Stenciled Watercolors Tutorial

watercolor elephant stencil art : Grow Creative

At the suggestion of a friend, I am posting a tutorial on how to make a nice watercolor painting using plastic stencils!  It really is quite a simple process and you end up with something that looks professional.  I love sharing these little secrets with people. It's fun!

So here is what you need to get started...

Materials: 
watercolor paints
paintbrush
plastic stencils (I found some cheap ones at the dollar store)
watercolor paper
               


Step 1:  Pick out the stencil you want to use and place it on top of your paper.

watercolor stencil art


Step 2: Hold the stencil down tightly with one hand.  With your other hand, load up the paintbrush with water and paint and dab some on the paper inside the stencil area.  Make sure not to move the stencil until you are completely finished.

watercolor stencil art


Step 3: To give it a varied look, add several different colors in random areas of the stencil.  Wet watercolors will mix together on the paper- plus it's fun to watch!

watercolor stencil art


 Step 4: Fill in the entire area of the stencil and ever so carefully lift the stencil away from the paper.

watercolor stencil art

watercolor stencil art


Step 5:  Let your painting dry completely and there you have it... your own mini artwork!

watercolor stencil art

Tips and Tricks:

  • If you notice that your watercolors are bleeding around the edges of the stencil you can try mixing less water with the paints.  The more watery the paint is, the more it runs and the harder it is to control.  I've also noticed that the quality of watercolor paper can affect this tendency to bleed.  Using a thicker, more absorbent paper will give you better results.
  • Another cool trick you can try is to sprinkle Epsom salt on the wet watercolor painting like I did with the butterfly.  When it dries, just brush the salt off.  It makes a really cool texture!

watercolor stencil art
watercolor bugs and animals

33 comments:

  1. Wow that is so neat, and it looks really simple.
    I'm gonna try that now, it would be cute if there was like a series of different animals in different colors all framed. Yea I'm gonna do it now! Lol
    Thanks for sharing that!

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  2. These are just so good! More for my list to do from your tutorials and I promise one day I'll get around to them and show you, it's just that I don't have the materials so I must make the effort and go buy some. Suzy x

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  3. Love that frog....you must have steady hands indeed to have mastered holding the stencil and not smudging the whole deal! BRAVO!

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  4. Cool technique! I have a stencil I'm dying to try but have been intimidated by it. Til now, that is :)

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  5. Brilliant idea. I have to give this a try. I particularly love the way the elephant and frog turned out. Thanks.

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  6. Just pinned this. I love the outcome, and I think my kids would really enjoy it. Thanks for sharing.

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  7. So cute. Great project to do with kids!

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  8. How do you keep the paint from bleeding under the stencil? Mine keeps bleeding around so the shape doesn't remain.

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  9. Wow...They are lovely!!! I love anything water color. I will have to give it a try!
    Denise

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  10. Alexandra- you don't have an email to reply to, so I'll answer your question here and hope you read it.... the more wet the paint is the more it spreads. You could try not mixing so much water with the paint so that you have more control. Also, I make sure to hold the stencil down very tightly around the edges I'm painting. I hope this helps- best of luck!

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  11. Just to let you know I featured your wonderful project on homework today. Stop by and grab a featured button. Thanks for linking up your project - have a wonderful weekend.
    carolyn | homework

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  12. I just love this idea! and it's so easy to do! I can't wait to try it! Thanks.

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  13. These are beautiful. I especially think they would look nice in a playroom or child's bedroom.

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  14. Simple yet stunning. Love that idea, thanks so much for the tutorial! {found you through the Craftionary linky, by the way...)

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  15. Found you at The Shabby Nest frugal friday. Love your work and this wonderful project! The possibilities are endless. Thank you so much for sharing. I've been experimenting with paint techniques and can't wait to try this one!

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  16. What a great idea! I'll definitely have to try this!

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  17. This is awesome! Such a cute and easy piece of artwork to hang! -Jessica

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  18. This is so pretty! I've been looking for something just like this! Thanks!

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  19. Hi Elise! I found your tutorial along time ago and now i know where am I going to use it. I featured this tutorial on my blog here http://growcreative.blogspot.com/2012/04/stenciled-watercolors-tutorial.html
    I will be making a Christmas Cards using your idea! Thanks so much for sharing!

    Marina

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  20. These are really cool. I haven't painted in years, but this has me wanting to pick up a brush again! Thanks for the inspiration!

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  21. Thanks so much for this fun tutorial! Are you sure it's this easy? Will definitely try this! Catherine (new follower)

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  22. What an awesome tutorial! I'll be pinning this for sure!

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  23. Hello,
    I really love your water color. I too love art (water color mixed media) craft, fashion, cooking and vintage. Check out my blog. I am your newest follower. would you follow me back? Thank you so much...I am pinning this!

    Ellya
    @CuriositaEllya

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  24. Do you remember where you got this stencil?

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    Replies
    1. Yes I do! It was at a Dollar Tree Store- that was a few years ago so I'm not sure if they carry those anymore or not. Good luck!

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  25. I love this!!thanks for posting!I will try and do these lovely designee if I can find a stencil..��

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  26. This looks like something you would buy in a store! I just love the watercolor effect!

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