You can create a beautiful effect with watercolour blooms and there are many different ways to use them in your artwork. This technique for mingling watercolours makes a beautiful background in an art journal, for a hand lettered piece, or in other mixed media artwork. Read on to learn how to create this effect and read some hints and tips for making it easy.
If you’re painting with watercolours and you accidentally paint too close to a damp patch on the paper, you may well end up with the colours bleeding together in a very frustrating way. This is essentially what a watercolour bloom is.
As annoying as this effect is when you didn’t mean to do it, it makes for some very beautiful artwork when you sit down with the intention of doing it.
There are so many ways you could use this effect, and I’ve listed a few of them here:
- As an art journal background
- To create abstract trees or flowers in a painting
- As the background to a hand lettered piece
- In a collage
- To make watercolour gift tags
- On a notecard
- To make your own gift wrap
Hints & Tips To Make Watercolour Blooms Simple
It’s surprisingly easy to achieve this lovely effect, but I have a couple of hints to make it go more smoothly.
- Make sure you work fairly quickly, so the paint is still wet when you add additional colours — that’s when they will bleed together and create that fantastic effect.
- Bear in mind that the wetter paint will bleed into the drier paint. You don’t want to paint two colours of a similar wetness as they won’t bleed so well.
- Generally, the wetter the paint, the further it will travel. Experiment with the amount of water you add to the paint to really alter the effect and how far the paint travels.
- Bear in mind that it’s very tricky to control this effect 100%, so any control freaks reading this article will need to accept that before trying this technique! (I learnt this the hard way…!)
- Depending on what you are trying to achieve with your watercolour bloom art, you might experiment with multiple colours, repeat the same two colours, or even work with variations of one colour.
- Another way of using this effect is to paint a wash in one colour, allow it to dry slightly, and then drop clean water onto it. Each water droplet will create a pretty round bloom.
How To Create Watercolour Blooms
- An art journal or sketchbook (alternatively, watercolour paper or other thick paper/thin card will do)
- Watercolour paints
- A brush
- A jar of water
Firstly, wet your paintbrush and paint a wash (not too wet) of one colour onto the page.
Wash your brush and then pick up another colour, making sure the paint is a bit wetter this time. Paint another section of the page, allowing the second colour to touch the first while they are both wet. The second colour will bleed into the first since it’s wetter.
When you’re satisfied that you’ve added enough colour, leave the page to dry.
The paper will probably have buckled a little due to the amount of water necessary to get the watercolour to bleed. If this is the case, close your art journal and place it under a stack of heavy books to flatten the page again.