It may be a little intimidating for some to try this technique and I admit even I had qualms to start with, but the beauty of this type of water colouring is, it's meant to have a loose and organic finish and it looks best when you get different colour gradations shading which are trademarks of water colouring.
A Quick Intro
For my layout "I Will Love You Forever", I chose this geometric flower paper. You can see the 'hidden' patterns embossed into the water colour paper.
Get your materials ready - a spritz bottle or a bowl of water or a water brush, your water colour palette (you can also use water based dye inks such as distress inks, gelatos or tube water colours). I usually spritz a small puddle of water directly onto the palette to get the colours moving first - don't worry, it dries out quite quickly and won't ruin your palette.
I loaded up my brush with water and dabbed it on the paper in the areas I wanted colour. I then pick up the water colour I wanted on my brush and dabbed it onto the wet areas. The colour should spread out. Add more water and colour to build up your colour. I use a dabbing method rather then brushing across the paper as this leaves more of the water stain look and stops several colours from muddying into each other. I also used the brush to add splatter across my page.
Step-by-step for "H20 Just Add Water" Layout
Using a large flat brush, I wet the entire page with a good coat of water. I then used a medium to large size round brush to add shades of blue all over the page and dabs of purple in the middle of the flower circles. You can tilt your paper to get the colours to merge and blend together. I also used a bit of pink in some areas. Let it dry naturally, or if you're impatient like me, use a heat tool. You can see where I used a pencil to map out where my sewing hoops would go.
After drying the base colour, I used a splatter stamp to add the dark blue splashes in a diagonal across the the page. I then dried it again with a heat tool. Your paper may warp a bit and you can use an ordinary clothing iron to flatten it out like I did. I then stamped the hashtags randomly around the page - this is where my pencil lines come in handy as they show me where my hoops will go and I don't stamp under them.
I die cut some branches from leftover water colour paper and coloured them with greens and browns before drying them. I arranged them so they branch outwards from the hoops. I don't stick them down yet.
I smeared glass bead gel mainly along the diagonal with a few branch outs to the sides. While the bead gel is still wet, sprinkle on the gold flakes. The glass bead gel will dry clear and you will see the texture show through then.
I layered and stuck all my elements on top: my photo hoops, foliage and flowers.
I finished off with the title and that's it. I love the look of the glass beads peeking through under the gold flakes. You should be able to find glass bead gel in good art shops.
I hope this step by step is a bit of help to you. Drop me a line and would love to see the projects you create.