The Art Lab, Episode 34: Watercolor Art

Heyyyyy, guys, and welcome back to Art Lab! Today I’m going to show you three super simple and fun techniques for creating art with watercolors. These ideas are great for art-starters, warm-ups, or even as finished pieces. I used ATCs for my canvas, but you can use whatever paper you like (though watercolor paper works the best, if you have it). Also note that you can use watered-down acrylic paint instead of watercolors if you need too.

Alright, let’s do the easiest (and perhaps most fun) first. 🙂

Technique #1: Magic Islands

I discovered this one by accident and I just LOVE doing it!

1. Lay down some plastic wrap and drop some water in one corner. Dip your wet paintbrush in watercolor and mix it into the water.

art 1 (1280x887)

2. Load up your brush with the diluted paint and splatter it onto the plastic wrap.

art 2 (1280x936)

3. Lay a paper of some sort on top and smooth it out, then pick it up (obviously 😛 ).

art 4 (1280x853)

4. Wait for the paint to dry, then trace around the splotches with pen.

art 5 (1280x859)

5. And you’re done!

art 6 (1280x854)

I think this technique looks like islands, don’t you? This would be a fun way to make a map:

art 7 (1280x948)

Technique #2: Bubble Maze

This technique produces a fun and striking result. The translucence of the watercolor lets you see the colors overlap which makes a really neat effect.

1. Start by painting some dots. Overlap them and attach them to other circles so that the colors bleed into each other.

art 11 (1280x847)

2. Continue adding dots of different colors until the page is mostly filled.

art 12 (1280x884)

3. Fill in the white areas with black Sharpie or pen. And you’re done!

art 13 (1280x853)

Technique #3: Splatter Trees

This is a great way to give the impression of leaves without drawing ever single leaf.

1. Splatter different complementary colors (I used fall colors, but you can use whatever you wish) onto your paper. Try to keep it roughly in a tree shape, but don’t worry if the splatters get a little out of control.

art 8 (1280x954)

2. After the foliage is dry, use a slightly damp brush and brown paint to add in some branches and a trunk. Don’t draw all the branches the tree has, just a few poking out for effect. 😉

art 9 (1280x892)

3. Add some grass and a few dots of fall color if you’re doing an autumn tree. And you’re done!

art 10 (1280x853)

And there you go! Three fun and simple ways to make some watercolor art.

art 14 (1280x853)

Which technique was your favorite? If you make art inspired by this post, we’d love to see it! Click here to learn how to help us fill our art gallery!


P. S. Hannah and Buttercup have joined the Art Lab team! Thank you so much, girls. ♥ Check out their first posts on the Art Lab blog and drop them a comment! 😀


176 thoughts on “The Art Lab, Episode 34: Watercolor Art

  1. I really like these tips (especially the 3rd one), thank you for sharing! Watercolors are fun to paint with indeed, ecpecially when you can relax, and not stress about the result. I’m a control freak, so this is the hardest thing for me 🙂


    1. Thanks so much! Yes, they are super fun, and I agree, it’s much nicer to paint when you’re not stressed about the outcome. 🙂 Hopefully these ideas are simple enough to just relax and enjoy the process. 😀


  2. Wow every cool!! My favorite is the tree! I am working on a wise trees book and this would be a lovely addition. Oh the map one is a fun easy way to make a map and then add an awesome quote or oh a treasure map.


              1. Hey there! Remembered this article and had to recommend it to a friend. We got some markers that are water soluble. They were called Marabu Graphix Aqua Pens. We are probably using them wrong. For example, when I wet it wasn’t activating right. It left marker lines behind or it dried too quickly before blending it. From my understanding, when I wet water soluble media it is supposed to activate without leaving the original line behind. Maybe what I had to do was wet it immediately. Then paint using that wet swatch on a different paper?


                1. Oh thanks for the recommendation!
                  Hmm, that’s strange. Okay, so I looked them up and it looks like you’re actually not supposed to dip them in water maybe. Is this the kind you have?
                  It says on that website, ‘Use the two tips (one for contours and the other a flexible brush tip) to apply color, then use a wet brush to spread it.” Maybe you could try that and see if it helps?
                  I hope you figure it out! They sound like great fun if you can use them right. 🙂

                  Liked by 1 person

                    1. Huh, oh yeah, I can see that. That’s strange and it must be awfully annoying. Hmm, I honestly don’t know what else to tell you, though… :/ I wish I knew how to help! 😦 Let me know if she ever figures out the secret. 🙂


  3. It’s great to see your beautiful techniques of painting.I love to paint & will try them.I appreciate your talent of doing something which is useful for all the age groups.


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