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How to create a watercolour silhouette

Hey there, It's Poppy!
Recently I have been doing some watercolour painting at school and we used masking fluid  to create silhouettes. 

For those of you who do not know masking fluid is a liquid that is painted around or on areas of the painting that you do not want to get paint onto and when it dries it acts as a barrier against paint, it can then be peeled off to leave areas clean

I loved doing it so last weekend I went to the art shop to get some masking fluid, and I found that it was super-duper expensive (I think it was about $20 for a 75ml bottle). I decided against buying it and tried a technique that I have heard of but never really used before. Crayon.
It worked surprisingly well and I don't think that I will be buying masking fluid anytime soon.

How to create a watercolour silhouette without using masking fluid

You will need:
Watercolour paper (watercolour paper is much better to use for this because it is much more sturdy and can take the amount of water we are going to be adding)
Watercolour paints (the ones I used were not the best quality paints, as in a $15 set of 30, but still worked well)
Paint brushes (I used various sizes, but if you can only have one size a medium or small brush would be best)
Paper Towel
A white crayon
Some printer paper
A led pencil
Optional-a computer to print from

How to: (for variations and different ideas see the notes below)

1. Find an image that could be used for a silhouette on the internet (you could alternatively draw one straight onto the printer paper). (I used a single elephant silhouette) and print it onto the printer paper.

2. Cut around the outside of the image on the printer paper.

3.Lay the cut-out image onto the watercolour paper in the position you want it to be for the final painting.

4. Trace around the outside of the image using a led pencil, make sure you only do it lightly!

5. Remove the image that you cut out earlier from the watercolour paper 

6.Using the white crayon carefully trace just inside the pencil line, around the whole shape.

7.Fill in the rest of the shape with the crayon.

8.Choose the colours you would like to use (I used a turquoise and pink)

9.Cover the area outside your shape with water (this makes the pain easier to spread, remember that you may have to reapply it in certain areas, depending on how fast you work)

10.Paint the area outside your shape (I blended my colours together with water), be careful and try not to get to much paint on the crayon but if you do get some on the crayon simply dab it or push it outside the shape with the paper towel. 

11.Wait for the paint to dry (you may want to rub the pencil out carefully)

12.You are finished. 

-You may want to do more than one of the same image on your painting, to do this simply do step three and four for the first image and then go back and repeat steps three and four for the rest of the images.

-Alternatively, you could paint the inside of the shape and leave the outside white, to do this simply reverse step three (trace on the outside of the pencil line) and don't worry about filling in the background.

Hopefully, you had fun doing this. I would love to hear about your attempts or see some photos (if we get enough I could post them on here in a few weeks) of your artwork.

I'm about to go out and take some photos that I might share tomorrow :-)

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  1. This is such a cool idea and I love your blog. If you'd like to come check out my blog that'd be cool. :)) x

    1. Thanks Monique. I took a look at your blog and it looks great. I'd be happy to do a button swap or guest post swap with you if you would like.


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