In this how-to tutorial, you will learn how to paint a bookmark. Most of the instructions are based on the article on watercolor gradients because we chose to turn this motif into a bookmark. Of course, you can also paint your favorite motif on the bookmark instead, while you follow these instructions.
Materials to paint a bookmark
- Watercolor paper is available in various designs. There are loose watercolor sheets, whole blocks, or smaller sized paper cuttings. All three options are good as long as you can trim them to bookmark size.
- Watercolor paints are also available in different shapes: Either in flat pans or in tubes. Both are great if you want to use them to paint a bookmark. The only difference is that the paints in the pans have to be activated with water first, whereas the tube paints are already mixed with water.
- You also need a watercolor brush, a palette to mix the paint, and a small water container.
- Other decorations such as tassels, ribbons, stones, or phrases (and the necessary pens) can be added to suit your taste.
Instructions on how to paint a bookmark
Using a ruler and a pencil, draw the outlines of the bookmark on the painting paper. A good orientation is a measurement of 15 x 5 cm (6 x 2 inches), but of course, you can choose the size freely.
Take special features into account: You may want to punch a hole at the top and thread a tassel. You should already consider these special shapes in this step.
Another way to plan the dimensions of your bookmark is to mark an area and cover it all around with masking tape.
Then paint the whole area with paint, remove the tape and lastly, cut out the bookmark with scissors.
We decided to take this approach and left a narrow edge around the painting when cutting it out to create a stronger contrast and to protect the painting surface from fingerprints.
Next comes the watercolor painting. There are no limits to your imagination, and you can paint any motif you like. Have a look at our article about different watercolor techniques or orientate yourself on Youtube.
If you want to paint the same bookmark that we work on in this tutorial, you only have to follow our article on watercolor gradients.
Now erase the outline drawings or remove the masking tape. Cut the painting paper to the desired size.
Step 4 in how to paint a bookmark
If you’ve planned any embellishments or special features in the design of your bookmark, now’s the time to tackle those.
We decided on a simple handlettering slogan that fits well with the mood of reading a book: “Enjoy every moment”.
Of course, you can also add your tassels, ribbons, stones, or other decorations in this step.
And this is what the bookmark looks like in its final version: