I’m thrilled to announce that there will be a few new contributors here at Lines Across, starting with the oh so talented Natasha of Violet Tinder Studios. You may recognize her as @violettinder on Instagram and my partner in crime in the colorful candy pictures we’ve been sharing with #thecandyrainbow. Her colorful feed and artwork will brighten your day, and I’m so excited to see what all she has to share with us, starting with this beautiful abstract watercolor canvas.
P.S. If you’re new to watercolors, you should check out my watercolors for beginners series, starting with this post on basic watercolor supplies.
Hi, I’m Natasha of Violet Tinder Studios! One of my very favorite things to do, is to paint. Typically, watercolor paintings are done on watercolor paper- it’s easy to store, it lays flat in a frame, and it’s generally more inexpensive than canvas. Lately however, I’ve been using my watercolors on canvas- it just creates the coolest look! Because canvas is denser and has more indentations, the overall effect is more textured and dimensional. Another perk is that it’s much more durable- you can wipe, blot, scrape, scratch- and the canvas remains intact. If you make a mistake (or even just want to try out different layering techniques), you don’t risk warping or shredding the canvas as you can with paper. Sounds like fun? Good, it is!! So let’s get to work!
(I also used this technique to create a lot of the prints in my Etsy shop, including the Turquoise Geode print shown above, as well as this free iPhone wallpaper where you can really see the texture of the canvas.)
What you’ll need:
* 1-4 paintbrushes (I like to use a variety of shapes to create different brushstrokes, but feel free to use as many as you like)
* A watercolor paint set (prices range dramatically but if you’re just starting, you can get some good, inexpensive sets from craft stores. You’ll probably want to stick with the dry pans if you’re just starting, as they’re easier to clean up and store than tubes.)
* A cup of water (you’ll want to rinse your brush in between colors to prevent creating unintended colors… water is also key to creating some fun effects)
* Your canvas (Most craft stores like Michael’s and Joann’s carry a wide variety of shapes and prices… 8×10 is a good size to give you enough canvas to work on, but still be easily transportable)
* A couple paper towels to blot up extra water/ wipe the canvas/ dry the brushes
Lay out all your materials, including putting some butcher paper or newspaper under your canvas. Even watercolor painting can get messy! If you’re able, choose an area of your home that gets good lighting. It’s so much easier to see the colors and water-effects in a well-lit area.
Part of the fun of painting on canvas is the looser, more abstract look it creates… so go with it! Pick a color palette to work with, and start by creating abstract brushstrokes on the canvas. Dots, lines, wide strokes… just have fun with it! Try playing with letting the colors bleed into each other- while one color is still wet, take another color and let that stroke brush against a previous one… the water acts like a magnet, pulling the two colors together and blending them where they meet. The more water you add, the further into each other the two colors will mix.
Make a brushstroke you don’t like? Take your paper towel and gently using the edge, wipe away the area you don’t like. It should wipe almost entirely clean-away! If there’s still any color residue, add a tiny bit more water to that part of the canvas and wipe again. It should virtually erase it!
Keep adding colors and strokes to your liking, until the canvas slowly fills up. If you do NOT want certain colors to mix/touch, allow the first layer to dry completely before adding another. Generally, a fresh layer added to a dry layer will just “sit” on top, rather than blending together. Another great thing about watercolors, is that you can come and go as you please! If you must step away, and your painting dries, just add more water and it’s ready to go again.
Remember, if you paint something you don’t love, that’s ok! Unlike acrylic, it’s not permanent. Just wipe it off with some water, and continue- or better yet, layer on top and keep going!
Most importantly, have fun!!!!
I would LOVE to see what you create- share them with me on Instagram, using #VioletTinderxLA so I can see your masterpieces!