Tag Archive: Watercolour Crayons


I thought I would work my way through Bernie Berlin’s ATC Workshop book and try out all the techniques and see what I can come up with. No doubt I’ll discover some twists by playing around.

Heres the first technique in the book which I have decided to try called ‘Intuitive Watercolour’.

The idea behind this technique is that your using the natural patterns which have been created by the inks to make a picture. You use the lines within the inks as a guide to draw around and make patterns and pictures. This part is certainly a challenge for me, and I didnt really like what I did all that much if Im honest. But I have to admit that I had a lotta fun trying it out and getting messy – my fingers are still hot pink and purple in colour!

I just love the vibrancy of the background and the colours in this technique!

PART ONE –

Step 1:

Using watercolour crayons pr pastels (I used watercolour oil pastels) scribble to add colour aound the edges of your ATC as shown below:

intuitivewatercolourstep1.jpg

Step 2: Using a wet paint brush, wet the paint and then drag it around the atc across the centre so that the whole card is covered in paint..

Step 3: While the paint is still wet, drop different colours of watercolour inks (I used posh impressions inks) onto the card. If the card isnt wet enough you can spray more water on top and move the card around to encourage the ink to move into interesting patterns. If you add too much ink you can use a baby wipe to mop it up. When you’ve finished use a heat gun to both dry the ink and move the ink around some more to make abstract patterns.

See below for my watercolour backgrounds:

intuitivewatercolourstep2-small.jpg

intuitivewatercolour2-small.jpg

intuitivewatercolour1-small.jpg

intuitivewatercolour3.jpg

PART TWO –

For the next part of this technique you take a black marker pen and you use it to draw around the outlines which have formed between all the different colours. Look at the patterns in the paint where the colours have blended together and use the pen to highlight these areas and draw lines in.
So far I have done 3 atcs in this way, I found it hard at first, my first 2 attempts I have scrapped entirely as I hated them so much. But Im not too bothered about these 3 atcs shown below – I dont hate them, but I dont like them – I guess they will kinda grow on me, if at all. Ive decided for the other backgrounds I am going to overstamp using black ink with a really bold and prominent stamp design as I dont want to ruin them with my scribbles!

Heres the ones I did with the drawing as per the directions above:

intuitivewatercolouratc2.jpg intuitivewatercolouratc3.jpg

intuitivewatercolouratc1.jpg

I have just finished stamping on the rest of the watercolour backgrounds, Im much happier with the stamped version! I cant believe how vibrant the colours areHere are the scans:

intuitivewatercolouratc5sm.jpg

intuitivewatercolouratc4sm.jpg

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These backgrounds are very quick and easy to make, I love them because they are so vibrant and rich, their colours are so alive! Why be subtle when you can be in yer face! 🙂

I used neocolor watercolour crayons to make these backgrounds but if you dont have these you can always adapt using brush marker pens, watercolour pencils, watercolour paints, inks, reinkers or even your inkpad – improvise and see what alternatives you can come up with.

What You Need:

  • Watercolour Crayons -or- alternatives
  • Cardstock (not glossy)
  • Jar Of Water
  • Large Brush
  • Heat Gun

How To Make The Backgrounds:

To make it easier Ive broken these backgrounds down into 4 easy to follow steps which you can see below, remember to work on newspaper as this can be messy:

Bright Watercolour Wash Backgrounds

Step 1: Take 3 different colour crayons, I chose yellow, magenta and red. You dont have to pick the same colours as me, choose your favourite colours – the brighter the better. Pastel shades dont really work for this background.

With your 3 different colour crayons; scribble a border around the card stock as seen in the photo labelled Step 1.

Step 2: Dip your paintbrush into the water and move the colour around the page as seen in the next photo step.

Step 3: While the background is still wet with the water from the previous step quickly scribble randomly over the card using the same colour crayons. See step 3 image.

For this step I added a bold section of yellow to the middle of the card, and then used the magenta crayon to scribble over the left and bottom and then used the orange red crayon to add scribbly lines and blocks of colour.

Step 4: Dip your brush in the water again and use it to gently blend the colours youve just added – dont use too much water as you will make your lines and squiggles dissapear and you want to keep them for added interest.

To prevent the water from diluting the colours too much, grab your heat gun at this point and blast the background till its dry.

Thats it! Arent they easy backgrounds? And boy are they bright!! Have a go at making some yourself, try different colour combos and experiment, then when your done give me a shout!

Heres some more backgrounds I did, to add interest I took some inks I had and dropped colours directly on the backgrounds while the water was still wet (click on the images to see larger pictures):

Bright Watercolour Wash Backgrounds
Bright Watercolour Wash Backgrounds