Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Create your own watercolor masterpiece with clip art and masking tape

I believe that everyone has the ability to create a really cool piece of art with their own two hands. The great thing about this watercolor project is that you can't mess it up! The end result will be amazing no matter where the paint splatters. I created this painting of a bull as my Valentine gift for Ran. You may recall his story about the Banditos Jalapeños. One of the beloved characters is a bull and this is my artistic interpretation of his appearance. I didn't have a whole lot of time so I used a stencil printed from a free online clip art source. Read on for the instructions and photos.

Computer with internet access (to download the free clip art)
Scissors or Exacto knife
Paint Brush
Cup of water
Watercolor paper
Masking tape

1. Print the clip art image at the size you want it for your painting.
2. Cut the image out of the paper to create a stencil from which you can trace.

3. Using a light touch, trace your image with a pencil onto your watercolor paper.
4. Tear and apply small pieces of masking tape to the outside of the traced line. You are creating an inverted mask so that the color only fills the image area.

5. Go crazy with the watercolors.

6. Let the paint dry for a little bit. I actually didn't wait for it to dry completely and the paint ran into the cracks of the tape as I removed the mask. I like that effect though. Proof that there isn't a wrong answer here!
7. Carefully peel away the pieces of masking tape and admire your work of art.


  1. Happy Valentine's Day to me!

  2. wow this is so cool! I am totally trying this with the kids this week.

  3. very cool! i want to try one!

  4. Though I am sure this project will end with either Rob or myself in tears, I want to make one. So badly.

  5. Great idea!
    Masking fluid instead of tape would make this a faster & easier! Although I do like the look of the paint that has seeped through the tape.

  6. This is gorgeous!!! I can't wait to give this a try!

  7. Thanks so much for your awesome comments!

  8. i love this idea. i linked up.

    i also love your blog. it is a complete gem!
    excited to see what you post about next.



  9. Beautiful work. I LOVE the colors. Thanks for the tutorial!!!

    :) Laura

  10. Hey, Kate.

    I'm your newest follower. Love your ideas!

    I would love for you to follow me at http://www.paringdown.com

    Thanks, and have a great weekend!

  11. What a lovely idea, and nice and simple for someone like me who's not so artistic with the paints!! I also like the bits where the paint has seeped through the tape! Thanks for sharing!


  12. This is awesome! I'm going to have to give this a try!

  13. slightly adapting the idea for this years eid cards thankyou

  14. Thanks everyone! If you try it, take photos and send them to me! I would love to see your work.

  15. Nice arts. Thanks for sharing

  16. It looks so good!
    I have a DIY blog http://juliarungediy.blogspot.com/
    Is it okay if i borrow one of your pictures and link to your DIY?
    - Julia

    1. Thanks, Julia! You are welcome to borrow one of my pictures and link back to my blog. I love your blog!

  17. HA! Thank you, pinterest, for directing me to this. LOVE the bull, in fact it's exactly what I will use to try this excellent little project. So dang cute! If I manage to make it look ok I think I would love a range of watercolour carnivorous dinosaurs. Or so- called dangerous dog breeds. Or really creepy insects and spiders. Somebody stop me, I'm buzzing! What about armored cars and tanks and guns? Watch out, Banksy.

  18. Hi Kate, I just stumbled upon your post via Pinterest. I know it's been several years but do you happen to have the link to the site where you found this specific bull? I'd love to do this for my husband for Father's Day. Thanks, Krista Escobedo

    1. Hi Krista - oh gosh I don't, sorry! But feel free to print the image of my watercolor painting and trace it with tracing paper.


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