How To Make A Watercolor Wash Background

I was recently asked by a customer how to make a watercolor wash background. Watercoloring is one of my favorite techniques for cardmaking, and I was excited to help her learn. Have you ever tried making a watercolor background? If you haven’t, you need to! If you have tried with limited success, I encourage you to try again. Let’s get started and I’ll share some tips for making a beatiful watercolor wash background.

How To Make A Watercolor Wash Background Quickly and Easily With Stampin Up Water Painters and Aqua Painters

Why Use A Watercolor Wash?

Use of watercolor techniques can add so much to your papercrafting projects. A watercolor wash background creates a soft and subtle backdrop for the other elements you add to your project. Blending of colors creates a gorgeous effect. Plus, it makes it look like you’re a professional paper crafter, when really all you did was mix some ink and water!

How To Make A Watercolor Wash Background Quickly and Easily With Stampin Up Water Painters and Aqua Painters

Materials Needed To Create A Watercolor Wash Background

To create a watercolor wash background using the simple method I’m sharing today, you will need the following:

  • Water painters or aqua painters (a tool that looks like a paintbrush, but it holds water inside and dispenses it as needed)
  • One or more colors of ink
  • Shimmery white cardstock (recommended) or other cardstock of your choice
  • An acrylic block

How To Make A Watercolor Wash Background Quickly and Easily With Stampin Up Water Painters and Aqua Painters

How To Create Your Watercolor Background

Here’s how to create a watercolor wash background:

  • Pick up some ink from your ink pad by placing a small acrylic block on the ink pad surface. Lift the block off of the ink pad and place it, ink side up, on your work surface.
  • Make sure your water painter has some water in the tip. If it is too try, squeeze it to allow some water to flow downward.
  • Pick up a small amount of ink from the block with the water painter brush tip.
  • Use a back and forth motion to gently apply color to the cardstock.

How To Make A Watercolor Wash Background Quickly and Easily With Stampin Up Water Painters and Aqua Painters

Drying Your Project

You can let your project air dry or use a heat tool to speed up the process. Your cardstock will end up somewhat warped. When attaching it to your project, use extra adhesive on the back to hold it in place.

Additional Tips For Watercoloring With Water Painters:

  • Begin with a very small amount of color. You can always add more, but you can’t remove it once it’s there.
  • Begin with very gentle pressure of your brush. You can apply more pressure to add more color if desired.
  • If the color gets darker than you desired, use more water from the brush to attempt to spread the color around.
  • Play around with different types of cardstock. I prefer shimmery white because it allows the color to glide around some before soaking in. Watercolor paper also gives a gorgeous effect.
  • Blending colors is a lot of fun. Try mixing two or three colors together!

Watch along below as I share how to create a watercolor wash background!

Last but not least, I encourage you to approach this technique with a carefree attitude! There is no ‘right’ and ‘wrong.’ Just practice and play around with it, and learn to embrace the imperfect in your results. You cannot expect your results to look exactly like mine or anyone else’s samples. They are all one-of-a-kind works of art!

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