Play with Watercolors!

Oooh! I love watercolors and this post has a TON of creative ideas to try—from bookmarks to barrettes to decorating little girl's clothes . . . LOVE these!

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For today’s Creative Play Challenge, we’re going to play with watercolors. One of the things I like most about watercolors is that there is such a low barrier to entry. A child can make fun splotches of color, an artist can paint intricate paintings, and everyone in between can have fun. Our goal this week is to take time to make at least one exploratory painting. You can do this in your art journal or sketchbook, or use a separate sheet of watercolor paper.

If you’re feeling nervous about the idea of painting with watercolors, put on some music, start with one of your Artist Powerup Cards, and remind yourself this is all about play. Let your inner childlike artist come out, make a mess, and have fun.

My favorite set of watercolors is actually marketed as a kid’s watercolor set but the colors are vibrant and more opaque than normal watercolors. I love them so much. You can find them on Amazon, and I’ve also seen them at local art stores.

Don’t have access to watercolors? You can use water soluble markers to create watercolor-like scenes. Watercolor pencils are also a lot of fun and allow you to add specific detail to your work. I also love them because I can toss them in my bag to color my work in when I’m out and about and then add water later to activate the watercolors.

If you happen to have any tubes of gouache lying around, you can add water to those and they make lovely watercolors. I’ve also added water to acrylics and fabric paint to get a watercolor effect. Don’t be afraid to experiment! Art supplies are meant to be used and played with—you might just discover your new favorite medium.

Let’s Play with Watercolors!

Need some ideas to get going? Here are some pictures and tutorials I’ve shared in the past few years. Feel free to read through them and get inspired.

Oooh! I love watercolors and this post has a TON of creative ideas to try—from bookmarks to barrettes to decorating little girl's clothes . . . LOVE these!

Watercolors from markers—Don’t have watercolors on hand? Pull out some water soluble markers to make these fun cards! (I LOVE this technique.)

Oooh! I love watercolors and this post has a TON of creative ideas to try—from bookmarks to barrettes to decorating little girl's clothes . . . LOVE these!

These watercolor cards were so much fun and super simple to make.

Oooh! I love watercolors and this post has a TON of creative ideas to try—from bookmarks to barrettes to decorating little girl's clothes . . . LOVE these!

Pull out the acrylics and a cup of water to make these vibrant cards. I made these with my three year old. :)

Oooh! I love watercolors and this post has a TON of creative ideas to try—from bookmarks to barrettes to decorating little girl's clothes . . . LOVE these!

This ocean watercolor hoop art was a cinch to whip up. Since it’s meant to be abstract, you can’t mess this one up!

Oooh! I love watercolors and this post has a TON of creative ideas to try—from bookmarks to barrettes to decorating little girl's clothes . . . LOVE these!

I used watered-down fabric paint (and I think some acrylics too) for the watercolor look on this t-shirt for my daughter.

Oooh! I love watercolors and this post has a TON of creative ideas to try—from bookmarks to barrettes to decorating little girl's clothes . . . LOVE these!

This watercolor leaf card was made with watercolor pencils. It’s easy to lay down specific areas of color with the pencils and then go back in to add water. The pencils I use tend to be more vibrant then regular colored pencils too.

Oooh! I love watercolors and this post has a TON of creative ideas to try—from bookmarks to barrettes to decorating little girl's clothes . . . LOVE these!

Last Christmas, I decided to take this watercolor and make it into a  doll for my daughter.

Oooh! I love watercolors and this post has a TON of creative ideas to try—from bookmarks to barrettes to decorating little girl's clothes . . . LOVE these!

This little bird bookmark was also made with watercolor pencils. It’s super easy (and cute!)

Oooh! I love watercolors and this post has a TON of creative ideas to try—from bookmarks to barrettes to decorating little girl's clothes . . . LOVE these!

Think outside of the box and make this watercolor paper barrette!

Oooh! I love watercolors and this post has a TON of creative ideas to try—from bookmarks to barrettes to decorating little girl's clothes . . . LOVE these!

After taking a Creativebug class, I was so inspired to make simple gouache paintings of my daughter, nieces, and nephew holding their favorite toy.

Oooh! I love watercolors and this post has a TON of creative ideas to try—from bookmarks to barrettes to decorating little girl's clothes . . . LOVE these!

A peek into my sketchbook. I was just playing around one day with mixing different blues and greens. Near the end of putting together The Creative Retreat book, we were short a page, and my husband surprised me by scanning a page similar to this one into the book. You never know where your playful experiments will end up!

Oooh! I love watercolors and this post has a TON of creative ideas to try—from bookmarks to barrettes to decorating little girl's clothes . . . LOVE these!

I hand-stitched white muslin squares together for our wedding to decorate the outdoor garden where we were married (and yes, I obviously had a lot more time on my hands back then, haha) After the wedding, I was surprised to find a box of all the bunting carefully folded—apparently one of my cousins who was helping clean up couldn’t bear to throw it away which was really sweet!

A couple of years later, I painted a long strand of that bunting with a mixture of fabric paint and water. It’s hard to see in this picture but there is a slight shimmer to the paint which makes it even more sweet. Love it.

Well, I was going to add a few more ideas to this list but then realized this list is getting LONG, and it’s time that those of you who are in the Creative Play Challenge get going with making your own wonderful watercolor creations. I hope you have a lot of fun this week!

Have a lovely {and creative} day!