' Up Classic Ink Pads.

In my first layout to share, I created the striped border patterned paper to match the rest of the elements on my page.

Here are the steps:
1. Gather your photos and patterned papers. Then choose 5-6 ink colors to coordinate with your layout. Here I chose a mixture of inks: Ground Expresso and Frayed Burlap Distress Inks. Stampin' Up inks in Old Olive, Mossy Meadow, and Delightful Dijon. I also pulled Barn Red from Close to My Heart. Also get out a piece of smooth white cardstock. (I tried watercolor paper with this technique but it bled too much.)

2. Apply each color of ink to a spot on your craft mat or acrylic block. You want enough ink and enough space to be able to mix it with the water to create your watercolor.

3. Spritz your ink splotches with the water. I use a mini mister from Ranger which gives a good amount of water...not too little and not too much. You will start to see the colors pool a bit in the water. Also a word of warning...sometimes you get little ink splatters when you do this so be sure to move your photos and patterned papers out of the way before you add the water.

4. Choose a paintbrush and swirl it around in the color you want to start with. Then make a 3-4 inch line at the edge of your paper. This is your first stripe.

5. Continue making stripes with alternating colors down the paper. Try to vary the width of the stripes. This will give your paper more interest. You may need to experiment with the colors a bit. Sometimes certain colors don't look good next to each other when they overlap. It really is just trial and error.

**At this point you may notice my stripe colors look different. I did this demo with different ink colors and once it dried it did not match my paper at all. So I chose different colors and started over. But I forgot to retake my photos.

6. Let your paper dry completely. You can speed up the process with a heat tool but your paper will warp some. This is normal. :)

7. Once your paper is completely dry you can cut it out or use a border punch to create a border for your layout.

Here are a few other pages I have created lately using this technique. I am loving how it looks and how I can create custom patterned paper to match my layout.

This layout was created with digital elements from Project Mouse's Adventure Kit. I needed a patterned paper with many of the colors from the other elements on the page to tie it all together so I created the striped piece using this technique.

I found the perfect paper collection for my Disney Wishes photos but there was not a paper that had all of the colors from the collection on one paper to tie the colors together so I created my own striped paper to coordinate with the rest of the papers.

A second technique I wanted to share with you is making a watercolor washed background for your layout. I created the background of this layout using the Kuretake Gansai Tambi Watercolors and 12x12 watercolor paper from Strathmore. The watercolor paper allows the paint to bleed more and gives a more blended look.

Here are the steps to create this look:

1. Choose your photos and patterned papers first. This will help you choose what colors to use for the background. Choose 4-6 colors of paint that go well together.

2. For this layout I had a general idea of where I wanted things to go on my layout so I marked where my photo was and made sure I had the edges covered but didn't do too much painting under where the photo would go.

3. Load up your paintbrush with lots of water and a little bit of watercolor paint. It may take a practice run to figure out how much paint to get to get the look you want. I ended up wiping some of mine off of my brush with a paper towel before I started. Choose to work from one end and continue around the page. I started in the middle and had to go back with some extra water to get my colors to blend if they had started to dry.

4. Then add your second color, making sure to overlap the two colors a little bit to get them to blend. Continue with new colors and continue working across your page until you have all the areas filled in that you want to.

5. Let the paper dry completely before moving to the next step. I had a small wet spot on my paper and that made my pen bleed...luckily it was right where I wanted to cover it up. :)

6. I then used this Disney Scrappers die cut that Susan is making available for National Scrapbook Day and my Silhouette Cameo with the pen attachment to draw the die cut on my page. (See Challenge #10 for more details.)
(This was my first time playing with the Silhouette pens and I am so pleased at how this turned out!)
7. You can color in a specific word or phrase or leave them as is. I chose to color in the "Disney Magic!" to make that my page title.

There is so much you can do with watercolors in your paper crafting. To learn more, I recommend this awesome FREE video series from  It has lots of great easy projects and techniques to learn to use watercolors even more.

What I loved about these projects is that they gave me time to just play and see what I could create. After all, isn't that what paper crafting is all about? So my challenge to you is to pull out your coloring materials and let's see what you can create!