So you think you can watercolor? Last week, in Chapter Two in the Easy Wall Art Ideas series, I showed you how to make watercolor stripes. Easy, right? So now we’re taking watercolor to the next level. It’s just as easy and I think the results are so cool. Chapter Four is Watercolor Type. You pick a meaningful word, or just a simple initial, and paint a watercolor background AROUND the type. I love this project because words can be so powerful and have great meaning and when you turn them into little pieces of art, they’ll add such a great feel to your home. And painting around the type is a different approach and adds a unique look to the artwork.
You’ll need the following materials – all the same stuff from Chapter Two. woo hoo!
A basic watercolor paint set. I got mine at Michael’s for $5.99. Get a coupon and it’s even cheaper.
Watercolor paper. There are three different types of watercolor paper: hot press (smooth), cold press (beautiful texture) and rough (self explanatory). I suggest cold press paper and you can buy a full pad or just a single sheet.
You’ll also need a frame. I found a good 16 x 20″ frame at Michael’s.
First, print out your word or initial on the computer to the size needed to fit your frame. Since my frame was larger than my printer paper, I printed my word – family – out on 2 sheets and taped them together. I used a font called FB Californian. I love the classic look of the font but it has slightly more modern shapes.
Next, you’ll need to trace the type onto your watercolor paper. After you cut your watercolor paper to fit your frame, tape the computer print out onto a window and then carefully tape the watercolor paper over it. The window is helpful because it lets the light in and makes the paper easier to see through.
Try to line up the type so it’s centered on the watercolor paper. Lightly trace the outline of the type onto the watercolor paper with a pencil.
Even though the pencil is light, I suggest you lightly erase most of it so it’s even lighter. It’s hard to erase the pencil marks after you paint. Be sure not to completely erase all the pencil marks – you’ll need some as a guide.
Now it’s time to paint! Remember you’re painting AROUND the letters so that they’re coming out of the watercolor. You don’t need to be exact in this technique, if the edges of the letters are not perfect it just adds to the soft watercolor look. And as always, I suggest keeping a smaller test piece of watercolor paper so you can practice your technique.
When painting around my type, I used this basic technique: I simply soaked my brush in water and added just a touch of paint. Then I brushed it around the type in a loose, free flowing style. My brush had a lot of water on it – the paint pods were actually filled with water. This helps create the soft, flowing effect of the paint. Then you can go back and add more water and colors around your letters. Watch the colors spread and blend together.
Keep painting until all your letters are surrounded with your beautiful painting and the letters are revealed. Let your creation dry completely.
You’ll notice that the paint and water will dry and settle nicely into the paper, creating a beautiful texture to your painting.
Add a pretty frame and hang as you’d like. This is such a fun project – you can even use a friend’s last name as your word and it makes a great personalized gift.
Stay tuned for more Easy Wall Art Ideas next week. And if you can’t do all these projects right now, pin them and you can save them for later, like when the kids go back to school? Enjoy!