Six fun watercolour techniques

Hey friends, it is Katie from the Creative Team here again! Watercolors are my favorite medium at the moment. I discovered them early last year and just fell in love with how they flow and blend. They’re not always too easy to control, but you can do some really fun things with them! Today I wanted to share with you 6 different techniques that you can do with watercolors. You can use any ole cheap watercolors for these, you don’t have to have a fancy set (although if you do, can I come play?) If you’re already familiar with these techniques, consider this a challenge to use one of them in a new way- a crazy color combo, combining techniques, etc.    

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  1. Salt.

This is an all time favorite and probably one you’ve already heard of. If you sprinkle salt onto wet watercolors you will get a really fun look. The salt soaks up some of the color, leaving a mottled look. Just sprinkle the salt on while the paint is wet, let it dry completely, and then rub the salt off. Sometimes if my salt is stuck on really good, I’ll lightly rub over it with an eraser. gm-katie-watercolor techniques-01 (4) 2. Plastic Wrap! Go to you kitchen and dig out your plastic wrap/cling wrap/saran wrap! Brush a couple of different colors onto your paper, making sure to use plenty of water, and place a piece of plastic wrap over top. You will want to “smoosh” or “wrinkle” the plastic wrap a little to create air pockets, as you can see in my photo. gm-katie-watercolor techniques-01 (5) gm-katie-watercolor techniques-01 (6) Let the paint dry completely while the plastic wrap is on it, and then remove. gm-katie-watercolor techniques-01 (7) 3. Coloring! This is pretty much just what the name says. Sketch out a line drawing with a waterproof black pen and then fill it in with watercolors. It seems super simple, but this is one of my most favorite ways to use watercolor paints. gm-katie-watercolor techniques-01 (9) 4. Crayons! Did you know that watercolors resister crayons? They sure do. You can doodle with a crayon, or trace around a stamp/magazine clipping/photo/etc and then brush watercolor over top of it. The watercolor will resist the wax. I like to use white crayon for this technique, but I also demonstrated with black and colored crayons. gm-katie-watercolor techniques-01 (10) gm-katie-watercolor techniques-01 (11) 5. Gel Medium! Like with the crayons, the gel medium acts as a resist with watercolors. So apply some gel medium to your paper either by running it through a stencil, “painting” with it, or however you’d like, and then brush watercolors over top. gm-katie-watercolor techniques-01 (12) gm-katie-watercolor techniques-01 (13) 6. Heat Emboss! This is a great way to use all those stamps in your art journal with a fun, artsy look. Use embossing ink and clear embossing powder to stamp and emboss your designs. Once embossed, brush watercolors over the embossed designs! gm-katie-watercolor techniques-01 (14) gm-katie-watercolor techniques-01 (15) Have you tried any (or all?!) of these? I think salt and coloring are my favorite. As you can see I used the salt technique on the cover of my art journal for the Messy Lists season. I did the layer of colors and then the black layer with salt. After it was all dry I brushed off the salt and added a few Sharpie dots as well. 6 watercolor techniques gm-katie-watercolor techniques-01 (2)


Katie is an Artist located in Washington, USA. She loves anything and everything crafty- from scrapbooking and art journaling, to drawing, to quilting. Katie is constantly inspired by nature, outer space, and colors.


  1. Stephanie manic

    Love this! I know some but never used, so…

  2. Sarah Maddox

    Lovely.thanjs Katie I’ll try some of these.

  3. Sarah Maddox

    Thanks even…

  4. Gilly Welch

    Great, thanks Katie, certainly lots to try!

  5. julia Thomas

    I love salt but I haven’t tried any of the others.. thanks for all the ideas! <3

  6. Clare Davis Etheridge

    I have tried some of these, but I do fancy trying out salt and cling wrap on a page. I am off to grab my watercolours – thanks!

  7. Vanessa Oliver-lloyd

    Katie, these are so amazing!

  8. Sue Taylor

    What fun ideas; I am excited to try them 🙂

  9. Emily@squiggleandswirl

    Looking forward to trying Gel Medium, I do love the effect of salt too!

  10. Debra Dane

    Awesome. I want to try the gel medium as a resist. So cool.