Creating Colour Gradations with Watercolours

Before I begin with the technique, a noteworthy milestone must be shared:  Today Birdwing Paper Designs is celebrating 150 blog posts!

I could not believe it when I saw that this was going to be the 150th post!!  Or more likely, I couldn’t believe I had so much to say that there are 150 posts!!  Wow!!  Wondering what the first one was about?  Check out “One Step at a Time“.

Now back to colour gradations…

A colour gradation is a gradual blending from one colour to another.  It can be accomplished using one hue that changes from dark to light (commonly seen in the popular ombre effect) or it can be transitioned through several hues.  I love the look of many colours blended together so that is what I will show for this background colouring technique.

Creating Colour Gradations - Birdwing Paper Designs

I have been experimenting with watercolours using Stampin’ Write Markers and the Aqua Painter from Stampin’ Up.  The easiest way I discovered to blend colours was to scribble the colours on a clear block…

Creating Colour Gradations - Birdwing Paper Designs

… then flood watercolour paper or Shimmery White paper with a bit of water to cover the area that will be painted and press the block onto the wet paper.

Creating Colour Gradations - Birdwing Paper Designs

If too much water is used then the colours will pool and the paper will be too wet.  And if not enough water is used then the ink will just stamp on the paper instead of nicely smearing together.

Creating Colour Gradations - Birdwing Paper Designs

A cool effect is created when the block is removed, but I prefer to gently go over the colours with the Aqua Painter to get a nice gradation.

Creating Colour Gradations - Birdwing Paper Designs

Once the paper has dried, just add a stamp and a few other details and you have a beautiful card!


I use this technique often when creating watercolour backgrounds because it is easy to control the blending of colours.  I even used it to create the background for the blog header!

Birdwing Paper Designs

With practice and a little experimenting, this technique will add a wow factor to your cards or scrapbook pages.



2 thoughts on “Creating Colour Gradations with Watercolours

    • It is easy once you figure out the right amount of water to use on the paper initially. And when you are blending the colours at the end, don’t add anymore water, just use what is already on the paper. Good luck!


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