How to paint a Watercolor Background for your Handlettering Quotes

Watercolor Background

Let’s face it: people quickly got bored with lettering slogans on white paper. It’s quite different when you bring a little color into play. That’s why we decided to add a simple watercolor background to a slogan and lo and behold; the saying looks quite different. In this tutorial, you will learn how to paint such a watercolor background.

Painting a Watercolor Background: The Tutorial

Step 1

Watercolor Background 1

Recite your favorite phrase. Is there a quote or a saying that you like the most right now? Perfect. Grab your pencil and draw the words very faintly in a beautiful font on your watercolor paper.

If you’re skilled at hand lettering, you might as well use the waterproof marker and skip this step.

Step 2

Watercolor Background 2

Now pick up a waterproof calligraphy pencil and trace the lines. Pay special attention to the form of the individual letters, including clean edges and curves.

Step 3

Watercolor Background 3

Once you have captured the saying on paper with the waterproof pencil, you can erase the pencil marks that are still visible here and there.

Step 4 in how to paint a watercolor background

Watercolor Background 4

Prepare your watercolors and wet the background with water without pigment. We will paint this watercolor background by working wet-in-wet.

The water on the paper allows the paint to run and spread freely.

By the way: If you don’t have a waterproof pencil at hand, you can, of course, paint the background first before you draw the quote.

Step 5

Watercolor Background 5Watercolor Background 5

Now start with a light wash: little paint and a lot of water to work your way up gradually. Since we want to paint a relatively light watercolor background that provides enough contrast to the words to continue to look vibrant, we don’t need much color for our project.

Two shades of paint, each mixed with a large amount of water, are already perfect enough. In our case, we used a shade of blue and purple, as these two hues traditionally harmonize well with each other.

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Blue is an important mixing component for purple, meaning the colors will not clash, which is perfect for our harmoniously soft watercolor background.

Step 6 for a special effect in your watercolor background

Watercolor Background 6

As the paint dries on paper, you can dip a toothbrush into the paint in the pan, hold it over the paper, and stroke the bristles with a finger.

This way, you will sprinkle some stronger splashes of paint on the motif, which will give your work that special something.

Step 7 (optional)

Watercolor Background 7

If you are not yet satisfied with the watercolor background, it does not matter! Watercolor is water-soluble and can be “activated” again with water even after drying.

If you notice areas in your painting that could be a bit stronger, you can take the brush again, mix paint with water and work it into these areas until you are happy.

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