Watercolour bookmarks are such wonderful and easy craft projects to keep us entertained and to relax. It’s within the reach of everyone as you don’t need to be a watercolour pro to create watercolour bookmarks. And if you intend to become a watercolour pro economically, the small formats of bookmarks make them perfect for watercolour practice.
So, with all this in mind, today we set off to make some lovely watercolour bookmarks and created these:
This is a set of 6, 3 of which come in an abstract style, and 1 is a nautical bookmark, 1 is a green foliage bookmark and the last one is a floral bookmark.
THE TOOLS WE USED
Saunders Waterford, NOT, 300gsm (140lb).
We’d recommend to use paper that is thick enough. There is no need to use quality paper if you’re just planning to have fun. Though depending on what you’re trying to do, you may find you have better luck with quality paper (quality paper will interact with the paint better).
You don’t get to see this in the above photo but we also used a paper cutter to cut my paper. We found paper cutters very practical and useful both for paper crafting and cutting A4 and larger sheets of watercolour paper. These do not need to be expensive for light paper crafting like this.
Tools for Watercolour Painting
Paint & Brush
As you can see in the above photo, we used a round brush, a dagger and a water brush that comes with my half-pan paint set. Feel free to use other brushes. If you’re not sure what your brush will do, it’s the perfect opportunity to try it out and see for yourself.
If you’re totally new to watercolour, get the famous Cotman half-pan watercolour set and you’ll get a free brush with it as these sets typically come with a small brush.
We use the Cotman set above to paint.
Palette and Water Container
Make sure you also have a container for water and a palette to put your paint in.
Tapes (to keep the paper stuck to your surface)
To secure the paper, we used washi tape and masking tape that’s fairly wide. We used the same tapes to create stripes on the foliage bookmark (cut the tape into 2). Use masking tape to secure paper where needed (blue and purple abstract bookmark) and use washi tape to create stripe effects. Bear in mind that whether or not your stripes will let paint in or not underneath seems to depend on the quality of the tape. So, if you do not want any leaking, make sure you use quality washi tape. Alternatively, you may want to paint stripes without tape.
Finally, we used a hair drier to speed up the drying process. So, do make sure you use these carefully with safety in mind and away from your water container.
We also used a white Gelly Roll pen to add details to the foliage bookmark.
You don’t see it on the photo above but we did all my painting on a craft mat. So, if you feel like you need one, get one.
PAINTING OUR WATERCOLOUR BOOKMARKS – INSTRUCTIONS
(From left to right)
Foliage Watercolour Bookmark
- Use washi tape and cut into 2
- Position the 2 stripes as shown on the bookmark above
- Use green paint to paint the top section (lemon yellow + sap green + enough water for it to be light)
- Add some sap green to the mix and paint the section below
- Dry this second section
- Add some darker green and paint the leaves on top (the smaller leaves require that you add yet a bit more of your darker green)
- Dry this second section again
- Finally add some darker green – or blue – to the mix and paint the last section. This mix needs to be less watery, so keep adding paint until satisfied
- Dry this last section
- Add some washi tape stripes (ours leaked because we used cheap washi tape; feel free to use masking tape that you cut into 2 or paint your stripes without tape) and apply another layer of green – mix a darker one this time – to this 3rd section
- Dry the 3rd section again
- With a very dark green mix, add the label area at the top then use a white pen to add the text
Abstract Red Yellow Watercolour Bookmark
- Mix some lemon yellow with yellow ochre (very little water here)
- Start applying the above mix to the paper in a random fashion. This needs to be wet enough to stay wet for a little while without being watery or drying immediately
- Continue filling the bookmark by alternating applying some of this yellow mix to your red paint you can get direct from your half-pan set or the tube
- Each time you add red, mix with the yellow on paper and add water in some places to get a lighter colour
- Play with these paints and this painting technique until happy
Abstract Blue Green Watercolour Bookmark
- Use tape to secure a border around your painting area
- Mix some Phthalo blue with Ultramarine blue (not too watery but a little watery)
- Mix some emerald green with sap green
- Start applying the blue mix to the top and work your way down to the middle of the bookmark (use a mix of applying paint, adding some phthalo blue direct from the tube or half-pan and adding water to the paper)
- Repeat with the green mix in the bottom section
- Start taking your green up to the top section and blend those two colours (whether you add the darker green to the bottom or at the top of the bottom section is up to you…play around with all this until satisfied)
- Use your hair drier to dry your bookmark
- Take off the tape
Abstract Blue Purple Watercolour Bookmark
- Randomly wet the bookmark (no need to apply yourself to ensure it’s equally wet everywhere)
- With your brush, go get some phthalo blue and purple, separately, and add it to the paper (just touch the paper with the tip of the brush) in several locations
- Add a little water in some place with your brush
- Hold the bookmark in your hand and turn it around to allow the wet paint to spread on the paper surface (this will get the blue to meet the purple and naturally blend)
- Keep adding water and paint and turning your bookmark around for paint to travel across the paper until satisfied
- Dry with the hair drier
Loose Imperfect Floral Watercolour Bookmark
- Mix some Alizarin Crimson with water, enough to your taste to create the effect you wish (if you do not know what you want because you’re new to working with watercolour, dare to try things out and see for yourself. For instance, grab a spare sheet of watercolour paper and try those flowers out first before you paint them on your bookmark)
- Paint the flowers on the bookmark in any way you wish (no need to do exactly as we did ours; this is an exercise in loose painting without thinking)
- Feel free to add other colours in there
- Mix some green and add the leaves
- Dry with the hair drier
Elegant Nautical Watercolour Bookmark
- Mix some phthalo blue with ultramarine blue (it needs to be a little watery)
- Paint the stripes in the top part of the bookmark
- Thicken that blue by adding more phthalo blue and more ultramarine blue (don’t add water)
- Apply the thick darker blue to the bottom as shown in the photos above
- Use your white pen to add text
And that’s it for these bookmarks.
We hope you enjoyed this blog post.
Share it if you did and share a photo of your bookmarks on Pinterest!
Log & Mitten