Watercolor Background Tutorial

ChristyInk & Paper, Stamping Techniques, TutorialsLeave a Comment

Last week I shared this stamped sunset card that used Distress Markers to create a watercolor background. I’ve had so much fun playing around with this technique that I need to share it.

All you need to start is an acrylic stamping block and your Distress Markers. Make sure the block is nice and clean. I use a little bit of rubbing alcohol on a paper towel, which works great.

Take your markers and scribble color onto the block. Since I wanted a sunset effect, I selected blues and yellows and applied stripes in a gradient, but you can do whatever you want here. It’s a good idea to keep a little bit of space (no less than a quarter inch) between each color so you don’t contaminate your marker tips.

Now you need to get the ink nice and wet. I use Dazzling Diamonds Glimmer Mist from Tattered Angels to add a little shine. If you can’t get your hands on Glimmer Mist (it’s becoming harder and harder to find), Perfect Pearls Mists from Ranger are pretty much the same thing. Plain old water in a spray bottle or mister also works if you’re not a fan of sparkles (ie. not a fan of fun).

Spray liberally. The goal is to get the colors mixing right on the block. You can see now why leaving some space between each color is no big deal.

Now it’s time to work fast. Drop your white paper onto the block, and sortof smush it down so the ink covers well. When you lift it up, you’ll probably need to blot it with a paper towel. You can then dip a paint brush (or your finger) in the remaining ink on the block and use it for touch-ups.

This is how my background looked right after I removed it from the block.

And here’s what it looks like after a little extra smudging with my finger.Perfection isn’t the goal here. Every accidental drop or streak just adds interest, IMO.

Obviously, there are plenty of possibilities here. I made all of these in about 5 minutes. The top left sat on the block for a few extra seconds before I removed it. That allowed the ink to soak into the paper more and there wasn’t as much to smudge or spread around. The colors (and the shimmer) are more vibrant, though, so it will still work great if I trim it down. The bottom pieces are (obviously) experiments with different colors. The greens and blues make me think of water, mountains and sky, and I didn’t even plan it that way.



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