Monday, August 23, 2010

Jean Franks Beck: Stamping with Watercolors

Hello Gingersnappers! Today we're going to play with watercolors and silhouette stamps. Here's what you'll need:

- Watercolor paints (in tubes - the palette style will not work for this technique)
- Watercolor paper
- Brushes
- Silhouette-style rubber stamp (nothing with fine detail; fine lines will be lost in this method)
- Water
- Optional: Text stamp and coordinating dye inks; word stamp (with a large chunky font, nothing too delicate)

To begin, squirt out small amounts of the watercolors onto a palette or scrap of watercolor paper. Do not add water to the paints. Wet your brush (not too much - run it over the edge of your water cup to remove some of the water), pick up your first paint color, and apply it to your stamp. Start in the middle of the area you want to paint and work your way to the edges. You don't want globs of paint along the edges of the design, as this will distort the image when you stamp. Make sure you have a fairly thick layer of paint on the stamp. When you're finished, it should look something like this:
Now stamp onto the watercolor paper as you normally would, except hold it down a little longer than normal so that the paint has a chance to transfer to the paper. I also use a little more pressure than I would when stamping with ink. This is what you'll get:
Now... very important... *let the image dry completely.* Go wash your stamps. Go dig through your stash. Just make sure not to proceed to the next step until the paint is dry, dry, dry. (A note about using a heat gun..... it will speed things along somewhat, but some watercolors can fade in the heat, so you may need to experiment a bit if you go that route.)

Next step: Using clean water, wet your brush and start washing water all around the outside of your image, being careful not to brush across the image just yet. You'll want to wet the entire area of the paper that you intend to use. The next photo shows what I mean (hopefully!):
Now the fun part: Using clean water, wet your brush and lightly brush over the stamped image, pulling the wet brush from the center of the image outwards. You don't have to make too many swipes, just enough to start pulling the paint away from the image, but *not* so much that the image disappears. (This is why the image needed to be completely dry... if it's still damp, you will lose all detail from the image and end up with a pretty solid-colored background paper!)
Once you have done one section of the image (in my case, the red flowers), clean your brush, wet it again with clean water, and do the next section (in my case, the green stems). You don't want to overlap too much or your colors will turn muddy. Restraint is key. :)
When you're done, let the paper and image dry completely before adding anything else.
For both of my cards, I stamped over the image using coordinating ink colors and a text stamp. On one card, I used the same watercolors as I used for the flowers to stamp on the word "dream," except this time I didn't pull any water over the top of it so that it would stay crisp. The paint gives a shabbier, more artsy look to the word that regular ink would.
That's it! Embellish to your heart's content. You don't need expensive supplies - student-grade paints and paper work just fine. There are lots of different variations of this, too, such as adding in a resist technique to the background, or painting your own background paper to coordinate. I hope you can give it a try. :) Thanks for stopping by!
- Jean


  1. Lovely tutorial, will be getting out my paints for this too :) Thank you for showing

  2. Great tutorial and something I'm going to try. Thanks so much.

  3. Great tutorial, love your examples. Thanks for sharing.

  4. wonderful and clear tutorial. I have the paint, the stamps and the paper.
    I am doing this today!!!

  5. makes me want to break out my paintbrush! Awesome!

  6. Fabulous tutorial, Jean! I love the attention to detail that you put into your projects! Thanks for sharing how you do it!

  7. Thank you so much for the tutorial! This is great and I definitely will try and experiment with water colours very soon, the effects look amazing.

  8. Thank you for providing such a wonderful tutorial. I subscribe via email and have just looked at this all day. Wonderful and INSPIRING.
    Thank you.

  9. I like the idea thanks


Thanks for your wonderful words!

Other Articles Which May Interest You:

Blog Widget by LinkWithin