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Make Artist Trading Card Backgrounds With Gouache

I have a fun and easy background tutorial for you today. And all you need is one art supply - plus paper towels, to make a neat abstract effect.

The art medium I used to make these artist trading card backgrounds is gouache.

Have you heard of gouache?

Gouache paint is like watercolor and acrylic paint mixed together. It comes in tubes, you add water to it like watercolors, but the color is way more opaque - less see-through - than watercolors.

To be honest, I tried doing this with watercolors first, but it did not leave the same effect as when I tried it with the gouache.

Blotted paint with paper towel background technique

Supplies needed:

Like I said above, I tried watercolors first. I believe it didn't work out was because for this effect to work you need a lot of pigment and not a lot of water. Which is why the gouache worked perfectly.

So after my failed attempts using watercolors, I added some gouache paint to some watercolor paper.

Using gouache paints for backgrounds

Then I crumpled up a paper towel…

use a paper towel to make mixed media backgrounds

I then blotted the still-wet gouache.

Using paper towels to make atc backgrounds

You'll have to play around with how long to hold the paper towel down or how wet to make your paint

You also might want to keep in mind what the pattern of your paper towels is.

The pattern of my cheap, dollar store paper towels is half the reason my backgrounds turned out so cool.

Mixed media background technique

Since I planned to use these for artist trading cards, I measured and cut them to the right size = 2.5 × 3.5 inches:

Cut artist trading card backgrounds 2.5 x 3.5

And ta-da!

Now I have some unique and colorful ATC backgrounds to get creative with :)

Artist trading card backgrounds

See all my mixed media background techniques to check out and try!

Buy the supplies on Amazon:

Make artist trading cards with gouache backgrounds

Make abstract painted backgrounds


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