Watercoloring for Dummies
Using Stamps and Watercolor Pencils Can Make Watercolor Painting Easy for Anyone.
If you watched the trace and swirl method video then you already know that I can't draw or paint to save my life!
Well, that was acrylic paint. Let's look at tricks with watercolors. You can have beautiful watercolor paintings even if you can't draw or paint.
The trick is to use watercolor pencils or markers and stamps with waterproof ink
These are some of the products that I used in the video or suggestions for something similar:
We're starting off with some watercolor paper. You are welcome to try painting with watercolor paint on some regular paper but honestly it makes a big difference when you use watercolor paper because it doesn't smear or bleed like it would on a regular paper or canvas.
I really wish that I could draw a nice and beautiful outline but I am just terrible at drawing. So I start off with a stamp that has some nice big open areas that I can color in and I use a waterproof ink for stamping.
Once you have the stamp design, let it dry for as long as the instructions said. I gave it a good hour before I started painting.
You have a few different options here.
1- You can use some of the watercolor pencils and lightly color in the design. Then all you have to do is just use a little bit of water on your brush to blend it. It's pretty much just coloring!
2 - You can do basically the same thing with watercolor markers.
3- Or you can use actual watercolor paints. Put a little bit on your palate and add some water. Then just put a little bit on your brush and blend it into the paper.
I like to add a few different colors and then a little bit of water on my brush to just blend the colors together. It gives it a nice natural fading effect without a lot of effort.
If you want to add some additional texture you can get a little bit of paint on your brush and flick it or scrape it with your finger and have a lovely speckled effect on the paper. A toothbrush works really well for this also. If you don't want to get paint on your finger you could always use a pen or a credit card or another hard surface but I'm messy!
Isn't that easy? You can keep trying the same process with different stamps!
Quick and easy way to turn cheap, boring terra cotta pots into functional home decor.
Can you believe that I got a new 6 foot tall plant shelf for $15 off of Facebook Marketplace??
I was really excited to get some new plants to fill it up. However; there was no way that I was going to spend $5 a piece for some nice little pots. As usual, I decided to paint my own.
Dollar tree had packs of two clay pots for only $1 but I wanted something colorful.
I found inspiration from those nail painting videos that I'm obsessed with watching all the time. They use stickers to cover parts of the fingernails and then paint amazing designs. I can watch them all day (and sometimes I do).
I gathered up all my supplies: acrylic paint, paintbrushes, newspaper (because I always make a mess), clay pots and I looked through my craft bins for stickers that would make neat designs.
These are some of the products that I used or suggestions for something similar:
That's when I cheated a bit. I didn't really have great stickers for this project so I went into Cricut Studio and just cut a bunch of circles and lines. You want to make sure that they are thick enough so you can paint on top of them and it won't end up in the wrong section.
This is what my sticker sheet looked like:
Layer on a few coats of the base color until you can't see the color of the pot anymore. I needed two of the black and 3 of the white.
Make sure that you paint down far enough on the inside to where the dirt is going to reach. No point in wasting time or effort or paint for the part that you won't be able to see.
Once it's dry, arrange the stickers as randomly as you can. This is where I usually struggle. I am a bit OCD with how I need things to be organized and straight, so most of my designs are too symmetrical. I think these came out okay.
Have some fun painting all sorts of random colors inside your design. I went with metallic paints for the white one and bright colors for the black one.
You need to paint a few layers so the color of the base coat does not bleed through.
I used my Xacto knife to pull off the stickers and there were a few spots where I painted outside the lines but the knife also worked well for scraping those small spots off. A little bit of the paint peeled off with the stickers in a few spots too, but I'm happy with the result.
As a rule, whenever I paint something with acrylics, I like to spray some sealer on it or put a coat or two of Modge Podge to protect it.
All that is left is to find some cute little flowers or succulents for your adorable little pots. I used a little bit of landscaping fabric and rocks in the bottom to avoid a mess.
Here they are!
Don't they look fantastic on my new cheap shelf!!
Make a painting of your favorite character or design even if you can't paint or draw.
I know, I'm cheap...
But $30 for a decent wall decoration? No thanks. I'll make my own for just a few dollars!
Why waste money like that decorating your child's room with a character that they will love for a couple of years and then move on to another phase?
The only problem is that I can't draw and I'm terrible at painting. So, I did a little experimenting and came up with a "Trace and Swirl" method of painting which really requires no skill.
Here are a few examples of what I have hanging in my Nerd Room at home.
I even made this one for Wade's birthday:
These are some of the supplies that I like to use:
Here is the process:
1 - Find a picture of your favorite character online. This takes a little time to find just the right style. I used words like silhouette, face, stencil, coloring page, outline, etc., with the character's name until I found a good one.
2- Print the character based on how big your canvas is. When I made the big Marvel paintings, I had to print it on four sheets of paper to get it big enough. I pasted the picture into Microsoft word, set the margins as narrow as I could and rotated the picture and printed so I would get each of the four corners.
3 - Once you have taped the sheets together to have one large image, tuck it behind the back of the canvas and use a few pieces of tape to hold it in place. It's time to trace! If you have a lamp handy that has an easily removable lampshade then that will work perfectly. I like to use a big clear Rubbermaid container for a flat surface to work on but you could just go right over the lamp if you want. Trace the outline of the image with a pencil and be sure to double check that you got the whole picture before you remove it from the back of the canvas.
4 - Go back over the outline with a black sharpie, making it as thick or thin as you want it to be. Then, grab a good eraser to remove the pencil marks. It's okay if the lines aren't perfect at this point since they will get messed up a bit later as we fill it in with color and we will also be going back over the lines with black paint later.
5 - I painted a few of these before I realized that you really need to do a base coat. This way, if you miss a few spots with your swirls then the color of the base coat will show through instead of the white canvas. Also, if your design is a little bit intricate then it will help you to remember which sections are which colors. So, just put a thin coat of paint in each section, trying not to get on the sharpie line too much, but ensuring that you cover all of the white.
6 - Now it's time for the fun part! Get about five colors ready for the first section. I use 3 or more different shades of the same color along with a white and black. The majority of the paint used will be the main color (like the bright red for Mario's hat) and then a shade darker or lighter that might have an essence of another color (like a brownish-red or an orangish-red). If I really knew how to paint then I would use that for shading and highlighting, but this tutorial is all about painting something awesome even if you can't do all that 😆.I like to use a mix of the glossy and the flat paint to show some texture. You can see on Mario's face. The majority of his skin is flat but his eyes and his hat kind of pop out because I use more of the glossy on it. So, scoop big dots of your main color and little dots of your other colors until you have a decent amount of paint in that section. I work on a few inches at a time so my paint dots don't dry before I can get to Swirl them. Now, flip that paint brush over and start swirling! Don't just go in a clockwise circle over and over again. Move it all around in different directions. If you don't like the way you just swirled something? Throw some more paint on it and swirl again. I try to start with the innermost sections and work my way out so I don't end up putting my hand in wet paint and smearing it.
7 - After you have filled in the whole painting with your swirls then give it a while to dry so you can go back and define your sharpie lines without smearing anything. I like to let it dry overnight, but a couple of hours might suffice. Just touch it lightly in the thickest areas to see if it is still tacky. Now it's time to redefine our outline. You have two options here: you can use the sharpie again to go back over the lines (this is simpler since it's easier to control a pen than a paintbrush). The second option is to use paint for your outline. It's a little more challenging, but it does give it a nice finish. Either way it's going to look great.
8 - The only last thing that I recommend is to spray it with a sealer, especially if it is going in a kids room. We know that kid messes are not reserved just for the floor. Sealing it also makes it easier to dust.
And now you're done! You have a beautiful painting and you didn't have to worry about drawing, blending or brush strokes.
Please so show me what you made with this tutorial. I would looooove to see your creations. You can tag me on Facebook or Instagram.
Create your own masterpiece and save money when you trace your favorite character on this painted canvas.
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