Create beautiful watercolor art paintings easily with this fun resist technique using rubber cement! It’s simple, fun, and gives great results. Let’s paint!
I love playing around with watercolors and trying out different techniques, and resist techniques are some of my favorite ways to experiment with watercolors. Resist painting is when you use two mediums that don’t get along well to create designs, patterns, and texture. With watercolors, often you start by laying down a design onto your paper using a resist medium (something that watercolor doesn’t play well with) and then painting over that with your watercolors. The paint won’t adhere to the paper where the medium is, and then when you remove it, you have a beautiful watercolor design!
For these paintings, the resist medium I used is humble rubber cement, that fun goopy, sticky stuff with the brush in the lid you probably remember using as a kid. Rubber cement makes a great resist because it is inexpensive, easy to find, and easily removable. Plus, you will feel like a kid again when you are using it!
Ready to make some beautiful watercolor art paintings? Let’s do this!
Supplies needed to make your own resist watercolor art:
- Watercolor Paper
- Darice Premium Artist Round Brushes
- Rubber Cement
- Pencil (optional)
Step One. Paint Resist Design.
Start off by painting your design onto the watercolor paper with rubber cement and a small round brush. It can be a little bit difficult to see where you have painted, but the rubber cement has a sheen to it, so picking up the paper and holding it at different angles can help you to see it.
I found that it works best when you use a good amount of rubber cement. If you apply it too thinly there will be holes that will let the watercolor through to the paper. Really load your brush with rubber cement and reload often.
I just freehanded my designs, and I really like the painterly look they have, but if you don’t feel comfortable doing that, you can trace a design lightly onto your paper with pencil and fill it in with rubber cement.
When you are done with your resist design, set it aside to dry.
While your rubber cement is drying, it’s time to mix up your paint colors! I used the Niji Watercolor Tube Set, which has a nice palette built right in.
Just squirt a little drop of paint onto your palette and use your brush to mix in some water to get the color and opaqueness you want. Feel free to mix and create your own custom colors. Once your palette is ready and your rubber cement design is dry, you are ready to paint.
Step Three. Paint!
This is the fun part! Start by loading your brush with watercolor and painting over your entire design. Add water to lighten the color or more pigment to darken it. Try adding in areas or drops of analogous or contrasting colors.
To add a bit of splatter to your painting, load your brush with color and then tap it gently onto your other hand (see image below). This will fling splatters of paint around the painting (and around your workspace, so be warned, this is messy!).
Step Four. Remove Rubber Cement.
Once your painting is completely dry, you are ready to remove the rubber cement. (It is important that it is 100% dry to avoid smearing and smudging your work.) I found the best way to remove the rubber cement is with a clean, quality eraser. Just rub the eraser over the rubber cement and reveal your beautiful, finished design.
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Alexis Middleton is a lifelong crafter/DIYer and blogger at Persia Lou. She started crafting at a young age. As a girl, she spent summers with her grandmother crocheting baby doll afghans, making coasters out of plastic canvas and yarn, and canning apricot jam. Today, Alexis spends a lot of time dreaming up and working on projects for her family’s home. She loves mixing traditional crafting techniques with a more modern aesthetic.