Wednesday, 19 February 2014

Tutorial - Watercolour Background

Hello all,

I shared this tutorial over at ScrapFriends last month. It shows how I made the background for one of my recent layouts.

As much as I love white cardstock, I have heaps of beautiful scrapbook paper that I am wanting to use, so after some research and trial and error, I have come across a way that I am happy with that incorporates using watercolour on patterned paper and still retains the shape and colour of the original patterned paper. I hope you find the following useful...

1. Using Matte Medium I cover the front of the paper (I haven't yet tried it with clear gesso, but this would probably work just as well).

2. When dry, gesso the whole of the back of the paper. I have found by doing both these steps that the paper ends up laying pretty flat the whole time.

Step 1:
Once paper is dry from priming, I used my watercolour paints. With a wet brush, and dry paper, I swished on some paint. I used a pale and a deeper tone of two colours and started with the lighter colour of the paints.

Step 2 and 3:
Using Distress Inks, I stamped with Walnut Stain, then with a wet brush, I went over the stamped image, so that the stamped image was no longer really clear. Once dry, I scraped a little gesso on here and there. Sometimes I also used a sponge to dab the gesso on, and sometimes my fingers.

Step 4:
Once dry, I used a mask and some distress ink on a sponge and dabbed it on. Using a wet brush again, go over the distress ink markings to soften the design.

Step 5:
Another layer of gesso, as before.

Step 6:
Stamped with a different Distress Ink colour and using a wet brush, went over the image. Gesso and more stamping layers followed.

Step 7:
Then I added some patterned paper and gave a quick coat of Matte Medium before applying some more paint and gesso as before. The background stamping which was watered and gessoed is now very subtle and hard to show in photographs, but in reality, it gives more texture to the page.
Finally, I splattered some watered down acrylic ink onto my page. Then it was ready for stitching and finishing.

Thank you for joining me today.:-)


  1. Ohhhhhhh this is gorgeous!!! I love love love the colors and the circles!!!!!!

  2. Thanks for sharing many layers...Your layout is just Gorgeous. xx

  3. Thanks for sharing your tips on using color on the back ground.. this seems to be the biggest trend at the moment and I really dont think there are any wrong ways to do, just have fun and see what the end result is.. Your layout is lovely!

  4. It's great that you shared these techniques, thanks Zeneva. Also thank you for your lovely comments on my blog.

  5. Thanks so much for sharing this Zeneva! I really am in love with the look of soft watercolors in the background and the effects you achieve here are so amazing! I just bought some gelatos so I am going to experiment using your techniques...hugs, Lisa

  6. I love your page ! Thanks for sharing your 'background' techniques too. Every one seems to have different ways of using their mediums and all ending up with slightly different out comes...I love the fact that there are no rules and we can all mix and match techniques.


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