Hey guys! Adrianne here with you today to share a fun project using the new Spectrum Aqua watercolor markers. Watercolor is a hot trend right now, and I’m going to show you a way to incorporate it into your holiday decor with this DIY watercolor art. It’s a perfect way to test the waters with this technique, since it’s seasonal, and you can change it after your Independence Day celebrations.
What I love best about these new markers is that I’m totally hopeless with paint, so this is something I can actually do. There’s a little bit of a learning curve, so I’m going to share a few things that I learned, working with these new crafts supplies over a few days.
Supplies needed to make your own DIY watercolor art piece:
- Manual Die-cutting Machine.
- Star-shaped Die Set.
- Spectrum Aqua Watercolor Markers.
- Paint Brush.
- 110 lb. White Card Stock.
- Double-sided Foam Stickers.
- 5×7 inch Shadow Box.
- White Chalk Finish Paint, Foam Paint Brush, and Sandpaper (optional).
First, trim a sheet of heavyweight white cardstock (or actual watercolor paper) to 5 x 7 inches to fit your shadow box. Then, die-cut a few stars, and decide which size you like best for your frame. I settled on two medium-sized stars.
Then, get out your fabulous markers. Yes, I had to have the whole set. For today’s DIY watercolor art project, I used Scarlet, Crimson, and Peacock Blue. You can find Scarlet and Crimson in the Primary pack, and Peacock Blue in the Nature Pack. If you’re hoping to just buy one set to begin with, then get the Primary. There’s a Navy Blue marker in that collection that will be a good substitute. (And if you’re wondering about my trays, I use the Ultimate Pen and Marker Storage system in my craft room.)
Be prepared to experiment a bit when you get started. I’m going to share the effects that I liked best, personally, but using the markers differently will yield a different look. I’m not too savvy with watercolor paint, but I really enjoyed the markers once I got the hang of them!
Prepare your background. I didn’t want to mangle the American flag’s design, so I let the flag’s elements inspire me for this red white and blue DIY watercolor art. Rather than 13 red and white stripes, I used the wide end of the marker to draw horizontal stripes. Then, I wet my brush, and blended them a little.
There’s a lot of pigment in these markers, so the lines you draw are not going to fully fade. It’s something to keep in mind when you decide how to use them. What you can do is blend the edges to get that watercolor look, while keeping your marker lines where you put them. You can see that I was able to fill my background with red, while maintaining the stripes I originally drew.
The stars were the fun part. After die-cutting a medium sized star, I used the next die smaller and used it as a stencil. I traced around the outside of it in blue. You can see, my lines were a little messy and that’s actually okay! Wet your brush, and carefully blend that hard edge, drawing the blue out to the edges of the star, without blending toward the center.
The net effect of blending the stars this way is that they’ve got a hint of blue to outline them, but they’re still white stars. I let everything dry, prepared my shadow box by painting it white and distressing it lightly.
I secured the red background into the shadow box with glue dots, and then I mounted the stars with double-sided foam onto the striped background to give them a 3-D effect. The end result was a framed DIY watercolor art piece that fits into my seasonal red, white and blue decor in a soft and subtle way!
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Adrianne is a writer, artist, designer, wife, and mom of 2 kids. She blogs at happyhourprojects.com where the theme is tutorials and recipes that can be made in an hour or less. Her favorite projects are jewelry-making, paper crafts, and recycled crafts. She participates annually in ArtPrize, an international art competition, and she’s the author of the book DIY T-Shirt Crafts: 50 Ways to Recycle a T-Shirt (August 2015).