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Monday, January 18, 2010

DIY: Watercolor Silhouette


I took the girls to the zoo this weekend and I had some fun FINALLY experimenting with my zoom lens. It was cool to take some photos of something other than the kids for once. So, I came home with some cool animal shots and I was trying to think of something to do with them here on Prudent Baby. Here is a DIY for these little watercolor silhouettes that I made.

FULL DIY and FREE animal images for download after the jump.



What you need:
• Print outs of Animals or any subject with an interesting silhouette. With a bouquet of flowers you could do something beautiful like this.
• Watercolor paper
• Watercolor paints (2-3 colors will do)
• Brush
• Xacto blade or small scissors
• Masking tape

1. Print out your image to fit comfortably on your watercolor paper with room around.


2. Cut out your animal with as much detail as possible (but don't go crazy, note I skipped the hair on the elephant's back. )


3. Position your cut-out and trace with your pencil. Try to keep your pencil line light.
Give your subject a surface to stand on so he doesn't float.



4. Tape your watercolor paper down to a piece of cardboard or art board all the way around the very edge.


5. Use your brush to wet the entire background around your animal. I didn't go all the way to the edge and tried to leave a few small spots dry. Tip: you can tint the water lightly with watercolor paint so that you can see where you have missed.



4. Load your brush up with wet paint and touch your brush to the paper. The paint will spread but only on the wet areas. Add more paint. Move the board around to help the paint spread. Use your brush to cheat your paint into smaller details.




Tip: Try to continue the tone "behind: the animal. For example: If the left side of the trunk is purple, continue on the right side of the trunk with purple.


5. Step back and squint.  Can you see your animal clearly? Is the background too bright? Too busy? If so, brush over the entire background with a wet brush to mute and blend the background.


6. Let your painting dry completely before removing tape carefully.




Images for download...


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10 Comments:

Blogger Jaimie said...

These are cool! I bought some watercolors a while back, but never knew why! Now I do!

January 18, 2010 at 4:28 PM  
Blogger Jaime said...

These are beautiful! I want to see more of your mad watercolor skills!

January 18, 2010 at 5:51 PM  
Anonymous Nancy said...

Love the deer!

January 19, 2010 at 6:26 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Really fun!
I think Ill do it again, But next time ill cut out the silhouettes after painting and put a clean sheet of white under it.
I was having too much fun swirling colors, and my lines aren't as clean as I would like.

January 22, 2010 at 12:38 AM  
Blogger Regina said...

We're using this idea to make some art for our living room wall. I've been playing with watercolors all afternoon and have almost finished the 5th "painting." Once they're dry, we're going to do a high-quality scan of each and paste silhouettes of different kinds of trees onto our scans, then print them out and frame them! Cheating, yes, but little easier than cutting and tracing all the tree branches, I think...

January 28, 2010 at 1:08 PM  
Blogger Jaime said...

regina that sounds like such a fun and fabulous afternoon, painting and decorating. i can't wait to see you artwork, if you don't send us a picture i will cry.

January 28, 2010 at 1:17 PM  
Blogger leaf and letter handmade said...

so beautiful! you could also make it easier for kiddos by tracing the outline of the animal (or coloring him all in) with white crayon. then even if the paint touched, it wouldn't show up!

June 7, 2010 at 8:00 AM  
Blogger Jessica said...

hmmm... can we combine two projects? this one and the decorated step stool?!

(i dont know much about the mod podge... would that work?)

August 30, 2010 at 11:42 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I love this! I mentioned it on my link love today. Don't think I could get the watercolor to turn out quite this nice...

January 16, 2011 at 12:58 AM  
Blogger Amy said...

Wow! Beautiful! I am loving this idea!

February 5, 2011 at 4:55 AM  

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