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Saturday, May 30, 2015

simple watercolor artwork {tutorial}

I'm soaking up the last moments of decorating my sweet Eliza's nursery right now. The space has turned out even better than I'd anticipated and I. can't. wait. to have a little nugget to tuck in there. Hurry along summer!!
{It probably doesn't help that we had an appointment day at Vanderbilt yesterday and I got to stare at Little Miss on the ultrasound screen for quite some time. She was a doll!! Head over to Expecting Eliza for the update!}  

But since she's not quite done growing in there I'm going to stick with decorating the nursery for now. 

This sweet little art trick is a great way to create something simple, personalized, and free for your own wall space.  I'm creating a sign for the door of Eliza's nursery, but a simple image, an initial, or silhouette would all be great alternatives too. 

Supplies: All you're using is some watercolor paints and a thick piece of paper. I like to use actual watercolor paper myself. Most art/hobby stores will carry an inexpensive pack or pad of these. They are just super heavy weight to accommodate the wet paint. But it definitely isn't required. 

Start with your design. If you're awesome, freehand it in pencil. If you're a spastic artist like me, don't be ashamed to create something on your computer to use as a pattern. I used a simple text...

After printing it out, I used my tried and true lead transfer trick to get the design onto my painting paper. {Trace along the backside of your artwork with a pencil. Then flip it over, place over the final paper and trace the outline with a pen. When you push down, the lead on the back of your pattern will be transferred to your final paper, leaving you with the perfect design. It's important that the design be in pencil because we'll be erasing those lines later. 

This one is simple from here. Grab your watercolors and start painting! Just make sure to go around the outlines of your design, leaving the inside of the image or letters white. 

Some tips: 
- Be generous with the water! You can't have too much! 
- Pick just one or two colors. Concentrate on how you're blending them and the different opacities that comes with the water colors. 
- Paint in layers. Basically, paint one corner, move on for a few minutes while it dries and then come back and fill in any empty areas. It creates a great layering effect that gives your design more depth. 
- You can't mess this up. Really. Even if you think you did, grab a paper towel and press it onto the page. Because the paint is so wet, the paper towel will soak up most of what you just did and you can fix the trouble spot. 

Make sure you get right up to the edge of those letters to outline them in paint. 

Once the design is dry, grab your pencil and erase those lines! You just be left with just a pretty watercolor silhouette! 

This is a great project to play with and manipulate in your own style. You can't beat the price of your own artwork! 

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